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Patriots' Bill Belichick warns players not to be late to practice

Sportsnaut logo Sportsnaut 1/4/2018 Rachel Wold
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Video by USA Today Sports

Rain, sleet or the upcoming snow storm had better not cause any of the New England Patriots’ players to be late to Thursday’s practice. Head coach Bill Belichick issued a stern warning as reiterated by special teams captain Matthew Slater.

“You certainly better leave yourself enough time to get here on time tomorrow," Slater said, per Mike Reiss of ESPN. "We all know there is weather. Coach has mentioned that several times to the team, so I wouldn’t want to be the guy who is late tomorrow.”

According to the report, Belichick once sent four players home in 2009 when they were late to the practice facility.

Safety and team captain Devin McCourty issued this advice to his teammates.

“I tell guys, ‘Wake up earlier.’ Especially if you don’t have a garage or something. Wake up and go clean your car off. I think guys know. We’re in the NFL playoffs. I think everyone, if you’ve been here for a week or two weeks, you kind of get that — ‘this guy Bill that talks every day in the early morning, he doesn’t play.'”

Belichick’s door is clearly not open to excuses. The team is scheduled to practice at 10:35 a.m. ET, which is earlier than normal, according to the report.

Short of sleeping overnight in the locker room, all players must do what it takes to be sure not to let the snow delay them on Thursday.

The Patriots have a bye this week, but must be focused on being ready for the divisional round of playoffs that take place the weekend of Jan. 13 and 14. Practicing in this week’s poor weather conditions will help prepare the Patriots to play outdoors in Gillette Stadium, where they will serve as host.

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