FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ― Bill Belichick isn't one to mince his words.

So Wednesday, when he waxed poetic about the joint practices between the Saints and his Patriots, everyone's ears perked up.

'I thought yesterday's practice was probably one of the most productive practices I think I've been a part of in my career,' Belichick said. '(It was) good work (and) certainly a good tempo. We saw a lot of things from the Saints that we haven't seen working against ourselves. They're obviously very good.'

The Patriots haven't had combined practices since 2001 when they went with the New York Giants. That also was the first year of three Super Bowl wins under the Belichick Era.

The Saints, meanwhile, have done this before. Under Head Coach Sean Payton, the Saints have practiced with the Bengals (2006, 2007) and the Texans (2008, 2009).

But for Belichick, going against the Saints, the defending Super Bowl champion, opened up his eyes a little bit.

'They do a lot of things well, so there were a lot of things that we were able to evaluate and also adjust to,' Belichick said.

He added, 'Sean and Gregg (Williams) and his whole staff do a terrific job with their team. It was just really good work for us all the way around and I think our players responded well to it.'

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