Monday, December 14, 2015

Padded practice helped Patriots in bounce-back week

Padded practices are rare late in the season, but for the New England Patriots, the time was right.

Last week, New England worked out in pads, using one of the very few opportunities to do so thanks to league rules and the general tendency for NFL teams to go lighter at practice down the stretch.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick thought that particular practice session was an important contributor to the team's victory over the Houston Texans Sunday night.

"[N]obody's 100 percent this time of the year on our team or on any other team you play," Belichick said Monday, via CSNNE. "That's football. It takes a toll on everybody. So it's certainly the more comfortable way just to not have contact during the week -- which we're forced to do that the majority of the time anyway in terms of padded contact -- so not having that during the week, and when you do have it, then sometimes players can look at it as we're sore, we're banged up, [and take an] I-wish-we-weren't-doing-it type of attitude."

That wasn't the case for the Patriots, though, according to Belichick.

"[I] think that our guys went out there and they worked hard," he said. "When we practiced on Wednesday, we definitely got better. We improved in a lot of the areas that fundamentally we were trying to address. I think that showed up in the game."

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