NFL Rumors: Raiders, Patriots to Hold Joint Practices Before Preseason Finale

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2022

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 09: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots  looks on during warm ups prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots will reportedly hold joint practices before their game during the final week of the 2022 NFL preseason despite also facing off in Week 15 of the regular season.

Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal reported the news Thursday:

Greg A. Bedard @GregABedard

Patriots and Raiders will have joint practices before their preseason finale, according to a league source.<br>Kind of surprised since Raiders are in HOF game and have an extra exhibition, and they play each other in regular season. Interesting.

The Raiders hired longtime Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach in January, which was likely a factor in the decision.

In March, New England coach Bill Belichick said he had no problem with McDaniels' departure, which included taking several Patriots assistants with him to Vegas.

"Josh is a great coach. I'm sure he feels like it's a great opportunity; that's why he took it," Belichick told ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. "Other than against us, I hope he does well. I'm sure he will do well. He's an outstanding coach.

"Some of the people that are with him are very good, too. It all worked out well. It's an opportunity we couldn't provide. He'll be hard to replace, but like I said, I feel like we have really good coaches on staff, and that's what we'll do."

McDaniels also confirmed he spoke with Belichick before asking a few members of the Pats staff to make the move with him.

"Absolutely," McDaniels told reporters. "I have great respect for Bill and that process. Spoke to him directly multiple times about any interest that I had in people that were there. I'll keep those conversations private, but never want to do the wrong things relative to those things."

That lack of animosity during the transition phase combined with their nearly two decades together likely made the decision to hold practices together easier.

McDaniels, who joined the Patriots' staff in 2001 and returned in 2012 after three years away with the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams, knows what Belichick tries to do defensively, and the NFL's longest-tenured head coach knows his former assistant's offensive approach.

Joint practices provide a more true-competition feel than a normal team session, especially during the latter stages of the preseason when teammates have been battling each other for over a month of training camp.

In addition, a lot of things are going to change between the exhibition slate and Week 15 of the regular season, meaning there isn't much concern about giving out secrets.

So, while the situation may be a bit unique, it's unlikely to have a tangible impact.