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Joe's Notes: Week 1 Training Camp Summary - Footballguys

The Footballguys Training Camp Update Team and Joe Bryant take our comprehensive Footballguys Training Camp Updates and distills them down to the "Need To Know" level.

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 Season Long 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 Season Long 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 bryant@footballguys.com and let me know.

Let's get to it.

Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report


Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Matt Ryan says offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian "is a lot more comfortable with the personnel, knowing what guys to use in certain situations."
  • Running back Devonta Freeman looks as strong as ever.
  • Matt Ryan expects tight end Austin Hooper to earn a lot of volume this year citing improved route running and timing.
  • The team's using a lot of two-tight-end sets and tight end Eric Saubert has been all over the field and seeing success in the vertical game.
  • Rookie receiver Calvin Ridley has dropped the ball enough that beat reporters are citing his drop history at Alabama.
  • Rookie cornerback Isaiah Oliver has shown good hands as a ball hawk while also holding his own against Julio Jones.

Baltimore Ravens Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Joe Flacco seems rejuvenated, Robert Griffin III is playing with joy, and Lamar Jackson had mixed results in his NFL debut. NBC's Peter King heard from a longtime Ravens observer that Flacco is having "far and away" the best camp of his career.
  • Running back Alex Collins' job as starting running back is secure.
  • Wide receiver Michael Crabtree is the overwhelming favorite to lead the team in receiving touchdowns and is being used heavily in the red zone in practice.
  • Newly acquired wide receiver John Brown's been impressive connecting on deep passes from Flacco.
  • First-round pick, tight end Hayden Hurst, has shown rookie struggles in practices but figures to be the starting tight end, especially since fellow rookie Mark Andrews has missed seven consecutive practices due to injury.

Buffalo Bills Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • The Bills are taking things slow with rookie quarterback Josh Allen as he continues to practice with the backups while AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman compete for the starting job.
  • Running back LeSean McCoy is in camp and expects to play this season but his status remains somewhat in doubt due to off-field issues.
  • Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin stands out as the top receiver in this offense and appears highly motivated going into a contract year.
  • The Bills traded an undisclosed draft pick to Cleveland for former first-round receiver Corey Coleman.
  • The defense has outplayed the offense early in camp and may be somewhat underrated coming into the season.

Carolina Panthers Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Cam Newton is fully healthy and "ready to rock" and feels comfortable with new offensive coordinator, Norv Turner. Improving Newton's completion percentage is a focus.
  • Coach Ron Rivera made comments that indicate he would like to make running back Christian McCaffrey "a very integral part" of the offense. "[H]e can be one of those guys that hopefully gets the ball 25 to 30 times a game," Rivera stated.
  • Wide receiver Devin Funchess is heading into a contract year, but his focus is on "strictly football."
  • Competition for the second wide receiver spot was tight among Torrey Smith, Curtis Samuel, and D.J. Moore. Moore, in particular, has flashed.
  • Newton's favorite target, tight end Greg Olsen, is healthy and having a great camp. Behind him, Ian Thomas and Jason Vander Laan looked to be in close competition for the backup spot.

Chicago Bears Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Chicago rested nearly their entire starting lineup in the Hall of Fame game, delaying the debut of quarterback Mitch Trubisky in the new offense with his new receiving weapons.
  • Running back Tarik Cohen has been lining up more at receiver this year as the coaches try to get him the ball in space to take advantage of his game-breaking ability.
  • Second-round pick wide receiver Anthony Miller has been the star of camp due to his route-running and soft hands and has already shown great chemistry with Trubisky.
  • Seventh-round rookie wide receiver Javon Wims (6-foot-4) looked great in the Ravens game with 7 catches for 89 yards and may stake a claim for a backup job.
  • Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith continues to hold out in a contract dispute, which may slow down his emergence as a defensive focal point.

Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Andy Dalton is one of the many players raving about the new offense designed by offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. "I really like the way we're doing things, the way that Bill is calling stuff and the way the offense is set up," said Dalton. "I feel comfortable. Things feel new, which is good."
  • Wide receiver John Ross has been the star of camp offensively. He showed enough in the first week to essentially lock down a starting job opposite A.J. Green and allow the Bengals to cut Brandon LaFell.
  • A slimmed down running rback Joe Mixon is impressing and should be poised for a breakout season behind an improved offensive line. "He's a very disciplined runner right now and a very disciplined student. He's grown up," says running backs coach Kyle Caskey.
  • Tight end Tyler Eifert has been cleared to practice and the short stint on the PUP list was merely a precaution. He is being treated with kid gloves in an effort to get him through the season healthy.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has been solid but not exceptional. Head coach Hue Jackson has made it clear Taylor will be the Week 1 starter. Taylor's made favorable impressions with teammates.
  • Baker Mayfield may be the backup quarterback, but he's been poised in camp and is working hard to learn.
  • Running back Carlos Hyde has his sights set on a big season, but that will be difficult to attain with both Duke Johnson Jr and Nick Chubb also demanding touches.
  • Wide receiver Josh Gordon remains away from the team while receiving treatment for anxiety but there seems to be some optimism for his return.
  • Tight end David Njoku's had a rough camp and has struggled with drops.

Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Dak Prescott has been inconsistent and his touch seems off. He's consistently missing receivers. It would be less concerning if Prescott were learning a new system, but this is his third year in this offense.
  • Running back Ezekiel Elliott is back, as is the Cowboys offensive line. Elliott says he's matured. He showed up to camp in fantastic shape and has, without question, been the team's best offensive player.
  • The wide receiver pecking order remains unclear entering the first preseason game, although rookie Michael Gallup and veteran Cole Beasley have been the most consistent.
  • There's no clear-cut No. 1 tight end yet, but Blake Jarwin has the most fantasy potential if he can win the job in the next few weeks.
  • Rumors about trading for safety Earl Thomas persist, with veteran receiver Terrance Williams considered a logical part of the package.

Denver Broncos Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • New starting quarterback Case Keenum created a buzz right off the bat, opening camp with five straight interception-free days.
  • Former first-round pick quarterback Paxton Lynch turned in an up-and-down first week of camp but flashed impressive mobility in his quest to keep the backup job nailed down.
  • No one's been matching second-round rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton for splash plays – he's seemingly winning a tough downfield ball or two every scrimmage.
  • Rookie running back Royce Freeman is in a battle for reps, for sure, but he looks like the most gifted runner of the bunch. His experience, power, and underrated cutback ability could shoot him to the top of the depth chart in a hurry.
  • Expect plenty of dual-tight-end looks this season as the Broncos look to utilize both slot/move prospect Jake Butt and inline blocker Austin Traylor.

Detroit Lions Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Matthew Stafford remains unchallenged as the starter.
  • The team will likely deploy a running back by committee plan.
  • Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson has impressed, especially in pass protection. He's likely in a committee this season, he has a bright future as a three-down back.
  • Wide receivers Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr are the two starting options, but second-year receiver Kenny Golladay has excellent upside and should see plenty of snaps in this offense
  • Tight end Michael Roberts has an opportunity to become a big part of a potent passing game, but he needs to perform better than he has in the first week of camp if he wants to seize the job

Green Bay Packers Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is healthy after last year's lost season, taking every expected camp snap thus far, and seems poised for a typical MVP-caliber campaign. He's thrown a lot of interceptions in camp but given his track record, nobody seems worried.
  • Quarterback DeShone Kizer looks like the (slight) early favorite to win the backup quarterback job over Brett Hundley.
  • Running back Aaron Jones' suspension and early-camp hamstring tweak may be opening the door for Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery to thoroughly lock down this backfield.
  • In the logjam to replace wide receiver Jordy Nelson, fourth-round rookie J'Mon Moore has impressed the most, even drawing first-team reps from all different receiver positions.
  • The veteran tight end group is a well-stocked one, and Jimmy Graham announced his presence last week with an impressive red zone touchdown catch.

Houston Texans Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Deshaun Watson is fully recovered from his ACL injury and hasn't shown any hesitation to take off and run.
  • Running back Lamar Miller has dropped eight pounds and is looking quicker and more explosive.
  • There is no clear timeline on when running back D'Onta Foreman might return from the ruptured Achilles he suffered last November.
  • Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has an undeniable connection with Deshaun Watson. Expect the star receiver to pick up right where he left off last season.
  • Wide receiver Will Fuller V gained 15 to 20 pounds this offseason after working diligently with Texans trainers on a nutrition and weight training program.
  • Wide receiver Keke Coutee's strained hamstring will keep him out a few weeks and slow his momentum in the effort to unseat Braxton Miller in the slot.

