By: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
August 05, 2002

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FOXBORO, MA -- It may be their home field, but when they eventually take the field in "Gillette Stadium," it will still be the first time they play football in a stadium other than the one that is now a parking lot.

With that in mind head coach Bill Belichick took his players over to the team's new home to allow not only the players to get acclimated to playing somewhere other than on a practice field, but also the coaching staff who has seen limited attendence by offensive coordinator Charlie Weis who is still recovering from complications from his abdominal surgery.

Despite the fact that it's only a preseason game, Saturday's match-up against the Giants will be their first game action since they claimed the Lombardi Trophy back in February.

"The main thing we're going to try to do is get acclimated to the new stadium, the field, the 40 second clock, whatever the wind conditions are, the lights, get a feel for the footing, and all of those type of things," Belichick told the media on Monday. "We're going to have a normal practice. We're not going to do anything that hasn't been done in the last week."

"[We're going to get acclimated] to the conditions, and check out the phones in the coaches booth, and the coach to quarterback system, and all of those little things that are apart of a game-day operation, so that if there are any bugs we can start to work them out, not that I expect any."

The team spent Monday morning working on Special teams in what Belichick said was the "was our first big special teams practice of the year".  Their focus from Tuesday on will be on the New York Giants, who they will face Saturday night down at the Meadowlands.

McGinest looks ready

Patriots fan Karen Cardoza who was on hand for practice felt that Willie McGinest looked good in practice.  "Big Willie was rocking today!" said Cardoza.  "He and another player (didn't catch who...) were hitting the double sled and it went airborne and tipped right over.  He was hooting and hollering like crazy.  They ended up breaking the dummy off the thing!"

According to Cardoza Offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi appears to be making progress.

"Looks like Andruzzi was practicing for his conditioning run," she said. "He ran back and forth numerous times with little rest in between."

Cardoza is a regular on Zip's E-mail List where her recent reports can be found.


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