The New England Patriots love joint training camp practices, and they have teamed up with other organizations for most summers over the last decade. One notable exception was last year, though: the team worked on setting up joint sessions with the Detroit Lions, but the NFL’s Coronavirus guidelines prohibited the teams from finalizing their plans.
One year later, however, the Patriots are back working out with other team. While it will not be the Lions this time around, they have scheduled joint sessions with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants.
The Patriots are currently down in Philadelphia to prepare alongside the Eagles for the two teams’ preseason meeting on Thursday. Before their departure on Sunday afternoon, Bill Belichick spoke about how joint practices have helped his team through the years.
“We’ve certainly seen plenty of ourselves versus ourselves out here,” the Patriots’ head coach said.
“If that’s what it is, that’s what it is. Last year that’s all we had, but we have an opportunity to work with another team that helps players playing against different players, but it also helps us see different schemes. The way another team does something is different than the way we do it, so it’s a great opportunity.”
The early portions of Monday’s session were a good example of that. While the Eagles’ players were still coming onto the field, the Patriots’ were already going through warmups. It may be a subtle difference, but it is a difference nonetheless.
New England will see a lot of those this week, and Belichick pointed out on Sunday that this challenges the team from top to bottom.
“This is really just a good opportunity to see [...] things quickly, without knowing exactly what’s coming as a coach, figure it out, explain it to the players if it needs to be explained, and then make the right adjustment to handle it. Not wait until the game’s over. Not wait until Monday morning. Try to do it in real time,” he said.
Belichick’s team will have three opportunities of going up against the Eagles. The two teams will practice alongside each other on Monday and Tuesday, and also square off for a preseason contest on Thursday night.