WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The New England Patriots will be spending much of this week in South Florida to get acclimated to the heat ahead of Sunday's season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
WPTV was the only station to have a camera at Palm Beach International Airport as the team plane arrived Tuesday.
The plane touched down at PBIA about 5:40 p.m. and headed toward a hangar where several buses were waiting for them.
A team news release said the Patriots will be practicing at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, where heat indices were in the triple digits.
South Florida sports talk radio host Andy Slater was the first to report the news last week.
SLATER SCOOP: The New England Patriots will use the facilities at Palm Beach Atlantic next week to prepare for their game against the Miami Dolphins.— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) August 31, 2022
The university, located 20 minutes from Jupiter, has told student athletes some of their practices will be cancelled.
New England is 3-8 in its past 11 regular-season games played in Florida, including losses by double-digit margins twice — a 97-degree day at Jacksonville in 2018 and an 89-degree day at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens in 2014.
"It's going to be great for guys to get acclimated to that heat," Patriots defensive lineman Davon Godchaux, a former Dolphins player — who knows how different the conditions are in South Florida — told reporters in Foxborough last week. "It's either going to be a hot one down there or it's going to be raining."
The Dolphins are 7-2 against the Patriots in South Florida since 2013, including winning each of the past two meetings at Hard Rock Stadium.
First-year Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was asked if he thought changing up team routines can help make a difference in the outcome of a game.
"I feel like I've tried a lot of different things (as an assistant coach)," McDaniel told reporters Monday. "Whether it's correlation or causation, I think my personal philosophy is you fit it to the needs of your team. I don't think that this has been, like, kind of his mode of operation — (Patriots) coach (Bill) Belichick's — in years past. So clearly he feels like it's important for this team. There's compounding variables and I don't think it will be the reason they win or lose. It will just be a contributing factor to either."
He did, however, offer a little bit of advice for New England's players.
"If you don't put sunscreen on, you will get bronzed," McDaniel joked. "So, factually, they better SPF up."