Thursday, December 17, 2009
Patriots prep for elements
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH – A note to players in the locker room reminded them to bring longer studs for their cleats in case of snow Sunday in Buffalo, as well as other shoe equipment in the event of a frozen field.
Preparing for the elements has been a theme over the last few days.
“It’s December in Buffalo,” punter Chris Hanson said. “Coach does a good job all week in preparing us and getting us in the elements so it’s not something we’re just stepping into Sunday.”
The Patriots practiced on their upper fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday and were in the stadium Thursday on a cold, windy day. The players know special teams, and field position, will go a long way toward determining the final outcome.
“They have a great special teams unit,” Hanson said. “We just have to play our game and not let the elements come into effect. If we can win the special teams phase, we can give our team an opportunity to come out victorious.”
Hanson, who delivered one of the greatest punts in franchise history last season in Buffalo in extreme windy conditions, touched on the changes he considers in such weather.
“The ball does come off your foot a little different when it’s cold and you have to deal with wind and stuff like that,” he said. “So it’s nice to be able to get out in it and gain some confidence in playing in those elements.”