Posted by Matt Olson

Training Camp Recap 8/19/2022

August 7, 2023

Stock up

New England Patriots

Jonnu Smith – Smith had a down year last year after moving on from the Titans and signing with the Patriots, but it seems this year they are trying to get more creative with getting the ball in his hands.

“The Pats are going to put Jonnu Smith in as many situations as they can to feature his skills as a ball carrier. They’re feeding him the ball in these practices.”

Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor have built off strong springs. Revamped offense should be good for both. They’re playing faster, and with more urgency.

Chicago Bears

Cole Kmet – Kmet is a sleeper candidate heading into this year with Jimmy Graham no longer on the Chicago Bears roster and with their wide-open WR depth chart, it sounds like Cole Kmet has a good chance to be the #2 target earner in this offense.

“In seven snaps, Kmet made two catches on three targets for 31 yards. At this point, Kmet is the No. 2 pass-catching option in the Bears’ offense behind Darnell Mooney. Fields trusts him, but so does Getsy. What Kmet did in Seattle was an extension of what he’s done in camp.”

Philadelphia Eagles

AJ Brown – I’m not sure if this is “news” that AJ Brown is an absolute beast but it sounds like the Jalen Hurts to AJ Brown connection continues to grow stronger with each practice report.

AJ Brown was thrown a ball to the front corner of the end-zone by Jalen Hurts. Brown just went up, ripped the ball out of the air off Greedy Williams and came down for the TD. Might have given Williams, who ended up on the ground, a little look after the play. Absolute beast.

Cleveland Browns

David Njoku – Njoku got paid this offseason and with the addition of Deshaun Watson, he was set to be a sleeper heading into the fantasy football season but there’s been some cold water thrown on Njoku with Jacoby Brissett expected to start the first 11 games of the season – but it’s nice to see that they are connecting in camp early on.

Jacoby Brissett tossed two TDs to David Njoku during 11-on-11 team drills.

First was a nice pass near the right pylon. Second was a well-executed TE screen.

Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Pitts – Pitts is an absolute freak and with some better touchdown luck this year could explode.

Jets coach Robert Saleh on Falcons TE Kyle Pitts:

“Oh, man, he’s a ‘Create-A-Player’ on Madden.

New York Jets

Joe Flacco – is Joe Flacco back? Is Joe Flacco better than Zach Wilson? I do know that Joe Flacco is lighting up camp and his young stud wide receivers seem to have welcomed the change at QB for the time being.

Elijah Moore, on playing with Joe Flacco: “Some guys on the sideline are like: Whoa. That’s Joe Flacco.”

Joe Flacco finds Elijah Moore deep for a big gain.

Flacco leads an eight-play, 60-yard TD drive in unscripted period. Big play a 42-yard pass to a wide-open Moore. Moore then beat Hayward on a third-and-13 conversion. TD a 5-yard pass to Berrios on third down. Masterful drive by Flacco.

Joe Flacco has looked significantly better against the Jets defense throughout camp than Marcus Mariota today.

Joe Flacco rolls out and hits Garrett Wilson who makes a terrific diving catch.

Stock down

New England Patriots

Kendrick Bourne could be cut with rookie WR Tyquan Thornton impressing in camp and Nelson Agholor flashing with some big catches in recent weeks.

“Kendrick Bourne feels like more of a game player than a practice player, but his quiet camp is becoming more noticeable. It’s not time to panic yet, as Bourne wasn’t a camp standout a year ago either. But it’s odd how uninvolved he is at times.”

Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor have built off strong springs. Revamped offense should be good for both. They’re playing faster, and with more urgency.


New York Jets

Breece Hall – Hall is a special talent and he showed it in this incredible run at practice. Michael Carter is a great back in his own right, but this backfield could be Hall’s sooner rather than later.

HUGE run by Breece Hall at #Jets 1st joint practice! And this isn’t just against our defense now. Breece Hall is gonna be special.

Atlanta Falcons

Drake London – it makes sense that the Falcons want to keep their star WR from this year’s draft in bubble wrap until potential the start of the regular season as he flashed in his one reception in the preseason before he hurt his knee and left.

When asked earlier in the week if Drake London would make a return at all this week Arthur Smith said, “probably not.” I take that as we won’t see him on Monday, especially since he’s not practicing today.

New York Jets

Garrett Wilson – Wilson was a little bit of an afterthought to start camp with Elijah Moore and rookie RB Breece Hall flashing but there’s been a steady drumbeat of positive news for the rookie lately who could be just as talented as his running mate Elijah Moore.

