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.
After New England already held its joint sessions with the Lions last week, the team has now headed to Tennessee to take on the AFC South squad led by former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel. The two teams will hold a pair of practice sessions ahead of Saturday’s preseason contest, which means that the world champions’ schedule for the week looks as follows:
Wednesday, August 14 (10:50 a.m. ET)
Thursday, August 15 (10:50 a.m. ET)
The two workouts will take place each day between 10:50 am and 1:00 pm (9:50 to 12:00 local time), and certainly be quite physical for both teams. With Friday scheduled to be off but possibly kept open for a lighter session in a walkthrough setting, expect players to wear full pads on both Wednesday and Thursday. Naturally, the sessions project to be intense — just like previous ones held by the Patriots annually from 2012 to 2017.
Preseason week two
Saturday, August 17 (7:00 p.m. ET): Nissan Stadium, Nashville
Following the two practices on Wednesday and Thursday, the Patriots and Titans will suit up to meet in both teams’ second game of this year’s preseason. Even though the contest itself will give New England’s players another opportunity to showcase their value heading into the 2019 campaign, it is expected to give only little actual information about the state of the team: most starters will again see limited action, with depth players taking center stage.
The two teams joining forces this week does not come out of nowhere. After all, the Titans are led by the above mentioned Mike Vrabel, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots in the early 2000s, and general manager and former New England director of college scouting Jon Robinson. Furthermore, numerous ex-Patriots players reside in Detroit these days — from running back Dion Lewis to cornerbacks Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan.
This week will therefore be a get together of sorts, but it will also provide New England its second opportunity to work in a competitive environment against another team.