With three preseason games in nine days beginning next Monday against the Eagles, the Patriots are looking at a tight schedule as they get ready for the regular season opener.
"It's not an ideal schedule and it's certainly not the way you want to do it," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on his weekly interview with The Big Show. "But it is what it is. We'll just deal with it the best we can. It's a lot of games. It's like playing double-headers.
"The big thing is go out and play and give the players a chance to recover so they can go and play again and give them a chance to recover so they can play again. Playing that many games in that short of time is obviously not the ideal way to do it."
Belichick said that keeping his team healthy would be his biggest priority through the schedule that will also feature a game in Tampa next Friday and the preseason finale against the Giants the following Wednesday. That means practice time will be short, so Belichick is trying to install as much as he can this week.
"This is a bigger week because it's longer and gives them time to install," Belichick said. "After this, that's really about it before the long week at Tennessee [for the season-opener]."
Here are some other highlights from the interview:
Belichick was also asked about a situation where the Bengals asked the Jets not to run the Wildcat offense during their preseason game.
"I didn't really experience that," he said. "In preseason, obviously it's nice to win but the outcome isn't the most important thing. Nobody's playing their starting quarterback in the last series of the fourth quarter or that type of thing. Who's ever in there is competing and you get what you get and whatever our opponents do we learn from it. If we get blitzed, we get blitzed. If they onside kick, they onside kick. Whatever they do we have to be ready for it now and later. If someone thinks they get a play on us it's better to find out now than in the regular season when it really hurts."
On Logan Mankins who returned to the practice field this week: "He's been working since last February and he's been in here working hard doing his rehab and running and all the things he's bee doing. It's good to have him out of the field the last couple of days and we're taking it slow. Doing one thing at a time, and building daily, so it will be a little bit of process but he's definitely making progress."
On possibly adding a free agent player this late into camp: "There's only certain players that are out there and if you see one that can help you then we're interested in him. There's plenty of good players out there but for whatever reason it's probably not going to work for them to be on this team at this time. Things might change. So you look at the ones that can help you."
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
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