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Monday, November 22, 2010
Patriots theme: Turn the page

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- If there was one theme from Patriots coach Bill Belichick and players on Monday, it was "turn the page."

"It would be nice to put the feet up and enjoy last night's game and what we did, but we're on to Detroit," Belichick said of Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game against the Lions.

"It's a short week here, there's a lot to do, we have to cram six days into three. I think the players came in with a good attitude today and really tried to get a lot done. Obviously we have a lot to do and we'll try to keep grinding it out here the next couple of days. It was a big start for us today."

On Monday, coaches usually go over corrections from the previous game with players. That step has been skipped, according to Belichick, with the sole focus being placed on the 2-8 Lions during meetings.

"Physically, it's a low-impact day," Belichick said.

On Tuesday, players would normally have a day off. But this week, players will be in for meetings and what will be a lighter-paced practice.

"We have to get out there and get into some situations we didn't get into today -- third down, red area and special situations, get the phases of the kicking game covered," Belichick said.

The team will practice again Wednesday before flying to Detroit.

"It's kind of like a Saturday -- you just try to pull everything together, wrap it up, walkthrough some situational plays, hands team [on onside kicks], and those kind of things that you know you have to have ready," he said. "Then we go play."

That's a similar routine to what the Patriots did in 2000 and 2002 while visiting the Lions on Thanksgiving.

Belichick, who was an assistant coach with the Lions in 1976 and 1977, was asked if he felt the Lions had an advantage in hosting an annual Thanksgiving game.

"Oh absolutely. Sure," he responded. "It's great to be in the routine every year. It's a game that you knew every year was your game, that you were going to be playing at home and you were going to be playing at noon. Whatever the weekly routine and getting ready for it -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday -- it's the same thing you did last year. It's something you were comfortable with and looking forward to -- didn't have to travel and all those kind of things. I think it's a great game for Detroit, the Lions, the city and for football. It's a traditional game. I think it adds a lot to the holiday."

Belichick also shared his thoughts on Lions coach Jim Schwartz, whom he hired while serving as Cleveland Browns head coach, calling him as smart a coach/personnal assistant as he's had on a staff.

"I've had a lot of people work for me and he's right up there at the top of the list in terms of things that he could do, and what a positive impression he made at a relatively young point of his career," Belichick said.