Sportress of Blogitude

Patriots purchased planes with players’ health in mind

The New England Patriots became the first NFL team to own its own planes thanks to the purchase of two 767s. And the team says the acquisition of their own fleet for air travel was done with the players’ health in mind.

And to hear it from Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, it might end up being a revolutionary concept in the NFL.

“Football is a different animal than the other sports in terms of what needs to start to happen on an airplane as you’re leaving a game,” Jonathan Kraft said Thursday during an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub before the Patriots’ preseason opener, via ESPN. “I do think it will allow us better recovery with the players, the way we’ve set it up and allow the coaches to be more productive, too.”

The aircraft — which the Patriots have humorously dubbed “airkraft” — have been totally refurbished to better accommodate the size and needs of NFL players, not to mention the logistics of traveling with all the needed equipment for road games.

Kraft also explained why the team purchased two airplanes.

“Every hour of the season, from Week 1 to whenever your season is done, is scripted out,” Kraft said. “Bill [Belichick] can tell you what’s going on, and hours matters. If you have a technical difficulty with your plane and you’re flying with any of the commercial carriers, they’ll have another plane there pretty quick. If you’re flying your own plane and you have one, you have to wait until it’s fixed.

“We’ll fly with technicians and engineers, but having a backup plane in case that happens, and ready to scramble at any moment, was critical. For us, it was the way to do it in a fashion that would ensure the football team would not only have the right type of plane to fly on, but the right type of service so we could maximize time.”

It all seems very logical and a perfect example of why NFL teams continue to model themselves after the Patriots by emulating the continually evolving methods that define the “Patriot Way.”