New England Patriots

Report: Patriots, Eagles planning joint practices, with one adjustment

Jerod Mayo plans to keep the joint practice tradition alive in New England.

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A staple of the Bill Belichick Era will continue into the Jerod Mayo Era, it appears.

New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni have discussed holding joint practices in August, ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Saturday.

While the Patriots' 2024 preseason schedule has yet to be announced, Reiss notes the Eagles are expected to be New England's second-week preseason opponent, in which case the teams would hold a single joint practice (rather than two) in the week leading up to the game.

Belichick was a big proponent of joint practices during his tenure as Patriots head coach, valuing the chance to rep specific game situations against a different opponent while also using the practices as a scouting opportunity, oftentimes acquiring players from the opposing team down the road.

Joint practices have gotten increasingly chippy in recent years, however; several fights broke out in New England's second session with the Green Bay Packers last year as well as the team's second joint practice with the Carolina Panthers in 2022, which resulted in Patriots wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson suffering a concussion on a hit from a Panthers defender.

Mayo apparently is taking that into consideration with a plan to only have one day of joint practices with Philly instead of two.

"Word is that Mayo prefers just a single practice, in part to limit fighting that can sometimes become prevalent on a second day," Reiss wrote.

This will be a critical preseason for the Patriots, with No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye battling veteran Jacoby Brissett for the starting quarterback job and Mayo trying to kick-start a rebuild after a disastrous 4-13 campaign in 2023.

That joint practice with the Eagles will be a great opportunity for Maye to get reps against another opponent in a practice setting, but Mayo is smart to guard against things escalating to the point of ejections or injuries.

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