Patriots head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t seem to think that there’s a competitive disadvantage to having fans at some NFL games and not at others, but there are adjustments that will have to be made due to the unusual circumstances of this NFL season.
Belichick said “all that’s out of our control” when asked about the different approaches allowed by the NFL. He had a bit more to say in response to a question about the way the team’s preparation is impacted by the absence of fans.
The Patriots will not have fans in the stands for at least the first two weeks of the season and Belichick says that the “crowd noise situation” will affect things the most.
“We’ve played when it’s quiet at home, we’ve played when it’s loud on the road and vice versa, depending on what side of the ball we’re on,” Belichick said. “So, I think we’re ready if it’s somewhere in between, which is probably what it will be, then we’ll adjust to that. I mean, we can only control what we can control. So, really, the crowd noise and then I would say if there if there isn’t much energy in the stadium, which we’re not expecting, then obviously it’s up to us to not count on the fans to give us that energy boost, which we don’t have on the road anyway, but now we have to obviously bring our own energy at home.”
The Patriots are scheduled to play Seattle in Week Two and there won’t be any fans in attendance for that game. The Chiefs are planning to have fans at Arrowhead Stadium, which would make Week Four’s visit to Kansas City the Patriots’ first chance to play in front of a crowd.