Indianapolis Colts Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Andrew Luck is cautiously optimistic. He's excelled in team drills and is expected to play about one quarter in this week's game. Luck confirmed his arm strength hadn't taken a hit during his nearly two-year rehabilitation and he's proving it in practice.
  • The running back leading the first-team in touches has changed from day-to-day, with Marlon Mack, Jordan Wilkins, and Nyhiem Hines all playing significant roles.
  • Free-agent acquisition Ryan Grant has the early lead for the team's No. 2 wide receiver role, but Chester Rogers remains in the mix and sixth-round rookie Deon Cain has received rave reviews from coaches and beat writers.
  • Both tight ends, Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron, have been heavily targeted in early workouts, providing hope the Colts can produce two fantasy-viable tight ends.
  • The back-end of the Colts defense received a shot in the arm with the activation of safeties Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers.

Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Blake Bortles has been having the best offseason of his career and is now pain-free in his right wrist after having a procedure on it in January. The wrist injury had been a bigger issue than previously understood.
  • Rookie wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr Jr has looked good and has gathered some high praise from coach Doug Marrone.
  • Both second-year receivers Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook have also stood out early in camp, making for a crowded receiving group that all have lots of upside and potential.
  • Running back Leonard Fournette lost 15 pounds since his rookie season and looks much quicker and leaner.
  • The Jaguars have one of the deepest running back groups in the league with Leonard Fournette as the starter and capable backups behind him in T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant.

Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • The word for quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to be "potential". The excitement for him is palpable but he's made his share of mistakes. Writers are noting more full-field reads compared to previous years with Alex Smith.
  • Running back Kareem Hunt spent a brief amount of time this week in the medical tent due to a hamstring issue. His injury isn't serious, but the Chiefs are resting him more often as a precaution.
  • The first unofficial depth chart has Spencer Ware as the second running back and Ware is participating with the first team in non-contact drills.
  • Running back Charcandrick West could be on the bubble this year because Damien Williams is performing to expectation as the No. 3 running back.
  • Rookie Blake Mack, a tight end at Arkansas, is seeing work at wide receiver and is making plays.
  • Tight end Travis Kelce has been Mahomes' favorite target in crucial situations during scrimmages.

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers remains one of the better and less appreciated quarterbacks in the league.
  • Los Angeles' hard injury luck continues as cornerback Jason Verrett tore his Achilles tendon and will miss the year. With questions at free safety and a rookie Derwin James expected to start at free safety, the secondary is a key concern.
  • After missing much of camp last season with neck issues, wide receiver Mike Williams has had a strong start to training camp, highlighted by two touchdowns in the intra-squad scrimmage. He reportedly looks like a different player this year.
  • With tight end Hunter Henry hurt and Antonio Gates still unsigned, Virgil Green is penciled in as the starter at tight end. Without their traditional strength at tight end, the Chargers have expanded the use of three-receiver sets, giving Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Tyrell Williams the opportunity to play together.

Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Jared Goff has looked sharp in camp and is developing a rapport with new wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
  • While the Rams struggled to integrate Sammy Watkins into the offense last year after a training camp trade, Cooks has spent nearly the full offseason in the Rams offseason program.
  • DE Aaron Donald remains away from the team with no progress in his contract negotiations.
  • The Rams travel to Baltimore for a week of joint practices before their preseason game. There has been little news about the running backs behind Todd Gurley, but the joint practices should give a clearer picture of the depth chart.

Miami Dolphins Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is healthy and moving around well on a knee that limited him for nearly two years. He's not been afraid to run and looks athletic. His performance on the field, however, has been up and down.
  • Tight end Mike Gesicki has been the star of training camp on the Dolphins offense. He should be a top target on third downs and in the red zone.
  • Running back Frank Gore is listed as a co-starter alongside Kenyan Drake on the team's initial depth chart. "He doesn't look different than he did ten years ago," said coach Adam Gase.
  • Wide receiver Danny Amendola has been Ryan Tannehill's favorite target and looks like he will be the starter in the slot.
  • Wide receiver Devante Parker is off to a slow start.

Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • New quarterback Kirk Cousins and the offense has struggled to move the ball against the Vikings top defensive unit. But it's more a testament to the defense. The Cousins era is still a work in progress early in Camp.
  • Running back Dalvin Cook is 10 months removed from ACL surgery and the Vikings want to continue to ease him into work this offseason but Zimmer has stated that he is expected to play in the preseason.
  • Tight end Kyle Rudolph may spend more time in the slot or out wide under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
  • The star wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are happy with their long-term extensions and are ready to contribute once again.
  • Laquon Treadwell and Brandon Zylstra are turning heads in training camp as they battle for the Vikings WR3-5 spots.

New England Patriots Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report


New Orleans Saints Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Drew Brees looks great. No surprise.
  • With running back Mark Ingram II's suspension looming, the backfield remains a murky mess behind Alvin Kamara. Terrance West is taking most inside reps, and new signee Shane Vereen isn't helping his cause by sitting with an injury.
  • Budding superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas has drawn raves throughout the opening of camp.
  • Wide receiver Cameron Meredith is limited in practice, but putting in plenty of side work with Drew Brees, as he looks to hold off impressive rookie Tre'Quan Smith for reps.
  • Second-year wideout Dan Arnold is seeing work at tight end and the 6-foot-6 beast is already winning downfield battles.
  • Dennis Allen's defense is focusing on aggression and disruptiveness, with a secondary that's attacking receivers and seeking to create splash plays.

New York Giants Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Eli Manning is in fantastic shape and has been good far more often than bad.
  • The receiving corps is healthy and making plays, from Odell Beckham to Sterling Shepard to Cody Latimer. There aren't going to be enough targets to go around, and the Giants offense has a chance to be dynamic.
  • Tight end Evan Engram has offset jaw-dropping plays with maddening drops; a problem he needs to fix to win a significant role.
  • Running back Saquon Barkley looks to be the all-purpose workhorse fantasy owners hoped for when he was drafted second overall.
  • Running back Wayne Gallman hasn't ceded the No. 2 role to Jonathan Stewart, which makes handcuffing Barkley more difficult than expected.
  • The rebuilt offensive line looks cohesive, although the real test will come once preseason games get underway.

New York Jets Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Sam Darnold can win the job, but the Jets are comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater or Josh McCown and will make Darnold work for it.
  • Running back Isaiah Crowell has been impressive, especially with his receiving skills. Bilal Powell has been relatively quiet. Rookie running back Trenton Cannon has opened eyes and wowed observers. Stay tuned.
  • Wide receiver Robby Anderson is likely to deal with the coverage a top wide receiver sees. That, coupled with the quarterback situation, makes him a shaky option to depend on.
  • The Jets were hoping wide receiver Quincy Enunwa would bounce back from his neck injury and step into the slot, but he's now out for up for up to two weeks with a thumb injury.
  • Leonard Williams is a key to the pass rush but Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins will have to step up at outside linebacker or the defense won't produce.

Oakland Raiders Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Derek Carr has clicked with coach Jon Gruden and seems invigorated by having a demanding, offensive-minded head coach.
  • Running back Marshawn Lynch showed up to camp in better shape than last season. He has slimmed down to 232 pounds, which is the lightest he's been in many years. Lynch has made a believer of his new coach. "I love him. I love being around him," Gruden said.
  • Wide receiver Amari Cooper has continued to bulk up and it remains to be seen if he can retain his speed and quickness at 225 pounds.
  • Wide receiver Jordy Nelson looks like he hasn't lost a step and has been an early standout.
  • Rookie wide receiver Marcell Ateman has been a pleasant surprise, winning consistently in contested catch situations.
  • The Khalil Mack holdout has no apparent end in sight and could get messy.

