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AFC West camp preview: Chiefs rebuilding on the fly

Will Andy Reid play Patrick Mahomes and his starters in the preseason? Can the Los Angeles Chargers keep away from their conventional summer season harm catastrophe? Will Khalil Mack be able to take part in Las Vegas Raiders coaching camp? WHAT THE HELL IS CIARA DOING TO RUSSELL WILSON’S FACE? The solutions to these questions and extra might be present in Walkthrough’s AFC West Training Camp previews!

Denver Broncos 2022 Training Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: The Broncos did not simply commerce for Russell Wilson. They traded the false optimism about their quarterback scenario of 2016-2021 for false optimism about their protection for 2022. Yes, the Broncos had been the winners in that commerce. But they nonetheless have quite a bit to do that summer season in the event that they hope to do greater than get just a little higher underneath Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett.

(The protection factor is defined additional in Football Outsiders Almanac 2022 or in this ESPN+ article.)

Camp Battles to Watch: Lloyd Cushenberry must maintain off a push from former Lions starter Graham Glasgow at heart. Glasgow might additionally slide to protect (he performed each positions in Detroit) if Quinn Meinerz, final 12 months’s third-round decide from Wisconsin-Whitewater, does not take a leap ahead this 12 months.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: It’s Wilson, after all, as he and Ciara set up themselves as Duke and Duchess of the Rockies. Let’s see what the ultra-glamorous couple was up to during their Italian getaway and … oof, cannot unsee that.

Wilson apart, Randy Gregory underwent rotator cuff surgical procedure not lengthy after signing his reported $70-million contract with the Broncos and was not obtainable for OTAs. Hackett sounded A-OK with the scenario in minicamp. Why ought to anybody fear a couple of participant who has by no means been wholesome and obtainable for a full 12 months in seven NFL seasons? After all, Bradley Chubb is the Broncos‘ different edge rusher, and what are the odds that man will get injured or disappoints…

Circle-It Date: The BroncosCowboys August 11 joint follow ought to function storylines and sound bites galore. There’s no means Jerrah desires to see his boys upstaged by Russ and Dr. Pimple Popper!

Kansas City Chiefs 2022 Training Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: New receivers! New edge rushers! New defensive backs! High draft picks and budget-friendly free brokers in every single place! The Chiefs are like a Super Bowl contender dressed up for Halloween like a rebuilding crew. Or vice versa? Nope, so long as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid round, they’re nonetheless contenders.

Training Camp Battles to Watch:
Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports that Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the Chiefs‘ finest receiver throughout OTAs. Rookie Skyy Moore, in the meantime, missed most of OTAs with a hamstring harm. The Chiefs know what they’re getting from Mecole Hardman (screens and reverses) and Juju Smith-Schuster (catches in site visitors, TikTok movies that gave Steelers followers conniptions). Oh, and Josh Gordon participated in minicamp like a daily soccer participant, not some receiving cryptid. No one receiver will substitute Tyreek Hill, however we are going to get a greater sense in the weeks to come back of who Patrick Mahomes’ go-to receiver shall be, whether or not Moore may have a significant function in 2022, and if Gordon will as soon as once more disappear into the underbrush.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: First-round pass-rusher George Karlaftis was reportedly so energetic throughout rookie camp that coaches ordered him to (in his phrases) “tone down.” Karlaftis, the thirtieth total decide, has instruments to rival edge rushers taken in the prime 10, however he spent his childhood in Greece taking part in water polo as a substitute of soccer. The Chiefs are relying on Karlaftis and Trent McDuffie, one other first-round decide, to stabilize a protection that wanted a second-half surge to climb all the way to 24th in DVOA in 2021.

Circle-It Date: Andy Reid nonetheless performs a lot of his starters in the preseason. In truth, Mahomes really threw 18 passes in the second preseason recreation of 2021! So search for an old style costume rehearsal when the Chiefs face the Commanders on August 20. Even if Mahomes does not play a lot, all of these receivers and first-round picks in all probability will.

Los Angeles Chargers 2022 Training Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: The Chargers have a clear-cut to-do record.

  1. Avoid their conventional Curse of the Mummy harm plague (which has subsided in recent times).
  2. Make positive the run protection is fastened.
  3. Create the biggest fourth-down conversion bundle in NFL historical past so their season does not finish with Austin Ekeler getting stuffed on fourth-and-1 from his personal 28 when the Chargers are defending a two-point lead.
  4. Hope Justin Herbert is not shopping for into his personal hype.

