The offseason has finally and mercifully ended. It’s training camp time. Let’s preview the training camps for the NFC North.
Chicago, Minnesota and Green Bay start practice on July 27th.
Finally, the Lions start camp on July 31st.
Training Camp Position Battles
The Packers have a battle at defensive end between Letroy Guion, Ricky Jean Francois, Dean Lowry and Montavious Adams. Jean-Francois should be the favorite with Guion having a suspension and Adams a rookie.
Cornerback should be an intense battle in Green Bay. Quentin Rollins, rookie Kevin King, Davon House and Ladarius Gunter will vie or playing time at outside cornerback. Damarious Randall moves inside to the slot this season with Micah Hyde leaving for Buffalo. King was drafted to start but it is not a given for rookies at a tough position.
The fifth WR spot should be a fight with hail-mary king Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis (2016 5th round pick0, rookie Malachi Dupre (7th round) and rookie Deangelo Yancey (5th round pick). Geronimo Allison should be the 4th WR but will be suspended the first game of the season.
The Bears should have a battle at nickel back between Marcus Cooper and Callahan. Kyle Fuller returns from injury and Prince Amukamara should be the number 2 CB. The 4th and 5th CB spots are up for grabs as well in Chicago with Bryce Callahan, Sherrick McManis and DeAndre Carson-Houston.
Backup safety between Deon Bush, Harold Jones-Quartey, Chris Prosinski will battle for the 3rd and 4th safety spot. All five could make the roster though.
Chicago should have a battle at defensive end between free agent Jaye Howard and second year player Jonathan Bullard (3rd round pick 2016). Mitch Unrein has an outside shot as well.
Kendall Wright and Victor Cruz should battle for the slot WR job. Daniel Braverman, Wright, Cruz, Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson will be intense for the 4th and 5th WR spots too.
Brian Robison and Danielle Hunter should square off for starting DE time. Both players will play many snaps in 2016.
Trae Waynes and Terrence Newman fight for the number 2 CB spot. The loser of that battle could play nickel CB and will compete with Mackensie Alexander (2nd round pick 2016).
Tom Johnson and rookie 4th round pick Jaleel Johnson could battle for the under tackle job with Shariff Floyd hurt (possibly career). Datone Jones has a shot too after changing positions from OLB in Green Bay to under tackle for Minnesota.
Emmanuel Lemur, Edmond Robinson, rookie 7th round pick Elijah Lee, Kentrell Brothers vie for the weak-side linebacker starting job. Erik Kendricks and Anthony Barr will be the starting ILB and SAM LB.
Rookie Rodney Adams (5th round), Laquan Treadwell (1st round pick 2016), Jarius Wright (slot) and Moritz Boehringer (2016 6th round pick) will battle for the third WR spot with Micahel Floyd suspended the first 4 games of 2017. The Vikings have an opening at kick returner with Cordarelle Patterson gone. Adams or Dalvin Cook could win that position.
The Lions have a contest for number 2 CB with incumbent Nevin Lawson and Teez Tabor. The loser could be the nickel back possibly. However, Detroit has a nickel battle as well with Quandre Diggs, DJ Hayden and rookie Jamaal Agnew (5th round). The Lions are deep at CB2 and nickel.
Miles Killebrew and Tavon Wilson battle for the strong safety spot but both should see plenty of snaps as Detroit use three safeties often.
Graham Glasgow will try to hold off Joe Dahl and Laken Tomlinson at left guard. Greg Robinson has a shot at left guard as well but Robinson could be the starting left tackle with Decker out. Cyrus Kouandijo will battle Robinson for the top backup left tackle position. Corey Robinson, Tony Hillis and Cornelius Lucas will fight for a roster spot at backup tackle too.
Tahir Whitehead was hurt (knee) and should be the Will if healthy. However, rookie Jaleen Reeves-Mabin and Paul Worrilow have an outside chance to win the job. SAM is led by second year player Antwione Williams who could see Worrilow as competition there too.
Matt Asiata and Dwayne Washington square off for the 4th running back spot. TJ Jones, Jared Abbrederis and Keshawn Martin fight for the 4th and 5th WR spots.
Jordan Hill and Akeem Spence have competition for the third DT spot behind Robinson and Ngata. Jeremiah Ledbetter (6th round rookie), Ego Ferguson and Bruce Gaston are big dark horses but could nab a 5th DT spot.
Kick and punt return is up for grabs with Jared Abbrederis (PR), TJ Jones, Keshawn Martin, Jamaal Agnew and Dwayne Washington (KR) battling for return man duties.
Taylor Decker (torn labrum) won’t practice and may miss one quarter or half the season. The injury watch turns to Theo Riddick (wrists), Tahir Whitehead (knee), Ameer Abdullah (foot), Ansah (ankle), and TJ Lang (hip) to see if they practice in full for Detroit.
Minnesota has all eyes on Teddy Bridgewater (QB) and DT Shariff Floyd on the injury front.
Kyle Long (RG) hopes to return to practice for camp for the Bears. Kyle Fuller returns after missing all of 2016 at the number 1 CB spot. Danny Trevathan (ILB) and Kevin White (WR) are two more Bears to keep an eye on for health reasons. Pernell McPhee starts on PUP.
Green Bay has no injuries. They will stay perfectly healthy all year with a top notch training staff. Vince Biegel is on PUP though along with Demetri Goodson.
It will be hard to determine if coverage or run game or passing attacks improved in practices or pre-season. We’ll wait until the games for true improvement verification. However, every big catch, interception, blown coverage and drop will surely be over analyzed.
Keep an eye out for new contracts for players with one year left on the deal. Matt Stafford, Matt Prater, Glover Quin and Ziggy Ansah are options for the Lions. Davatne Adams, Ha Ha Clinton Dix and Corey Linsley are possible for the Packers.
Everson Griffen just signed a new 4 year 58 million dollar deal with the Vikings for 14.5 million per season. Xavier Rhodes needs a new deal in Minnesota as well. Akiem Hicks and the Bears are talking about an extension.
WE TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE
Enjoy all the training camp action. There will be lots of Scooped Articles for news and notes until the pre-season begins.