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As you watch the Patriots face the Lions in the third preseason game, remember this: The exhibition games offer only a small window into the overall progress of each player and unit.
We’re seeing only a snapshot. Bill Belichick, who has evaluated three weeks of practice and charts the progress of players on the field and in the meeting room, sees the whole picture.
“There are a lot of things that happen in preseason games that could be an aberration, one way or another,” Belichick said. “We’ve had 20-some practices, and two games, so I think that there’s a lot to be seen in those practices out there. I mean, if there wasn’t, I don’t know why we’re doing them.”
In training camp, practice is almost as important as the games — sometimes even more so.