Joint practices also scheduled with Saints

Bill Belichick is shaking things up for the Patriots in the 2010 preseason.

In addition to traveling to Atlanta for joint practices with the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 17 before the teams' preseason game, the Patriots will host joint practices with the New Orleans Saints the week before.

The Patriots host the Saints in both teams' preseason opener Aug. 12, and the teams will work together before that game.

Belichick and Saints coach Sean Payton struck up a friendship while coaching in the Pro Bowl following the 2006 season. This blog entry examines how the friendship started, which could be a factor in scheduling the joint practices.