Tom E. Curran

Devin McCourty says early-camp heat is a necessary evil for Patriots

The Patriots will be tested out of the gate in training camp with the hottest days of the summer thus far.

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Some like it hot. Some sweat when the heat is on. (Thanks, Power Station).

The Patriots are opening training camp this week in what may be the warmest conditions this summer. Tuesday, when the team is doing its conditioning tests, the Foxboro temperature is predicted to be 84 degrees. Wednesday through Friday – the first three days the team is on-the-field – the highs are projected at 89, 89 and 95.

But Devin McCourty, who considers himself fortunate to be missing out on sweating buckets this year, says the heat is a necessary evil and that he expects players to be ready for it.

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“Some of those guys are training down south in Texas, Florida, Mississippi,” McCourty told me Monday. “The heat in New England won’t be as big of a change. But I think veteran players understand that some of those hard days (of heat) pay off at the end.

“Most of the days in New England you’re playing with a breeze so you’re not gonna have that heat, but you’ll be happy you had that heat when you go down and practice against Tennessee,” he added. “Times like that, you’ll appreciate it.”

The first few days of camp are often slower-paced. It’s a continuation of minicamp and there’s a big chunk of review work before pads come on.  

Bill Belichick has always stressed conditioning but McCourty predicted he won’t go overboard.

“Bill’s gonna try to make it hard but I’ve always felt like we can’t just go out there and act like it’s not hot,” he said. “The training staff I’m sure has a plan for some of these days where, even though it’s a ramp-up period, these guys are in good enough condition to not just be dropping out there.

“As Bill always says, ‘Nothing’s more important than the health of the team’ so it will be interesting to see starting out camp with the hard days. But most guys have trained the past few weeks to prepare for what they’ll be doing.”

Those who haven’t probably won’t be hard to identify.

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