During Wednesday's practice between the Patriots and Eagles, there was a brief entanglement between Patriots corners Brandon Browner, Logan Ryan and Eagles punt-team gunner Roc Carmichael. If you blinked, you might've missed it.
That was the extent of the extra-curricular activity between the two teams over the course of three joint practices and Friday night's preseason game, a 42-35 win for New England -- no small feat considering there were nearly nearly 200 hyper-competitive athletes going at each other for a couple of hours per day for four consecutive days.
Both teams seemed to toe the line between competitiveness and over-aggressiveness expertly, which is part of the reason why Patriots coach Bill Belichick suggested that it may have been the most productive week of training camp joint work that the Patriots have had since he's been in charge.
"I thought we had a real good week of practice with the Eagles," Belichick said. "It was really valuable for the progress of our team. Probably the practices and game combined were as productive as any week we've had in training camp with any team since we've been doing this. It was really good. Coach [Chip] Kelly and his staff and his players, it was a real good working environment. It was productive, competitive, but not over-the-top. [Nobody] was really put in any unnecessary risk or any type of after-the-whistle cheap shots or anything like that. It was really good."
After two weeks of joint sessions -- they traveled to Richmond, Virginia last week to visit the Redskins -- the Patriots will go back to practicing alone starting on Monday. That will be the last training camp practice open to the public, and it serves as a transition into the latter-half of the preseason in which the final 53-man roster for Week 1 of the regular season will eventually come more clearly into focus.
"This week we're back working with ourselves," Belichick said. "It'll be a good week for us to get back in that mode because that's what it's going to be for the rest of the year. Start getting ready for Carolina. Still a lot of things we need to clean up on our end and continue to install and develop as we go through the closing stages here of preseason. Need to make a lot of decisions.
"Need to take these last couple of weeks -- we have a cut coming up in a little over a week in these last couple of weeks to get our team ready to go for a 16-game regular-season schedule. It's a busy time for the coaches and the players, juggling a lot of balls. But it's the time of year we just take it one day at a time and try to push through it."