Lions to hold joint practices with Indianapolis Colts

Justin Rogers, The Detroit News

Allen Park — For the second consecutive year, the Detroit Lions will hold joint practices with another team during training camp.

This year, those practices will be conducted with the Indianapolis Colts, the team’s first preseason opponent. The two sides will share the Colts' practice field Aug. 10 and 11 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis. Those sessions will be closed to the public. And on Aug. 13, the Lions and Colts will kick off the preseason at Lucas Oil Field.

It's the first year the Colts haven't held training camp off site since 1984. They've held training camp the past seven seasons at Anderson College in Anderson, Indiana.

Multiple members of the Detroit’s coaching staff previously worked in Indianapolis, including Jim Caldwell, who spent 10 years (2002-11) with the organization. Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter got his professional start in Indianapolis, working as an offensive assistant from 2009-11.

Last year, the Lions traveled to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, for three practices with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Asked if he’d look for similar opportunities in the future, Caldwell said it would be about finding the right fit.

“Here’s the thing you have to understand, every year we look for an opportunity with someone, but it’s got to be the right person for me,” Caldwell said. “It has to be sort of a common philosophy, so we look for that. If we couldn’t find it where it matches up, obviously we’d do it our way, do it at home by ourselves. But anytime we can get work like this, you can’t beat it.”

Caldwell had worked with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin in the past, but not Colts coach Chuck Pagano.

Prior to taking the position with the Colts, Pagano spent 2008-11 with the Baltimore Ravens working under John Harbaugh. Caldwell was with the Ravens in 2012 and 2013. Pagano succeeded Caldwell as coach of the Colts in 2012.