“NFL Camp Notes”
They take the field today for the first time around the National Football League.
The teams have holes to fill, questions to answer, guys opting out, new faces in new places, and some positive covid tests to deal with..
Around the NFL roadmap we go:
CHARGERS…It is Tyrod Taylor’s team at quarterback until the team doesn’t win. That’s the way to view what the front office is saying as they begin the crash course with Oregon rookie QB-Justin Herbert, who must take snaps under center and learn about the speed of NFL defenses, all that while not actually playing in a preseason game. With this defense, you wonder had the Chargers kept Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon, with Joey Bosa now signed, if they would have won a street fight for the AFC West with the Chiefs.
KANSAS CITY…Losing OG-Laurent Tardif and lead RB-Damien Williams will take away some pieces from Patrick Mahomes offense. I wonder if they will be a different team though with no fans in the stands at Arrowhead Stadium. Tardif is the most unique story of all, leaving the NFL to serve on the frontlines of hospital work in Montreal, where last year he got his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. Not since Pat Tillman have we seen someone dedicate his life to something else aside from the NFL, fame, and money.
EAGLES..There will be no head coach in meetings, on the sidelines or at camp. In a stunner, coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for the virus on Sunday night.
VIKINGS..Equally stunning, the head trainer of the team has left. After putting all the protocols in place for his team, their trainer tested positive for the virus on Friday.
RAIDERS….All is excitement in the Silver City where the Silver & Black will be welcomed with open arms. Only time will tell how quickly they can get the kid WRs up to speed, led by Henry Ruggs, with QB-Derek Carr, and how much improvement has been made on what was a very young defense.
BRONCOS…They think Melvin Gordon is the ideal next step to building their offense around the kid QB-Drew Lock. I think the speed wide receivers joining this team will really be the difference makers. Keep an eye out for Jerry Jeudy-KJ Hamler. I want to see who helps Von Miller on defense.
PATRIOTS…What a first day for Bill Belichick. No more Tom Brady. Top RB-Sonny Michel and WR-Mo Sanu aren’t practicing on the PUP list with off season surgery. And 8-Patriots including LT-Marcus Cannon and veterans on defense Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung have opted out. And yes, Cam Newton believes he can compete for the starting QB job.
BUCS…The Tom Brady-Bruce Ariens era begins. He has big play receivers, really good tight ends. Does Tampa have enough defense. We find out over the next four weeks.
JETS..What a mess. First star S-Jamal Adams insults everyone forcing a trade to Seattle, then the next best defensive player LB-CJ Mosely opts out with the virus. Poor Sam Darnold, just not alot around the kid QB.
JAGUARS…Not the way you want to start today, finding out your starting QB-Gardner Minshew is going on the Covid IR-list to start a shortened camp.
BEARS…Mitch Trubisky was miserable last year, so they added Nick Foles to come in and compete for the starters job. Foles can play, but Foles is always hurt.
REDSKINS…It is Dwayne Haskins’ job at QB, but in camp, ready-wanting to practice is the courageous Alex Smith, coming 7-surgeries and that terrible leg infection after he broke his leg in 2018. The turmoil off the field in the front office will be replaced now by all these storylines that new coach Ron Rivera inherits.
SEATTLE…Where will Jadaveon Clowney sign? No one knows, and not alot of people are willing to give him the kind of money he has been demanding for months. With him, really good defense. Without, loss of a big pass rusher.
DETROIT…Tough couple of seasons for Coach Matt Patricia, just got tougher. His QB-Matthew Stafford is on the Covid list too.
RAMS…Life after Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks is about to begin for Coach Sean McVay. Life without some key components on that defense is about to begin also. Life without Wade Philips defense, gone, as a new coordinator, steps in.
STEELERS…Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and he looks in amazing shape. Mike Tomlin drives his players. This QB will be very different, maybe even more explosive.
COLTS…They are excited in Indianapolis. They should be for Philip Rivers will give them what they have not had since the end of Peyton Manning’s seasons and Andrew Luck’s first couple of years, big strike ability any-time-any place. Rivers plays behind a quality offensive line.
BALTIMORE…They know what they have, QB-Lamar Jackson and a load of running backs plus a rugged defense. What they are waiting to see is if this team signs WR-Antonio Brown, who has an 8-game suspension to serve, but looks like he can still play. Stay tuned for that.
ARIZONA…Kid QB-Kyler Murray carried them last year, now they add more around him, including WR-DeAndre Hopkins, an upgraded offensive line. Team could make big jump this year.
Bring it on, as they head onto the practice field today. Will be fun to see teams grow, if these teams can stay healthy.