Bill Belichick is always looking for an edge. And apparently one of his former assistants helped give him one Sunday.
Keen observers of the Patriots' 43-0 rout of the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium may have noticed a handful of makeshift tents on New England's sideline under which players could find relief from the South Florida heat.
Sunny on the visitor sideline here. Patriots trying to find a way around it. Pitching tents. Placing them over benches. pic.twitter.com/Sy77oAGl8e
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) September 15, 2019
In a conference call with reporters Monday, Belichick admitted the tent idea came from his former defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, who suggested it this August when the Patriots held joint practices with his Detroit Lions.
"The canopy thing was something that Matt [Patricia] did last year when he went down and they played the Dolphins in Miami," Belichick said. " ... In training camp we were out there and talked about it a little bit, so I felt like it would be something worth trying, and we did during the game."
The temperature at kickoff was 87 degrees, but the heat index rose into the 100s thanks to 67 percent humidity, prompting quarterback Tom Brady to declare Sunday's game one of the hottest he's ever played in.
"That was as hot a game as I can remember," Brady said Monday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." " ... That was pretty intense."
That's a pretty bold claim considering Brady visited Miami once a year for the past two decades. But Belichick backed his quarterback's "hot" take.
"I would agree with Tom's assessment," Belichick told reporters. "I can't remember being in a hotter game than that. Sometimes what the temperature is and how it feels are two different things. It was a very challenging heat."
Brady and the Patriots kept their cool, though: Brady completed 20 of 28 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns while New England's defense absolutely erased Miami's offense.
How much those tents played a role in the Patriots' domination is up for debate, but in any case, they were much better prepared for the Dolphins than the last time they visited Miami Gardens.
Bill Belichick used Matt Patricia's idea to combat historic Miami heat originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston