Allen Park — For the third straight year, the Detroit Lions will hold joint practices during training camp, taking part in separate sessions with the team's first two preseason opponents, the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants.
Detroit will practice with Oakland on Tuesday, Aug. 7 and Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Raiders’ training camp home in Napa, Calif. The two teams will square off in their preseason opener on Friday, Aug. 10 at 10:30 p.m. in Oakland.
In the second week of the preseason, the Lions will host the Giants from Aug. 14-16 for practices at the Lions' practice facility in Allen Park, before the teams' Aug. 17 tilt at Ford Field.
Last year, the Lions held two practices with the Colts in Indianapolis. In 2016, the team traveled to Latrobe, Penn.. for a pair of practices with the Steelers.
Lions coach Matt Patricia spoke about the value of joint practices at the league meetings in March.
"I think any of those situations that are advantageous to help you evaluate your team, especially in training camp or be able to maybe change the scenery of training camp is always a good idea, if it works out," he said. "It’s always about improving, so those are tough situations. It’s not about just working with somebody that you’re just going to scrimmage for three days and it’s kind of there’s no rules behind it. I think it’s very specific with what you’re trying to accomplish, so you want to make sure that you’re working with guys that you trust in those situations, people that have the same idea what those practices are going to be about. Everything’s highly competitive, but you’re really trying to get good evaluations of your players through those types of situations."
Both the Raiders and Giants also have new coaches this offseason. Jon Gruden is returning for a second stint with the Raiders after a decade in the broadcast booth. For the Giants, former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is in his first season at the helm.
Shurmur, a Michigan native and former Michigan State standout, attended high school at Dearborn Divine Child, a 15-minute drive from the Lions' practice facility.