Projecting Patriots’ training camp schedule: Joint practices away will limit Gillette practices

Everyone's favorite pastime during the summer now (since Fenway is so expensive) is to get down to Foxboro and watch Tom Brady and the boys go through the paces behind Gillette Stadium. And, hey, you never know how many more opportunities you're going to have to see Brady do this.

But unlike most other places, it's not easy to plan a trip down for the day because Bill Belichick doesn't release a full training camp schedule (even though he knows full well when he's practicing and what the team is going to be working on every minute of every day). They release the days a few at a time. It's actually a lot better than it used to be — the media often wouldn't know until 11 p.m. when/if the Patriots were practicing the next morning.

So to help you out, we looked back at the schedule the past two seasons and tried to project when they're going to practice.

One thing we know for certain: with joint practices on the road at Detroit and Nashville for the first two preseason games, you're going to have fewer dates to see the Patriots at Gillette. The Patriots may only have 10 fully open practices.

I pretty much copied last year's laidback Shangri-La schedule that, by the of the season, seemed to serve them well.

One x-factor: I'm predicting an off day on Aug. 3, which is otherwise known at The GOAT's birthday. It's pretty much a national holiday down there — they had live goats and a huge birthday cake one year — with people singing to Brady, so I'm sure the marketing people would love to have a practice that day. But Belichick gave the team back-to-back days off twice last year, and that's really one of the only opportunities to do it.

In any event, here is our projection for the camp schedule and final open practice, with 2017 and 2018 also illustrated: