Patriots Soaking It All In At Air Force Academy, But Focus Remains On Raiders

BOSTON (CBS) — Before they head to Mexico City for this weekend’s game against the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots are soaking in all they can at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Usually the home of over 4,300 cadets, the Air Force has opened their doors to the Patriots, who have been calling the prestigious academy their temporary home since Sunday night. The Patriots made the quick trek from Denver following their win over the Broncos, and have been enjoying some down time ever since.

They won’t hit the practice field until Wednesday afternoon, giving them a chance to not only bond as a team, but enjoy their time in a new and fascinating place.

“They have an awesome facility and it’s exciting to have them open that up to us. It’s awesome,” New England center David Andrews told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche. “Those guys are one day going to be fighting for our freedoms and serving our country. Just to be able walk on the same grounds as those guys and share that space is really cool.”

“They’ve been very accommodating for us. They’ve done a great job of trying to give us all of the things we need, whether that’s facilities or the weight room, equipment and so forth,” head coach Bill Belichick said in a Tuesday conference call. “They’ve been great – the entire coaching staff, the facility staff and so forth.”

This week is a little extra special for New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who majored in aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before starting his career in the NFL. While he is adamant that the team is focused on the Raiders, chances are he’ll be caught looking upwards at least a few times this week.

“I might have an eye to the sky if I see a jet flying by that might be pretty cool for me right there. I love planes. It’s one of my passions, obviously, with my degree and my background,” admitted Patricia. “Any time I can see a military plane flying around I tend to enjoy that. Hopefully we’ll get to see that. It’s obviously a great place.

“We’re very lucky to be here and appreciative of the Air Force Academy to have us and allow us to use their facility and everything and hopefully that’ll help us get ready to beat a very good Oakland Raiders team,” Patricia continued.

Andrews stressed that he and his teammates aren’t viewing their week in Colorado Springs as a vacation, but more as a business trip.

“We’re out here to work and we know we have a job to do, and we want to be as best prepared as we can be for Sunday,” he said. “For us, we’re just trying to stay in our routine. It’s different being out here, but we’re treating this week like professionals.”

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