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'It just worked out,' Bill Belichick says of Patriots practicing in West Palm Beach before Dolphins game

Former Miami receiver DeVante Parker hadn't heard of place where he's practicing
Posted at 8:36 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 20:39:41-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Bill Belichick could have chosen anywhere for the New England Patriots to practice in South Florida as his team prepares to play the Miami Dolphins. But he didn't choose Miami. He didn't choose Fort Lauderdale. He chose West Palm Beach.

"It just worked out," he told reporters Wednesday before the team's first practice at Palm Beach Atlantic University. "We looked at several options. This was the best one."

Belichick and the Patriots arrived at Palm Beach International Airport on Tuesday, looking to get an early start on their preparation for Sunday's season opener at Hard Rock Stadium – and, perhaps more importantly, get acclimated to the sweltering South Florida heat.

WATCH: Patriots arrive at Palm Beach International Airport

Patriots plane arrives at Palm Beach International Airport

With 61 miles separating the private Christian institution in downtown West Palm Beach from the Dolphins' home stadium in Miami Gardens, the Patriots surely had plenty of practice options – from Florida International and Florida Atlantic, two Football Bowl Subdivision-playing schools, to Keiser University and Florida Memorial University, both NAIA programs.

So why choose Palm Beach Atlantic, a small school without a football team? That's Belichick, the master of deception.

WATCH: Bill Belichick discusses bringing Patriots to West Palm Beach

Bill Belichick discusses bringing Patriots to West Palm Beach

"We're here," he said. "It's good."

If acclimating to the heat is the objective, West Palm Beach makes perfect sense.

It's been exceptionally hot in West Palm Beach, where temperatures reached or topped 90 degrees Wednesday for the 67th consecutive day.

According to the WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologists, the lowest high was 90 degrees, while the highest was 96 degrees.

Ironically, the record for successive 90-plus-degree days could be tied Sunday – the same day the Patriots take on the Dolphins.

For DeVante Parker, it'll be his first regular-season game with the Patriots since being traded by the Dolphins in the offseason. But the 2015 first-round draft pick said he hasn't spent much time thinking about his former team.

WATCH: DeVante Parker not looking back on time with Dolphins

Patriots receiver DeVante Parker not looking back on time with Dolphins

"I ain't thinking about the past," he said. "Moving on right now. So, I ain't gonna worry about the past. Worry about the future."

When asked for restaurant recommendations in the area, Parker didn't have much to offer visiting reporters.

"Not out here, not in West Palm," he joked. "I don't know nothin' out here. I'm 45 minutes away (from home)."

Parker was also asked if he was familiar with Palm Beach Atlantic.

WATCH: DeVante Parker says he's never heard of a Sailfish

DeVante Parker says he's never heard of a Sailfish

"Nah, first time hearing of it," he said.

He was then asked if he had ever heard of a Sailfish – the school's athletic mascot.

"A sailfish?" he said. "Nah, I haven't heard that either."

The Patriots will spend the rest of the week practicing at PBAU's campus.