The 2022 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from “Inside Training Camp Live” and around the NFL.
Trevor Lawrence high on Travis Etienne
Jaguars teammates Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne have been on the same sideline for half a decade, but the quarterback has never seen his backfield mate quite like this. “I honestly think he looks like he’s in better shape than I thought he was in our last year at Clemson,” Lawrence said Saturday of the second-year RB. That’s saying something, considering Etienne accounted for 6,107 total yards and 78 touchdowns in his four years at Clemson and both Lawrence and Etienne were first-round picks of the Jaguars in 2021. Unfortunately, the star RB didn’t play a single down in his rookie year after suffering a serious foot injury in the preseason. But with an entire campaign to sit and get his body right, Etienne has emerged even better than before, at least according to his longtime quarterback. “Obviously, he was great, played great, all that, he was fine,” Lawrence said of Etienne before his setback. “But right now, his body looks great, I think he’s running real well, picking up the offense, done a great job in the protections. All those things that we’re asking him to do, he’s done a great job.”
Miles Sanders still RB1 in Philly
The state of the Eagles’ running back depth chart was called into question this week, when onlookers noted that second-year player Kenneth Gainwell was running with the first team as Miles Sanders, Philly’s leading rusher in 2019 and 2020, was with the second team. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni dispelled the notion that Sanders was being phased out, pointing out that Philly rotates its top three backs (Boston Scott included) during that portion of practice. Sanders’ status as RB1 is not changing. “Miles is our guy,” Sirianni said. “It just so happened to be the way the numbers worked, but Miles was in with the [No.] 1s as well. … There’s no secret. Miles is our guy, and we like to rotate our backs.” Point taken. As for a fellow playmaker whose future with the Eagles is uncertain, Jalen Reagor, Philly’s first-round pick in 2020, is working with the second team and “battling for a spot,” per Sirianni, in the receiving corps and the return game. Whether Reagor is Philly’s “guy” in the WR rotation or on the receiving end of kicks and punts remains to be seen.
Raheem Mostert brings the heat to Miami
Last season’s season-ending knee injury hasn’t slowed Raheem Mostert. The now-Dolphins running back is already burning teammates in practice and setting speed records on arguably the league’s fastest roster. Miami coach Mike McDaniel told reporters Saturday that Mostert produced the fastest-timed speed in Friday’s practice. That’s right. Not Jaylen Waddle or Tyreek Hill, who proclaimed Friday that the Dolphins’ WR tandem was going to be the fastest of “all time.” It should be no surprise that Mostert has that next gear that other speedsters don’t have. The former 49ers back has recorded the two fastest in-game speeds in the league since 2020 (23.09 and 22.73 mph). Hill’s top speed, meanwhile, is a measly 21.91 mph. Don’t flip out, Tyreek!
Josh Allen not backing down
One of the league’s brightest stars, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen isn’t going to take any guff from opponents or teammates, apparently. During practice Saturday, Allen took umbrage with the physicality of some of his defensive teammates and after a play got into the face of defensive lineman Jordan Phillips, leading to a pull-apart skirmish. According to NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo, the Bills defensive linemen were “buzzing around the Bills QBs” and “even made contact at one point.” Center Mitch Morse added further context to the scuffle at the end of practice. “We’ve already been here a whole week,” Morse said, via NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. “Guys aren’t sleeping very well being away from their families … the anticipation behind pads can build up. Stuff like that is going to happen.” Asked if he had seen a QB initiate a fight, Morse said, “If I have, it’s been few and far between.” The Bills are prognosticated by many as Super Bowl contenders, and Allen’s dual-threat dynamism is one of the leading reasons, but his leadership and fire are clearly galvanizing Buffalo, as well.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, who’s coming back from an ACL tear, is impressing in practice thus far, and so too is first-round pick Chris Olave. The 11th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft was wide open to haul in a beautiful deep ball from Winston in the end zone during Saturday’s practice.
Rodgers explains Nic Cage costume, new tattoo
Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers won the week when he dressed up as Nicolas Cage’s Cameron Poe from Con Air for his training camp arrival earlier this week. Rodgers joined the NFL Network set on Saturday and gave the scoop to Stacey Dales and Steve Mariucci just how the costume came together — and how Allen Lazard helped him pull off the look. Rodgers also shed light on his offseason tattoo that made waves on the internet earlier this summer. Astrology aficionados will appreciate the insight into the Packers star’s new ink.
Malik Willis adjusting to NFL defenses
One of the draft’s biggest stories was Liberty quarterback Malik Willis’ slide into the third round, a surprising drop that ended when the Tennessee Titans traded up to draft the dynamic signal-caller with the No. 86 overall pick. Head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters Saturday that one thing his staff is working to instill in Willis is his sense of timing. “That’s been the message,” Vrabel said. “Just making sure the timing improves because you only have a certain amount of time to get the pass off and the distribution of the route and everything ties into that.” Vrabel acknowledged that there is a lot to digest for a young quarterback adjusting to NFL life and professional defensive packages, saying, “We try to make it as hard as possible in practice and hopefully things will start to slow down.”
Tua-Tyreek connection on display in Miami
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is entering a pivotal third season after a less-than-stellar start to his NFL career. But there were no questions about his Saturday hook up with new-addition Tyreek Hill, as the two delighted fans on an impressive deep ball.
No image signifies the start of football season quite like Western New Yorkers diving onto tables at a Bills tailgate. NFL Network’s Michael Robinson officially was inducted into #BillsMafia when he executed a table jump while on set in Rochester, N.Y. How would you rate Robinson’s form?
Texans show off alternate helmets
The NFL is allowing teams to don alternate helmets for the 2022 season — and 13 teams are taking advantage of the opportunity to diversify their looks this year. The Texans are one of those teams, and on Saturday they premiered their “Battle Red” lids for the Houston faithful.
McPherson shows off big leg
Isaiah Simmons lining up at “Star” backer
Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons has been lining up exclusively as a “Star” backer for whole periods during practice, according to the Arizona Republic. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph did not go into details about the position following practice, but the role involves playing in multiple spots at different levels of the defense. The third-year LB recently spoke about the game slowing down for him after a much-improved second campaign in the dessert. Simmons’ boost in processing speed is allowing Arizona’s defense to work him as a versatile chess piece in this way, moving him around to positions with wide-ranging responsibilities. If Simmons continues to fine-tune his dynamic coverage skills, it will allow players like Nick Vigil and Zaven Collins to stay home at inside linebacker more often in 2022.
Allen Robinson toe-tapping early at camp
Wide receiver Allen Robinson became one of the latest in a long line of splash signings made by the Los Angeles Rams when he joined the team this offseason. Both sides are already seeing dividends. According to reports, Robinson has been an early standout in camp, building a fast connection with quarterback Matthew Stafford a year after posting 38 catches, 410 yards and one touchdown in a dismal final season with the Bears. On practice Saturday, Stafford and Robinson connected for several more eye-popping catches during team drills. Much like changing teams elevated Stafford to new heights in 2021, Robinson’s start in L.A. is flashing signs of a major rebound.
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