Both the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks concluded their major on-field practice preparations for Super Bowl XLIX on Friday.
The Patriots even canceled their plans to conduct a walk-through session on Saturday while Seattle will host a morning walk-through practice at Arizona State University.
“This is it,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said. “Practice-wise, we’re done. We’re as ready as we’re going to be. These guys have worked hard. I think they’re ready to go. We’re playing a good team, so we’re going to have to play well.”
Belichick decided to practice outdoors at the Arizona Cardinals practice facility despite persistent rain showers and took a 28-minute “halftime” break instead of moving the session to an indoor bubble.
“I thought about going inside,” Belichick said, “but not for long.”
Belichick felt the wet weather in normally dry Arizona provided a hurdle that could be beneficial.
“Make it tougher in practice than it will be in the game,” Belichick said.
All-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis was a spectator for the majority of team activity but fears of an injury were off base, according to Belichick.
“We backed a lot of guys off,” the coach said. “(Revis) took a lot of reps yesterday and Wednesday. We’re all good to go.”
With most expecting this to be a close game the Patriots devoted a lot of time to the kicking game with half-speed, non-contact reps.
The lull in the middle was also meaningful, mimicking the extended 28-minute halftime ceremony during the Super Bowl which is more than twice as long as the typical 12-minute intermission for NFL games.
“We’ve done it before,” Belichick said of the simulation.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, finished their full-blown practice sessions in front of a interesting crowd, including former owner John Nordstrom, former quarterback Jim Zorn and hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg.
Seattle went 77 minutes and practiced indoors at Arizona State’s practice bubble.
“We shut down the tempo today because we’ve had two great weeks of preparation,” said coach Pete Carroll. “We’re just trying to ice it up now, get everything just right, and make sure we’re set to play our best on Sunday.”
For the third straight day, every Seahawks player practiced but Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor injured his left knee at the end of the session and was seen walking off with the knee wrapped.