Wes Welker is headed off to his hometown of Oklahoma City once the Patriots' players are done with their work today at Gillette Stadium, and said what several of his teammates have said over the past few days - while the bye week comes with 10 games down (including preseason) and 10 games to go, anytime is a good time for a break.
"I think the answer to that, no matter where you are in the season, would be yes," he said of the timing of the bye. "Not only from a physical standpoint but a mental standpoint, a lot of times it's nice to get a few days to kind of relax and get away."
While players still will be counted on to work out during their five days away (a length of time Welker said is "kind of unheard of around here"), they try as much as they can to forget about football temporarily.
"I think you kind of put it out of the mind for a few days. It's just so much every single day of football-football-football, and so it's kind of nice to get a few days where you relax and spend time with family and friends and get away from it for a few days.
"It's not like spring break when you're in college or anything like that, it's more of - you still have to work out and do some of those things, but you're not out there running routes and do all of those things on a daily basis but still making sure you're still getting a lot of rest and a lot of sleep and not staying out late and doing some of those things and really take advantage of the time."
In his press conference, coach Bill Belichick said he encourages players and his staff to really unplug during the coming days and return ready to take on the rest of the season.