Gregory fondly remembers 2008 NFL London trip

Gregory fondly remembers 2008 NFL London trip
October 23, 2012, 6:53 pm
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FOXBORO -- There are several players in the Patriots locker room who've played in an NFL London game before. Among them: Tom Brady, Stephen Gostkowski, Logan Mankins and Wes Welker.

In total, there are 13 current Patriots who played for New England in the team's 35-7 trouncing of Tampa Bay in 2009. (Note: Patriots linebacker Niko Koutouvides was with the Buccaneers at the time.)

Steve Gregory had a different experience. In 2008, the safety was part of a Chargers squad that lost 37-32 to New Orleans at historic Wembley Stadium.

Despite the loss, his memories of the trip are warm.

"It was great," Gregory said. "We went out for a whole week. We played in Buffalo first and then flew straight out there. It was great. Obviously I'd never been there before, so to see London, the overall experience was amazing. Playing in that stadium. Some of the people had all different jerseys on and stuff.

"I think the fans were cheering more when the guys kicked a field goal than a regular play," he laughed. "But it was fun, it was a good time."

His availability for this trip is unknown; Gregory is still recovering from a hip injury suffered back in Week 4.

If he does go he's not worried about the truncated timeline. Though the Chargers had more time to sight-see in London, Gregory said the Patriots won't suffer for leaving Thursday night.

"It is what it is. We'll get out there in plenty of time to adjust to the time and all that stuff. It'll be a good experience for the guys that haven't been."

Acclimation in the context of football is most important. The Patriots players had Monday off, making Tuesday more like a typical Wednesday in terms of preparation. Head coach Bill Belichick said this morning that the team can add time onto the back end of the week for football operations once the team lands in London.

Much like Belichick, Gregory sounded resigned to the schedule.

"Obviously it's a long flight and things like that, but no longer than going out to the West Coast or something like that.

"But that just comes with traveling. Any time you play on the road, it doesn't matter where you are, your routine gets a little bit adjusted, and you've got to kind of adjust to where you are and the things that you're doing. We'll adjust and we'll get those things going right."

Who knows -- there could be time enough to visit the Queen. Gregory laughed at the thought.

"Yeah, if she'll let me."