New England Patriots Links 8/10/10 - Saints Are In Town To Kickoff Preseason

Credit to Ian Rapoport for this pic of Leigh Bodden in action at practice.

Eric Scalavino gets Bill Belichick's explanation on how the joint practices with the Saints will work.

"We’re going to start apart at the beginning of practice and warm up and go through whatever individual periods or drills or group periods each team wants to do," Belichick explained, "and then we’ll come together and start working, probably about maybe one third of the way through practice and then we’ll work together the rest of the way."

The benefits of having another team to practice against are that, when the teams get together for 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 activity, the level of competition naturally increases and there’s more of an element of surprise to contend with, as neither side is as familiar with the other team’s plays and schemes.

Tuesday’s double session features a morning practice from 9-11, and an afternoon workout from 3:45-5:30. The two teams are expected to be in pads for at least one of the practices, which should mean there’ll be some all-out hitting and some lighter tackling.

"It will be a combination of both," Belichick continued. "We’ll do some individual drills. We’ll do some group drills and then we’ll do some team drills – offense, defense, special teams. I think we will get a chance to look at everybody.

"We’ll do down-and-distance situations. We’ll play those situations however we play them and they’ll play them however they would play them. We’ll probably practice at team tempo that I think both teams use."

Paul Perillo talks about the NFL officials annual visit to Foxboro and offers his Monday afternoon practice notes.

The most interesting development will be the change of positioning for the umpire, who will move from the middle of defense behind the linebackers to the offensive backfield opposite the referee. The only change to this will be on field goals and extra points, and, interestingly, the last two minutes of each half.

Smith explained how coaches believe this will change the game a bit as it will be more difficult for the officials to spot the ball quickly. This will come into play specifically when teams such as the Patriots and Colts use their hurry-up attacks. Smith explained that the umpire will now be 15 yards behind the line and therefore further away from the ball at the completion of a play.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Peter King (SI) MMQB: Excitement is building in St. Louis; Texans are fighting for Cushing.
  • Tim Graham and Mike Reiss (ESPN) AFC East Discussion. ( 5.42 min. video)

Sorry for the short links page this morning.  I'm heading off now to the Saints-Pats practice at 9:00 AM and will report back here afterwards.   Just for the record, I'll be attending the 3:45 PM practice too so feel free to post anything you'd like me to watch for.  We'll just hope the threat of thunderstorms will stay just a threat.

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