Sunday's 24-17 win over the Vikings was a distant memory as Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addressed the media Monday afternoon.
While the usual Monday press conference tends to deal more with the previous day's game, today's was far more related to the short-preparation week the team is facing leading up to Thursday's game in Detroit.
"Usually we come in on Monday and talk about looking at the tape and anything that might come out of it, but this isn't one of those days," Belichick said. "I haven't seen the [Vikings] game. I spent last night and this morning on Detroit. Obviously we are cramming it here for a short week."
The Patriots have just over two days to prepare for a game that the team really needs to win to maintain playoff hopes and keep pace in the always-tight AFC East. The team began preparations today for the Lions and will have the biggest practice day on Tuesday before traveling to Detroit on Wednesday afternoon.
When asked what the toughest part of the short week was, Belichick felt it was just familiarizing the team with an opponent at a much faster rate than usual.
"I think we can get the Minnesota game out of our system, I don't think that's a problem," Belichick said. "I think it's learning the Lions, understanding what their system is. It's a team that we are not real familiar with."
And although the Patriots took part in the Thanksgiving Day game tradition in 2000, Belichick feels there is no real carry over in terms of having a step up on the preparation process.
"Here you have teams that don't play each other every year. We've made a lot of changes since 2000. The Lions have made a lot of changes since 2000, so there is a lot of newness on both sides and I think that is the hard part. From a game plan standpoint you have to rely on what you've done to this point. You can't cook up a lot of new stuff in a day and a half."
One thing that Belichick knows based on his long coaching career, including time in Detroit early in his career, is that regardless of how his team prepares they must be ready for 12:30 on Sunday. The schedule is a factor for both teams, but the 3-8 Lions are merely looking for a win to lift spirits. The Patriots are in the heat of a divisional playoff battle and can ill afford to lose a game to a seemingly inferior opponent, regardless of the circumstances of the game.
Quote of the day
"He only caught two passes," Patriots fullback said jokingly in regards to tight end Christian Fauria. Fauria caught two touchdown passes in yesterday's win and as such was a popular figure with the media in the locker room during media time on Monday. Fauria was surrounded by a large media contingent upon entering the locker room.