The Patriots and Saints will hold two days of joint practices in advance of their Aug. 9 preseason game at Gillette Stadium, it was announced Tuesday.
The teams are expected to take the field together Aug. 7 and 8, with the Saints’ website stating that the second day will be a walkthrough. With the game Aug. 9, that is not a surprise.
The Patriots and Saints held joint practices in Foxborough before their last preseason meeting, in 2010. At the time, coach Bill Belichick called them among the more productive practices he’d been a part of.
Belichick acknowledged during minicamp last month that he’d had discussions with New Orleans interim coach Joe Vitt about the joint practices, but at the time he said nothing was final.
Also, a league source confirmed that the Patriots will hold joint practices with the Buccaneers before the teams play Aug. 24. With former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who is a friend of Belichick’s, now the coach of the Buccaneers, it seemed a natural fit.
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Tight end Rob Gronkowski won the Triple A All-Star Game celebrity home run contest Monday night. Held in his native Buffalo and hosted by the Bisons, Gronkowski hit 12 home runs over two rounds of the event, including one that went a reported 400 feet.
Gronkowski beat Bills CEO Russ Brandon in the finals, eight homers to seven. Tuesday morning, Brandon tweeted congratulations to Gronkowski, calling him “a great guy and a great ambassador for Buffalo.”