Bumps after game, too
Flight is a rough one, but team able to return home
DETROIT - The outer bands of Hurricane Irene may have created a bumpy flight for the Patriots, but they were able to land at Logan Airport around 3 a.m. yesterday, avoiding an extended stay in Detroit after their 34-10 preseason loss to the Lions.
By the time Irene reached New England it was a tropical storm, but it still managed to be a nuisance, also causing a series of power outages at Gillette Stadium that forced the team to cancel coach Bill Belichick’s conference call yesterday afternoon.
The team returns to Gillette today but will not practice. Belichick is scheduled to hold a news conference this afternoon and players will be available to the media.
Wanted: Resiliency A few players may not have wanted to watch much film of Saturday’s defeat. The first preseason loss of the season for the Patriots included more than a few bad performances.
The Patriots had 10 penalties, the most in their three preseason games. The team was 5 of 16 on third-down conversions, while the Lions converted 7 of 16 third downs and twice on fourth down.
After the loss, many of the Patriots repeated the same theme about their performance as a group. Quarterback Tom Brady said the result may not have been ideal, but there is only one way to fix it.
“Look, it’s football,’’ Brady said. “When you make a bad play, you’ve got to overcome it. There’s resiliency that comes into this game and mental toughness. It’s all the things you’re trying to build on as a team; trying to figure out what kind of team you’ve got.
“Things don’t go, they don’t start well, well, you’ve got to figure out a way to turn it around.’’
Cuts tomorrow By 4 p.m. tomorrow, the Patriots will have to cut their roster from 90 players to 80.
Typically, the first cutdown has been to 75, but the league allowed teams to keep five additional players entering the final preseason game this season. Still, there will be a lot of players for the NFL to track and for teams to evaluate as the preseason winds down.
The first wave of cuts isn’t expected to add pressure to the evaluation process for the Patriots staff, said Nick Caserio, director of player personnel. Last week, Caserio said the league office may have a late night putting the names on the waiver wire, but the Patriots will evaluate the list as they would any other day.
“When those players are released, we’ll go through the waiver wire and if there’re any particular players that we want to investigate further then we’ll do it,’’ Caserio said. “It’s very similar to, I would say, what happens on that last Saturday of sort of the final cutdown - maybe not quite as extensive from a numbers standpoint, but there’s still . . . you’ll have the evening and the next day to figure out if you want to make a claim for someone.
“Is there a player that is terminated that maybe you want to bring in for a visit or a physical? So, other than there being a little more time allocated in putting the waiver wire together, it’s really no different than it normally is.’’
The official 53-man roster must be set by Sept. 3.
Giants in finale The Patriots play their final preseason game Thursday night against the visiting Giants . . . The team’s Kickoff Gala will be tomorrow at Gillette Stadium. The NFL Network’s Rich Eisen is scheduled to MC the event, which serves as a fund-raiser for the Patriots Charitable Foundation. The event is sold out.
Monique Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.