Bill Belichick gives reasoning for Patriots practicing at Air Force Academy this week
It is not unheard of for a team with back-to-back road games to stay on the road for the week in between depending on the location of the games. However, they are rare occasions.
For the Patriots, this week turned out to be one of those occasions. The team has been practicing at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for its game this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City.
Given that Denver, where the Patriots just played, and Mexico City have high altitudes, it makes sense for the Pats to practice in those conditions. Bill Belichick explained his decision to keep the team on the road for the week.
"Yeah, we looked at several options and in the end felt like this was the best one for a number of reasons. There are other people in the organization that did most of the work on it. We talked about some of the other options, but again, this was the best one. I felt like this was the best one for us. We're happy to be here."
Not only does it make sense for the Patriots to stay in the kind of climate they'll be playing in on Sunday, road trips such as these can really help a team bond, which I'm sure played a role in Belichick's decision-making process.
Belichick, as many know, comes from an armed forces background, so this presented him a chance to be in that setting. He spoke to the Navy football team earlier in the week, calling it an honor while also saying he was pretty nervous about it.
“It’s really an honor,” said Belichick. “[Navy coach] Ken [Niumatalo] has asked me to do a couple of times in different situations, but to speak to the actual team and not recruits is really an honor. For Ken and the Navy team and the Navy program and the Instituton -- to be able to stand in front of that group -- is a special feeling.
“That’s probably as nervous as i’ve been talking to a group in quite a while,” he said. “It was definitely special and there’s just something about looking at that group of kids that a little bit different than looking at another team -- not to take anything away from another team -- but that’s just a little bit different. It’s special. I really appreciate Ken giving me that opportunity and I’m glad they won last week, not that I had anything to do with it. I’m just glad it worked out for them too.”
Belichick went on to say that he has a ton of respect for how the Navy and Air Force Academy programs operate and hoped to take some lessons from them. Although, given that he's the greatest football coach of all time, I doubt he really needs to be taking lessons from anybody.