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Bengals and Falcons to hold combined practices in August

By John Breech |

Before coaching against each other in a preseason game, Marvin Lewis and Mike Smith will coach against each other in practice. (USATSI)

The Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals will be seeing a lot of each other in August. The two teams announced on Thursday that they will be practicing together on Aug. 5 and 6 at Atlanta's practice facilities in Flowery Branch, Ga. Both sessions will be open to the public.

On Aug. 8, the two teams will move from the practice field to the game field when the Falcons host the Bengals at the Georgia Dome in the preseason opener for both teams.

"I'm glad we were able to work this out with Mike [Smith] and the Falcons," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "We've done some joint practices with other teams in Cincinnati in the past and I think it helps our guys stay sharp and focused as we move through the preseason."

Lewis and Smith have a history that dates back to 1999 when both men were assistant coaches for the Baltimore Ravens. Both Lewis, the Ravens' defensive coordinator, and Smith, a defensive assistant, were apart of Baltimore's staff in 2000 when the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

This will be the first time the Bengals have participated in a combined practice with a team since 2007, when the Saints came to Cincinnati.

As for the Falcons, they have a little bit more experience with joint practices. Atlanta traveled to Jacksonville for a session in 2011 and hosted both the Jaguars and Patriots in 2010.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter @JohnBreech.

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