What Happens At A Joint Practice?

June 26th, 2012

The whole likelihood floated yesterday of joint training camp practices between the Bucs and Patriots led Joe to do a little research on what these things are really all about.

One ex-player told Joe that in addition to adding intrigue and excitement deep into the tedious training camp routine, the Bucs’ offensive line will draw the greatest benefit because of the chance to play against the Patriots’ challenging 3-4 defense. The practice repetitions will be a phenomenal way for the Bucs’ O-line to work on the footwork and subtleties of playing against the Pats’ two-gap scheme, he said, which should help when the Bucs take on a 3-4 defense during the season.

As for the practices themselves, a Patriots beat writer sent Joe the following. The Pats have done this before with the Saints and Falcons, though there was nothing last year thanks to the asinine lockout.

From what I remember, the first part the teams work on their own on separate fields, then eventually, you’ll see 11-on-11, and 7-on-7 drills, with the Pats and Bucs locking horns both with their respective offenses and defenses going toe-to-toe. I also remember seeing the Pats offense go against the other team’s defense in the red zone, and vice versa. And, there were also individual drills involving the offensive linemen with pass rushers. It’s kind of a typical practice. You also see a lot of coaching. If there’s a second day, they might scrimmage a little. It’s all pretty cool to watch down at the field level. It’s something different for them, not having to go up against their teammates.

There’s also trash-talking, and apparently the Patriots don’t take water breaks and cool-down breaks like the Falcons, so noted the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“You’ve got a chance to be up close and personal with a team which is not that easy to be up close and personal with,” said Dimitroff, and he should know. He worked for New England.

“Bill [Belichick] was very up front, [saying], ‘We’re coming there. Your rules. Your house,'” Dimitroff said.

The Falcons practiced against Jacksonville last week, but that wasn’t preceding a game between the teams, and, as Gonzalez said: “Nothing against Jacksonville or any other team, but when you go against New England you’re going against one of the best teams in the NFL. It’s good to see where you stack up.”

It was a little eye-opening, particularly for those of us who generally aren’t allowed to watch the other team practice. I’ll break protocol here: No. 12 likes to throw to No. 81. That’s sure to get me banned from future New England practices. Actually, Randy Moss (81) burned the Falcons’ secondary a couple of times, and made certain they knew it. “What’s up? That’s two today,” Moss said as he jogged back behind Falcons’ defenders on the sideline after catching a deep pass.

There were no fights and no real heated moments. Tom Brady (that No. 12) didn’t bring Gisele Bundchen and Kroy Biermann didn’t bring Kim Zolciak. (Imagine the look on Belichick’s face with that potential TMZ moment.) The Patriots were mildly amused when Falcons coach Mike Smith announced, “Everybody to the cool zone.” (That’s the players’ tented rest area.)

“We’ll go over to the hot zone,” a New England aide said. “They’ve got a cool zone, water breaks — we don’t have any of that,” Brady said.

Joe really can’t imagine a better all-around scenario for the Bucs than what these joint practices would deliver. And Joe has learned that opposing coaches spend time together and that Greg Schiano should expect detailed, real-time feedback on the Bucs from Bill Belicheat, which would be invaluable.

Joe’s also been wondering how much time Ronde Barber actually will get in preseason games to adjust in his new position and read opposing quarterbacks from a different vantage point. Getting practice looks against Tom Brady should help him sharpen up that much faster.

18 Responses to “What Happens At A Joint Practice?”

  1. T in Orlando Says:

    If you listen to Pat Kirwan on Moving the Chains on Sirius, he absolutely loves the idea of inter-team practices over scrimmages and even pre-season games. First of all, it allows players to hit people other than teammates, and secondly, you get to practice specific drills/scenarios against other players/coaches; you don’t have to hope that you get the ball with 2 minutes left in a half to practice your two minute offense, you could run it 3-5 times with your 1st team.

