One of the best and most comprehensive features we do every year is our Footballguys Training Camp Updates. Every week in August, our Bob Henry and his team of Footballguys Staffers cover every player that matters from every NFL team. It's incredible and frankly, probably worth the price of the Footballguys Insider PRO subscription just by itself. Each edition is almost 40 pages long.
While I encourage you to read every word of every week, I also understand Life Happens. And one of the more valuable services Footballguys can add is saving you time. For this article, I had the idea of taking the comprehensive Training Camp Update and distilling it down into 80 proof shots of the "Need To Know" material. Some teams will have more news than others. Because that's how it works in real life. Much of it will be from the Camp Updates, some of it will be my takes but all of it will hopefully be useful to you. And make sure to jump on our Insider PRO subscription to continue seeing this type of stuff all year long. And if this feature is helpful to you, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Let's get to it.
Both running back s Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington scored rushing touchdowns in the Hall of Fame Game. But of course, this team is all about David Johnson.
Wide receiver John Brown has been dealing with a quadriceps issue. He was a limited participant in Tuesday's practice and the team is hoping to get him back at full strength by the middle to end of this week. Brown has an opportunity to make the next step forward this year but needs a healthy, productive preseason to quell injury fears.
Tight end Ifeanyi Momah used his massive (6'7”, 255 lbs.) frame to secure all three of his targets in the Hall of Fame game and turned them into 48 receiving yards. Momah has been a preseason wonder the last few years, so let's not jump yet.
Kicker Phil Dawson could be a sneaky value. After languishing in San Francisco last year, Dawson has a big kicking opportunity in Arizona. Head coach Bruce Arians said, “Phil is money from 60 yards in, and he has always been. He's never lost any distance. If we get to the 40, it's probably going to be a field goal.” Dawson isn't going to be drafted as a Top 10 kicker but has a shot to finish the season ranked that high.
Quarterback Matt Ryan seems to have made a smooth transition to new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's scheme.
Running back Devonta Freeman signed an extension making him the NFL's highest paid running back. He'd been working hard in camp and the contract talks did not seem to affect his focus. Tevin Coleman looks to remain a vital part of the offense and the team's been moving him around in formations.
Wide receiver Julio Jones has been worked slowly back into action. All signs seem positive. Mohamed Sanu has been connecting well with Matt Ryan. Especially on big plays. Sanu's been on the receiving end of multiple touchdowns during the first week of camp, including a Hail Mary at the end of a session. CBS affiliate reporter Knox Bardeen reports that Sarkisian has asked Sanu to work on his deep game and Sanu's efforts are paying off.
Tight end Austin Hooper is one to keep an eye on. Hooper and Matt Ryan spent extra time together during the offseason and Ryan came away impressed. Ryan said, “He played at a high level for us last year as a rookie, and I think having this offseason to be able to spend time in the facility, learn, catch his breath a little bit from his first year, too, and learn from that experience. I think he's going to do great things for us.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco received good news when a second opinion confirmed his back injury was minor and a preseason return was possible. Flacco's injury allowed Ryan Mallett to work with the first team in camp. He struggled in his first practice but has been impressive since. Including a particularly good session on Thursday.
With running back Kenneth Dixon out this year, Terrance West's early-down role is secure, and Danny Woodhead will be the primary option on 3rd down and passing situations.
ESPN.com Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley expects newly signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to play in the slot, which would allow for the larger Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace to remain on the perimeter.
The Raven tight ends have been decimated with injury. Nick Boyle could have a significant role when the season starts. Benjamin Watson will see work but he's 37 years old and coming off a serious injury.
The Bills are implementing a new offensive system under coordinator Rick Dennison this year, so expect some rough patches in the preseason. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor struggled at the start of camp but has improved recently.
Running back Mike Gillislee and his eight touchdowns in 2016 are gone. Second-year Jonathan Williams has been sharing the second-team reps with fullback Mike Tolbert. Tolbert and Williams will probably form a committee if LeSean McCoy gets hurt. Williams would likely handle most of the early down work, while Tolbert can help in short yardage and passing situations.
The team added veteran Anquan Boldin with a one-year deal. Injury plagued Sammy Watkins appears to be so far so good and is planning to play a quarter in Thursday's game.
