With 2022 NFL training camps ready to go into high gear, rookie young quarterbacks across the league are getting valuable reps.
At the New England Patriots camp on Friday, spectators expected quarterback Mac Jones to ramp up his performance after the offense was almost completely shut out, scoring just one touchdown over 11 repetitions in the red zone practice at the end of Thursday’s training.
Jones did not disappoint, showing that his relationship with tight end Juno Smith is in better place than they have been for most of 2021. In one play, Jones raised about 20 yards to Smith in the back of the end zone, with Kyle Dugger’s safety covered, and Smith jumped high to smash the aisle to land. Smith, who later hit another landing from Jones, and then followed up with an emphatic rise.
While mostly sharp, Jones threw his first interception to camp—straight into Galen Mills’ cornerback box.
In Philadelphia, quarterback Galen Hurts and offense faced a rocky outing Friday after a strong showing in opening practice. In Tennessee and Washington, it was the young tuners who made their mark.
Here’s what you need to know from camps across the league:
What NFL Nation Reporters Saw Today
Washington leaders: Sophomore receiver Diamie Brown needs to pose an even greater threat to Washington in his second season. In the third round in 2021, he only had eight assists. But his speed still got Washington excited, and on Friday he made a fine catch. In the play, quarterback Carson Wentz threw deep into Brown’s left side. Corner Kendall Fuller was perfectly positioned to intercept the ball with Brown pinning his side. But with Fuller extending the ball, Brown jumped and extended his hand over the veteran and hit the ball as they fell to the ground.– John Kim
Philadelphia Eagles: Midfielder Galen Hurts struggled and offensive after a strong showing in the opening drills.
It didn’t look good,” Jason Kelsey said.
Avonte Maddox’s corner provided one of the defensive highlights, rising to intercept Hurts’ floating pass assigned to the narrow end of Dallas Guedert.
“It’s the second day of camp,” Godert said. “We’re going to do it right.”– Tim McManus
Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks’ rookie wide receiver turned another great workday. Use his size to create a breakup and gain reps in a single period. Momentum turned into group practice periods when he got passes from Ryan Tannehill in traffic through the middle.– Toron Davenport
Green Bay Packers: Looking at the injury history, it would have been easy to say “same Sammy Watkins” when he started camp on the non-football-related injury (NFI) list. But the veteran receiver that the Packers signed off on was relieved to have been able to start training on day three of camp. He said he felt what he called a “pinch” in one of his hamstrings after a pre-camp workout.
“The next day I went out and ran the roads and ran and felt great, and I think I was kind of in my head [thinking]“Man, this happened again,” Watkins said. “But it wasn’t really anything.” His return to training on Friday came the day the Packers performed a short half-speed workout. However, Watkins was able to get a few passes from Aaron Rodgers as he smooths his way back.– Rob Damofsky
Kansas City Mayors: Newly signed defensive end Carlos Dunlap was not in practice. Dunlap told the superiors that he needed a few days to put some things in order in the house and wouldn’t be back at camp until the middle of next week. – Adam Teacher
New England Patriots: Rookie goalkeeper Cole String, the team’s first-round pick, finished training with an exclamation point as coach Bill Belichick called him up as part of a punt competition. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Strange was pulled off in one kick, and then when rookie defensive lineman DaMarcus Mitchell (Purdue) missed his attempt, Strange followed him with another soccer ball already in his fist. This led to a wild celebration of crime, which didn’t necessarily win anything other than bragging. – Mike Reese
New York Jets: Newly signed full-back Kwon Alexander will slowly be brought in as he progresses through football. The Jets’ plan is to have him work alone for a few days before hitting the training ground next week for limited work. He’s been unsigned since the end of last season, so he hasn’t had an off-season program. It will be used at the ‘Sam’ and ‘Will’ linebackers, and starts as a backup.
“No expectations,” said Robert Salih, the coach who coached him in San Francisco. “(He) just has to do what he always does, which is bring in a lot of juice and a lot of energy.” – Rich Semeny
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season in scoring before the break, so at the end of training, coach Matt Roll gave quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield a chance to see what they could do with 1:45 left on the game. Wall Clock. Darnold engineered a landing drive thanks to pass interference on a deep pass and caught the circus in the end zone by wide receiver Shea Smith after a defender had thrown the ball.
Mayfield’s group produced a long field goal as time was up. Carolina also ranked in the bottom half of the league in the red zone with a record in 2021. Darnold went 0-4 in his first series there on Friday. Mayfield went 1 for 4. Darnold completed his first deep pass with a 40-plus yard strike to Terrace Marshall Jr. – David Newton
Buffalo Bills: Safety start Micah Hyde was injured while trying to block Josh Allen’s pass. Hyde drops the ball as it falls to the ground. A few seconds later, Jordan Boyer in the safety started pointing to the team’s athletic coaches, who had turned up for Hyde. Several Bills players rode while looking at Hyde and the music was turned off.
He limped off the field with their help and grabbed the back of his leg at one point before sitting in the passenger seat of the carriage that took him to the team’s locker room. Hyde is dealing with a hip/gluteal injury that is still being evaluated. He and Poyer are arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL, so any time lost would be a huge loss for this Bills defense. Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin took up the rest of the training at Hyde. – Alaina Getzenberg
Today’s top NFL news
Chase Young captains to miss at least season opener
Washington defense end Chase Young will miss at least the season opener – and possibly more – due to a knee injury he picked up late last year. A team source told ESPN this month that Young will be back in mid-September at the earliest.
Cardinals’ JJ Watt isn’t a fan of Guardian’s ‘bobblehead’ hat
Watt of Arizona is not a fan of wearing the Guardian hat during training camp and wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts on Friday.
“You feel like a bird’s head,” Watt Jammed. “As if you’re going to fall. Maybe I’ll be fined for this. That’s cool… There are 15,000 lost.”
The Guardian Hat is required for all offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight-ends and linebackers during bootcamp training until pre-season game two.
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