The Patriots visit old friend Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans tonight. After three days of joint practices, the two teams are ready to apply what they practiced on the field tonight.
Here are five things to look for tonight.
1. Quarterback playing time: With Tom Brady not playing, it will be interesting to see how the Patriots divide up the snaps between Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham. Stidham ideally plays three quarters.
2. Running back rotation: The Patriots featured rookie Nick Brossette last week . It will be interesting to see if we see more of Damien Harris this week? I highly doubt we will see Sony Michel or Rex Burkhead but Harris should play.
3. Saubert debut: The tight end position is in flux. Recently acquired tight end Eric Saubert will make his debut tonight. The 6-5 253 pound Saubert is athletic, has strong hands and can create separation after the catch. Tonight is a good night to get an extended look at him and what he brings to the table.
4. Who calls the D? Will Bill Belichick call the defense tonight or will Jerod Mayo call it once again this week. The Patriots were pretty vanilla last week. Expect them to ramp up the pressure and looks tonight regardless of who is calling it. Belichick will want to work on some of the concepts installed this pre season.
5. Big night for the back ups: Tonight is a big night for the back ups. For guys slotted 75 to 90, this night be their last chance to make an impression on the coaching staff.
Final thoughts: It will be interesting to see how many starters play tonight. The Patriots coaching staff has a lot of evaluating to do in this game especially when it comes to the back end of the roster. It is probably better to focus on the players who are competing for depth spots or the practice squad. Next week can be the pre-season dress rehearsal for the veterans.