BOSTON (CBS) — If anything was clear throughout the Patriots’ 18-12 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, it’s that the team has a lot of work to do to get its offense in gear. That all starts in practice.
Unfortunately for the Pats, they didn’t have that luxury for much of last two weeks. As the team dealt with a handful of COVID-19 cases on its roster, they decided to play it safe and close team facilities, putting in their work virtually. The team only had one actual practice over the last two weeks, and when you mix in Cam Newton’s return from his two weeks away from football, it led to a rather sluggish performance on all fronts on the offensive side of the ball.
Cue up the Allen Iverson clips, because on Monday, Bill Belichick spent a good chunk of his chat with reporters talkin’ about practice. The Patriots head coach is hoping that the team can put in a full week of work on the practice field, something they sorely missed heading into Sunday’s defeat.
“The more we can get out there and practice, improve our timing, our execution, our anticipation and awareness, those will all help us. We’re going to everything we can to maximize that and I think that will help our individual and our unit performances the more we can do that,” Belichick told reporters Monday. “Hopefully we’ll get a full dose of it this week.”
Practice may not seem like much on the outside, but it certainly means a lot to players and coaches each and every week. The Patriots hope to get the benefits of a full week of practice as they prepare for a visit from Jimmy Garoppolo and the 3-3 San Francisco 49ers.
“Just the ability to go out there and practice what your game plan is, what you’re going to try to do — it’s always a little different in the game because they’re not doing everything you anticipate,” said Belichick. “But there are things that carry over, an element that carries over, where there’s continuity from what they’ve shown in the past. The opportunity to go out and practice individual techniques, individual skills, certain plays and plays that are specific to the team that we’re playing, the way that our opponent does something — all of those are opportunities you like to have and we will benefit from having more opportunities to do that.
“That’s our goal, to be out there and have a full week of practice and preparation. We need that,” he added.
But the team isn’t making excuses for Sunday’s loss.
“The situation is what it is. We don’t get to choose it or control it,” said running back Damien Harris. “We don’t want to make excuses and give ourselves an out as to why we didn’t execute as well as we could have. It’s behind us and we have another great opponent we’re facing this week.”
The Patriots will be back on the practice field on Wednesday — barring any additional positive COVID tests.