Posted by Matt Olson

Training Camp Recap 8/18/2022

August 7, 2023

Stock up

Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman – MPJ is poised to ascend this year.

“No player’s flashed more often than Pittman. (He) looks primed to break out and build off his 1,000-yard season in 2021. Detroit didn’t have an answer for him all week, & Pittman caught everything: crossers, screens, posts down the middle, deep shots… He was a problem.”

Philadelphia Eagles

DeVonta Smith – Smith is back from his groin injury and is immediately back to lighting it up in camp. This Eagles offense should be a lot of fun to watch this year.

“DeVonta Smith is practicing. Good sign for him that he’s been able to keep going and had no setbacks after coming back from a groin injury.”

“Now Smith draws a DPI against Greedy Williams 40 yards from the LOS. Smith nearly hauled in the one-handed grab, but lots of contact involved, and nearest official flags the Browns.”

“DeVonta Smith responds during the next 11v11 rep by burning the Browns defense on a slant route. He picks up a ton of YAC too. Play called dead when he reaches the safety. Could’ve been 6 in a real game.”

“On Thursday, the typically reserved Smith was the center of attention as the Browns hosted the Eagles in the 1st of 2 joint practices. Hurts targeted Smith early and often throughout the session. While the offense had its share of ups and downs, Smith dominated every rep”

Jacksonville Jaguars

Evan Engram – If Evan Engram can solve his drop issues (big if), he could find himself as a low end TE1 under Doug Pederson.

“Evan Engram touchdown on fourth-down from the goal line. Got the offense amped up.”

“Evan Engram, Dan Arnold, and the rest of the tight end group is in for major roles with the Jaguars under head coach Doug Pederson”

Carolina Panthers

Baker Mayfield – I believed Baker Mayfield would be named the starting QB for the Panthers for week 1 all along and this report continues to confirm that.

“I’d expect Baker Mayfield to be named starting QB soon. His processing, timing, field vision have stuck out, and my guess is the staff makes it official in the coming days.”

Jacksonville Jaguars

James Robinson – Robinson is slowly working his way back from the Achilles injury he suffered last year. It’ll be interesting to see if he can make it back in time for week 1 and how big of an impact he will have on this offense to start out the year.

“Jaguars RB James Robinson has been taking part of team drills recently along with making open-field cuts/moves. Mid-August timeline was on point.”

“Robinson won’t play in Saturday’s preseason game but HC Doug Pederson said hope and expectation is he will play Week 1 vs Washington”

“’It’s exciting for us as a staff,’ Doug Pederson on James Robinson taking part in team drills. Said it was good to see him make moves and cuts yesterday.”

Minnesota Vikings

Irv Smith – Smith was a trendy breakout candidate at the TE position last year and is on track to play for week 1 after having surgery on his thumb.

“Head Coach Kevin O’Connell says Irv Smith is still on track to be available Week 1.”

Los Angeles Chargers

Josh Palmer – Palmer looks to be the WR3 behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams who could be a potential sleeper in this high-powered Chargers offense.

“Joshua Palmer had an outstanding period. He has always been a really sharp route-runner, but his releases are dramatically improved this season.”

Stock down

Jacksonville Jaguars

Travis Etienne – the rumblings of James Robinson potentially being ready for week 1 throw a bit of cold water on Travis Etienne having a true three-down role on this offense in what is essentially the young running backs rookie year.

“James Robinson is expected to return to full speed in time for the team’s Week 1 matchup… If Robinson is able to suit up for the Jaguars, it should be expected that he eventually move forward as the team’s lead tailback.”

Doug Pederson: “It’s the expectation, it’s kind of the hope that he can be there at that point. And listen, if not, it’s okay. We’re comfortable with the guys behind him and we’ll go with what we have.”


Indianapolis Colts

Jelani Woods – Woods is an athletic freak and with Ogletree getting most of the praise early on in camp, it is nice to see Woods stepping up now that Ogletree is out of the fold after tearing his ACL.

“Jelani Woods showed why he might be able to handle the increased role he likely has to play in Indianapolis this season.

Woods made 3 catches in 11-on-11 drills during Thursday’s practice, showcasing the size and speed that convinced the Colts to use a third-round pick on him”

Tennessee Titans

Kyle Philips – Philips has dominated camp since early on and continues to burn defensive backs week after week. It is looking more and more likely that he earns playing time in the slot for the Titans this year.

“Kyle Philips putting on a clinic in red zone one on ones.”