So far in camp, it looks like the tight end position will be more of a focal point under Rick Dennison's watch. That's good news for Charles Clay if he can keep his chronic knee problems under control.
Quarterback Cam Newton came into camp slimmer (at 246 pounds versus the 260 pounds he played at last season) and seemed ready to go. But he has been limited in camp so far. Newton had shoulder surgery in the spring to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and is still not back to form. The team doesn't seem overly worried as they don't rush him back. Stay tuned.
With all the (justified) hype surrounding rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, it is easy to forget how talented Jonathan Stewart is and how important he remains to the offense. Head coach Ron Rivera said of Stewart, “He's a big part of what we want to do, and he's going to be a really big part of the tandem we want to have with those back s.”
Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin answered the fat joke critics and checked into camp at 243 pounds and looks fast, according to James Bradberry. While Benjamin has not been consistently impressive so far in camp, Rivera says he is satisfied with where the young starter is right now. Things are looking up for Devin Funchess. He is making tough catches in tight coverage, scoring touchdowns, and displaying the speed and speed combination that enamored the Panthers front office in the first place.
Tight end Greg Olsen is Greg Olsen. He's having a strong camp.
Quarterback Mike Glennon has looked sharp early in camp and has quickly developed chemistry with his top receivers. Rookie Mitchell Trubisky has shown athleticism and arm strength but is still getting used to taking snaps under center.
Despite his 2016 success, running back Jordan Howard worked to improve his acceleration this offseason and came into camp ready to maintain a workhorse role.
Cameron Meredith seems the most likely candidate to fill the void left by Alshon Jeffery. Meredith has shown early chemistry with Mike Glennon. Kevin White is still looking to avoid the bust label after missing most of his first two years in the league. The leg injuries may have robbed him of his explosiveness, but camp feedback has been positive. Kendall Wright was an early favorite for the slot receiver job, but Victor Cruz is pushing hard for the role.
The Bears have three potential tight end starters. Zach Miller is the incumbent and was on pace for a huge year last season before suffering a foot injury after ten games. Dion Sims was signed to a three-year contract to serve as the team's primary blocking tight end in two tight end formations, but he can also contribute as a receiver. The most intriguing player is rookie Adam Shaheen. Stay tuned.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has been sharp throughout the first two weeks of camp. He was able to move the first-team offense effortlessly in the team's first full scrimmage.
Rookie second-rounder Joe Mixon has been the talk of camp. He's shown elite speed and vision; breaking off long runs with regularity. Mixon has also excelled as a receiver. Head coach Marvin Lewis was much more measured (as coaches should be) and said the team has been “very pleased” with Mixon so far. Giovani Bernard has made a fast recovery from last year's torn ACL. Bernard has been a full participant in camp, showing burst and elite cutting ability. Jeremy Hill is still very much in the mix. We think it'll be Mixon to emerge. But expect Marvin Lewis to make the rookie earn it.
Wide receiver A.J. Green looks better than ever. He is healthy after missing the final six games of the 2016 season. Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd have been the starters alongside Green in three-receiver sets.
Tight end Tyler Eifert has been a full participant in camp and has looked great. He's been a mismatch against both linebacker and safeties.
So far, neither Brock Osweiler nor Cody Kessler have separated themselves in the quarterback competition. While his quarterback coach David Lee expressed hesitancy at DeShone Kizer's readiness to play earlier in the offseason, the rookie seems to be getting up to speed quickly. Kizer is by far the most exciting of the bunch.
While running back Isaiah Crowell is set as the workhorse, the team hopes Duke Johnson can fill an expanded, complementary role as both a receiver and runner.
Hampered earlier in the offseason by a nagging hamstring injury, wide receiver Corey Coleman has been a camp standout. Hue Jackson said of Coleman, “He looks explosive. He looks like the old Corey.”
The Browns seem content to give rookie tight end David Njoku a significant role from the outset. Njoku been physically dominant at times, especially in red zone work, but has also struggled with drops and fumbles on other occasions.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, coming off a shocking rookie season, has been excellent through the first two weeks of camp. It took more than a week of practices before Prescott threw his first interception
Running back Ezekiel Elliott's possible suspension remains a question mark. Beat writers have called Alfred Morris' role into question, but the first preseason game suggested otherwise. Morris ran for 42 yards on seven carries (6 yards per attempt) and outplayed Darren McFadden.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant is in phenomenal shape; he looks like the 2014 star who led the NFL with 16 touchdowns. Terrance Williams has had a quiet camp but remains a lock to start on the other side.
