The New England Patriots know their preseason schedule and there’s a real chance there could be a three-week run of joint practices. ESPN’s Mike Reiss has been knocking it out of the park with reports of potential joint practices for the Patriots this summer.
The Patriots open up with the Jaguars and Reiss reports the two teams “are talking about joining forces on the practice field -- for a few days at least.” The Jaguars are under new management and former New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is running the ship from the executive office as the executive VP of football operations.
Belichick and Coughlin are old friends as the two served on the same staff with the Giants from 1988-90, with Belichick as the defensive coordinator and Coughlin as the wide receivers coach. Coughlin wants to bring a greater degree of professionalism to the Jaguars and shadowing the Patriots for the first week of the preseason would be a great way to do that.
The Patriots are playing host to the Jaguars and it would make sense for New England to hold a joint practice at home, because the fourth preseason game (against the Giants) won’t have joint practices and the other two weeks are on the road.
New England travels to face the Houston Texans in week two of the preseason and Reiss previously reported that Belichick is working with former Patriots offensive coordinator and current Texans head coach Bill O’Brien on a slate of joint practices.
The Patriots will travel to Detroit to face the Lions in week three of the preseason; the Lions are led by general manager Bob Quinn, who served as the Patriots director of pro scouting until joining Detroit in 2016.
While there is no reported talk of joint practices between the Patriots and Lions, Quinn wanted to bring greater competition to the preseason- just like Coughlin- and scheduled joint practices in 2016 (vs Pittsburgh Steelers) for the first time since 2000. It would make a lot of sense for the two teams to hold joint practices.
Now the Patriots probably won’t want to have joint practices every single day for three straight weeks because it represents crucial time for players to develop schedules and habits for the regular season. But there remains an opportunity for maybe one or two joint practices each week, instead of a full slate of joint practices. The Patriots will have the freedom and versatility to host joint sessions however they want- and that sort of flexibility sounds like the Belichick way.