New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has always been a trend setter. Whether it’s revitalizing the 3-4 defense, or introducing the slot receiver, or taking the league by storm with the tight end position, he is always ahead of the curve. It’s why he’s the best and everyone else is competing for second place.
Joint practices are another one of these trends that Belichick has played a major role in spreading around the league. The new collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners severely limited the practice time, so teams have been creative to maximize the time spent together. While Belichick didn’t start the concept of a joint practice- just like he didn’t create the 3-4 or the two tight end set- he is setting the tone for the ten joint practices that are taking place this preseason.
Belichick likes these joint practices because it allows the coaches to set the tempo and dictate the drills. This will be important for the development of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be playing under serious pressure both figuratively and literally, with a strong host of pass rushers starring over the first four weeks.
Alec and Rich discuss what we can expect from Garoppolo during camp and in the games, how the Patriots could monitor snaps for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and whether or not the front office will poach a member of the Saints by the end of the season.