Mike Reiss of ESPN reported on Tuesday that like the team’s plans to practice with the Atlanta Falcons before their preseason game, they’ll now be doing the same thing with the New Orleans Saints.

According to Reiss the two teams will workout together before New England hosts the Saints in both teams’ preseason opener – which is set for Aug. 12th at Gillette Stadium.

It’s an interesting change considering the last time they held practices with other teams during the preseason was against the Giants in 2001 – yet now they’re doing it twice this year.  Considering the new direction the team is taking defensively (with Bill Belichick taking more of an active role this season on the defensive side of the ball) it’s good to see them changing things up.   Hopefully this will give some of the younger guys a chance to be tested against someone other than their teammates, and allow some of the new guys more work in New England’s system. 

We’ll have to wait and see how it will all pay off, and whether or not they’ll be farther along by the time the season starts.  The team kicks off the 2010 campaign on September 12th at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.