INDIANAPOLIS — An hour-long walk-through capped New England’s week of indoor Super Bowl XLVI practices Friday at Indianapolis Colts team headquarters.
“This is kind of like Saturday for us,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, referring to the usual light session conducted on the day before a game. “We’ve had a little bit of extra time this week (to practice).
“I think we’re ready to go. We’ve worked hard this week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in practice, and we had good practices back (in Foxborough, Mass.) last week. We went through some mental-review things out there (Friday).”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski participated in the session, which never saw players run faster than a trot while executing plays. Gronkowski practiced on a limited basis Thursday for the first time since spraining his left ankle January 22 in New England’s AFC Championship game victory over Baltimore.
Dressed in gray sweatpants, gray sneakers and a dark blue t-shirt bearing the popular “Yo Soy Fiesta” phrase he recently coined, Gronkowski moved without a limp when the Patriots executed their offensive plays. He is listed as questionable on New England’s injury report for Sunday’s matchup against the New York Giants.
“He practiced yesterday. He didn’t do anything today,” Belichick said. “We’ll see where he’s at on Sunday, but hopefully (he’ll play). I saw no setbacks. He’s still making progress.”
Belichick returned to his special-teams roots during the practice. He served as an offensive lineman on punts, trying to draw the punt coverage team offsides by setting his hand on the ground just before the snap. Belichick and Patriots special teams coach Scott O’Brien also worked as defensive linemen when New England’s Stephen Gostkowski was kicking field goals.
“We were just going through the looks,” said Belichick, who coached special teams on three different NFL teams (Detroit, Denver and the Giants) as an assistant during the 1970s and 1980s. “We have key guys based on where they line up. We just try to show them that as a final reminder.”
The Patriots won’t practice Saturday but will have a team photograph taken at Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLVI.
“We’ll have meetings and we’ll do some reminders and things like that in our hotel but we’re not going to actually practice,” Belichick said.
New England players do have a Friday night curfew.
“This will be what we normally do if we were on the road Friday night (for a Sunday game),” Belichick said. “We would have curfew.”
— Written by Alex Marvez, Pro Football Writers Of America