Tight end Jason Witten is healthy and ready for another season on his march to the Hall of Fame. The more interesting story is the play of Rico Gathers. The converted basketball player is starting to understand the nuances of the position, and was dominant against the Cardinals. Stay tuned.
Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch are battling for the quarterback spot. Early whispers point to Siemian having the leg up. There were rumors circulating Tuesday the Broncos were interested in trading for Bengals back up quarterback A.J. McCarron. Denver's John Elway quickly dismissed the reports as "fake news".
Running back C.J. Anderson is penciled in at the top of the depth chart, and he appears fully recovered from the meniscus tear that brought an abrupt end to his 2016 season. Jamaal Charles looks ‘dynamic' in early practices. He could be in the mix for as many as ten touches per game in the regular season.
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are locked in. But whoever earns the WR3 spot could see significant work too. Stay tuned.
Tight end A.J. Derby could become more of a playmaker this season. “With our tight end group, he's the guy that can win one-on-ones as far as matchups,” coach Vance Joseph said. “When you're game-planning and you want to get a guy on a certain linebacker, he would be that guy for us.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford is having a fine camp, and Kyle Meinke reported that Stafford looked sharp during the Lions annual mock game at Ford Field.
Lions running back coach David Walker has called Ameer Abdullah the feature back. "Ameer's our guy," Walker said. "Theo [Riddick] has his role, and then the other guys, they got to kind of fit where they fit and that's how we'll go."
Wide receivers Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are well established. Tate is going to catch a lot of passes and make defenders miss, and Jones will stretch the field and work the boundary.
Tight end Eric Ebron hurt his hamstring in the first practice of camp and has been out since. It doesn't appear to be a major issue, but for a guy like Ebron who's battled staying healthy, it's something to watch.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still really good.
Running back Ty Montgomery should lead the team in touches, but he likely won't be a workhorse. Expect 10-12 rushes a game for Montgomery, which leaves plenty of opportunity for the rookies Jamaal Williams (fourth round) and Aaron Jones (fifth). Williams looks “smooth and comfortable” in pass protection drills and seems to have an advantage over Jones.
Wide receivers Davante Adams and Randall Cobb will battle for catches opposite of Jordy Nelson.
Tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks, are almost certain to enter the season as No. 1 and 2, respectively. Bennett looks like the rock star here – he's the type of big, athletic seam-stretcher that will remind fans of Jermichael Finley.
Quarterback Tom Savage has taken all of the first-team reps so far and looks to have a solid grasp of the starting job heading into the season. By all accounts, he's had a strong camp. Coach Bill O'Brien says Deshaun Watson is “way ahead of any rookie quarterback ” he's ever been around.
Running back Lamar Miller's workload could be lightened this season thanks to improved depth at the position. Miller is excited at the prospect, “I think it will help me out a lot, just keep me fresh throughout the whole season.” He has been impressed with rookie D'Onta Foreman, who has quickly established himself as the RB2.
Wide receivers Braxton Miller and Jaelen Strong are the prime beneficiaries of Will Fuller's absence and are competing to start alongside DeAndre Hopkins.
Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz could be in for an even bigger role with the absence of Will Fuller. Fiedorowicz has looked good early, with an improved ability to gain separation and get open.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero on Wednesday that although there is no timeline for quarterback Andrew Luck's return, all indications point to the quarterback not starting the season on PUP. The lack of a timeline has many people worried though.
34-year old running back Frank Gore remains atop the running back depth chart. Not surprisingly, the team is scaling back his reps in camp. Robert Turbin is a guy to keep an eye on. He clearly wants to be a starter and can be a nice value in drafts. Also, watch rookie Marlon Mack. “He jumps off the tape,” Chuck Pagano told reporters speaking of Mack. “He's popping out here. He's a talented guy... If he can master all three phases of being a good running back, he's going to be a special player I think.”
