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Looking for fast start in Week 1, Patriots won't let Florida heat slow them down

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots hope to get acclimated to the weather by practicing in Palm Beach all week before their season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Patriots.Palm Beach Practice.PDC

With hardly a cloud in the sky and 60 percent humidity, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick greeted the media who made the trip down the east coast.

"Welcome to Florida," he said with a grin, just before getting started with the team's first practice at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

The Patriots traveled to South Florida on Tuesday in order to mimic a normal practice week leading up to their season opener against the Miami Dolphins, securing facilities at the university about 60 miles north of Hard Rock Stadium.

The Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish don't have a football program, but painting a gridiron on fields typically reserved for soccer and lacrosse did the trick – as did the school's weight room and the make-shift uprights that the Patriots brought along and set up for practice.

"(It) should be good," Belichick said, confirming the facilities are perfectly suitable for their purposes. "We looked at several options. This was the best one."

Though he played with with Miami since the Dolphins took him in the 2015 NFL Draft, receiver DeVante Parker had never heard of Palm Beach Atlantic and expressed his unfamiliarity with the Palm Beach area in general.

Still, the climate difference between Massachusetts and Florida is abvious, and hopes the trip will help the team get off to a fast start.

"I believe it," Parker said. "The weather down here is different so it's good for us to come early and just get used to it."

With the temperature around 90 degrees at the time of practice, a few players even took it to another level.

"I haven't been down here much," running back Rhamondre Stevenson said before showing off the long sleeve he'd be wearing under his pads at practice. "It's humid."

Matthew Judon has done the same thing since training camp, wearing a thick red sweatshirt under pads and a practice uniform no matter the temperature.

The linebacker didn't stray from that strategy in the sweltering heat of Las Vegas, so Florida was no exception either.

"Hopefully, (we) get acclimated to the weather and so we don't have to travel the day before," Judon said. "Just kind of get used to the environment we're going to play in."

While practicing in the heat on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the Patriots have put themselves in a great position to prepare for the Dolphins under new head coach Mike McDaniel, offseason acquisitions like Tyreek Hill, and anything else Miami throws their way.

Looking to get off to a fast start in Week 1, the heat won't slow them down.

"We'll get rolling today," Belichick said before practice. "We had a good week and we'll be ready to go on Sunday."

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