Belichick turns up heat on players

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There will be no shortage of catchy storylines leading into Super Bowl XLVI, but here's one of the most important that has somewhat slipped under the radar to this point: Conditioning.

There is a reason Bill Belichick held practice the last two days in the team's indoor facility, the Dana Farber Fieldhouse.

Mainly, he wanted to turn up the heat on his players.

With Super Bowl XLVI being played inside Lucas Oil Stadium, and with spectators contributing to what figures to be a toasty environment, Belichick has jacked up the heat in the Fieldhouse while reminding players how important conditioning will be in the longer-than-normal game (especially in the fourth quarter).

One player said that over the last two days, he's lost six pounds because of the steamy indoor workouts. Friday's practice was in full pads.

The point also hasn't been lost on players that the team hasn't played in an indoor facility this year, outside of a preseason game at Detroit in August.

Of all the chatter from coaches and players in recent days, this focus on conditioning and indoor practices is what stands out most.