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief sprained his AC joint during Thursday's practice. The injury doesn't appear serious, as Moncrief didn't come off the field when it happened, but it's certainly worth monitoring for a player who missed a large chunk of last season with a broken shoulder blade.
Tight end Jack Doyle re-signed (3-year, $18.9 million) as the team's starting tight end.
Quarterback Blake Bortles has been up and down. He struggled early but leveled out later in the week.
Running back Leonard Fournette is living up to lofty expectations. Fournette looks like an every down running back and carries himself like a veteran.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson – trying to rebound from a disappointing season – is having a good camp. Robinson consistently got open in all types of routes.
The Jaguars' tight end competition is wide open. Free agent Mychal Rivera, longtime stalwart Marcedes Lewis, and young Ben Koyack all have claims on the job. Rivera's missed time with injury.
Head coach Andy Reid has made it clear quarterback Alex Smith is his Week 1 starter, and he's optimistic that the veteran will get the job done. Patrick Mahomes appears to be the future. But not right now.
Running back Spencer Ware sits atop the depth chart now but is being pushed by rookie Kareem Hunt.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is expected to take a big leap this season. The dynamic playmaker is officially the #1 receiver following Jeremy Maclin's release. Hill and Smith have undeniable on-field chemistry; they have picked right up where they left off. The tandem has connected on some head-turning long touchdowns.
Tight end Travis Kelce has been resting with minor knee swelling, so the club has been able to focus on other tight ends. The team is downplaying the severity of Kelce's knee pain; it's being characterized as a flare up from his rookie surgery.
In a time of transition, quarterback Philip Rivers remains constant. Steady and solid.
Running back Melvin Gordon took a huge leap forward in his second season, and optimism is high that his ascent will continue. For fantasy purposes, he's attractive as he looks to carry much of the running back work.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen looks good. “He looks like himself," Philip Rivers said. "I really think he looks just as good as before he got hurt."
Tight end Hunter Henry impressed as a rookie, and he's expected to take an even bigger leap in 2017. “For a young player, he's got a tremendous amount of poise. He has rare awareness and savvy for someone his age,” tight ends coach John McNulty said. “He can catch the ball that gets in on him fast, and he makes the contested catches with big, strong hands.” The ageless Antonio Gates is sticking around for at least another season and will contribute.
As long as Les Snead is the general manager of the Rams, many feel Jared Goff is going to get the shot to be a 16-game starter. But keep an eye on back up quarterback Sean Mannion.
Running back Todd Gurley will continue to shoulder the load as the other back s on the roster have a combined 22 carries under their belt. With Lance Dunbar out with a knee injury, Malcolm Brown is the #2. But this looks like Gurley's team.
Wide receivers Tavon Austin and Robert Woods look to be the top receivers in Sean McVay's offense. Austin has missed practice with a hamstring issue, but his contract makes it hard to bench him. Reports are Woods, a 2017 free agent signing from Buffalo, and Cooper Kupp, a third-round rookie out of the Eastern Washington FCS program, were the receivers who “stood out” in early practices.
Second-year tight end Tyler Higbee seems to be the primary guy but Gerald Everett has been drawing praise. Both will likely contribute.
Quarterback Jay Cutler is the new man in town. Cutler had arguably the best season of his career in 2015 with Adam Gase as his offensive coordinator. If nothing else, Random Shots is more fun with Cutler in the league. On a serious side, he's arguably a slight upgrade in explosiveness from Tannehill.
Running back Jay Ajayi suffered a concussion during a two-minute drill. He missed practice and returned this week for limited work. “Especially with the concussions, they go through the protocol,” Coach Gase said, “and whatever the timetable is, it is what it is.” Gase didn't sound too concerned about the concussion impacting Ajayi's preparation for the season.
The Dolphins are very confident about their top three wide receivers of Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. Some believe this trio has the potential to be one of the top units in the league.
Tight end Julius Thomas has had a quiet start, and the Dolphins are still waiting to see glimpses of the guy who starred under Gase in Denver.
Quarterback Sam Bradford has clearly benefitted from a normal summer with the offense compared to the rush he was under last season. Bradford's chemistry with his receiving corp was on full display in Saturday's practice with two long touchdown bombs.
