Suffocating practices in Las Vegas should condition Patriots for season opener in Miami

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The players, however, appear to be welcoming the scorching environment in preparation for their Week 1 game against the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Average Miami temperatures in September are in the high 80s, with humidity also affecting conditions.

“I think it’s good preparation, just getting out in the sun,” Stevenson said.

“It’s a good warm-up for what’s to come,” added the wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. “We had a lot of hot games this year. I’m excited to have a head start on what it’s going to be like.

In addition to acclimating to the heat, the trip will be another opportunity for the Patriots to try to rack up some positive days while taking on new competition. The new streamlined attack is still finding its way and the defense seems to be coming together, but these days will be critical for players vying for a roster spot. Time is running out for those in the bubble to make a good impression ahead of the August 30 cut day.

Players will have the full backdrop to do so, training at the new Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center. Coach Bill Belichick called the facility “magnificent”.

“Forget the amenities, just the grounds, the weight room, the offices, the indoor facilities, the proximity, the ease of everything, yeah, it’s as good as anything I’ve seen,” Belichick said. “Better than anything I’ve seen, not as good, better than anything I’ve seen. This is exceptional. It’s great for us to be able to work here. These are ideal working conditions.

The coming week will also allow players to connect with each other. The NFL has lifted its health and safety protocols in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, so players are free to go out to eat and hang out together.

“They love spending time together, doing things together, football or not,” Belichick said. “So this is a good opportunity.”

birthday boy mirrors

tight end Jonnu Smith turned 27 on Monday.

“There’s no better way to spend it than training camp,” Smith said. “No better way to spend it, baby.”

Smith doesn’t have big plans for the evening — he said he’d just enjoy dinner with a group of teammates — but he made sure to use part of the day as a time for reflection, noting how his state of mind has matured over time.

“I sit and laugh at what I thought I was when I was 18, 19,” Smith said. “At twenty-seven, I have a story. We all have stories, man. I’m just grateful.

Entering his sixth season in the NFL and coming off a disappointing first year in New England, Smith seemed motivated to step into the field this fall.

“What kept me grounded and motivated was just the mindset of never arriving,” he said. “I never reached the top level. I think a true competitor should never be able to say, “Yes, I did it.” I arrived. I’m here now. I have nothing to do. There is no more work to do.

Vegas: a family destination

A few Patriots will likely be spending time with family this week. Bettor by Jake Bailey the parents drove in from San Diego and attended practice on Monday. Stevenson’s family still lives in Centennial Hills, a neighborhood in northwest Las Vegas. defensive tackle At Laurent Guy’s brother lives eight minutes from the Raiders practice facility. . . Although Belichick did not provide an update on the rookie Tyquan Thorntonwho will apparently miss eight weeks with a collarbone injury, another wide receiver Jakobi Meyers shared his support: “He’s a great boy. I think he will be perfectly fine. If anyone can handle it, I think he’ll be the guy who can. We know what he brings to the table, and he knows what he brings to the table. He has a great support system around him.


Nicole Yang can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang.

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