Back in high school, Aaron Rodgers called it Hell Week.
In Chico, Calif., temperatures reached well over 90 degrees in August. And that was shortly after the sun came up, Rodgers said. He and his high school teammates would be out early, laboring in the sweltering sun, feeling the heat on the practice field.
The two weeks before school started were always the hardest time.
"It's not that humid, but it's hot," Rodgers said Wednesday. "Back in Hell Week, we called it, which was two weeks of practice before school started, it was 90 usually by 9 a.m. I grew up playing in the heat."
That experience will come in handy for Rodgers when the Green Bay Packers travel to Miami to play the Dolphins noon Sunday.
Across the country, temperatures are dropping in the first month of fall. Not in Miami. The weather forecast currently calls for rain Sunday in southern Florida, but temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s.
Temperatures were in the 50s – with a chilly wind making it feel even colder – when the Packers practiced Wednesday afternoon at Clarke Hinkle Field.
Packers running back Eddie Lacy is used to the southern sun. Playing college football at Alabama, and growing up in Louisiana, Lacy learned how to push through soaring temperatures. After less than two years in Green Bay, Lacy said he's surprised how quickly the body adjusts to cold, northern weather.
"I don't have a problem with (hot weather)," Lacy said. "It's just like playing in the cold. But, I mean, I guess once you're up north for a little while, you kind of get adjusted to this temperature. So that temperature will kind of be a little different for you.
"It's just something we have to figure out, but I don't think none of us have a problem with it."
While the elements outside won't prepare the Packers for their trip to Miami, players are still be proactive. Around the locker room, the importance of hydration is preached. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the process begins now, in the days leading up to the game.
In Green Bay, it's easy to forget.
"Being around here, where it's a little cooler, you don't think about it as much," Packers receiver Jordy Nelson said. "So you have to put a little focus on that. I think it was big that, when we played in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, it was a warmer day and I think we handled it well.
"It'll be the same down there, probably a little bit warmer. But you've just got to make sure you're prepared hydration-wise. Besides that, I think everything will be fine."
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