The New York Giants will face the Detroit Lions in their second preseason game on Friday, Aug. 17 at Ford Field. The teams announced Friday they will hold joints practices leading up to the preseason matchup.
The Giants and Lions will hold joint practices at the Lions’ training facility in Allen Park, Mich. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, Wednesday, Aug. 15, and Thursday, Aug. 16. At the present time, it is unknown if these practices will be open to the public. The teams were discussing the possibility of joint practices before April’s NFL Draft.
Both the Giants and Lions enter 2018 with new head coaches. Pat Shurmur was hired by the Giants to succeed Ben McAdoo after spending the last season and a half as Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. Matt Patricia, who spent 14 seasons on Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots staff including the previous six as defensive coordinator, was hired to replace Jim Caldwell.
Patricia was an early favorite for the Giants head coaching position but allegedly decided on the Lions because the Giants are in more of a win-now mode.
Joint practices provide the opportunity for players to practice against an unfamiliar roster and schemes. This often leads to heated competition on the field because the players are not teammates. The construction of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) limits the time in which players can workout during the offseason so these joint practices have more popular among coaches.
The Giants aren’t a team that usually holds joint practices. The last time they held one was against the Cincinnati Bengals in advance of their 2015 preseason opener. It was sign of things to come. The Giants lost that preseason opener 23-10 before finishing the regular season with a 6-10 record. The Bengals went on a 12-4 record and an AFC North title.
Patricia, on the other hand, comes from the Patriots. The Patriots are proponents of holding joint practices, something that rubbed off on the Lions’ head coach.
“It’s not about just working with somebody that you’re just going to scrimmage for three days and it’s kind of there’s no rules behind it,” Patricia said. “I think it’s very specific with what you’re trying to accomplish, so you want to make sure that you’re working with guys that you trust in those situations, people that have the same idea what those practices are going to be about. Everything’s highly competitive, but you’re really trying to get good evaluations of your players through those types of situations.”