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Colts to hold joint practices with Bears; will break training camp early

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Colts head coach Chuck Pagano announced today that the team will hold joint practices with the Chicago Bears on August 19-20.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week Colts head coach Chuck Pagano mentioned that the team had something in the works regarding a joint practice with another team during training camp, and today at his press conference he confirmed it.  The Colts will hold joint practices with the Chicago Bears before their preseason game on Saturday, August 22.

The practices will take place leading up to the game and will be held at the Colts' West 56th Street complex on Wednesday, August 19 and Thursday, August 20.  Because of that, the Colts will break training camp a week early, as August 15 will be their last day at Anderson University, meaning that they will spend just two weeks at Anderson for camp this year (they report on August 1).  The team will travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles in the first preseason game on August 16 and then return to their home complex in Indy for the following week of practice, where they will work with the Bears.  The practices will not be open to the public.

According to Colts.com's Kevin Bowen, this will be the first time since 2000 that the Colts will have a joint practice with another team.  Chuck Pagano had mentioned earlier this week about how he is a fan of these joint practices.  "You get tired of beating on one another during training camp," Pagano said, "so to have an opportunity, if you can find somebody that'll work with you and want to do some work against you, it's a great change of pace.  Plus you get to see from a schematic standpoint maybe a different offense, a different defense from alignment standpoint.  If you're going against an odd front the entire time or whatever, it gives you an opportunity to maybe go against a different look and some different players.  I'm definitely a proponent of it."

The Colts and the Bears will play at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m., and they were an obvious choice to practice with the Colts given the proximity of Indianapolis and Chicago.  The two teams do not play in the regular season in 2015 and the only time they would meet is in the Super Bowl, so it wouldn't be giving either a competitive advantage either.  The Colts will get to see the Bears' new system, with head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Adam Gase, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and it should be a nice break from the normal routine of training camp.