FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Before a significant snowstorm started to hit New England on Thursday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick told players that it will be business as usual as the team is scheduled to hold its second and final practice of the playoff bye week.
"You certainly better leave yourself enough time to get here on time tomorrow. We all know there is weather. Coach has mentioned that several times to the team, so I wouldn't want to be the guy who is late tomorrow," special teams captain Matthew Slater said Wednesday.
It appeared that Belichick was going to make players practice outside in driving snow and high winds, but Thursday morning he relented and decided to hold practice inside the Empower Fieldhouse. The Patriots are scheduled to practice at 10:35 a.m. ET on Thursday, which is a couple of hours earlier than the norm.
Belichick was asked Thursday morning if showing up in blizzard-like conditions was a lesson in accountability for his players.
"Every day is a work day," he responded, flatly.
Belichick's philosophy on practicing in the snow and players being on time for the first meeting of the day has been well-documented over the years. In 2009, he sent four players home when they didn't make it to the facility on time.
Safety Devin McCourty, another team captain, said Wednesday that he remembered hearing that news while watching SportsCenter. He relayed that Belichick has already addressed players about being on time.
"He's mentioned that he doesn't care; 'don't call and say your car got stuck.' I think everyone knows there are two hotels up here at Patriot Place, so stay there for the night. Find a way," McCourty said.
"I tell guys, 'Wake up earlier.' Especially if you don't have a garage or something. Wake up and go clean your car off. I think guys know. We're in the NFL playoffs. I think everyone, if you've been here for a week or two weeks, you kind of get that -- 'this guy Bill that talks every day in the early morning, he doesn't play.'
"So not much needs to be said about being here on time and being ready to work."
Added safety Duron Harmon, another team captain: "Snow doesn't matter. We have to find a way to get here. Just be prepared. ... These days are too important for us to have guys missing and being late and being a distraction."