TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is sacked by Rob Ninkovich #50 (right) and Jerod Mayo #51 of the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 18, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots are discussing holding joint practices before their preseason game on August 24, according to the Boston Herald (h/t PFT).
This would be charting new ground for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have generally kept their practices to themselves, but not for the Patriots. My brave commenters inform me that this isn't new ground for the Bucs, after all. New England has practiced with several teams in the past before preseason games, including the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons in 2010. The Patriots and Saints are also supposedly talking about conducting joint practices during preseason.
The practice makes some sense because of Greg Schiano's close relationship with Bill Belichick, who explicitly recommended Schiano to NFL teams as a quality head coach. Last preseason, the New England Patriots walked all over the Buccaneers during a preseason game in what was apparently a sign of things to come for the 2011 season. Perhaps these joint practice sessions can help avoid that kind of collapse in 2011 - though more likely, they really don't matter much.