INDIANAPOLIS -- On Saturday night, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett appeared on local television here and said it hurt that the rival Patriots would be using his team's facilities during Super Bowl XLVI.
The irony of the set-up wasn't lost on Patriots players.
"Usually when we walk into the Colts’ stadium or anything, we’re getting booed," veteran guard Logan Mankins said. "It’ll be quiet over there. I’m sure they aren’t too excited about us using their facility. We’re happy that we’re here getting to use it, so that’s great."
One of the storylines for the Patriots over the last week has been utilizing indoor practice space. They had Thursday and Friday practices last week inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse, with Bill Belichick turning up the heat (one player said he lost 6 pounds after the two practices).
The Patriots haven't played an indoors game since the preseason, and generally had moderate temperatures for most of their games, so Belichick wants to prepare players for a steamy environment by stressing conditioning (especially in the fourth quarter).
They're likely to be inside again this week, at the Colts' indoor practice field.
“That’ll be different," noted special teams captain Matthew Slater. "We were talking about that with some of the guys. You know the rivalry, obviously, that exists there, but to go into their facilities and be preparing for a game will be a different experience."
"I think it’s a little bit strange that we are going to be at the Colts’ facility, practicing and everything like that," added receiver Wes Welker. "I don’t know how much the people like that or anything, that has yet to be seen. Hopefully, we will be calm and polite and not rubbing it in or anything like that. So, hopefully everybody is nice, cool and appreciative."
The team's first practice is Monday.