“Receiver Kyle Philips stole the show early in the 1-on-1s and 2-on-2s with the Buccaneers defensive backs, and he didn’t stop there. Philips got open again and again and again – and in a hurry…

Philips was also a big factor in the 7-on-7 and team periods, especially near the goal line. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said this when describing the quick and shifty Philips: “He goes rabbit hunting with a hammer.”

Cleveland Browns

David Bell – Bell was injured so he was already coming along slowly in camp after losing time being sidelined and it looks as if the rookie had a rough day at practice today as he tries to makeup for lost time.

“David Bell with a rough day. 3 drops and a false start.”

Arizona Cardinals

Trey McBride – McBride was the first tight end drafted this year after dominating at Colorado State. Zach Ertz is turning 32 this year… McBride was my favorite second round pick in rookie drafts I did this year.

“Arizona Cardinals rookie TE Trey McBride is set to play on Sunday and Kliff Kingsbury says he was making big plays in practice.”

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jaylen Warren – Benny Snell has failed to impress the Steelers coaching staff. Jaylen Warren flashed early and often in camp and he has officially become the #2 back behind superstar Najee Harris.

“It appears Jaylen Warren, as I reported earlier in camp, has supplanted Benny Snell as the Steelers’ No. 2 running back.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rachaad White – White is an explosive young back fighting for playing time behind Leonard Fournette with the likes of Gio Bernard and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. He could be a fantasy relevant if Fournette were to miss time.

“Rookie RB Rachaad White continues to look like a natural pass-catcher. He was targeted on consecutive plays in this team drill and had nice gains on both. On the first he caught it near the SL and quickly spun around a defender and got up field.”

“RB Rachaad White with a grab in the flat and a nifty move to shake his defender and stay in bounds before turning up field.”

Tennessee Titans

Malik Willis – Willis has had an up-and-down camp and it looks like today was no different. He’s a project for Tennessee and he’s fighting to be Ryan Tannehill’s backup this year as he continues to learn the QB position in the NFL.

“Thought the end of this quote was telling. Willis is trying to break this habit, but it’s probably been the way he’s played QB his whole career until 4 months ago. Re-training his eyes to stay downfield and not peek for openings will make him a much better player in the pocket.”

“Willis throws pick in first red zone seven on seven. Looking for Dez, picked by Murphy-Bunting.”

“Good start for Malik Willis, who sends quick dart over middle to Dez Fitzpatrick. Good gain, good ability for YAC after quick release.”

Treylon Burks – Burks has been a polarizing player from pre-draft prospect to struggling in camp early on for various issues. There’s no denying the talent and besides Robert Woods (and Kyle Phillips), there isn’t much standing in the way of him playing significant snaps this year. Let’s hope the rookie can get out of his own way and continue to flash his talents in camp and preseason.

“Red-zone drill: Burks battles through PI and catches Tannehill TD pass.”

“Good news for the Titans. Treylon Burks is back on the field after leaving early yesterday.”

Indianapolis Colts

Alec Pierce – Pierce is a very good athlete and has a chance to shine as the WR2 behind Michael Pittman with that position seemingly open for someone to win it in camp.

“Alec Pierce is a monster. I don’t know why he’s not getting more love. 6-3, 4.4 with a 41-inch vert. Desmond Ridder told me he’s just a ridiculously talented guy who’s always working. #Colts hit a home run there and I believe he’s gonna have a big time rookie season.”

“Those who have been clamoring for a veteran WR signing are probably going to be disappointed based on everything I know. The rate of growth in Alec Pierce in particular is one reason they are not inclined to make a move.”

Quick hitters

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers continue to look for a player to stand out to earn the #2 RB spot behind their superstar Austin Ekeler.

“’They all will.’ Staley says Josh Kelley, Isaiah Spiller and Larry Rountree will all play Saturday.”

Detroit Lions

NFL coaches love Williams’ no nonsense running style and he’s great in pass protection. We all love D’Andre Swift but Williams undoubtedly will still be worked into this backfield rotation.

“Jamaal Williams had a strong day. Plowed his way through the Colts defense for a touchdown during 11-on-11 red-zone work. Some solid runs sprinkled in.”

Green Bay Packers

There’s been rumors that Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon could both be on the field at the same time and it seems as if the Green Bay coaching staff is at least experimenting with that in practice.

“The balance with using Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon together is not wearing them out over the long haul, Adam Stenavich says. He doesn’t think playing them together would hurt the passing game: ‘Aaron Jones can stretch the field just as good as any receiver.’”

Pittsburgh Steelers

Mitch Trubisky still seemingly has the inside track to start for the Steelers in week 1 but it’s nice to see the Kenny Pickett steadily improve as training camp has progressed.

“Mitch Trubisky will start on Saturday, with Kenny Pickett working with the second team against Jacksonville, head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Thursday.”

