It was a surprise move by the New England head coach, which caught most of his players off guard. Many of them were ready to take the field when he alerted them of the news around noon.
“It was a shocker. Coach keeps us on our toes,” said receiver Deion Branch.
“We were kind of shocked, everybody was ready to practice,” second-year corner Ras-I Dowling said, all taped up and ready to go. “Guys were in the training room getting taped, and then we got that news — ‘you can go home a day early.’”
The players still had meetings to attend, but did not have to take the field on the final day of the three-day mandatory minicamp.
Read: Belichick Calls Getting AFC Championship Rings ‘Bittersweet’
“It was pretty exciting,” linebacker Bobby Carpenter said. “I think a lot of guys were ready to get out of here; we’ve got some good work in this offseason. Frankly for one, I’m ready to get going, but now is when the preparation starts for training camp.”
Patriots training camp will begin in July "
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