Wilson with a diving sideline catch on a Flacco scramble. The rookie has rebounded nicely after an early drop.

“Garrett Wilson has elite body control & hands. He has freakish route running ability with what he can do to his body when trying to shake defenders.” – quote from Robert Saleh

Pittsburgh Steelers

George Pickens – Another day, another positive report about soon-to-be superstar George Pickens and now it looks like the betting market is taking note as he’s now the favorite for some books to be THE rookie of the year.

Updated Offensive Rookie of the Year odds:

George Pickens (6/1)

Kenny Pickett (9/1)

Breece Hall (9/1)

“Pickens has been the star of camp, consistently making play after play, which is highly unusual for a rookie receiver. You would expect to see flashes, but not every day. And I mean every day. He is a polished route runner, he high points the ball with ease, his feet are quick, and he shows late hands. He looked like a five-year veteran out there on Chuck Noll Field, and not even the most optimistic coach, player, fan, or media member could’ve predicted that.”

Indianapolis Colts

Alec Pierce – more positive buzz for rookie WR Alec Pierce this time from his new QB Matt Ryan who is fighting to be the #2 starting WR next to Michael Pittman.

MVP Matt Ryan had some powerful words regarding his rookie wide receiver, Alec Pierce.

Dallas Cowboys

Jalen Tolbert – sometimes we can get too hyped about rookies in training camp and it looks like Jalen Tolbert may be coming along a little slower than some of us would’ve hoped with the #2 WR spot seemingly open with Michael Gallup still working his way back from his ACL injury.

Need to be very careful about assuming later-round rookies have won clear roles.

The Jalen Tolbert ADP skyrocket to 117 overall was always wild.

“The immediate expectations for the Round 3 pick were probably too high entering training camp.”

Washington Commanders

Jahan Dotson – Dotson was drafted in the 1st round for a reason by Washington and looks to be Wentz’ favorite receiver so far in camp.

Jahan Dotson is essentially free in drafts. Despite being armed w/ No. 16 overall draft capital & an every-down role.

Note in here from Ben Standig: “Wentz has displayed more chemistry with Dotson than the other wide receivers in camp.”

Kansas City Chiefs

Skyy Moore – Moore didn’t get any snaps with Patrick Mahomes in his preseason game but that may change this weekend if JuJu can’t get back in time especially with Mecole Hardman not expected to play due to a groin injury he suffered in practice yesterday.

This makes Skyy Moore a person to watch Saturday (even more so than normal).

I can already tell I’m gonna end up writing about him 2 weeks in a row, but this could be a chance to really get some run with the 1st team.

Washington Commanders

Sam Howell – Howell impressed in his first taste of preseason action but it’s probably too soon to think he’ll be getting any starting reps as he’s probably more realistically fighting for the #2 QB spot on the depth chart behind Taylor Heinicke.

On a football related note, apparently was some ‘buzz’ on twitter yesterday about Howell getting first team reps? This shouldn’t need much clarification but: No, he did not. He was facing the No. 1 D as part of the scout team O. Nothing more than that.

Quick hitters

Philadelphia Eagles

Some fun highlights of Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith from yesterday – DeVonta Smith certainly looks healthy after he returned from a groin injury that held him out of practice last week.

Highlights of Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith’s big day against the Cleveland Browns in their joint practice yesterday.

New England Patriots

Rhamondre Stevenson and Ty Montgomery both seem to be vying for the James White role in this new Patriots offense. You never know what Bill Belichick is thinking so we may have to wait until week 1 to see who wins the third down role.

“The Patriots continue to give second year running back Rhamondre Stevenson opportunities to play in the passing game. Although he’s repping in that role behind Ty Montgomery, Stevenson is running with the second unit during two-minute drills where they’re mostly passing.”

New England Patriots

Will be watching the Patriots’ WR rotation tonight. They’ve had 5 guys with the top unit in camp: Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton. Agholor disappointed last season and has the biggest contract, but he’s impressed the team of late.

Injury News

New York Giants

Kadarius Toney – the Giants continue to be extremely cautious with their second-year wide receiver after he struggled to stay healthy in his rookie year.

Kadarius Toney moving well but he won’t play in Sunday’s preseason game.

Philadelphia Eagles

Miles Sanders – soft tissue injuries aren’t necessarily new for Miles Sanders so this is a bit concerning but it sounds like the team is being overly cautious with their starting running back.

Fourth straight missed practice for Miles Sanders.

Kansas City Chiefs

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Andy Reid says “I don’t think JuJu will probably play” on Saturday, but he was optimistic that he could return to practice next week.

Feel free to

follow us