FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On Tuesday morning, the Patriots held their first of three joint practices with the New Orleans Saints on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. The following is a timeline of how the practice progressed (specific observations to come):
Approx. 8:45 a.m. – Both teams arrive on practice fields and begin team warmup drills. On one field, the Saints break into position groups for drills. On the other field, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski feeds a JUGS machine to Saints kick returners, while Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko punts to the Saints’ returners.
9:00 a.m. – Each team separates into offensive/defensive units for single-team drills.
9:12 a.m. – Teams begin running and stretching exercises. The first song on the playlist was Jon Bon Jovi’s “Have a Nice Day.” The performer himself was on the practice fields, chatting with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton. After the practice, Payton would tell media members the story of how he was attending a Bon Jovi concert the night he got the call from Saints general manager Mickey Loomis informing him he had been hired as head coach.
9:20 a.m. – Each team breaks into positional units for individual drills. Scouts from both teams are allowed on each field to take a closer look.
9:35 a.m. – Teams come together for first combined work. Wide receivers practice against then other team’s defensive backs. Running backs practice routes against linebackers. Offensive lineman work against defensive linemen.
9:45 a.m. – Patriots punt to the Saints on one field. On the other field, non-special teams players break into individual drills, separated by team.
9:50 a.m. – Teams combine again, this time for 7-on-7 work on one field. Linemen practice against one another on the other field.
10:02 a.m. – Patriots punt again to the Saints.
10:07 a.m. – Teams combine for first 11-on-11 session of camp. Saints begin on offense, later switch to defense.
10:30 a.m. – Teams practice 11-on-11 in the red zone against one another.
10:42 a.m. – Patriots field goal unit practices against Saints.
10:50 a.m. – Teams huddle by position to end practice. Inexperienced players participate in combined 11-on-11 “opportunity sessions” on each field.