Patriots embracing joint practices, Edelman compares the sessions to a school field trip

Brett Coomer | Houston Chronicle

It’s good to switch things up.

That’s why Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are putting more value on joint practice sessions.

When you’re with the same teammates day in and out, there becomes less space for versatility in your drills. The offense knows exactly what to do, and the defense sees it coming. But when you bring others into the picture – much like a game time situation – things start to even out and the competition gets better.

“That’s the great thing about these practices,” said wide receiver Julian Edelman. “You have an opportunity to get out of training camp…it’s almost like you’re in school and you go on a field trip. You may be learning things but it’s like 10 times better than when you’re in class. It’s the same thing with joint practices. You get to go out, hit someone new, use your techniques that you’ve been working on for so long against someone new, and see how they stack up.”

“It’s great to be able to have this,” said wide receiver Brandin Cooks. “Last week, it was Jacksonville, this week now having a great defense in Houston. All it’s doing is just sharpening your game. Not having the same people in front of you, having the mix and the feel for the competition that we’ll be seeing all year round, I think it’s a great thing we’re doing.”

The Patriots and the Houston Texans will continue with their practices at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia today before a team walk-through on Thursday. Then they will travel to Texas to compete in their second preseason games on Saturday.

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