NFL football is back!
Training camps have been open for just about a week for most teams, and as is always the case with the NFL; there is action everywhere. The pads and helmets are strapped, and the hits and touchdowns keep on coming.
Here are a few of the major headlines from the start of NFL Training Camps.
Early Headlines from NFL Training Camps
When the Pittsburgh Steelers picked cornerback Artie Burns in the first round it was seen as a reach, but the club didn’t really have much choice after their division rival Cincinnati Bengals snatched the coveted William Jackson III one slot ahead of them in the 2016 NFL draft.
Desperately needing an injection of youth and athleticism into their secondary, general manager Kevin Colbert insulated the pick by double-dipping at defensive back at the top of the draft. The team went ahead and selected Maryland product Sean Davis in the second round.
Jackson III Injured in Cincinnati
Early on, it looks to have all worked out for Pittsburgh. Davis has done nothing but impress. Unfortunate news out of Cincinnati Bengals camp informed us that Jackson III tore his pectoral muscle and is likely shelved for the season. The Steelers also lost their own cornerback Senquez Golson for 12 weeks on Tuesday to a Lisfranc injury, so the additional depth was indeed necessary.
The versatile Davis has seen consistent playing time in sub-packages, while competing for a starting job. He provides the speed and big-play ability the team has sorely lacked since the decline and eventual retirement of Troy Polamalu.
Artie Burns Early Camp
Burns on the other hand, isn’t quite as far along as Davis at the moment.
— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) August 1, 2016
To be fair, Antonio Brown does that to NFL starting quality CB’s every Sunday, and we knew Burns was raw coming out of Miami.
Josh Norman and Washington Camp
Josh Norman hasn’t had the kind of debut Washington Redskins fans were hoping for. The former Panther was caught being abused by Pierre Garcon on at least a couple of occasions. Of course, this is just the beginning of training camp, but it’s not as if Norman would be the first superstar to fizzle out in Washington.
Pierre Garcon making Josh Norman look like a little boy! https://t.co/MCbMKImR1h
— NO CHILL SPORTS (@NoChiIlSports) July 29, 2016
New York Giants Camp
Odell Beckham Jr. has been his usual highlight reel self.
— New York Giants (@Giants) July 31, 2016
Eli Manning looks to be on the money as well, dropping those passes into tight spots.
After being accidentally “cleated” by new colleague Janoris Jenkins, Beckham Jr. sat out Tuesday’s practice for precautionary reasons. Highly-touted rookie receiver Sterling Shepard made the most out of his increased snaps and showed off what he could do. Lining up inside and out, Shepard used his quickness and competitive nature to stand out.
Beckham Jr, Shepard, and Victor Cruz are a nice trio of targets for Manning. If the Giants running game can get on track, and the big money investments pay off on defense, the NFC East may be theirs for the taking.
Atlanta Falcons Camp
It didn’t take long for Falcons first round pick Keanu Neal to display that explosive style he was drafted to play. After making his first interception as a professional (albeit in practice), he laid the boom on veteran receiver Eric Weems.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) July 31, 2016
If Neal can step in an become the team’s enforcer, and linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell continue to make plays this draft class will go down in history.
Between the rookies, the slow of free-agent signings among the front-seven, the expected development of second year pass-rushers Vic Beasley Jr. and Grady Jarrett, and the recent addition of Dwight Freeney, the Atlanta defense should look much more like a Dan Quinn defense. Look for this to be one of the league’s most improved units.
In other news
The Baltimore Ravens waived running back Trent Richardson. This might be the end of the road for the former 3rd overall pick. He hasn’t played since 2014, and just went through his fourth team in as many years.
Tyrann Mathieu signed a five-year contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals. The deal can be worth a maximum of $62.5 million, with $40 million guaranteed.
Former Packers wide reciever James Jones signed with the San Diego Chargers. The deep receiving core suffered a setback on Sunday when Stevie Johnson tore his meniscus during practice. That blow will be cushioned by the addition of Jones, who has proven big-play ability.
Main Photo: EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 20: Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants reacts against the Carolina Panthers during their game at MetLife Stadium on December 20, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)