After a 2020 offseason that included plenty of quarantining, constant testing, and numerous new protocols instituted to keep players safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, routines are getting back to a (somewhat) normal atmosphere in the 2021 NFL offseason. One such practice that is coming back after a one-year hiatus is joint practices between teams during training camp.
Per ESPN’s Mike Rothstein, newly minted Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith announced that his team will be conducting joint practices with the Miami Dolphins, something Dolphins head coach Brian Flores alluded could be a possibility a few days back. The joint practices will presumably take place ahead of the teams’ matchup in Week 2 of the NFL preseason.
Joint practices are often touted by coaches as a great way to get players exposure to other teams ahead of the regular season. The sessions allow players to get a taste of what it will be like to go against athletes other than their own teammates. Since players spend the entirety of the summer months training against guys on their own team, this type of atmosphere is helpful in gearing them up for the NFL season. The fact that coaches can connect with each other and share ideas and practice habits doesn’t hurt either.
The Falcons take on the Dolphins on August 21st and 7:00pm EST. The Dolphins will host the matchup at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida, meaning the joint practice is likely to take place at Miami’s brand new practice facility in Miami Gardens. Vice Chairman and CEO of the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Tom Garkinkel has helped spearhead the construction of the $135 million facility. The team will finally waive goodbye to its training camp home in Davie at Nova Southeastern University where it has hosted team practices since 1993.