PDA

View Full Version : Patsy's Homefield Advantage


Cape Cod Steel Head
10-17-2006, 06:49 PM
A field of screams: Pats, foes critical of Gillette turf conditions
By Karen Guregian
Boston Herald General Sports Reporter and Columnist

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - Updated: 09:06 AM EST

FOXBORO - Only the groundskeeper knows for sure. And field superintendent Jon Bengston ain?t telling.

He isn?t talking about the sandbox that is Gillette Stadium. Since he is a member of the coaching staff, the Patriots don?t want Bengston to speak with the media. It?s verboten, I was reminded when I made the request yesterday.

For the record, opposing teams have complained about the field conditions. The Patriots players themselves aren?t shy about saying they hate playing on it. Even coach Bill Belichick blasted the shoddy condition of his field yesterday.



The question is, have the soccer-playing Revolution and various concerts caused irreparable damage to the field, or is Belichick being a little coy, laying his disgust on a little too thick?

In the past, the thinking was Belichick privately loved a muddy track. It wreaked havoc with visitors who weren?t used to such conditions. It slowed down the quicker teams and gave the Pats an advantage, given his players were somewhat used to it.

Could he be changing his ways?

Yesterday, he did his best to make everyone believe he was as angry about the field conditions as anyone.

?It?s terrible. The field is in terrible condition,? Belichick said. ?I don?t think anybody in this organization is happy about it or thinks it?s in good condition. We?ll see what we can do about it. I can?t tell you exactly what that is. That?s the best I can do.?

The Pats took the pains to make it better in the time between the Denver game and yesterday. In that frame, the Revolution only played one home game. And yet the field, particularly in the middle between the hash marks, was best described as green paint covering sand.

Belichick claimed last week ?50 tons less of sand or whatever it was? had been removed from the field. Tell that to Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare, who wound up on his keister after making a pass at his first field goal attempt, which was blocked. His left foot slid out, and he wound up on the deck, or beach, depending on your point of view.

Still, Mare, who wound up changing his cleats, made it sound like he should have known better during his first-quarter, 40-yarder.

?It?s tough, not having a chance to plant is tough,? he said after the Pats? 20-10 win Sunday. ?You?ve got to change the way you approach the ball, and the only way to beat it is to go slower, and you can?t do that. I blame myself . . . I?m not complaining, it is what it is.?

The slip cost the Dolphins three points. It also has hurt the Pats in past games as rookie Stephen Gostkowski has attempted to get used to the conditions. After a few games, and a few slips, he seemed to have a better idea of how to deal with the sand dunes, connecting on his two field goal attempts Sunday.

?No one is happy with the situation with regard to the field,? fullback Heath Evans said. ?It is what it is. It?s a level playing field, though. Everyone has to play on it . . . it?s kind of like if you go to the beach, who?s going to have the advantage? I don?t see it (as an advantage). Could it be better? Sure.? [continue]

Livinginthe past
10-17-2006, 07:03 PM
The turf is being replaced between now and the next home game.

Good old BB has everyone seeing phantoms.

http://www.nfl.com/teams/story/NE/9735579

NM

Ambridge
10-17-2006, 07:09 PM
Belichick claimed last week ?50 tons less of sand or whatever it was? had been removed from the field.

Wow!! That's ridiculous.

I heard the Pats held their training camp at Gillette Stadium. For you Pats fans who might know did they practice on the actual game field or is their a practice field in the area where they did their actual work???

If they practiced on the actual game field in the dead of summer I'm sure that helped in killing the conditions for when the season got under way.

Cape Cod Steel Head
10-17-2006, 07:16 PM
The turf is being replaced between now and the next home game.

Good old BB has everyone seeing phantoms.

http://www.nfl.com/teams/story/NE/9735579

NMI think the NFL is "requiring" them to do so, I also remember reading in the Globe about the NFL officials "finding" 100+ bags of grass seed behind a movie screen in the stadium during their inspection. I'll keep looking for the link.

Livinginthe past
10-17-2006, 07:43 PM
I think the NFL is "requiring" them to do so, I also remember reading in the Globe about the NFL officials "finding" 100+ bags of grass seed behind a movie screen in the stadium during their inspection. I'll keep looking for the link.

Sure I heard the NFL pretty much insisted they got it done.

I can imagine that the Patriots wanted to get it done too - that was the party line coming out of Foxboro and I can't think of a logical reason why you would want to handicap a rookie kicker on your own team.

Now if they just find a way to make it snow all year round..... :wink02:

NM

Ambridge
10-17-2006, 07:54 PM
I heard the Pats held their training camp at Gillette Stadium. For you Pats fans who might know did they practice on the actual game field or is their a practice field in the area where they did their actual work???


