No time for outside activities

first_imgThey were 12-4, while the Patriots finished at 10-6. But New England has much more playoff experience and played a tougher, if not exceptionally challenging, schedule. That experience “helps a lot, but everyone in here knows the importance of this game,” Jacksonville defensive end Reggie Hayward said in his team’s locker room. “We understand that if we don’t win, we go home. Everyone has that sense of urgency.” Jaguars running back Fred Taylor thinks “there is an intensity change, but I think it’s a little bit hyped.” Byron Leftwich is set to start at quarterback for Jacksonville after missing the past six games with a broken ankle. For New England, linebacker Tedy Bruschi is “fine,” Belichick said, but is listed as questionable with a left calf injury that kept him out of last Sunday’s game against Miami. Bruschi worked out on the practice field with his teammates Tuesday and Wednesday. Afterward, Belichick did more planning. Watching Wednesday night’s Rose Bowl between USC and Texas, the nation’s top two college teams, wasn’t on his agenda. “Most of the college games that I’d watch are in the spring, in the college scouting process,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be spending a lot of time watching that one.” His focus on Jacksonville extended to finding ways to motivate his team. He picked up on a theme sounded Tuesday by quarterback Tom Brady that the Patriots haven’t gotten the respect they deserve. “I agree with Tom, sure,” Belichick said. “I’m not really losing too much sleep over it. It doesn’t really matter what anybody else thinks about our team.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They had plenty to cram in, because they’ve met just five times. Two of those games were in the playoffs and the last time they faced each other was Dec. 14, 2003. “I’m working hard. I’m staying late,” said tight end Christian Fauria, a two-time champion after reaching the playoffs just once in seven seasons with Seattle. “I told my wife, `Listen, don’t expect me home till later than usual.’ She’s like, `OK, I kind of know how it is now.”‘ Several Patriots said they don’t change their routines from the regular season. But Monty Beisel, in his first season with them after four years with Kansas City, notices a difference. Linebacker Larry Izzo made it clear there’s much more at stake than in the regular season. “Izzo’s calling guys on Monday saying, `Where are you at? I’m in the weight room early Monday morning. It’s playoff. Let’s go.”‘ Beisel said. “So there’s definitely an air of excitement.” That atmosphere stretches down to northern Florida where the Jaguars are preparing to play on the road as the biggest of the four underdogs in this weekend’s wild-card playoff games. FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bill Belichick wasn’t going to waste time watching the Rose Bowl. One player told his wife he’d be coming home late. The Patriots are in the playoffs and preparation time is precious. center_img “I don’t think this is the time to go sledding, go out and take on a lot of new projects and model airplanes and all of that,” Belichick said Wednesday. He’s coaching a team trying to become the first to win three consecutive Super Bowls, and the playoff path starts Saturday night when New England hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both ended their regular seasons last Sunday, so they have one less day than usual to get ready. last_img

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