Patriots Become First NFL Team with Private Planes, Will Fly Out of T.F. Green
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
The Patriots are the first NFL team to buy their own planes to fly to games.
On the outside of one of the planes is the Patriots logo and five Lombardi trophies on the tail.
Purchasing the Planes
According to ESPN, the planes the Patriots bought are extended range, allowing them to fly nonstop for 12 hours.
The planes cost between $5 million and $65 million, while a brand-new place could cost $200 million.
One of the planes will be used as the main plane for the season, while the other will be used as the backup.
The Patriots will allow the planes to be rented out during the season when they are not needed for team travel.
Related Slideshow: Everything to Need to Know About Patriots 2017 Training Camp
Training Camp Dates Open to Public
Gates will open one hour before practice and close one hour after practice ends.
Practice schedule throughout training camp is subject to change at any time.
- July 27 - Morning Practice - 9 a.m.
- July 28 - Morning Practice - 9 a.m.
- July 29 - Morning Practice - 9 a.m.
- July 29 - Patriots Hall of Fame Induction - Noon
- July 30 - Morning Practice - 9 a.m.
- August 7 - Joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars - time TBD
- August 8 - Joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars - time TBD
New Faces From Draft
The Patriots added four players via the 2017 NFL Draft.
With pick number 83, the Patriots selected defensive end Derek Rivers (pictured) from Youngstown State. He will wear number 95 in training camp.
Rivers is a 6’4” 250 pound edge rusher who was a three year starter at Youngstown State. He set a school record with 41 sacks in his career.
The Patriots used the 85th pick to select Antonio Garcia, an offensive lineman from Troy. Garcia will wear number 63 in training camp.
Garcia is a 6’6” 302 pound offensive lineman out of Troy who has some experience playing left tackle.
The Patriots drafted defensive end Deatrich Wise in the fourth round.
Wise is a 6’5” 274 pound defensive end out of Arkansas. He finished his college career with 112 tackles, 16.5 tackles and 4 forced fumbles in 50 games. He will wear number 91 for the Patriots.
The Patriots took offensive tackle Connor McDermott in the sixth round.
McDermott is a 6’8 305 pound tackle out of UCLA and former NFL head coach Jim Mora.
New Faces From Signings
The biggest move the Patriots made this offseason was acquiring wide receiver Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints. He will wear number 14 in New England.
Cooks, 23 years-old, was taken 20th overall in the 2014 NFL draft and has one year remaining on his rookie contract with a fifth year team option.
Last season, Cooks finished with a career high 1,173 yards on 78 catches and eight touchdowns playing with the Saints.
On the first day of free agency, the Patriots signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Buffalo Bills. He will wear number 24 for the Patriots.
Gilmore had five interceptions and 48 tackles for the Bills last season.
On the same day they traded for Cooks they also acquired defensive end Kony Ealy from the Carolina Panthers. Ealy will wear number 94 for the Patriots.
Last season with Carolina, Ealy recorded 32 tackles and five sacks to go along with two forced fumbles.
The Patriots signed former Indianapolis Colt tight end Dwayne Allen to play alongside Rob Gronkowski.
Allen had 35 catches for 405 yards and six touchdowns last season with the Colts.
Other Notable Signings
The Patriots also signed runningbacks Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkehead from Buffalo and Cincinnatti respectively.
Most recently, New England signed linebacker David Harris from the New York Jets and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins from the Cleveland Browns.
Who is Gone
The Patriots lost a number of key players off their Super Bowl roster this offseason.
RB LeGarrette Blount- After rushing for 18 touchdowns last season, Blount signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
TE Martellus Bennett - Bennett signed with the Green Bay Packers in the offseason after catching seven touchdown passes for the Patriots last season.
CB Logan Ryan - Ryan signed with the Tennessee Titans in the offseason after recording 92 combined tackles and two interceptions for the Patriots last season.
DE Chris Long - Long signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after serving in a part time role with the Patriots. He had 35 tackles and four sacks on the year.
LB Jabaal Sheard - Sheard signed with the Indianapolis Colts after recording five sacks for the Patriots last season.
What Positions are the Battles For
The Patriots enter camp with seven running backs and two full backs on the roster, including new comers Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee.
James White is already the proven commodity for the Patriots, while Gillislee and Burkehead both served in backup roles in Cincinatti and Buffalo respectively.
A big question at the running back positon will be Dion Lewis, now over a year removed from a torn ACL. Can he return to his 2015 form? If not, his role could be reduced.
Malcolm Butler and Gilmore have two spots locked up, but there is competiton for the third cornerback spot that the Patriots use in Nickel packages depending on matchups.
Returning veteran Eric Rowe will enter camp with the advantage, but wil be challenged by Justin Coleman, Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones.
The Patriots had issues on the special teams unit last season.
Stephen Gostkowski made just 84% of his field goals last season and missed numerous extra points.
Cyrus Jones (pictured) was ranked by pro football focus as the worst return specialist in the league. New England used Jones to take the work load from Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
Offensive Line Depth
The Patriots return all their starters on the offensive line from last year's team and added rookies Tony Garcia and Conor McDermott in the draft.
However, depth could be an issue, especially on the inside, if and when injuries happen.
Vegas Odds for a Repeat
The Patriots enter training camp as heavy favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
According to the Westgate Las Vegas Super Book, the Patriots are 3-1 favorites to repeat as champions.
The odds are 7-1 that they will face the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl 52 is set for February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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