Bucs-Patriots practices underway at One Buc Place
The Bucs and Patriots are on the field holding a joint practice this morning, and New England coach Bill Belichick thinks there could be a big payoff.
“This is really good for us because we just played Monday night and went through the film yesterday,” Belichick said before practice this morning. “We don’t have much of a scouting report on Tampa. We haven’t watched any film on Tampa. We just know some of the basics and we’re going to have to figure it out as we go. But that’s good, because that’s a realistic situation in games.”
The arrangement came about because the Patriots play the Bucs in Tampa on Friday night and the two coaches – Belichick and the Bucs’ Greg Schiano – are longtime friends.
Belichick, in fact, who was among those who gave a recommendation to the Bucs before they hired Schiano in January.
“I’ve known Coach for a long time and gotten to know him better since he was at Rutgers,” Belichick said. “We would go down and scout their players and work them out. We both have a defensive background, so we both have a lot in common there. He’s coached some of our players going back to Vince (Wilfork) at Miami. My son went to Rutgers and I spent more time there being around Coach. He’s come to our practices and spoken to our team and observed us on the field and vice versa. We’ve had a good relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and I think this is a great opportunity for him.”
So, too, is this chance to practice against a different team. At a time of year when teams grow tired of practicing against each other, players will be more engaged and stimulated during these practices – our of necessity.
“You run plays against your own team, and that’s great,” Belichick said. “But at the same time, we’re going to see different looks besides the ones that we have. In all honesty, there are certain plays that we can recognize (against our team). Our defense can recognize certain defenses and formations.
“. . . We kind of know who are go-to guys are. You play against a different team and you don’t recognize those things as quickly and you have to learn who the go-to guys are on the other team. So, it changes the whole dynamic, the matchups and the recognition, communication. It just puts more stress on those areas.”