You don’t have to wait until Thursday night to watch the Patriots and Saints go at it.
The Saints arrived in Foxboro late Monday for a two-day joint practice session with the Patriots prior to their preseason game Thursday night. It’s a chance for both teams to put some hits on some new faces, and see a few different looks that they otherwise may not see in training camp.
Pats director of player personnel, Nick Caserio, will have his eyes peeled throughout.
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“It’s exciting for all of us, players, coaches, personnel staff, because you get to kind of see a little bit of everything and just to kind of get a barometer of where your team might be at this point,” Caserio said of the practices.
But Caserio and his staff aren’t just using this time to evaluate where their own players are at. Having the Saints in town offers them a front row seat to scout players on the Saints who may be cut before the end of preseason.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to evaluate some players up close that you normally wouldn’t get a chance to, you get to see their practice habits, you get to see them in an individual drill, maybe do something that you can’t necessarily see them do on the field,” Caserio said. “It’s agood opportunity for everybody. The reality is they’re going to have players that, at the end of the month, they’re going to get released and some players may fit for us and some don’t…”
Players on the bubble or likely to be released should be using these practices to not just impress their own coaches, but the opposing team’s as well. It could be that practice performance that earns them a call later on in the season if they are, in fact, released.
“Well, you can study the [opposing] player a little bit more thoroughly and have maybe a better understanding of their habits, their drills, their intensity, their effort,” Caserio said. “When you’re watching them play during the preseason, you can’t really see how they practice.”