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Patriots Blog: The Meaning Of The Joint Practice

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
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(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Levan Reid Levan Reid
Levan Reid is a veteran sports reporter who has joined the W...
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BOSTON (CBS) – After the Tom Brady scare on Wednesday, the immediate knee-jerk reaction was to end the joint practices the Patriots have participated in over the last few years.

But these sessions have a purpose.

First, veteran players don’t play a lot in the preseason and practicing against teammates doesn’t raise the competitive level.  These practices give the vets good quality reps in a competitive atmosphere.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

They also give all types of players different looks at different offenses and defenses.  It’s needed and totally useful.  Right now after two weeks of camp, the Pats have face 3 different looks; their own, the Eagles and the Buccaneers.

Finally, there is supposed to be zero pressure on the quarterback. These practices are designed for the ball to be thrown. It’s great practice for the quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs.

Read: Brady Returns To Practice — With A Brace

Young players also get a feeling of what the level of play is going to be when the light are turned on.

These practices are supposed to be competitive, not combative. Both Bill Belichick and Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano stressed to their players not to get close to the quarterback, and you can bet Nate Solder received an ear-full from Bill on Wednesday.

But that scare shouldn’t bring an end to the joint practices. More and more teams are doing it around the NFL, and that number will likely increase.

Is Mallett Ready?

The topic that came up when Brady went down was, is Ryan Mallett ready to take over?

I think the answer held by many was no.

Mallett has come along but he’s not there just yet.  His passes are still high and off the mark and his touch still needs some work.  He’s better than he was last year, but still needs work.

Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid

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