Running back Rookie Dalvin Cook is seeing significant reps with the first team offense as Latavius Murray works his way off the PUP list following offseason ankle surgery. It's early but it looks like Cook has the chance not let Murray into the competition.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs looks sharp so far in camp and has chemistry with Sam Bradford. Michael Floyd is suspended for the first four games of the season but has looked more like the breakout Cardinals player than the guy who struggled to stay on a team.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph seems as solid as ever.
Quarterback Tom Brady turned 40 and appeared to be in phenomenal shape.
Running back James White should continue to pace the back field in receiving opportunities. On the rushing front, while running back Rex Burkhead has drawn raves, Mike Gillislee is the presumptive favorite to absorb most of LeGarrette Blount's interior work. Gillislee (slightly) boasts the strongest resume after caddying for LeSean McCoy in Buffalo, and his short-yardage track record is impressive. But Gillislee's been out the past week with a hamstring. Dion Lewis is in the mix but this back field is a jumble.
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been turning heads. Not just with his skillset but how well he's integrating into the offense. “B-Cooks, Cookie – he's a great energy around us,” fellow Patriots receiver Julian Edelman said of his new teammate. “He works hard, he's disciplined, he's fast and he does a lot of things, makes great catches, but more importantly, he's just a great teammate. It's exciting to have him in our room. It's exciting to have him on our team because he's going to make us better, so it's been great.”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski is practicing without limits, a great sign his offseason back surgery isn't causing any real issues.
Quarterback Drew Brees is still really good. There's been some talk about a new contract but it seems to be a non-issue.
While tough for fantasy analysis, the Saints are stacked at RB. Adrian Peterson is an all-time great and has been the focal point for beat writers. Mark Ingram remains at the top of the depth chart, is the most impressive back in camp. Mike Triplett of ESPN notes, "Mark Ingram wants to prove he's the NFL's most complete back ." Ingram has impressed in all phases of the game, particularly as a receiver. Even though Ingram hasn't been used as a receiver much in his career, it's a skill he's always owned. “I've always caught the ball my entire life,” said Ingram. Rookie Alvin Kamara has garnered almost as much media attention as Peterson, and he also continues to show well.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas is expected to be the star of the Saints' passing attack, and he's looking the part. Ted Ginn is the newcomer, and Drew Brees is thrilled with the veteran addition, “I could not be more impressed with him, he can fly.”
Tight end Coby Fleener is hoping to be more productive this season than last, as he gets comfortable in the offense. But it's been a quiet start to camp for the tight ends.
Quarterback Eli Manning is the longest tenured Giant, and he's learned to take camp in stride. The 14-year veteran has two goals this preseason: 1) stay healthy and 2) build chemistry with the new receivers, especially Brandon Marshall.
Running back Paul Perkins has the chance to take command of the Giants rushing attack. He's the starter and has received the lion's share of first team reps, but it's still unclear whether being the #1 means 40% of the touches or 70%. Shane Vereen will be the main back in 3rd downs and other obvious passing situations but is no threat to carry the ball.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wants to be the league's highest paid player. That's unlikely, but he will probably be the NFL's highest paid receiver when the Giants work out a contract extension with the All Pro. Sterling Shepard feared the worst last week when he came down wrong on his ankle but looks to be okay. Twelve-year veteran Brandon Marshall is reinvigorated after last year's struggles with the Jets.
Rookie first round tight end Evan Engram is getting extra attention from his fellow Mississippi alum, Eli Manning. “You don't want to baby him too much; you want to see what he can gather. You want to give him a little heads up of what might be coming, though,” said Manning.
The team signed kicker Mike Nugent to compete with rookie Aldrick Rosas. The move doesn't sound like an indictment of Rosas after he was the only kicker on the roster through the offseason.
Quarterback Josh McCown has worked mostly with the starters but all the quarterback s have fared poorly in camp.
Running back Matt Forte has missed time with a hamstring injury. Nagging bumps and bruises were a problem last season, and at age 31, won't become less frequent. He will share carries with Bilal Powell, but there's a good chance the totals will lean in Powell's favor. Although we see both back s getting nearly equal work. This could well be a "play both and ride the hot hand" situation. Although "hot hand" may be a relative term here.
