FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots conducted their final practice Thursday at Gillette Stadium before boarding their red-eye flight from Boston to London for Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium.
While Belichick cited “the time change” and “just getting our body clocks reset Saturday and obviously Sunday” as some of the challenges the team faced in traveling to London for a mid-season game, the team opted not to fly out early like the Rams did. St. Louis departed Monday and arrived early Tuesday morning.
The Rams held their first practice Wednesday at Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal Gunners, the English Premier League team owned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
While it was not certain if Red Sox owner John Henry offered to make available Liverpool’s stadium if the Patriots opted to go out early, Belichick said the team decided to remain in Foxborough to go through its preparations in familiar surroundings.
“There’s probably an advantage to doing that,” Belichick said when asked about the Rams decision to arrive London early to get acclimated to the time change. “The drawback is moving all your stuff out there. We felt like we had a good week here of all our film, all our treatment, all the familiarity we have with what we’re doing.
“We felt like we could have a good week of preparation at this end and then make the travel adjustment on Friday and have the normal Saturday and Sunday out there,” Belichick said. “I’m sure probably either one could work, but that was our preference. If we had gone the other way, we’d still be ready to play. As I said, there’s a lot of different ways to do it, we did what we felt was best.”