Better of Thursday at NFL coaching camps: Newton’s massive day, Ravens’ soccer drills, extra


Thursday’s 2021 NFL coaching camp practices kicked off with loads of deep-ball passing, rookies displaying off their expertise and quarterback competitions heating up.

Can veteran quarterbacks Cam Newton of the Patriots and Andy Dalton of the Bears maintain off first-year QBs Mac Jones and Justin Fields, respectively? Who will emerge from the Saints’ battle of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill? Can Teddy Bridgewater beat out Drew Lock for Denver’s beginning gig? It is a lot too early to inform, only some days into coaching camp, however we’re getting our first glimpses of the head-to-head competitions.

And whereas it may not even be August but, we have already seen offenses engaged on stretching out the protection. Quite a few highlight-reel deep balls got here out of practices right this moment, together with one from the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts to rookie wideout DeVonta Smith. Smith wasn’t the one rookie to make big-time performs Thursday, both.

This is what it’s good to know and see from camps throughout the league:

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Prime NFL information of the day

NFLPA president Tretter rips groups’ wristband use for unvaccinated gamers

NFLPA president JC Tretter ripped the NFL groups which are forcing their unvaccinated gamers to put on wristbands, calling it an pointless transfer that publicly shames gamers. “It is a nonsensical thought,” the Cleveland Browns middle mentioned Thursday. “They are saying they want a differentiator between vaccinated and unvaccinated gamers. We have already got a differentiator. The unvaccinated gamers must put on masks. No different sports activities league makes use of any form of scarlet marking or helmet decal or wristband, as a result of they know it isn’t crucial and the groups know who’s vaccinated, who’s not vaccinated.”

Jets’ Wilson indicators rookie deal after lacking first 2 days of apply

It took longer than anticipated, however the New York Jets and quarterback Zach Wilson agreed to phrases Thursday on his rookie contract. The primary-round choose and presumptive starter, who missed two days of apply as the 2 sides haggled over technicalities within the contract language, will signal a four-year, $35.15 million contract — a slotted deal that’s absolutely assured. It features a $22.9 million signing bonus and a fifth-year staff choice, normal for all first-round picks.

Ravens CB Smith nonetheless traumatized by February theft

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith mentioned he suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction since his household was robbed at gunpoint in February. “Going into the shop and being round anybody with a masks or hood on, it actually makes my coronary heart thump to at the present time,” Smith mentioned after Thursday’s apply. “It was terrifying scenario.”


What our NFL Nation reporters noticed right this moment

Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley was on the sector doing a big majority of labor through the first day of Atlanta’s coaching camp Thursday — which was a query since he had offseason surgical procedure and didn’t take part in on-field work through the staff’s minicamp final month. He appeared easy working out and in of routes and so much just like the participant who is anticipated to take over for Julio Jones because the staff’s No. 1 receiver. He did not do all the things Thursday, as Falcons coach Arthur Smith mentioned, “we’ll carry him alongside.” — Michael Rothstein

Whereas the remainder of his Giants teammates practiced, star working again Saquon Barkley labored on the again area with trainers. He was working routes, reducing, catching passes and sprinting. Full-speed sprints! Barkley appeared good, albeit from fairly an extended distance. Nonetheless, this was the primary time since tearing his knee that he has been out in public doing some of these issues. It is a minimum of signal, regardless of his beginning the summer time on the PUP record. Perhaps getting right into a apply is only some weeks away? — Jordan Raanan

Coach Kliff Kingsbury mentioned 5 Playing cards have been out due to the COVID-19 protocol, together with three beginning offensive linemen: middle Rodney Hudson, left guard Justin Pugh and proper deal with Kelvin Beachum, plus receivers Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson. Moreover Hudson’s projected return of Aug. 2, Kingsbury did not have a timeline for after they’d be again. Kingsbury mentioned it is a “plus” for guys to check optimistic at this level in coaching camp as a result of they do not must get examined once more for 3 months. — Josh Weinfuss

Taysom Hill obtained the primary flip of coaching camp as New Orleans’ beginning quarterback throughout Thursday’s apply. Nonetheless, Jameis Winston generated extra buzz with an environment friendly day that included a deep completion to receiver Deonte Harris and a wide range of quick and intermediate throws. He confirmed extra rhythm, timing and persistence than he did in a small pattern measurement final summer time. — Mike Triplett

The Chiefs’ Chris Jones had what would have been a sack of Patrick Mahomes had Thursday’s apply been a full-contact exercise, and it occurred from his new place at defensive finish. “I really feel good dashing off the sting,” mentioned Jones, who led the Chiefs in sacks in every of the previous three seasons taking part in largely from an inside place. Jones mentioned he spent extra offseason time doing yoga and Pilates, which assist his flexibility. “[Coming] from the sting, it is slightly totally different from taking the flip from [the interior],” he mentioned. — Adam Teicher

Cam Newton continues to take prime QB reps for the Patriots, adopted by Mac Jones. In full-speed 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 drills, Newton was 9-of-14 and Jones 7-of-13. Newton capped off his apply with a double exclamation mark — back-to-back TD passes to tight finish Hunter Henry. — Mike Reiss

Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence had solely three incompletions in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work, and one was a drop. He labored with primarily the primary staff on Thursday after working primarily with the backups on Wednesday, and he related with Laviska Shenault Jr. and Marvin Jones Jr. (for a TD) on deep passes. — Michael DiRocco

The Bears’ Andy Dalton practiced like a quarterback getting into Yr 11. Justin Fields, at occasions, resembled each NFL rookie quarterback on the second day of coaching camp. Dalton’s throws have been largely on the cash, together with a deep ball to Marquise Goodwin on the primary snap of 7-on-7. Fields had variety of sharp completions, however the first-round choose additionally struggled within the accuracy division throughout sure parts of the exercise. Chicago’s No. 3 quarterback, Nick Foles, predictably skilled a excessive diploma of success towards the Bears’ third-team protection. — Jeff Dickerson

Jeremy Chinn confirmed on the primary play of 7-on-7 drills why the Panthers are excessive on him making the transition from outdoors linebacker to security, selecting off a Sam Darnold go. Coach Matt Rhule mentioned, “I believe proper now we be ok with the plan of making an attempt him again there, letting him have an effect on our go protection slightly extra, after which we will transfer him up by name or by sport plan.” — David Newton

Beginning middle Ryan Kelly left apply early Thursday after struggling an elbow harm throughout 11-on-11 drills. Kelly instantly grabbed his left elbow after which spent the remainder of apply watching with it closely wrapped. Second-year participant Danny Pinter changed Kelly. The Colts are already lacking beginning left deal with Eric Fisher, who remains to be out whereas recovering from a torn Achilles. — Mike Wells

Quarterbacks Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater will likely be subjected to the each day scrutiny, however the first two days of camp confirmed the Broncos’ first-team protection may have an enormous say in who does win the job. Lock drew the first-team D in a pink zone interval Thursday, for instance, and was shut out. Later in apply, in some further pink zone work towards a special group, he threw three scoring passes. So whereas Bridgewater has been extra constant total within the early going — two incompletions in two days mixed in full 11-on-11 work — in the end the quarterback who solves the Broncos’ personal protection, in addition to the preseason opponents, one of the best will possible win the job. — Jeff Legwold

Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley delivered the most important spotlight of the Ravens’ second day of coaching camp, uncorking a 70-yard landing go to Jaylon Moore, who was double-covered on the time. With Lamar Jackson sidelined with COVID-19, Baltimore has remained aggressive on offense. The Ravens have talked about desirous to go deep extra this season, they usually’re backing it up with a number of downfield throws early in camp. — Jamison Hensley

A large receiver sporting a No. 84 jersey drew loud cheers from the followers at Heinz Subject on Thursday. Nevertheless it wasn’t Antonio Brown making the spectacular catches through the Steelers’ second open coaching camp apply. As an alternative, it was rookie Rico Bussey. Throughout an 11-on-11 passing drill, Bussey juggled a deep go from Dwayne Haskins Jr. on the sideline and introduced it down over Justin Layne. A couple of performs later, he made a diving catch on a Josh Dobbs go, laying out to seize it over Stephen Denmark on the opposite boundary. He put a bow on his apply by hauling in a wide-open landing from Haskins to finish the two-minute drill. — Brooke Pryor

Washington hopes rookie receiver Dyami Brown will develop right into a big-play menace, as he has been in two days of apply. On Thursday, he beat fellow rookie nook Benjamin St-Juste on a deep out-and-up and created a lot separation earlier than making an over-the-shoulder seize of a barely underthrown ball. Brown’s pace was been evident, however he has additionally carried out a pleasant job working slants — a route the staff likes for him as a result of it considers him fearless. — John Keim

Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby was having his approach with first-round draft choose Alex Leatherwood in particular person pass-rush drills Thursday, and he pulled the No. 17 total choose off to the facet to supply help and recommendation on how the correct deal with would possibly deal with the myriad of rushes with which Crosby was beating him. — Paul Gutierrez

The revamped Titans secondary has gotten a number of consideration through the offseason. Breon Borders is a holdover from final yr who began 5 video games, and he has had a stable begin to camp. He had an enormous go breakup in one-on-ones with Racey McMath and a few them throughout 7-on-7 and staff intervals as nicely. — Turron Davenport

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NFL quotes of the day

“I believe that is an enormous a part of it. I do not assume, with out Aaron [Rodgers], we’d be pursuing him. This was a vital factor for Aaron, and that is why we did it.”

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst on why the staff traded for WR Randall Cobb

“You want that sort of man on the market. It is the primary day, so all people’s excessive power, however Day 10 and Day 11 may not be so excessive power. However, Jamaal’s gonna be the identical approach every single day. When he comes on the market, he is gonna put a smile in your face it doesn’t matter what, so we want that sort of man out right here.”

Lions RB D’Andre Swift on the power backfield mate Jamaal Williams brings to apply

“By no means.”

Cardinals WR A.J. Inexperienced on the final time he wasn’t WR1 (DeAndre Hopkins will line up reverse Inexperienced in Arizona)

“I see on the spot chemistry between them two, actually. They have been used to taking part in with one another at Alabama, they usually obtained loads of work collectively within the offseason, too.”

Eagles RB Miles Sanders on the early chemistry between QB Jalen Hurts and WR DeVonta Smith

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