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa suffered a neck injury in practice and was placed on injured reserve; he's done for the year. That leaves an already thin receiving corps essentially barren. Robby Anderson steps into the #1 role but is misplaced as the top target.
The Jets have been looking for a good tight end option for years and drafted Jordan Leggett this year to help fill that role.But after a rough minicamp, Leggett continues to struggle. The team needs him to get it together, as Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is suspended the first two games of the season. Reports are though Sefarian-Jenkins has "dominated" at camp.
Kickericker Ross Martin has pulled ahead of Chandler Catanzaro. This competition should go on for a while though.
Quarterback Derek Carr is fully recovered from the season-ending leg injury he suffered in Week 16 last season. He's talking about trying to become more of a rushing threat in his fourth season.
Running back Marshawn Lynch hasn't participated in all of the full contact drills as he eases his way back into playing shape after a year off. But he has impressed his teammates and showed a nice burst on a long reception. "He's going to run through some people's faces," Carr said of Lynch. "I think that's what he's going to do. He's going to protect the quarterback ... he's good at that. Very physical. That part of the game is fun to him.”
Wide receiver Amari Cooper missed the last five practices due to an injury to his left leg. When he has been on the field, he's been dominant. His strong camp has beat writers predicting a “breakout year.” Cooper put on muscle in the offseason and is now up to 217 pounds after playing at 210 last season. But pay attention to the injury.
Tight end Jared Cook and Clive Walford have impressed early in camp. Cook has been getting a lot of individual attention from Derek Carr as he tries to get up to speed in the new offense.
Quarterback Carson Wentz has been more good than bad through two weeks of camp, but consistency remains elusive.
Running back Wendell Smallwood is the story of training camp. After the Eagles drafted Donnell Pumphrey and signed LeGarrette Blount, most observers discounted Smallwood as a threat for significant touches. Yet, Smallwood has easily been the most impressive running back in camp. A hamstring injury has troubled Smallwood so keep an eye on that. Time will tell if he can keep this up. LeGarrette Blount hasn't done much but was listed as the starter on the first depth chart. Darren Sproles is set to reprise his usual role.
Wide receiver While it's too early to sound the alarm, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has missed eight practices after suffering a minor shoulder injury on July 29th. Jeffery insists he “feels great, ” but fantasy owners won't have any comfort for at least another week since Jeffery is likely to sit out against the Packers in the preseason opener. Nelson Agholor needed a strong camp to keep his roster spot, and he's answered the challenge during the first two weeks. Outside of one particularly bad practice, Agholor has been aggressive and sure-handed.
Tight end Zach Ertz is the best skill player on the roster. As long as Ertz is healthy, he'll be the team's top pass catcher and Wentz' favorite target.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is healthy, and the only things standing between him and a big year are his health and those pesky home/road splits.
Running back LeVeon Bell's contract situation is a potential distraction, as he continues to hold out nearly two weeks into training camp. Bell isn't obligated to be in camp since he hasn't signed his franchise tender. Adam Schefter expects Bell to arrive mid-to-late August.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown is making plays as usual, despite double teams. Martavis Bryant has been informed by the NFL that he is now permitted to participate in all preseason activities, including practices and games. That's big. Justin Hunter is turning heads every day.
It's unlikely tight end Jesse James will ever be a 60+ reception player. But after not making any moves to counter the release of Ladarius Green, the team believes in James.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer has been airing it out frequently in camp, and the early returns are promising. “I think Kyle (Shanahan) has made it pretty apparent that he wants to get big plays. So, he's going to call them, and it's our job to hit them,” Hoyer said.
Running back Carlos Hyde remains atop the depth chart, in spite of noise to the contrary. The team's selection of Joe Williams in the fourth-round motivated Hyde this offseason. Hyde has looked fantastic so far and is winning over his new general manager and head coach.
Free agents Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin step into the WR1 and WR2 roles, respectively. Shanahan is thrilled to have Garcon on board, and loves his intangibles.
Things are wide open in the tight end competition. To place that in perspective, there are rumblings that last year's starter, Vance McDonald, is not guaranteed a roster spot. Rookie George Kittle joins veterans Garrett Celek, Blake Bell, and Logan Paulsen in vying for roles.
