25 things to keep an eye on once NFL training camps open

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It’s been another wild NFL offseason, and now teams have their sights set on training camps. Here’s a look at 25 things to keep an eye on as training camps open.

 

1 of 25

Baltimore’s defensive changes

Baltimore's defensive changes

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The Ravens made the surprising decision to move on from defensive coordinator Don Martindale after a disappointing season, as former assistant Mike Macdonald comes over from Michigan. Better health would already have a big, positive impact on Baltimore, but the additions of Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton in the secondary could be just as beneficial.

 

2 of 25

Buffalo’s quest to win their first Super Bowl

Buffalo's quest to win their first Super Bowl

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Many considered Buffalo to be the league’s best team entering last year’s playoffs, and they are the Super Bowl favorites entering training camp. After a thrilling yet disappointing loss in the playoffs at Kansas City, Buffalo is hoping to rebound and win their first Super Bowl this season. After fixing the offensive line and adding Von Miller, anything short of a Super Bowl berth would be a disappointment.

 

3 of 25

Carolina’s new Baker

Carolina's new Baker

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The Panthers will likely turn to Baker Mayfield as their starting quarterback after he flamed out in Cleveland. Mayfield will be the team’s fourth regular starter since head coach Matt Rhule was hired, and possibly his last chance to get it right. Mayfield has a lot to prove after struggling through injuries last season.

 

4 of 25

Chiefs crowd of wideouts

Chiefs crowd of wideouts

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Kansas City had arguably the best wideout in the league in Tyreek Hill last season, but their wide receiver room lacked depth. Now the Chiefs are without the speedy Hill after trading him to Miami, but their depth at the position has been boosted with the additions of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and rookie Skyy Moore. Andy Reid should have plenty of tricks up his sleeve with the new weapons and Patrick Mahomes delivering the ball.

 

5 of 25

Cincinnati proving they’re for real

Cincinnati proving they're for real

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The Bengals shocked the football world with their improvement last season behind Joe Burrow and rookie Ja’Marr Chase. During the offseason, they aggressively added to the offensive line and added major depth to their shaky secondary. The result is a roster that could continue to compete, though they won’t be taking anyone by surprise this season.

 

6 of 25

The cloud hanging over Cleveland

The cloud hanging over Cleveland

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The controversial addition of Deshaun Watson could backfire on the Browns, who are likely to have quarterback issues again if Watson is suspended, as expected. While the roster remains loaded with talent on the margins, their quarterback troubles could continue with Jacoby Brissett under center. All the time off for Watson could also be detrimental to his football future, and his massive contract could prevent the team from keeping their talent around for the long term.

 

7 of 25

Indy turning to Matt Ryan

Indy turning to Matt Ryan

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The quarterback position has been a nightmare for the Colts since Andrew Luck’s retirement. The team has been unable to find answers with Philip Rivers or Carson Wentz, but hope they can turn a new leaf with veteran Matt Ryan under center. Ryan struggled behind a terrible supporting cast in Atlanta last season, but the former MVP might find the fountain of youth with a more talented team around him.

 

8 of 25

The inevitable Pittsburgh rookie quarterback

The inevitable Pittsburgh rookie quarterback

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Despite signing Mitchell Trubisky in the offseason, it’s only a matter of time before rookie first-round pick Kenny Pickett takes over at quarterback for the Steelers. He has big shoes to fill after legend Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement but has a great defense and offensive weapons to help. Pickett will need to play himself into the starting role, but that could happen as early as Week 1.

 

9 of 25

Josh McDaniels’ second try as a head coach

Josh McDaniels' second try as a head coach

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Josh McDaniels turned into a disaster in his first try as an NFL head coach, riding Tim Tebow to futility in Denver. After spurning the Colts previously, McDaniels accepted the Raiders job and is out to show he can win without Bill Belichick. He has a lot of help, with the addition of Davante Adams during the offseason.

 

10 of 25

Kyler Murray’s morale

Kyler Murray's morale

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Murray was seemingly unhappy with the Cardinals early in the offseason, and the relationship between team and player is still murky. Arizona did add former college teammate Marquise Brown during the offseason, so Murray has what he needs to take another step forward. However, his long-term status with the team is the elephant in the room.

 

11 of 25

Life in New Orleans without Sean Payton

Life in New Orleans without Sean Payton

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The Saints haven’t known anything other than head coach Sean Payton since 2006. He brought exciting football to New Orleans, with elite offenses and a Super Bowl alongside Drew Brees. Payton has departed, but many of his assistants remained, including Dennis Allen and Pete Carmichael. The Saints also added significant weapons on offense as they try to make another playoff run.

 

12 of 25

The Mike McCarthy whispers

The Mike McCarthy whispers

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Mike McCarthy was able to revive the Cowboys last season, but they made a quick and disappointing playoff exit. In the process, McCarthy’s clock management and coaching strategy were called into question, and owner Jerry Jones hasn’t exactly seemed enthralled by him. There remains speculation that Sean Payton is the Cowboys head coach in waiting after this season, and perhaps no head coach has more pressure than McCarthy in 2022.