Philadelphia Eagles Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Carson Wentz is not on the PUP list and has been a regular participant in practices, albeit limited 11-on-11 work. The expectation is he'll be held out of all the preseason games.
  • Running back Jay Ajayi is putting some distance between himself and the rest of the Eagles running backs. But it remains to be seen how much of the running back work he'll share.
  • Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is on PUP and given his past injury history, counting on him to match last year's 16-game production is risky.
  • Wide receiver Mike Wallace has immediately asserted himself and will be an upgrade over Torrey Smith in the base offense.
  • Rookie tight end Dallas Goedert has been a fixture in first-team red zone drills.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appears rejuvenated, claiming he's in the best shape of his career.
  • Wide receiver Antonio Brown left camp and traveled to Pittsburgh for evaluation of a quad injury. The injury was reported as a quad strain and Brown is expected to be day-to-day.
  • Running back James Conner looks to be the clear RB2 behind Le'Veon Bell (and RB1 until Bell reports) due to Jaylen Samuels' lack of pass-blocking and usage elsewhere.
  • Wide receiver Justin Hunter could be a dark horse to replace the Martavis Bryant role; it won't simply be given to rookie James Washington.

San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been heavily targeting the running backs and tight ends while struggling to connect with wide receivers deeper down the field. As camp has progressed, he's seemed more comfortable going downfield.
  • Running back Jerick McKinnon is having an impressive camp, particularly as a receiver.
  • Matt Breida has also impressed. Grant Cohen of The Press Democrat called Breida the "best running back on the team. The most consistent. Runs harder than everyone else. All of his reps the first three days have been good."
  • The interior offensive line has not been able to open running room against the strong 49ers first team defensive line.
  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin has been the best receiver in camp, despite early struggles getting on the same page as Garoppolo. Pierre Garcon has had a slow start to camp, while Trent Taylor has been a limited participant.

Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Running back Chris Carson has excelled. ESPN's Brady Henderson wrote Carson "has easily been the most impressive of Seattle's running backs." But Reshaad Penny is still a factor. Some observers see Penny earning significant work. Stay tuned.
  • Wide receiver Doug Baldwin is out with a left knee issue. But he's expected to be back in time for Week 1. We're still a little worried.
  • It's nice to think Seattle will start using their tight ends as receivers, but with the offensive line issues, they could mostly be blockers again.
  • While Tyler Lockett probably has the second receiving spot locked up, we like Jaron Brown and what his quarterback is saying indicates he does too.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Marshall seems to have found the fountain of youth, but prior to his injury last year he looked done and may still fade.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • A noticeably lighter and quicker Peyton Barber has performed well enough this week that he's solidifying his position as the team's running back.
  • The Buccaneers have given a small amount of first-team reps to running back Ronald Jones II, but the team wants him to improve his receiving game in order to earn significant playing time ahead of two capable receivers in Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers.
  • Wide receiver Chris Godwin is making big plays and cementing a role as a significant contributor in the passing game, which could be at the expense of both Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson.
  • Tight end O.J. Howard has freakish athletic ability around the ball, but the priority of his off-season has been improving his pass protection. Cameron Brate remains a significant factor in the receiving game at Howard's expense.
  • Rookie Carlton Davis began the week earning second-team reps at cornerback and performed well enough to earn some first-team looks where he continued to impress.

Tennessee Titans Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Marcus Mariota's had a good start to camp and seems to be thriving in the new offense.
  • The split of repetitions between RBs Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry has largely been even. Stay tuned.
  • Wide receiver Corey Davis has been impressive so far. He and Mariota seem completely in sync.
  • Wide receiver Rishard Matthews has been placed on PUP and it may be related to the hamstring that bothered him last year.
  • Delanie Walker has been held out of practice after tweaking his ankle in the opening session. Jonnu Smith has been making the most of the extra repetitions and looks to have improved from last year.

Washington Redskins Depth Chart Footballguys Team Report

  • Quarterback Alex Smith has been an instant fit in the locker room, but more importantly, coach Jay Gruden says he's opened up the playbook because of Smith's versatility (which is, of course, a subtle shot at Kirk Cousins).
  • Rookie running back Derrius Guice has been as good as advertised. He's expected to be the team's feature back barring setbacks in preseason game play.
  • Running back Chris Thompson is practicing but remains less than 100 percent by his own admission.
  • Tight end Jordan Reed is healthy, for now, and looks like he hasn't lost a step.
  • Wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Paul Richardson Jr have both shown well thus far, while Josh Doctson has missed time with a shoulder injury.

And that's that for this week. Let me know if you found this type of thing useful by shooting an email to bryant@footballguys.com. And keep up with me on Twitter by clicking the follow button below.