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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 Jason Wood and their team of Footballguys Staffers cover every player that matters from every NFL team. Each edition is 30 plus pages long. It's incredible and, frankly, probably worth the Footballguys Season Long Pro subscription price just by itself.
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 asking our team writers to distill 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 email@example.com and let me know.
Let's get to it.
- Quarterback Kyler Murray looks bigger and quicker and seems to be taking ownership of the team.
- Running backs Chase Edmonds and James Conner hate the term “RB1”, both will be heavily involved.
- Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been quiet on his off-the-field COVID vaccine comments and seems focused on what happens on the field.
- Wide receiver A.J. Green is developing a connection with Kyler Murray early in camp.
- Wide receiver Rondale Moore is standing out early as a guy that belongs.
- Safety Budda Baker continues to grow and mature as the leader of the defense.
- Expect the team to play at a more deliberate pace, emphasizing power football, potentially ushering out the era of a high-flying offense.
- Matt Ryan has long been a study of fantasy consistency, but a new scheme and the departure of Julio Jones are hurdles to maintaining his production.
- The backfield looks like a committee led by Mike Davis, but Qadree Ollison and Cordarrelle Patterson will see work and cap his ceiling.
- WR Calvin Ridley played much of 2020 with an injured foot but will fully recover from offseason surgery by kickoff, leading a receiving room with Russell Gage as the number 2.
- Expect heavy two tight-end packages utilizing Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst and creative play-calling to move Pitts around the formation.
- QB Lamar Jackson contracted COVID-19 earlier in August and was sidelined. Jackson returned to practice Saturday, August 7, and looked “better than expected,” per coach John Harbaugh.
- RB J.K. Dobbins could see a significant rise in workload as the team’s unquestioned starter this season.
- WR Rashod Bateman has NFL route-running skills despite being a rookie. He suffered a soft tissue injury to his right leg and is expected to miss "a number of weeks."
- WR Marquise Brown has a hamstring injury and has been out of practice for over a week.
- Despite the addition of new wide receivers, TE Mark Andrews should remain Jackson’s most-targeted player.
- The Bills offense returns all key personnel and has looked very sharp in camp, which has not been the case in past years and bodes well for a quick start this season.
- Quarterback Josh Allen established himself as an MVP candidate last year, and the team rewarded him with a 6-year, $258 million extension.
- Zack Moss recovered from an ankle injury in last year’s playoffs and has been the most impressive running back thus far. But for now, it is expected he’ll split carries with Devin Singletary and perhaps Matt Breida too.
- Emmanuel Sanders has missed time early in camp with a foot injury but is expected to play a key role as the team grooms Gabriel Davis.
- Defensive end Jerry Hughes is close to returning from a calf injury, which allowed young players like A.J. Epenesa and Gregory Rousseau to showcase themselves.
- Terrace Marshall is looking like he will lock up the WR3 job.
- RB Christian McCaffrey should be in for another big workload
- QB Sam Darnold’s arm strength is a noticeable improvement from what Carolina had in 2020.
- Dan Arnold is looking great but still may not be the starting tight end.
- The offense has started sluggish. There is concern they could get off to a slow start.
- QB Andy Dalton still appears to be the Week 1 starter and has the coaching staff’s confidence, but Justin Fields is quickly winning over the fans and media and will likely find his path to being a starter this season.
- RB David Montgomery had a quiet week of practice, and while he should still be considered the team’s lead back, Damien Williams is quickly carving out a role for himself.
- Unshockingly, the Bears’ receiving corps is top-heavy with Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, but Fields has been spreading it around and getting new names involved.
- After sitting out the 2020 season due to Covid-19 concerns, NT Eddie Goldman has yet to practice and is a risk to play at all in 2021
- The Bears cornerback corps is awful, and that could help bolster some optimism surrounding the team’s passing attack.
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