Joint training allows coaches to keep players out of games

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady will get his reps in joint practices against the Miami Dolphins this week instead of an exhibition game. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played a pre-season snap since 2018.

Justin Herbert is expected to watch from the sidelines again this month.

Thirty of the NFL’s 32 teams will launch their preseason schedule this week — the Raiders and Jaguars have played in the Hall of Fame Game before — and many teams will hold off on their starters until the games count in the standings. .

For Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles, it’s an easy decision to keep Brady, 45, on the bench when Tampa Bay hosts Miami on Saturday night. The teams will hold joint training on Wednesday and Thursday. They are valuable representatives in a more controlled setting.

“Obviously with one less preseason game right now, you gotta get all the work you can get,” Bowles said of joint workouts.

Coaches have grown accustomed to the shortened preseason since the league and NFL Players Association eliminated an exhibition game in the 2020 collective bargaining agreement. That year, there were no preseason games. season due to COVID-19.

“I thought we were okay last year,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I felt pretty good about it. You’re going to make sure your guys get enough work in there to play. And at the same time you try to balance where you can see the young guys. So it’s always this fourth game that you have to see a little bit young people. But again, we’ve been working where we’ll get a good look and see them.

More and more teams are holding joint training with their opponents before games now that the pre-season schedule has been reduced. A total of 23 teams hold joint sessions with one team and seven clubs do so with two. Teams were not allowed to hold joint sessions last season due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Live exposure against different people is a really good assessment tool to see where we are,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said.

Philadelphia will have joint practices with Cleveland and Miami.

First-year coaches are at a slight disadvantage with one less game. Undrafted rookies and players competing for a roster spot are missed the most.

“I think every coach has their own philosophy,” Giants coach Brian Daboll said. “There are people who don’t play their guys at all. There are people who play them a little more than others. I think you have to do, what I’ve learned is what’s best for your team. Rubbing shoulders with different teams and different coaches is kind of what you need to develop your team and your squad. Being our first year, we will try to decide what is best for us with our guys.

Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley took a conservative approach in his first preseason in 2021 and plans to do the same, so Herbert is unlikely to take any snaps. The Chargers have joint sessions with Dallas next week.

“I think it will be philosophically similar to last year,” Staley said. “If we know who you are, from an assessment point of view, we don’t need to assess you, then you’re probably not going to play in pre-season, but if there is – than that whether it’s a role or whether it’s a young player who we feel that these experiences are going to benefit them, then that’s the direction we’re going to go in. Then your health is also a very important factor.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur has previously said Rodgers won’t play Green Bay’s first two preseason games on Friday, but he hasn’t ruled him out of the last.

If he’s playing, Rodgers wants more than one series.

“I definitely don’t see any advantage in playing just one series,” he said. “If we’re going to play, we should play and play a quarter, a few sets, two to three sets. Just dressing for four pieces, to me, is a waste.

Raiders coach Josh McDaniels was thrilled his team played the NFL preseason opener last week. The Raiders beat Jacksonville 27-11 with Derek Carr, Davante Adams and several starters sitting out.

“We are grateful to have four. I know someone else might not like it, but I’m really happy we got four chances to do it,” McDaniels said afterwards. “There are definitely some things that we noticed during the course of the game and the operation that we can do better and correct, and we will focus on that this week.”


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