I don't like to quote myself but I don't have Whistles, Bells and Sirens
to sound off.:wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:

Atlanta Dan
10-17-2006, 08:21 PM
I heard NESN said the Pats are going to Field Turf at Gillette. If true, that will remove the Steelers only challenger for having the worst field in the NFL.

Cape Cod Steel Head
10-17-2006, 08:26 PM
Sorry here's the rest of the article. I think I saw their practice field next to the stadium when I was up there. But I think they do practice on the gme field as well. When asked if the players had approached Belichick about having the field improved, Evans smiled.

“You guys know Bill well enough to know that we’re focused on our job only, and getting a win somehow, some way,” Evans said. “For us, we leave those details to Mr. Kraft and coach Bill. We’re doing our jobs. He’ll take care of the rest.”

In the past, the NFL has on occasion stepped in and mandated improvements. Before the 2003 playoffs, for instance, the Pats were asked to re-sod the field.

How much better will it be in four weeks, when the Pats have their next home game against Indy? How much better does Belichick really want it to be for Peyton Manning?

“We’ll see what the options are and see what we can do. It’s October. It’s not like it’s peak growing season here in New England,” Belichick said. “All that being said, Jon Bengston, who does our fields, does a tremendous job. Our practice fields, he’s done a tremendous job with them, and they’ve held up great. We’ll just see what we can do.”

Of course, Belichick claimed he didn’t know a lick about agronomy, joking about adding weed killer to fix it. We’ll just see how the field looks in four weeks.

tony hipchest
10-18-2006, 09:52 AM
“No one is happy with the situation with regard to the field,” fullback Heath Evans said. “It is what it is. It’s a level playing field, though. Everyone has to play on it . . . it’s kind of like if you go to the beach, who’s going to have the advantage?

definitely not robert edwards. the beach dont treat pats backs too well.

hardwork
10-18-2006, 10:48 AM
I heard NESN said the Pats are going to Field Turf at Gillette. If true, that will remove the Steelers only challenger for having the worst field in the NFL.

I heard that yesterday.

BTW, the Patriots have two pratice fields at Gillette. A bubble, and a regular field.

hardwork
10-18-2006, 11:10 AM
Apparently they have more then two.

HW

August 23, 2005

New England Patriots practice facility renamed the "Dana-Farber Field House"

As a cancer center and pro football team, respectively, Dana-Farber and the New England Patriots have been recognized as being at the top of their fields. Now, appropriately, these two leading organizations have been linked in a single arena, thanks to the generosity of Dana-Farber Trustee Jack Blais and his wife, Shelley.

The Patriots, in conjunction with Dana-Farber, have renamed the squad's indoor training facility the "Dana-Farber Field House." The announcement was made by team owner Robert Kraft and Institute President Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, during a press conference at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 16.

Blais is an entrepreneur who has devoted his career to the development of new products in the field of technology. His passion for Dana-Farber, however, comes from a personal source. Twelve years ago, his uncle was diagnosed with cancer at a well-respected Boston hospital. At the time, doctors told him he had terminal disease with no chance to live. Blais then took his uncle to Dana-Farber, where he was successfully treated with cutting-edge therapies. When an opportunity recently arose for Blais to name the Gillette Stadium training facility, he opted to give this unique gift to the institution that has come to mean so much to him and his family.

The newly named Dana-Farber Field House sits adjacent to Gillette Stadium and the team's three outdoor practice fields. In addition to being used for training sessions by the Patriots and the New England Revolution professional soccer club, the facility is used on a year-round basis for private functions, conventions, and other special events. The Dana-Farber logo will be emblazoned on all sides of the field house.

Blais's ties to the Super Bowl champion Patriots are also strong. He is a longtime season ticket holder and avid fan of the club, and he and team owner Robert Kraft are members of the Dana-Farber Board of Trustees. Kraft, also a longtime supporter of the Institute, endowed the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center in 1983, and more recently endowed the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine chair at Harvard Medical School.

"I tip my hat to Jack Blais for this incredible act of generosity," Kraft said at the press conference. "My family and the Patriots organization are big believers in the work being done at Dana-Farber. We're thrilled to be able to facilitate this gift, and we welcome the Dana-Farber family to our home in Foxborough."

Stated Benz: "Jack Blais's decision to name the Patriots' field house in honor of Dana-Farber is a public testament to two of his longstanding loves: rooting for the New England Patriots and supporting the Institute in its efforts to beat cancer. We are grateful for this wonderful gesture; it's a special pleasure to have Dana-Farber's name up at Gillette Stadium."

<http://www.dana-farber.org/abo/news/press/patriots-practice-facility-dana-farber-field-house.asp>