FOXBORO -- The Patriots and Broncos met November 24 at Gillette Stadium during the regular season. All this week leading up to the AFC Championship rematch, players and coaches have explained how they can't just recycle Week 12's game prep because they're expecting something different.
A fair point. Nobody was talking about marijuana then.
Why talk about it now? Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in December of 2012. Anyone 21 and older can purchase pot without penalty, and the state now has many shops to accommodate consumers.
This trip is New England's first to Denver since the law changed.
"I think we know what the NFL policy is on that," head coach Bill Belichick stated Friday.
The league's policy is clear: Marijuana is on the list of banned substances and players can be suspended its use. The Broncos know it well enough; linebacker Von Miller tested positive multiple times for weed as a rookie, according to the Denver Post. He was slapped with a six-game ban at the start of this season for violating the drug policy.
And so the Patriots are talking about pot. As much as you'd expect, anyway.
Tom Brady claimed ignorance to the subject in his Friday press conference. When asked if he's worried his teammates might be tempted, the quarterback's answer was brief.
"Hopefully not. This is a very important game for us and it’s a business trip."
LeGarrette Blount agreed: "Nobody's going to care about that. Bill told us about it and he basically said, 'Don't go out there and be stupid.' It was really good advice."
There's no way of knowing if Belichick's message really was that simple. But why not? Even if the laws in Colorado have changed, the NFL's rules have not. Marijuana is banned. Period.
"I think if you have any more questions about it, you should talk to the league about it," the coach concluded. "They're the ones who have the policy"