The Patriots and Texans have had so many connections over the years, it's a little surprising that they haven't yet practiced jointly in training camp.
That will change this summer as Bill Belichick and Bill O'Brien's clubs will get together in mid-August for a pair of practices (Aug. 15 and 16) at The GreenBrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia before their preseason game in Houston on Aug. 19.
Back in 2015, the Patriots and Saints held joint practices at The GreenBrier before making their way to New Orleans for a preseason matchup. That week of work was highlighted by a matchup between young up-and-comers at their respective positions who have since become teammates: wideout Brandin Cooks and corner Malcolm Butler.
The Patriots announced earlier this offseason that they will host the Jaguars on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 for joint practices prior to their 2017 preseason opener on Aug. 10 at Gillette Stadium. Those sessions will be free and open to the public.
This is the sixth straight season in which the Patriots will hold joint practices. Last year, they worked alongside the Saints and Bears.
For the sixth season in a row, the Patriots will conduct joint practices with an opponent ahead of playing a preseason game. The team announced they'll work out with the Jacksonville Jaguars Aug. 7-8 at Gillette Stadium before playing the Jags in the preseason opener Aug. 10.
The practices will be free and open to the public and will be held on the practice fields behind the stadium.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has talked about the value of these joint practices, has found it a good way to scout players they might eventually have an interest in and has reportedly been discussing conducting them with another preseason opponent, the Texans (Aug. 19 at Houston), coached by former Patriots assistant Bill O'Brien.
The Patriots and Texans appear slated to meet up this preseason, and it sounds like they're hoping to work in some joint practices beforehand.
According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Bill Belichick and Bill O'Brien have been working on scheduling joint sessions at the Greenbrier in West Virginia during Week 2 of the preseason. That's familiar territory for the Patriots, who practiced jointly with the Saints at the resort in 2015.
The Patriots have long believed in the importance of holding competitive joint practices with preseason opponents for years. Last summer they worked alongside the Saints and Bears at Gillette Stadium before their preaseason contests. Given O'Brien's history in New England, there's a foundation for a good working relationship between the Patriots and Texans that would help facilitate a week of joint work.
Joint practices also hold some scouting value. Belichick and his staff have a long history of eventually scooping up players that they've practiced against, and they'll take on the Texans at Gillette Stadium during the regular season.
The NFL will release the full preseason schedule on Monday at 5 p.m. on NFL Network.