Patriots use bye to focus on self-improvement

Patriots use bye to focus on self-improvement
January 4, 2014, 10:15 pm
Share This Post

There are many different ways to approach a bye week. 

Some teams need the week to get healthy. 

Others need the time to develop a unique game-plan for a particular opponent. 

The Patriots have more experience at it than anyone else. 

New England is currently enjoying its ninth first round bye, which is the most in the NFL since the playoff format changed in 1990.

The Patriots use their week to look back at the man in the mirror. 

"[We use the bye] to get some things corrected that might have hurt us during the year," said Steven Gregory. "...define little details of things and [try] to just continually grow as a unit, as a team and get better."

Just don't confuse the introspection for relaxation.

"It's the playoffs," said Devin McCourty. "If you want to relax, get ready for the offseason and call it a day."

"For us it's a focus on getting better and being ready to go next week because once we come back in here next week it's all tilt. It's everyone all hands on deck and we've got to be ready to go."

History indicates Bill Belichick will, in fact, have his team ready to go. 

The Patriots have a 7-1 record in the Divisional Round when coming off a bye. 

Why change a routine that clearly works?