Week 4 trip to Oakland could have twist

June, 17, 2011
In 2008, when the Patriots played back-to-back games on the West Coast, they practiced at San Jose State. There are no back-to-back West Coast games on the schedule this year, although the team appears to be considering some type of arrangement in which it will be back at San Jose State.

Matt Maiocco, who blankets the San Francisco 49ers beat for CSN Bay Area, writes on San Jose State in a piece today because the 49ers have been holding informal workouts there.

"San Jose State has a history of being gracious hosts to NFL visitors," Maiocco writes. "In recent seasons, the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys have trained at San Jose State while on West Coast trips. The Patriots are scheduled to return this season."

This looks to be a case of Bill Belichick preparing an option for every type of situation.

The Patriots are scheduled to visit Oakland in the fourth week of the season (Oct. 2) -- their only West Coast trip of the season -- and Belichick might be considering holding an on-field practice after the long trip.

On both 2008 West Coast trips that included back-to-back games, the Patriots departed New England after their Friday practice, giving them Saturday to adjust to the time change and long flight.

This year, perhaps Belichick might consider a late-afternoon Thursday departure, opening the door for a Friday practice at San Jose State, and possibly a Saturday walkthrough. Traditionally, Saturday walkthroughs are held in the team hotel.

The Patriots will be coming off a Week 3 road game at Buffalo. The team hosts the Jets in Week 5.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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