FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Patriots are finally back on their home field.
It's been quite some time, but the NFL New England Patriots finally made their way back into Gillette Stadium today for the final practice of training camp.
Players Western Mass News spoke with said despite no fans, it was a relief being out there on their home field today.
"Stacking the days" is what they're calling it, as the Patriots have stacked enough to get the green light on Friday, practicing on their home field inside Gillette Stadium, for the first time all preseason.
"It felt good just getting back out there, getting to be in the stadium after some time. We missed a lot, and you know it was good for us just to be able to get out there and simulate what it's like being in a game, especially for the rookies," said Patriots' wide receiver N'Keal Harry.
Speaking of rookies, Patriots' Anfernee Jennings, coming from the University of Alabama, said despite the challenges this year brings, the transition isn't so bad.
"It's a lot similar to how the Patriots run this team and this organization, a lot of discipline implemented and a lot of the Cortile and just the team," Jennings said.
With Friday being the final practice day of training camp, head coach Bill Belichick told Western Mass News they're making the most of their situation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"This would have been our third preseason game last night, so generally that’s the point where things are starting to come together a little bit from an operational standpoint," he said. "So, we hit some of that yesterday, we’ll hit some more of it today and early in the next week before we start turning to more of the regular season preparation."
Getting game-time ready, running back Sony Michel said it's all about their mindset.
"It's all about mentally preparing ourselves when we're out there on the practice field to get that game feeling that we had a little bit out there today. A little bit of crowd noise, some of the exchanges that we had, going from first, second, to third down, to punt to kick-off, different situations, get in that mode, helps a lot."
That's a wrap for training camp practices. The Patriots will have an off day on Saturday and come back ready for their first regular-season practice, focusing on their game plan for their home opener against the Miami Dolphins on September 13.