The New England Patriots’ recent struggles in Miami have been well-documented. After recording just two wins in the team’s last nine trips down south, head coach Bill Belichick called for an audible to begin the season.
Instead of traveling on Saturday as teams usually do, the Patriots packed their bags and boarded a plane to Miami on Tuesday. The team will spend the five days before Sunday's matchup with the Dolphins about an hour north of Miami practicing at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
“Look, there’s no other distractions,” center David Andrews said on Thursday. “It’s football. Obviously, at home you’re dealing with family, things like that, other things you got going on. Here, it’s just football. It’s nice.
“Obviously, you miss your family and things like that but there’s good and bad things.”
The trip almost seems like an extension of training camp, as players are away from their families and focused strictly on football. For veteran Devin McCourty, he — and his family — are in favor of the trip if it results in winning.
“I’m a fan of whatever it takes to win,” he said. “Whatever we gotta do to win, I understand that. My family’s all for it. My kids now have teams they hate. The last game they remember is our Buffalo game. So, if they hear ‘Buffalo’ or ‘Bills,’ they know we hate them. So, they’re all for it. They’re all for winning, I’m for winning. So, whatever it takes to win.”
With winning in mind, Belichick noted the Patriots’ early trip was to “get acclimated to the conditions.” Sunday’s forecast currently calls for a high around 90 degrees and almost 70 percent humidity. Rain is also a possibility.
“It was little warm yesterday, but something that we definitely need to get acclimated to the game on Sunday,” newly-voted team captain Deatrich Wise Jr. said after practice Thursday. “It was much needed, very warm and we had to get use to conditioning and running in these types of temperatures.”
The Patriots have been better in Miami early in the season of late, perhaps as the temperature differences from the warm Foxborough summer are not as drastic. New England boasts a 5-1 record in their last six road games against Miami in the months of September and October, a record they will look to improve on come Sunday.