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Lions switch philosophy, will hold joint practices with Steelers

For the first time in more than a decade, the Detroit Lions will practice with another team during training camp.

The Lions will go to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Aug. 9 and 10 for two days of practices with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Saint Vincent College leading into the preseason opener for both teams at Heinz Field on Aug. 12.

The last time the Lions had joint practices came in 2000, when the team worked out with the Carolina Panthers at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Lions have not held joint practices in Michigan since 1998, when Carolina came to Saginaw Valley State University.

The big matchup to watch over those two days will be on the outside, where Antonio Brown -- one of the top receivers in the league -- will likely end up matching up with Lions cornerback Darius Slay, who is considered one of the top young corners in the NFL.

It’ll be a good litmus test for Slay, who is expected to have an even more critical role in Detroit’s defense this season.

That the Lions are having joint practices appears to be yet another change of the Bob Quinn era with the Lions. Quinn’s former boss, Bill Belichick, appeared to be in favor of using joint practices to give his team early tests outside of preseason games. Those games mostly feature backups for a large majority of the time, where joint practices will often involve starters more frequently.