By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

RICHMOND (CBS) — The Patriots and Redskins have kicked off their week of joint practices in Richmond, Virginia, as they gear up for Thursday’s preseason opener.

What can we expect to see in these joint practices? Well the Pats camp has been very competitive in Foxboro, and now they have a chance to turn it up a bit. They are going against a team that hasn’t seen what they can do, and it will be interesting to see how these practices turn out.

I know the offense has been stymied in practice and they are itching to see if they are the problem, or if the defense is just that good.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski will not be on the field for the Patriots during these joint sessions. He has not yet participated in full team drills, so this isn’t a very big surprise. Gronkowski has been cleared to play, but the team is taking no chances with their top offensive weapon as he recovers from a torn ACL and MCL he suffered last season.

(Update: The Herald’s Jeff Howe reported that Gronk didn’t even make the trip.)

As for the new and improved defense, they are going to bring it wherever they are. This a chance to see if they can impose their will on someone else.

The weather here is actually cooler than expected, so game on.

Post-practice updates:

Tom Brady is 37 years young. He took the field today and by all accounts put on a practice show. His game was on. His throws were on the money and he was taking risks and capitalizing. Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall beat him for a couple of plays but other than that, 12 may have been flawless.

–The Pats benefited from seeing RG3. The Redskins quarterback is mobile and the Pats defense really had to pay attention to their keys. When the play broke down, the defense needed to be there for containment and most of the time, they were. This hopefully should help prepare them for some games in the future. Just a different look to practice on.

–Darrelle Revis vs. DeSean Jackson was the primetime matchup in the practice field. Both players have tons of respect for each other and both push each other in competition. No losers in this matchup. Revis and Jackson both got great work in.


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