When the NFL announced its 2019 preseason schedule in early April, two games jumped off the page as potential opportunities for joint training camp practices with other teams: the preseason opener at the Detroit Lions on August 8, and the second exhibition game against the Tennessee Titans on August 17. Both clubs, of course, are led by former members of the Patriots organization and have multiple ties to New England.
The Patriots and Titans, led by former New England linebacker Mike Vrabel, have already announced joint sessions — and the second of the opportunities will be used by as well: when the Lions announced their training camp schedule earlier today, it also included three dates of joint sessions with the Patriots:
Monday, August 5 (9:30 am ET)*
Tuesday, August 6 (9:30 am ET)
Wednesday, August 7 (9:30 am ET)
* exclusive to season ticket holders
Seeing the two teams join forces this summer does not come as a surprise whatsoever. After all, the Lions are led by head coach Matt Patricia, who previously worked as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, and general manager and former New England director of pro scouting Bob Quinn. Furthermore, numerous ex-Patriots players reside in Detroit these days — from defensive edge Trey Flowers to wide receiver Danny Amendola.
Their former organization has never shied away from joint practices with other teams. While none were held last summer, the Patriots teamed up with at least one other organization to conduct joint sessions leading up to a preseason contest between the two sparring partners every year from 2012 to 2017. Now, they are back at it by joining both the Titans and the Lions.