The Jacksonville Jaguars begin joint practice with the New England Patriots on Monday, ahead of their first preseason game on Thursday evening. The two teams will practice together Monday and Tuesday, though they will not be “live” practice, it will help give the Jaguars a good gauge of where they are as a team, as well as where certain players are in their development.
By this time players have been going against the same players for a few weeks, so a joint practice with another team changes things up a bit.
“I think it’s important during this time of year it helps, it breaks up the monotony of camp when you’re competing against the same players or people on your same team,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Sunday when he was asked what he wanted to accomplish this week in the joint practices.
“Now you’ve got to go out and compete against different players and different schemes. Sometimes those schemes can show different skillsets in players or what we ask them to do that we might have been not able to simulate as well in this practice,” Marrone continued. “So it’s an opportunity to get a grade evaluation, it’s an opportunity to go against the best team to see where you are, and go out there and get better and be ready for our game on Thursday night. I think there are a lot of pluses. I think you can save some players because you don’t have scout team players out there. There’s a lot of positives. I really don’t see any negatives in practicing against some other teams.”
Last season there were a few players who had a hype built around them based on weeks of training camp practices, but when the Jaguars held joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a few players came crashing back to reality. They were used to moves and technique working against the guys they’ve been going against day after day, but as we all know, those same moves and techniques won’t work on everyone.
Regardless if the Jaguars look outclassed against the Super Bowl Champions or not is irrelevant to the benefit of the joint practices. As Marrone stated, it gives the team a different perspective of where they’re at as a team, before the live football actually starts.