 

13 of 25

The Jimmy Garoppolo saga

The Jimmy Garoppolo saga

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It seems the 49ers are going all-in with 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance, leaving Garoppolo in limbo. Garoppolo is recovering from shoulder surgery, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp with several quarterback-needy teams still searching. San Francisco would be well-served to make a decision soon, or the pressure on Lance could build.

 

14 of 25

Miami’s offensive overhaul

Miami's offensive overhaul

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No team has made more impactful moves on offense than the Dolphins, hiring Mike McDaniel to right the ship with Chase Edmonds, Tyreek Hill, Cedrick Wilson, Terron Armstead, and Connor Williams on board. The biggest question remains Tua Tagovailoa’s ability, even with the help.

 

15 of 25

New leadership in Tampa Bay

New leadership in Tampa Bay

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The Bucs have Tom Brady back for another run, and the team was also able to bring back key contributors like Chris Godwin and Ryan Jensen in the offseason. The biggest change is the retirement of Bruce Arians, making way for former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to take over. Bowles failed to find success as the Jets head coach, like so many before him but could be the spark the Bucs need to get back to the Super Bowl.

 

16 of 25

The Patriots OC situation

The Patriots OC situation

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The Patriots lost offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in the offseason. Curiously, they’ve failed to hire a replacement, with talk they would promote either Matt Patricia or Joe Judge to run the offense. Neither coach has experience in the role, though they’ve both had time as head coaches in the league. It’s a curious thought as the team continues to develop Mac Jones.

 

17 of 25

Doug Pederson bringing discipline to the Jags

Doug Pederson bringing discipline to the Jags

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Jacksonville was a circus last season with Urban Meyer at the helm, and it was an undesirable situation for rookie Trevor Lawrence. The addition of Doug Pederson is seen as a home run hire, as the former Eagles Super Bowl winning head coach brings more stability and NFL experience. The Jaguars have a long way to go with their roster, but Pederson’s addition could be felt immediately.

 

18 of 25

Philadelphia’s loaded lineup

Philadelphia's loaded lineup

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The Eagles are favorites to win the NFC East after a late 2021 surge and some big offseason additions like A.J. Brown, James Bradberry, and Haason Reddick. The team has an embarrassment of riches while quarterback Jalen Hurts plays on his rookie deal. It’s Hurts’ development that could be the biggest obstacle to the team reaching their goals.

 

19 of 25

Rams under-the-radar changes

Rams under-the-radar changes

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The Rams didn’t have much draft capital, as usual, but they’ve still made big-impact additions after winning the Super Bowl. Allen Robinson is the biggest addition, but the team also added Bobby Wagner and Troy Hill, while free agent Odell Beckham still remains in play. With a core of Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and Jalen Ramsey, LA has a realistic shot to repeat.

 

20 of 25

Aaron Rodgers finding new weapons

Aaron Rodgers finding new weapons

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Rodgers opted to return to Green Bay despite his unhappiness last offseason, but top wideouts Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have gone elsewhere.  The Packers didn’t add a clear replacement, though second-round pick Christian Watson and veteran Sammy Watkins are in the fold. Rodgers also still has Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb around, but the losses will be difficult to replace.

 

21 of 25

Deebo Samuel’s contract wish

Deebo Samuel's contract wish

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Perhaps even bigger than the quarterback situation hanging over the 49ers is Samuel’s trade request. He did attend minicamp, but Samuel still wants a new contract after touching the ball 136 times last season. The 49ers will have the money, especially if they can offload Garoppolo, but that doesn’t mean they will meet Samuel’s demands.

 

22 of 25

Seahawks quarterback competition

Seahawks quarterback competition

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As things stand now, there’s a clear downgrade at quarterback for the Seahawks as the team turns the page on the Russell Wilson era. Geno Smith and Drew Lock are set to fight it out, as Seattle didn’t draft any of the highly regarded quarterbacks or trade for Baker Mayfield. With the addition of Kenneth Walker, along with elite wideouts D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, the team has enough weapons to compete if one of their former draft bust quarterbacks emerges.

 

23 of 25

Ryan Tannehill’s life without A.J. Brown

Ryan Tannehill's life without A.J. Brown

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The Titans have come close to their goal in recent seasons, including reaching the AFC Championship in 2019. The most common critique of their roster is the quarterback position, where Tannehill continues to do enough to lead the team through the regular season before getting halted in the playoffs. Tannehill’s job is set to be even tougher now without A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, replacing that duo with Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks. This could be a do-or-die season for Tannehill as the team’s starter, and the task has never been more difficult in his Titans career.

 

24 of 25

Washington’s new era

Washington's new era

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Washington is entering a 2022 season with big changes, taking on the Commanders name and new quarterback Carson Wentz. The team is coming off a disappointing 2021 season, particularly on defense, and the off-field controversies are stacking up with accusations against owner Daniel Snyder as well as defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s controversial political statements. Still, the team is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball if Ron Rivera can continue to get the train back on track.

 

25 of 25

Russell Wilson’s new home

Russell Wilson's new home

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After five years of struggles, the Broncos finally found their quarterback after trading for Russell Wilson from Seattle. It should be noted that he’s coming off one of his worst seasons, missing time to a finger injury and struggling at times when he did return. Still, the nine-time Pro Bowler is a clear improvement for the Broncos and could lead them back to the playoffs.





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