New England Patriots: Initial Thoughts On Joint Practice With The Saints


As is customary for a Bill Belichick team, this year the New England Patriots will be practicing with a preseason opponent, in this case, the New Orleans Saints. The two teams are scheduled to play on August 22nd, so expect them to hit the practice fields a few days before that.

Here are a few initial thoughts that come to mind regarding these two teams sharing the same practice field.

1. Brady vs. Brees

Let me be clear: while Drew Brees is a very good quarterback, he is not on the same level as Tom Brady. Yes, Brees is probably top five in the NFL, but the gap between him and Brady is large. With that said, these are still two of the best in the league at the most important position, so it will be a great challenge for each defense to try and stop the opposing offensive attack.

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2. The Browner Reunion

Unlike Darrelle Revis, who not only bolted to the Jets, but also threw the Patriots, and Tom Brady under the bus when discussing deflate-gate, I have nothing but love for Brandon Browner. He came in to Foxboro and did his job as well as he could have done it, and the result was a Super Bowl championship. Malcolm Butler deserves all the praise he is receiving for his game-ending interception, but if it weren’t for Browner’s jam on that play, the Seahawks would be the reigning champs. It will be fun to see the physical Browner return to compete against New England’s offense.

3. Gronk vs. Graham Watson

Instead of the two best tight ends in the league squaring off (although once again, the gap is large), we will see the Saints try to work on offense without their top playmaker. They certainly upgraded their offensive line with the Graham trade, but they will have to find someone to replace Graham’s production on the outside. I love Benjamin Watson to death, but he can’t single-handidly replace Graham. At the same time, New England’s secondary is far from elite with the departures of Revis, Browner, and Kyle Arrington, so this should be a good experience for Brees and company in 7-on-7 work.

4. CHEATERS!!!!!

Obligatory bounty-gate, deflate-gate, and spy-gate reference.