FOXBORO -- For the second time in three seasons the Patriots and Saints will practice together before their preseason tilt. The two teams will mix it up August 7 and 8; the game is August 9.
Part of it has to do with getting to beat up guys who aren't your teammates. But according to Patriots director of player personnel, there's more to it than that.
"After a certain point in training camp when you go against the same people I don't want to say it gets monotonous, but you're looking for another challenge or something else," Caserio smiled. "As a team it just sort of rejuvenates you a little bit. There's a certain element of the competition -- the speed increases just that much more. I think your competitive juices and your competitive nature starts to flow."
And then there's the obvious answer: Both teams want to learn something that could provide an edge in the Thursday night clash.
"There's no better way to learn about a team you're about to play in the preseason then to practice against them. Whether it's personnel, whether it's schematically -- something that they may do that you maybe don't see from your defense or your defense. So you can actually teach it, coach off of it, correct it, talk about it in the meetings, and then move on.
"Essentially that's what's going to happen once the regular season rolls around."