Patriots, Raiders will test two contrasting approaches to altitude prep


Patriots, Raiders will test two contrasting approaches to altitude prep

The Patriots and Raiders will be dealing with the same conditions when they get to Mexico City for their matchup this weekend. Both teams will have to cope with the temperature and the air quality. Both teams will have to deal with the altitude. 

Yet when it comes to preparing for physical exertion at 7,400 feet, the two clubs couldn't have more differing approaches.


While the Patriots are preparing to play at altitude by training at altitude -- they're staying in Colorado Springs and practicing at the Air Force Academy, which is about 7,300 feet above sea level -- the Raiders are simply practicing in the Bay Area and waiting as long as they can to get to Mexico City.

Their approaches to discussing the altitude differ as well. Bill Belichick won't concede that it's a factor -- "I don’t think it’s that big of a deal," he told Oakland reporters on Wednesday -- while Raiders coach Jack Del Rio openly admits it's an issue.

"I think it's real," Del Rio said on a conference call Wednesday. "There's certainly challenges with travel in general, certainly when you travel to a place where there's altitude involved. That's an added challenge. We're both facing that challenge. It'll be interesting, really, to look back and take some after-action review from the two expereinces that we have -- not that we're going to share with each other.

"[But] we have two contrasting approaches. We're going in as late as possible, and they're spending the week training at altitude in Colorado. Two contrasting approaches to it, and we'll see how it works out. We did this last year. We went the day before like we're doing this year. That seemed to work for us, and I know that there are several theories out there in terms of how best you handle the altitude. We just do the best we can to prepare our squad and then go compete."

The Raiders beat the Texans at Azteca Stadium last year, 27-20, and the thin air didn't seem to be much of an issue for them. Led by quarterback Derek Carr, they out-scored Houston 14-3 in the fourth quarter for the comeback victory. 


Report: Patriots to sign Kenny Britt


Report: Patriots to sign Kenny Britt

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Patriots will sign veteran receiver Kenny Britt. 

Britt, who was released by the Browns last week, has seen injuries and off-field issues interfere with a promising career since being chosen 30th overall by the Titans in 2009. He was suspended for four games in 2012, his final season with the Titans, before playing the next season with the Rams. This was his first season with the Browns, but he was released after making 18 catches over nine games. 

Why did Malcolm Butler retweet this graphic about Jay Cutler carving up the Patriots?


Why did Malcolm Butler retweet this graphic about Jay Cutler carving up the Patriots?

This makes me feel like Felger, so apologies.

Malcolm Butler might not love Bill Belichick the GM, and there’s a chance he’s made some light commentary on Belichick the coach. 

After Monday night’s Patriots loss to the Dolphins, a Pro Football Focus graphic was posted detailing how well Jay Cutler did when the Patriots blitzed him. It was retweeted from Butler’s account. 

Though Butler un-retweeted it by Tuesday morning, the retweet was an interesting act. Twenty blitzes (by how PFF measures blitzes) is a high number. Was Butler just pointing out that Cutler had a good game or suggesting that maybe the Pats shouldn’t have kept blitzing when Cutler was responding to them so well. Might be a shot at Belichick or Matt Patricia. Might be something else. Might have misread "Cutler" for "Butler" and thought he was retweeting a compliment. Reading into social media is a gas.