FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (NEWS CENTER) — When you are up, there is little place to go but…further up?
Entering last season, much of the intrigue that surrounded the New England Patriots centered on the players who wouldn't be on the field.
The Patriots opened training camp Thursday both healthy and retooled after capturing the franchise's fifth Super Bowl in February.
► WATCH: Patriots players back on the field
Head Coach Bill Belichick addressed the media before the players hit the field.
On whether or not he will manage Tom Brady's reps in practice to keep him fresh- Brady turns 40 August 3rd.... pic.twitter.com/GUu6zZSD5N— LEE GOLDBERG (@WCSHSPORTSGUY) July 27, 2017
Tight end Rob Gronkowski told reporters he didn't mind wearing any pads for the first few days of training. He also praised his fellow Patriots for how hard they worked and what 'great guys' they were. Gronk said it was flattering to see all the fans who came out for day one of training camp.
USA TODAY predicted the Patriots would go a perfect 16-0 this season and capture a sixth Lombardi Trophy, but Belichick squashed the rumors by simply saying he had no time for chatter of an undefeated season.
Bottom line, does Pats Nation really care if the Patriots get to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII with a perfect season intact? Answer's likely a resounding no, especially considering the 2007-08 season was perfect…until the most imporant game.