The Philadelphia Eagles will participate in a set of joint practices with the New England Patriots. The joint practices have become a great tool for the coaches, who are looking forward to comparing their team with another squad on the practice field.

Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is one of those coaches who looks at these practices as a positive.

“This is a training session ‑‑ this is very valuable.  We went back and looked at all the training we did last year against the Patriots and we got a lot out of it,"  Shurmur said.  "At this time in training camp to be able to work our scheme, and we're really not game planning, but work our scheme against a different opponent, it's very valuable for us.  And so we're going to grade it like we would, we'll evaluate it like we would if we were playing against ourselves."

The schedule this week for the Eagles and Patriots included a practice yesterday, another one today, an off day tomorrow and then the two teams will play their second preseason game on Friday night (Listen on 97.3 ESPN, coverage starts at 6:30).

"It’s all valuable," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said yesterday.  "Chip and I talked about what we wanted to do and I think we’re both comfortable with that and I think it will be valuable for us."

This is the second year in a row the two teams have held a joint practice leading into their preseason match-up.  Last year the two teams faced off in the opening week of the exhibition schedule, this week it will be a week two battle.  Last year Belichick said he thought that Chip Kelly would have the Eagles competitive situation soon - and said Nick Foles was a big reason for that.

"I think that the play that they got at quarterback last year was real good," remarked Belichick.  "I’m not sure that anybody totally saw that coming but that was a big part of it. They had a lot of explosive plays. They’re very dynamic on offense and created more explosive plays than anybody in the league. They do a good job."

The practices lead up to the two teams squaring off in a preseason tilt at Gillette Stadium on Friday night.