Quarterback Russell Wilson looks healthy, and according to 710 ESPN in Seattle, he looks better than ever.
Kickereep an eye on the RBs. Eddie Lacy made weight goal (250 pounds). Lacy has split first team reps with Thomas Rawls early on, but Carroll speaks of Lacy like he's a workhorse-in-waiting. However other reports are that Rawls is taking the lead. Stay tuned. C.J. Prosise is locked in as the team's third down back.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin remains the top option. Tyler Lockett began camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list but returned to practice this week and looked fully healthy.
Tight end Jimmy Graham continues to get more and more comfortable in the offense and get more and more use. Seahawks.com's John Boyle says Graham has had an impressive first week of camp and reports that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is trying to get the ball to Graham in the red zone more.
Quarterback Jameis Winston's first week has been up and down. He has found Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries, and Josh Huff for big plays, but he also threw two interceptions returned for touchdowns in consecutive days at the end of the week. He'll be fine.
Running back Doug Martin's performance on Sunday reaffirmed what many of the Bucs' coaches have been saying all spring – that he's in excellent shape, running hard and poised for a strong season. Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds says Jacquizz Rodgers isn't a lock for the starting role in Martin's place and there's a close competition brewing between Peyton Barber, Jeremy McNichols, and Charles Sims.
The Buccaneers focused on the red zone for the first time in camp on Saturday, and new wide receiver DeSean Jackson made an immediate impact. Jackson made a diving catch for touchdown No.1. He put up another six with a leaping grab over the middle.
Cameron Brate is making plays in the passing game and O.J. Howard has delivered as a run blocker. Pewter Report's Trevor Sikkema notes that Brate and Winston have maintained a strong rapport.
Fully recovered from last year's fibula fracture, quarterback Marcus Mariota has been both accurate and fleet-footed as he's moved through practice repetitions. He's reported some leg stiffness, but this is a normal part of the recovery process.
The coaching staff has been very vocal publicly that running back DeMarco Murray is still the lead back. The repetitions in camp also suggest this, as all of them have been with Mariota's first team. Murray looked quick and fluid on his carries, but suffered a hamstring injury and is currently day-to-day. back up Derrick Henry has been a standout in practices. Few starting running back s have a player as good as Henry behind them.
In two wide receiver sets, the team was looking for Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews as the clear starters. Both have run routes almost exclusively with the first team in camp. But Davis injured his hamstring which could be costly. ESPN reports Davis said his hamstring is healing, but he's still week to week. His goal remains to be back for week 1 vs Raiders. The Titans ran the fewest three wide receiver sets in the league last year, and there seems to be more of an emphasis in camp on adding that dimension to the offense. On plays that call for a third wideout, Eric Decker is being brought in and primarily playing in the slot.
With the added firepower at wide receiver, tight end Delanie Walker is anticipating that he won't catch as many balls this season. He seems to be ok with that, “At the end of the day, it's about winning, right? We have to do it as a team, so if my catches go down, as long as we are winning, I'm cool with that.”
Quarterback Kirk Cousins appears to have put contract issues on the shelf. He's been sharp in most practice sessions and has adjusted well to his new-look receiving corps.
Rookie running back Samaje Perine garnered tremendous hype before training camp, with some speculating he would seize the starting job away from Rob Kelley without much fanfare. Two weeks into camp and nothing could be further from the truth. Kelley has gotten the majority of first team reps, is in great shape and looks ready to build off the glimpses of productivity we saw last year in his rookie season.
Wide receiver Josh Doctson essentially redshirted last year recovering from an Achilles injury but looked like a different player in OTAs, minicamp and at the start of training camp. Unfortunately, Doctson has missed the last few days of practice with a mild hamstring injury. He'll also miss the preseason opener against the Ravens. It's not clear whether Terrelle Pryor can be the team's top pass catcher, but there's no question he'll be Kirk Cousins wide receiver target in the red zone.
TE Jordan Reed is dealing with toe issues, and that's a major concern for a team in need of reliable weapons. Washington was smart to re-sign Vernon Davis after he acquitted himself well as Reed's fill-in last season.
And that's that for this week. Let me know if you found this type of thing useful by shooting an email to email@example.com. And keep up with me on Twitter by clicking the follow button below.