“Mike Tomlin says they’ll play all three QBs.

Mitch Trubisky will start, followed by Kenny Pickett, and Mason Rudolph will finish.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady – I’m not sure I’m concerned, but it is at least strange that Tom Brady is missing so much time before the season. The Tampa Bay beat have hinted that they are concerned, so it’s something to monitor.

“Todd Bowles said he doesn’t have a firm date for Tom Brady returning. Said it’ll be after the Titans game and they’ll revisit it after that.”

Cleveland Browns

Deshaun Watson – at last, this is finally (I think) over and Watson will be suspended 11 games. The Browns say they will not trade for Jimmy Garoppolo so it’s Jacoby Brissett’s team for the first 11 games of the season – I would be downgrading all Browns skill position players with this news.

“NFL, NFLPA agree on settlement; Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games and fined $5 million.”

“Source says this is real. 11 games. $5M fine for Watson.”

New York Giants

Saquon Barkley – Saquon Barkley redemption tour anybody? Barkley seems healthy and hell bent on proving that these last 2 injury riddled seasons were more flukes then a sign of things to come.

“Saquon said he’s ‘fed up’ with critics who have said he dances as a runner.”

New York Giants

With reports of the Giants offense struggling in camp, it’s nice to see a report where Daniel Jones had a good day at practice. Let’s hope the Giants can continue this good momentum as they continue to get their wide receivers all back and healthy.

“Daniel with an impressive series in team drill. Connected with Golladay twice, Sills twice and Collin Johnson. Daboll gives Jones thumbs up when Jones left the field.”

Injury News

Dallas Cowboys

CeeDee Lamb – it still sounds minor but something to at least keep an eye on with Michael Gallup still out with that torn ACL he is rehabbing that he tore last year.

“No CeeDee Lamb again today at practice, but Mike McCarthy thinks he’ll be available next week when the Cowboys get back to Texas.”

Philadelphia Eagles

Miles Sanders – another offseason, another soft-tissue injury for Miles Sanders. I wouldn’t panic right now but with news coming out that the team wants to get second year RB Kenneth Gainwell more high-value touches and third down work, this isn’t something you want to see if you are a Miles Sanders enthusiast.

“Miles Sanders isn’t practicing. Third practice missed because of a hamstring injury.”

Pittsburgh Steelers

Calvin Austin – a speedster rookie who sounds like he’s nursing a minor injury but any time missed isn’t good for the rookie WR.

“Steelers rookie WR Calvin Austin has shed the walking boot but doesn’t look like he’ll practice today. He’s been out since Friday.”

Las Vegas Raiders

Darren Waller – the curious case of Darren Waller…Again, I’m not panicking but this is something to continue to monitor.

“After returning yesterday, Darren Waller isn’t at practice today.”

New York Jets

Zach Wilson – good news for Zach Wilson who may or may not be back for week 1.

“Zach Wilson returned this morning to the Jets after surgery. He’s already walking, per Saleh. Good spirits. Saleh declines to put timetable on return.”

Denver Broncos

Greg Dulcich – the rookie TE for the Denver Broncos was back at practice today which is good news.

“Rookie TE Greg Dulcich appears to be practicing.”

KJ Hamler – it’s nice to the speedy WR KJ Hamler back out there for the Broncos who could be a breakout player with Russell Wilson now throwing him deep balls this year.

“KJ Hamler is back in pads.

First time in a couple of weeks, I believe.”

Washington Commanders

“Ron Rivera said J.D. McKissic had a little tightness in his groin, so he did not practice.”

New York Giants

Sterling Shepard – There doesn’t seem to be a timeline on when we can expect Sterling Shepard back but this is presumably good news that he’s at practice and in high spirits.

“Sterling Shepard much more involved in practice from the sideline, very vocal cheering on the offense. Feels like he’s getting closer to returning.”

Kadarius Toney – the Giants have been very cautious with Kadarius Toney this offseason in hopes to have the second year WR ready for week 1 who flashed superstar potential last year but had struggles staying on the field

“KT working in drills, getting closer…”

Kansas City Chiefs

Mecole Hardman – Groin spasm sounds interesting…

“Andy Reid says Mecole Hardman has a groin spasm but is making progress. Didn’t rule out either him or Chris Jones (back) being able to play Saturday against Washington.”

JuJu Smith-Schuster – good news that JuJu should be back to practice sooner rather than later.

“There’s a good chance JuJu Smith-Schuster returns to practice next week, per Coach Reid.”

“As JuJu Smith-Schuster walked down the hill as part of military day, a fan asked him how his knee was. “It’s getting better,” said Smith-Schuster.”

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