Belichick, Patriots already prepping for Week 1

Belichick, Patriots already prepping for Week 1
August 26, 2013, 3:30 pm
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FOXBORO -- The Patriots are the first to say it: "One day at a time."

But with the regular season less than two weeks away, that phrase might not tell the whole truth as to what's going on at Gillette Stadium these days.

The Patriots aren't overlooking Thursday's fourth and final preseason game against the New York Giants at Gillette. But at the same time, they are also preparing for their Week 1 game in Buffalo against the Bills, which will go down a week from Sunday.

"We definitely have people on our staff that break down those films as they come in," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Monday. "We look at them for personnel reasons. But we also look at our early opponents. Obviously we've seen Tampa and some of the early opponents on the schedule. And so, yeah, we've definitely broken those down.

"And then as a coaching staff, as we get to it then we get to it. The offensive coaches, the defensive coaches, special teams, myself, as we get to some of those games, we get to them. Obviously we don't have to meet a schedule for them just yet, but yeah, there are some things we can get a little bit of a jump on."

Prior to Monday's practice, Belichick discussed what goes through the process of preparing for the regular season, while getting ready to conclude the preseason.

Getting that jump on a Week 1 game is necessary, said Belichick, because it's always tough to prepare for a team that has yet to play a regular-season game with that specific group players.

"Opening day is always a hard game to prepare for, no matter who it is, because you either don't have any history or you have a lot of history, more than you need," said Belichick. "So you have to try and figure out what that balance is. I think that most teams that go to training camp and spend the weeks in training camp and the weeks in preseason games, you're certainly going to see some of that on opening day. A team's not going to come in there and not do anything that they've worked on all year, on opening day, and have a whole new scheme. But I'm sure everybody's got some wrinkles, got some things they're holding back. Whatever changes that they haven't shown, you have to be ready for. That's part of opening day. So, we'll have them. I'm sure Buffalo will have them. We'll see how it all turns out. Then things will start to settle in a little bit after that, but that's part of opening day."

As for the Bills, another factor would be their new head coach, Doug Marrone. Other than his days on the Jets and Saints staff, his NFL coaching strategy will be somewhat new to other teams. That's another reason why the Patriots are getting a jump on their game plan during the preseason.

"You can go back and look at all the stuff he's every done, at New Orleans, the Jets, Syracuse, this year," said Belichick. "I mean, yeah, you could put an encyclopedia together, but there's still only one game and there's only so many plays you can run in that game. So, I'm sure they could do the same thing. They could go back and watch all our games from the last decade and find some relevance, but you've got to put your chips on some number and go to your preparation there. And if it changes, then deal with it during the game."