Joint practice sessions are much more than a way of merely changing up the summer routine for the New England Patriots.
On the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, host Phil Perry notes that in every summer New England has held joint practice sessions since 2010, at least one player it practiced against wound up on the Patriots roster at some point in the future.
While many of the names are forgettable, some stars such as LeGarrette Blount, Aqib Talib, Akeem Hicks, Brandin Cooks and most recently Jonnu Smith have made their way to Foxboro after going up against New England in the dog days of summer.
"[The Patriots] get a chance to see what these players are like in between practice reps," Perry said. "What they're like with their coaches. What's their attitude when they're out there for practice and it's the middle of summer and they're in full pads and there's full contact and it sucks? All of that makes these joint practice sessions an incredibly valuable scouting opportunity."
With New England having concluded joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles and turning the page to Week 2 of the preseason Thursday, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia joined the show to discuss if there are any players on the Eagles' roster likely to continue the streak from this summer.
With New England's depth at cornerback in question, Zangaro highlights a pair of second-year players, Josiah Scott and Michael Jacquet, who could fill a need. The 6-foot-2 Jacquet could fill a role on special teams for the Patriots, Zangaro said, while also endorsing the 5-foot-9 Scott.
"He'll end up somewhere if he doesn't make this roster," Zangaro said of Scott. "I don't think he'd make it to the Eagles practice squad, I think there's enough buzz around him."
Tight end Jack Stoll was also mentioned as a prime candidate.
Perry closed the episode with mailbag questions, including hits on Stephon Gilmore, New England's quarterback competition and the sudden injury issues at tight end.
"I think they need to see Gilmore get on the field and I think Gilmore needs to see some money before he gets on the field, that's the stalemate," Perry said of the team's top cornerback. "I wouldn't be shocked if we saw Stephon Gilmore miss the entirety of preseason."