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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Let's get to it.
- Quarterback Kyler Murray had a nice bounce-back performance passing for 137 yards while going 14-of-21 through the air.
- Running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds have their roles locked up as the top two backs.
- Wide receiver Michael Crabtree signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal adding additional depth and leadership to the position.
- Tight end competition is still in full effect with Ricky Seals-Jones, Charles Clay, and Maxx Williams.
- Running back Ito Smith has outperformed Brian Hill in consecutive preseason games as a receiver, and he’s held up well enough in pass protection and goal-line work to earn the No.2 spot on the depth chart.
- RB Brian Hill has been a star in camp but has not been as strong during the preseason, which has led observers to wonder if a decrease in snaps means he’s being rested for the regular season or in danger of being a surprise cut.
- RB Kenjon Barner has earned the return-specialist role.
- TE Austin Hooper hasn't made a ton of noise in games, but he's been a favorite target in practice.
- Teammates and coaches say that quarterback Lamar Jackson is developing into a leader, and his passing is expected to improve from what was a good rookie season, considering his age and mid-season start.
- Running back Gus Edwards was rested in Thursday’s game, a suggestion that he’s ahead of Justice Hill, though Hill’s dynamic skill set should allow him to overtake Edwards eventually.
- Wide receiver Marquise Brown got his first game action, and while it’s apparent he’s not all the way recovered from his injury, it’s also clear that the wants to get him the ball in many ways.
- Also at receiver, Miles Boykin had yet another solid week of practice and made a long catch-and-run in the game.
- Baltimore should deploy two tight end sets more than any team in the league, and Mark Andrews is the best pass-catcher of the group, with double-digit touchdown upside.
- Quarterback Josh Allen regressed in the Lions game and made several poor decisions from trying to do too much, while backup Matt Barkley has been near-perfect in the preseason.
- Veteran running backs LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore combined for 94 yards on 14 carries against Detroit while rookie Devin Singletary scored a touchdown on his only snap of the game.
- Receiver Zay Jones started the game and played into the second half, suggesting he’s falling behind John Brown and Cole Beasley on the list of primary targets.
- Rookie tight end Dawson Knox returned from a hamstring injury this week and looked impressive in the Lions game as a blocker and receiver despite a limited snap count.
- The Bills defense seems poised for a top-10 season, and top corner TreDavious White appears to have escaped with a minor injury after leaving the Lions game.
- Quarterback Cam Newton suffered a mid-foot sprain, but the team is hopeful that it will not affect his ability to be ready for the regular season.
- Neither quarterback Kyle Allen nor Will Grier has inspired confidence in the backup situation, but Allen’s experience and poise give him an edge against Grier.
- The competition for a running back spot remains close between Jordan Scarlett, Elijah Holyfield, and Reggie Bonnafon.
- Terry Godwin did not help his case for the sixth wide receiver spot when he dropped a punt in the contest against New England.
- It remains unclear who will win a roster spot at nickel, but Corn Elder may have separated himself with his game-time performance.
- The Bears continued to rest all their starters and key backups in the preseason, making it difficult to draw any firm conclusions about this team on both sides of the ball.
- At running back, rookie David Montgomery is the player to watch while Tarik Cohen will likely play a similar role to last season.
- Wide receiver Anthony Miller continues to miss valuable time with an ankle injury but should be ready for the season opener.