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 has been calm and cool during camp and is saying that he feels no pressure. It's all about the Air Raid Offense and through the first two weeks, he's looked the part.
- Running back Chase Edmonds appears to be locking up the spot behind David Johnson and they could see time together on the field. Johnson seems excited about the Air Raid.
- Behind WRs Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald, Keesean Johnson is leading the competition with Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler. Expect tons of 4WR sets.
- The tight end position is a three-way battle with Ricky Seals-Jones, Charles Clay, and Maxx Williams that is currently up for grabs.
- Atlanta will feature RB Devonta Freeman and rotate playing time for the backs behind Freeman on the depth chart. Freeman looks as good as ever.
- There will be no direct replacement for the Tevin Coleman role. Think of Ito Smith as a situational scatback and Brian Hill as the truer candidate to earn extensive playing time if Freeman gets hurt.
- QB Matt Ryan and TE Austin Hooper are demonstrating enhanced chemistry in the passing game. It's becoming a strength of the offense.
- OC Dirk Koetter has added more up-tempo, higher-percentage target opportunities to the tight ends that weren't in Atlanta’s offense during recent years.
- Quarterback Lamar Jackson is progressing as a passer, but he will still be running the ball by design and when plays break down. Head coach John Harbaugh said to “take the over” when asked about whether Jackson can break Cam Newton’s all-time mark of 139 attempts in a season.
- Free-agent acquisition RB Mark Ingram II should be the unquestioned starter; and many beat writers think Ingram can handle obvious passing downs, too.
- The competition for backup running back is still open, but Justice Hill appears to be the most dynamic.
- Both rookie wide receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin have been making strides in camp and have been impressive. However, veterans Willie Snead IV and Seth Roberts are listed as starters for now.
- Camp observers describe TE Mark Andrews as among the most dangerous and productive offensive players at camp.
- QB Josh Allen is focusing primarily on his development as a passer in training camp this year as the coaches try to get him to make better decisions with the football. It's been a mixed bag so far.
- Running backs LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore probably won’t see much time in the preseason, which creates an opportunity for rookie Devin Singletary to show what he can do.
- WR John Brown has been an early standout in camp and seems poised to become the team’s top target in the passing game due to his deep speed.
- The Bills are missing their top-3 tight ends to injury early in camp.
- Top-10 pick DT Ed Oliver had a slow start to camp but has been coming on strong of late.
- Quarterback Cam Newton changed his throwing motion to put less strain on his shoulder and it seems to be working. His deep ball accuracy appears to have returned.
- The team has stated they don’t want to decrease RB Christian McCaffrey’s touches, but they hope that the offense will be more efficient so that they can decrease the number of snaps for him.
- Both wide receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel have been standing out so far in camp.
- Tight end Greg Olsen’s surgically repaired foot has not been a hindrance so far.
- Tight end Ian Thomas will see the field more this year due to an increase in two-tight end sets.
- QB Mitch Trubisky is having an up and down start to camp, but the tough Bears defense has a lot do with that.
- Rookie RB David Montgomery has the coaching staff very excited to see what he can do in this offense as the likely replacement for Jordan Howard.
- WR Anthony Miller is having a slow start to camp while recovering from shoulder surgery, while Allen Robinson looks very comfortable as the top target.
- TE Trey Burton is healthy, but Adam Shaheen has a back injury, which exposes a lack of depth at the tight end position.
- New defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano should be able to keep the defense rolling.
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