FOXBORO -- This would not be a good time for anyone to point out, "It's not the Jetsons."
That, of course, was the way former Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas explained himself to reporters in 2009 after being sent home for showing up late to a morning meeting.
The cause? Snow. The Jetsons reference? Thomas' excuse for not being able to avoid the traffic.
"I can't jump up and just fly," he said. "What am I supposed to do?"
About a foot of snow is expected to be dumped on the area Thursday, but the Patriots are planning on having a normal work day. Meetings. Practice at 10:45 a.m. Media availability in the locker room at 1:45 p.m.
"You certainly better leave yourself enough time to get here on time tomorrow," Matthew Slater said. "We all know there’s weather. Coach has mentioned that several times to the team. I wouldn’t want to be the guy who’s late tomorrow.
Matthew Slater has seen what Bill Belichick is capable of if you're late to practice.— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) January 3, 2018
Jonas Gray. Need we say more. 😐 pic.twitter.com/j2pfISnzH2
"But look, I don’t think we're going to have an issue. Guys understand we need to be here. The expectation is what it is. We live in New England. There’s going to be weather. Give yourself some extra time; as simple as that."
Many aren't from the area, though, and so snowstorms -- and all the little annoyances that come with them -- are still new to some.
Four years ago, former Patriots linebacker Brandin Spikes tweeted about how he couldn't get out of his driveway following a snowstorm. He was late to a meeting that day and was placed on injured reserve soon thereafter. He was almost released outright, according to a Mike Garafolo report, which would've cost him his playoff share.
"Snow doesn't matter," Duron Harmon said. "You gotta find a way to get here. Just be prepared. Maybe wake up a little bit earlier to make sure your car is good to get out. Or maybe you need some time to shovel . . . These days are too important to us to have guys missing and being late."
Devin McCourty remembers being at Rutgers in 2009 when he flipped on ESPN and saw Thomas invoke the Jetsons inside the Patriots locker room. It stuck with him. The next year, he was drafted by Bill Belichick, and he didn't need to be told that tardiness would not be tolerated.
"I knew not to come late," McCourty said. "I found a couple nice places that are about 15 or 20 minutes away my rookie year and I was like ‘Nah, I'll do the three minutes away.’ . . .
"You know here is the one place where, no matter what time of the year it is, if it's not going well, you'll get fired. Like I always say, the goal every day is not to get fired."
McCourty hasn't an issue in that regard. But he isn't planning on drawing Belichick's ire for losing track of time, and he suggests his teammates follow suit.
"[Belichick] doesn't care. Don't call and say your car got stuck. I think everyone knows there's two hotels up here at Patriot Place, so stay there for the night. Find a way . . . Wake up earlier, especially if you don't have a garage or something. Wake up. Go clean your car out.
"I think guys know. We're in the NFL playoffs . . . If you've been here for a week or two weeks, you kind of get that this guy Bill that talks every day in the morning meeting, he doesn't play. So not much needs to be said about being here on time and being ready to work."