BOSTON (CBS) — The big story on Sunday morning prior to the Patriots-Dolphins season finale was the condition of the field at Hard Rock Stadium.
With the Orange Bowl being played on the field on Friday night, the grass was not in its usual condition, and Dolphins employees were seen working on the turf just hours before kickoff.
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft joined Marc Bertrand and Chris Gasper on Patriots Preview prior to the game, and he commented on the conditions.
“Bowl game, marching bands, big halftime show. This field, once the [Marlins] left here, was always pristine. They have the weather, it’s natural grass. This does not look like a Miami field usually looks,” Kraft said. “They played a major bowl game here two nights ago, Friday night, and there was a lot of other activity, in addition to the game. So the field definitely had a toll taken on it.”
Kraft said the NFL and the NFLPA have worked together to establish criteria for field conditions and monitor them closely over the past six or so years. The condition of this game just two days after a bowl game might establish a new standard for scheduling.
“Maybe after something like this, they won’t be scheduling home games on the same weekends of bowl games,” Kraft said. “The field down here is always usually so pristine that [the NFL schedule-makers likely believed it] wouldn’t be an issue, but clearly it doesn’t look as good as it usually does.”
Kraft was also asked about the mechanical issues that caused the Patriots’ flight to Miami to be delayed by hours on Saturday. Kraft said such a travel hiccup provides no excuses for performance in a game.
“If you can’t deal with a couple hours delay mentally, you’re not that mentally tough to begin with,” Kraft said. ” I don’t believe it will affect our play. I assume it won’t. It’s good to know you can overcome things like that.”
Kraft was also asked about how NFL teams will view college players who skip their bowl games, about the possibility of streaming NFL games in China, and more. Listen below: