There is something that NFL teams do frequently that confuses some people. It’s called joint practices and these happen every single summer.
For anyone who watches football documentaries like Hard Knocks on HBO, you know what joint practices are. During the NFL preseason, some teams will often fly into their game destination a few days early and go through practices with their opponent.
Some people wonder why teams would do this? Why would you want your opponent seeing the details of your practice?
Why would you want to give an opponent any slight edge or advantage by watching you practice behind the scenes? Is there any point to doing so?
Well, there is.
And the latest team to jump on board the joint practice bandwagon is the Detroit Lions. The Lions are a team who historically have not held a lot of joint practices with other teams. However, that has changed over the course of the past few years once Jim Caldwell became head coach, and especially when Bob Quinn came over from the Patriots and became the Lions GM.
In fact, the Lions are actually doing two different joint practice sessions with two different teams this August: The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots.
The Patriots obviously see value in practicing against another team during training camp — since the Lions will be the third scheduled team for training camp.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters they’ve added a joint practice with the Lions in Detroit.
They were already holding joint workouts with the Jaguars (at home) and the Texans (on the road), coinciding with their first two preseason games.
Belichick has long felt getting work against another team is a good thing, and keeps them sharper than working against themselves.
I mean, hey, if the Patriots believe it, I believe it! Why wouldn’t we agree with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots way of doing things? Look how successful they’ve been. New England clearly finds value in practicing with other teams.
I think joint practices benefit both teams, especially when we’re talking about practicing with the Patriots. The two teams are able to go against live, external competition and work on their systems. Meanwhile, the coaches will also spend time together and share advice. Any advice you can get from the Patriots, you better take advantage of!
I don’t see any harm with joint practices. It’s not like these teams are exchanging playbooks and telling each other the ins and outs of their system. Rather, they are using these practices to get better and to face other competition they haven’t seen during training camp.
From a fan perspective, it’s also cool to watch your team practicing against another team. It’s awesome to see players from different teams go through practice with each other and work on getting better. These are the best athletes in the world, and it’s special when they collaborate and put their talent together.
I think joint practices are a win for everyone, and I don’t see any harm in them whatsoever.