    The only draw back that I understand, is compromising on your schedule a little bit, instead of organizing 90 bodies on the practice fields, you’ll be organizing 180 or if you’re the “visiting” team, you’re pretty much a slave to whatever the home team wants to do from a timeline (I’m sure there’s input and back and forth, but ultimately the practice time is dependent on the home team).

    I’m all for this, especially from a “buy-in” perspective from the players view. I think the Bucs players will see how Schiano takes a similar approach to coaching as Belichick, and everyone knows his approach has worked pretty well over the past 10-12 years.

  2. Dini's Biceps Says:

    I love it. Can’t wait to see Ronde Barber play FS. Glad Geno Hayes is GONE….Hello, Lavonte David and Mark Barron, Bye Bye Sean Jones.

  3. Pewter_Power Says:

    Joe you do know that the Pats run a predominately 4-3 defense now right?

  4. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Pewter_Power – Off the top of Joe’s head, Joe recalls the Patriots definitely playing 3-4 at least half the time in the playoffs last season. That sure seemed like their base defense, though Joe remembers reading how they’ve been switching back and forth to a 4-3.

  5. Have A Nice Day Says:

    @Pewter Power Not true. Patriots ran a 3 man front 45% of the time while running a 4 man front 31% of the time. The actually preferred a 3-3-5 set up over anything else.


  6. Have A Nice Day Says:

    I am excited to see how this aids Foster in his play calling and recognition. He is gonna get burnt at these practices but if he can absorb it and use it as a learning tool instead of getting frustrated and down on himself it should aid him greatly.

  7. stevek Says:

    The Pats also went to the superbowl, and did not have a “stud CB”.

    So so glad we didn’t pick up Mo Claibourne, one less prima donna.

    Plus, I want to see the matchup up: Barron vs. Gronk.

    Gronk is a “better” Jimmy Graham, and if Barron can cover him it will be huge for our D.

  8. BigBear Says:

    I’m glad Tanard isn’t around for anymore “joint” practices….

    All joking aside, I think this is a great opportunity to practice against another set of bodies that will help the young bucs get better. Just having this practice with any team would be helpful to have them competing again another group of players. The Patriots routinely get the best out of players and I suspect their practices bring out the best in these players. Having the Bucs practice with the Patriots is akin to having another half preseason game to teach and evaluate.

  9. Bobby Says:

    Love this idea. I have to wonder whether this will increase the risk of injury since the hitting may be a little more intense but I think the experience will be invaluable.

  10. SeminoleSam Says:

    As a closet Pats fan, I can vouch from them running a three-man front religiously on first down.

  11. Adam Says:

    “How come there were no JOINT practices when I was there?”

    ~ Tanard Jackson

  12. Miguel Grande Says:

    When the Bucs-Dolphins ran joint practices in the past, it was amusing to see who Bryan Cox would fight each and every day. Sometimes it would be two a day.

    Now that Cox is a coach, will he still fight the other team or the opposing coaches? When Talib retires some day, will he be hired as a coach?

    I believe Aqib has a promising future doing cartoon voices.

  13. buc the saints Says:

    As much as i hate on boston teams, the pats are a top notch organization. Bring em on. Like T said let the players beat up on somebody else instead of each other.

  14. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    I suspect the Bucs will lose badly to the Pats in that game. Glad it’s preseason.

    There will be fights, and Talib, if he’s even there, will be in the midst of them. Assuming he doesn’t find a way to get suspended before then…which would be the first time in like….ever.

  15. Lion Says:

    The people that will benefit the most of this is our coaching staff. I am stoked.

  16. Pewter_Power Says:

    @Have A Nice Day:
    Thanks for the interesting link. Not a Pats fan, so don’t typically keep up with them; guess I was misinformed. :/

  17. K_bassuka Says:

    This will be a perfect opportunity for Belicheat to get inside video of Schiano’s schemes so he can use them down the line…. Don’t do it…

  18. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think Tampa can maybe beat them, but only in a fist fight:)
    Blount has one punch knockout power, and according to Barron, Price hits really hard too.