Dimitroff ‘fired up’ to practice with Pats


The Patriots and Falcons are set to hold a pair of joint practices in advance of their nationally-televised preseason game. And Atlanta GM, and former Patriots college scouting director, Thomas Dimitroff couldn’t be more excited.

The teams will have what Dimitroff called “combined practices” in the morning and afternoon of August 17 — with the preseason game set for August 19 — at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch facility.

“I know it got out there as a ‘scrimmage’, but we’re working it as a combined practice,” Dimitroff told me a few minutes ago. “We came to an agreement on the idea yesterday, and that we’d have it prior to the preseason game, working in the two practices there that Tuesday. We’re looking forward to matching up with a talented team.”

Asked when the last time he’d taken part in such an arrangement, Dimitroff said, “It’s been quite some time,” and recalled Browns-Bills practices from his time as a Cleveland scout. The Falcons will also be holding joint practices with the Jaguars, coach Mike Smith’s old team, earlier in camp — “My former team and his former team,” Dimitroff said.

(UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: The Falcons have made it official, announcing the
Aug. 17 date with the Patriots, as well as a two-day meeting with the
Jags on Aug. 9 and 10 in Flowery Branch.)

“The benefit is having an opportunity to put the pads on against an opponent during those long drawn-out days of camp,” the GM continued. “It’s a fresh injection of competition and energy. We’re excited that coach Belichick and the Patriots have agreed to this. We fired up the same for this one and the one with Jacksonville.”

During our conversation, Dimitroff’s radio appearance on 92.9 FM in Atlanta this afternoon came up too.

Bill Belichick was TD’s star guest. For the old scout, bringing his ex-boss in was a no-brainer.

“(Doing the radio spot) came up the other day,” Dimitroff said. “I agreed to it, and I knew he was a rocker at heart, and since my playlist is all ’70s, I thought it was a good idea to give him the opportunity with the station down here.”

We’ll get you that audio as soon as we find it.

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