Camp Battles to Watch: Incumbent proper deal with Storm Norton completed third in the NFL with 42 blown blocks in 2021. Trey Pipkins, who began at proper deal with for some time in 2020, seems able to overtake him. In the occasion of a double knockout, Matt Feiler would possibly transfer over to proper deal with, with sixth-round decide Jamaree Salyer (Georgia) changing Feiler at left guard.

Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M) is predicted to win a task as Ekeler’s platoon mate, particularly since Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree did little in the function. But hold a watch on UDFAs Leddie Brown (West Virginia) and Kevin Marks (Buffalo), a pair of compact however decided dirty-work rushers. Ekeler, for his half, desires some assist. “I wanna play a long time, so I want guys to come in and earn some reps,” he mentioned per Alex Katson at Chargers Wire). “I want these guys to come challenge me.” The Chargers would love considered one of these backs to show himself as a short-yardage battering ram.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: Let’s test in on Khalil Mack’s workout routine and … oh my. All Mack and his coach must do is throw a tiger at a motorbike and this could possibly be an outtake from RRR! Mack, recovering from a foot harm, did carry out a number of particular person drills in minicamp; it is unclear how a lot motion he’ll see in August.

The Chargers face the Raiders in Week 1, and Mack claims it’s just another game. Yep, simply one other recreation in opposition to the crew that traded you for a bunch of draft picks that they used as birdcage liner, and which additionally tied your new crew’s shoelaces collectively in a must-win Week 18 recreation in 2021. No additional feelings at play right here.

Circle-It Date: Brandon Staley shrink-wraps his starters throughout camp, so there shall be little to see. Training camp formally ends for the Chargers on August 18. If Herbert hasn’t gotten electrocuted by his toaster or a megavolcano hasn’t swallowed the crew by then, it needs to be easy crusing.

Las Vegas Raiders 2022 Training Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: Good luck making an attempt to gauge the expectations for the 2022 Raiders. With Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, they need to be higher than final 12 months’s Raiders. And final 12 months’s Raiders reached the playoffs! Yet this 12 months’s Raiders do not appear to be way more than a one-and-done playoff crew. Confused? A coaching camp during which Josh McDaniels imposes Belichick-level omertà is more likely to reveal little or no.

Camp Battles to Watch: Adams is WR1. Hunter Renfrow is WR2, although he’ll function principally out of the slot. The candidates for WR3 embody Demarcus Robinson, a toolsy speedster who was by no means 100% with the Chiefs program; Keelan Cole, a toolsy speedster who by no means fairly constructed upon his come-from-nowhere 2017 success with the Jaguars; and Mack Hollins, a toolsy speedster who enjoys life as a particular groups gunner. There’s a excessive likelihood that McDaniels solves this riddle with 12 personnel, Darren Waller and Foster Moreau to the proper, Adams cut up left, Renfrow in the slot, and Robinson coming off the bench for 20 decoy deep routes per recreation.

Rock Ya-Sin and Nate Hobbs shall be two of the beginning corners, although Hobbs (like Renfrow) will in all probability stick with the slot. The different cornerback job will both go to former Ravens function participant Anthony Averett or Trayvon Mullen, a stereotypical Raiders draft bust out of Clemson. Others are in the combine, together with former Bengals particular groups ace Darius Phillips (McDaniels actually hoarded particular groups aces in free company) and Eagles slot powerful man Cre’Von LeBlanc. A deep unit will not be essentially the identical factor as a robust unit.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: Davante Adams. You have in all probability learn sufficient about him.

Returnee to Obsess Over: Alex Leatherwood remained forward of Brandon Parker and others for the proper deal with place when minicamp ended. That means Leatherwood both improved considerably from the final time we noticed him or that McDaniels will spend the complete 12 months scheming to cover the rain barrel on the offensive line.

Circle-It Date: Raiders coaching camp shall be boring as a result of there aren’t many glamor-position battles, McDaniels will management data like the Belichick caporegime he has been for years, and the Vegas press pool has probably not had an opportunity to coalesce right into a supply for breathless intrigue and devoted hornet’s nest-poking. But the Raiders face the Jaguars in the Hall of Fame Game on August 4. It’s the worst soccer recreation on any schedule. But it is also the harbinger of the thrills and glory to come back.

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