Barry Chin/Globe Staff
By Julian Benbow, Globe staff
FOXBOROUGH – The buzz words all day have been “situational football.” After taking Saturday off, the Patriots ran through hurry-up offense, down and distance, two-minute drill, and goal line situation, polishing up as they prepare for their first preseason game against the Saints this Thursday.
Before he got into the particulars of the practice, wide receiver Dante Stallworth made sure to put air quotes around the “off” in “off day."
“First thing about being here, there are no off days,” Stallworth said. “We had the day “off” but it was a day to get off your feet and just get a day of rest, maintenance from all the work we've been putting in. We've been working pretty hard. So yesterday was good for us, being able to rest our bodies and things like that.”
But he said Belichick has a unique way of preparing his team for any possible situation.
“Bill does a great job of putting us through situations,” said receiver Dante Stallworth. “It's interesting the way he does his training camps, that's why every situation, we're always prepared for it. Coach puts us through every single situation that can come up in a game.”
That will be the focus in this meetings this evening and tomorrow, Stallworth said, fine tuning things as they prepare for the Saints to come in for joint practices on Tuesday.
The quarterback-receiver dynamic is still a work in progress, Stallworth said, and it will look different in a preseason game than it has in training camp and minicamp.
“From spring practice to training camp then preseason and regular season and playoffs, every level, it always seems like it's a different speed,” he said. “But [we're] really just trying to get things together with the tempo and getting on the same page with the quarterbacks. I think so far we're doing an OK job, but we have a long ways to go. Like Bill says, there's no light at the end of the tunnel.”
For now, though, it's the little things.
“By the time they get here, we'll hopefully have everything in and be able to go up against another team and see where we can measure ourselves against a really good team.”