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. 


David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

File Photo

David Harris retires after 11 seasons with Jets, Patriots

David Harris's 11-year run in the NFL has come to an end. 

On Friday, the linebacker announced his retirement from the game of football after spending 10 seasons with the Jets and one with the Patriots. 

The Jets drafted Harris with the 47th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he racked up 5 sacks and 127 total tackles. His breakout rookie season was an clear indication of the solid player he would become over the course of his career. 

Although he neither won a Super Bowl, nor made it to a Pro Bowl, the linebacker served as a focal point on a Rex Ryan defense that appeared in two AFC Championships in 2010 and 2011. 

When he was released in 2017, the 34-year-old made a career choice to sign with the Patriots to compete for a Super Bowl.

He didn't go out a champion, but a trip to the Super Bowl was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for one of the most underrated linebackers of the past decade. 



What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

AP Photo

What was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving?

Admittedly, the audio is poor but the idea is no less intriguing.

Was Odell Beckham Jr. telling Kyrie Irving at NBA All-Star Weekend that he's trying to go to the Patriots? Or to Boston? Or New England? 

It's 23 seconds into the video below: 

Isaiah Houde of USA TODAY's PatriotsWire interprets it as: "You went to the Celtics and I’m trying to go to New England."

Beckham has had a few Instagram posts about Brady recently, including an exchange of rap lyrics back in December. 


A post shared by Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on

Unless there's a trade between the Patriots and Giants, Beckham, 25, the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, won't be free to join Kyrie in New England - or was it Boston? - until the four-year deal he signed in 2014 ends after this season. Oh, and as he enters that 2019 season, Tom Brady will be 42.