The Patriots have decided to practice just once during their bye week, as the players will head to the office on Thursday for a lone day of on-field work. The move suggests that rest is an emphasis for the team this week, as injuries and miles traveled have added up already this season.
Head coach Bill Belichick and his staff will likely take a few days off over the weekend (perhaps Friday through Sunday), but will spend this week at the office conducting business as usual.
Beyond reviewing the tape from Sunday and beginning preparations for their Week 10 opponent, the Buffalo Bills, Belichick told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he and his coaches will engage in some self-evaluation.
"I think that's part of it. You want to get better every week as a football team," he said. "You always want to try to improve, and this is a good opportunity for us to try to look at some things that we can do better going forward. But also looking back at things we can spend more time on to try to improve with a little bit of extra time this week from things that we didn't do so well at other points, whether it was last week or some other -- a problem that may be reoccurring or we haven't done as well as we'd like to do."
Belichick says the process takes place with the assistance of statistical information, so as to study the effectiveness of tendencies developed through eight games.
"We take a look at our statistical information, what we've done, how productive it has or hasn't been in all aspects," Belichick noted. "See what tendencies we have created and whether we're happy with those tendencies or whether we want to change them. And then we go back and look at each of the individual plays and groups of plays and see if there's something that jumps out."
As always, situational football will be an area of emphasis for Belichick and his coaching staff in their film analysis this week.
"Or maybe we go into it looking for something, and see what we can find, and you see a group of 15 or 20 plays in a certain situation, red area, two minute, third down, outside runs, inside runs, whatever it happens to be," he continued. "Sometimes something just jumps out at you and it's probably something you were aware of, but maybe it's something that was a little more prevalent than you expected."
One of the goals of self-scouting is searching for areas that opponents have tried to expose, according to Belichick.
"The self-scouting process, the film evaluation, taking a look at how other teams have played us, if there's a common thread there," he said. "That we're kind of seeing the same coverages or the same front or same plays, formations are repeating, whatever it happens to be on a consistent basis. And then there's probably a reason for that. Teams are trying to create some type of advantage or positioning that we're having trouble with for some reason. All those things."