NFL Training Camp Previews

NFL Training Camp Previews

Cincinnati Bengals 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007

(Sports Network) - CAMP OBJECTIVES: Assuming he doesn't have a rash of off-the-field issues to deal with, Marvin Lewis' chief directive throughout the month of August will be sorting out a number of important defensive battles.

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Assuming he doesn't have a rash of off-the-field issues to deal with, Marvin Lewis' chief directive throughout the month of August will be sorting out a number of important defensive battles. With Tory James gone to the Patriots and expected starter Johnathan Joseph coming off foot surgery, the team should get a long look at cornerback and first-round draft choice Leon Hall (Michigan), who could end up starting if things go well. At linebacker, Lewis needs to find three guys that can play out of a group including Ahmad Brooks, Landon Johnson, Rashad Jeanty, Ed Hartwell, Caleb Miller, and perhaps the soon-to-be-reinstated Odell Thurman. Up front, there is a gaping hole where the released Sam Adams used to be, and the team needs either Michael Myers (ex-Broncos) or Kenderick Allen (ex-Packers) to help fill it. The Cincinnati offense returns basically intact, though the team needs to find a third receiver to replace the suspended Chris Henry, and must also sort out a running back depth chart where rookie Kenny Irons (Auburn), former first-round pick Chris Perry, and the reliable Kenny Watson are all vying for touches behind Rudi Johnson.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/9 at Detroit; 8/18 vs. New Orleans; 8/27 at Atlanta; 8/31 vs. Indianapolis

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Buffalo Bills 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, NY

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Though there are significant questions on the offensive side of the football as well, it is shaping the identity of the defense that should be head coach Dick Jauron's top priority as camp begins. Linebackers Takeo Spikes (Eagles), London Fletcher (Redskins), and cornerback Nate Clements (49ers) all have new addresses, and the team is counting on youngsters like rookie linebacker Paul Posluszny (Penn State), second-year safeties Donte Whitner and Ko Simpson, and developing LBs Angelo Crowell and Keith Ellison to step into the leadership void. The battle to start opposite Terrence McGee at cornerback will be a good one, to include veterans Jason Webster (ex-Falcons), Kiwaukee Thomas, and second-year-pro Ashton Youboty. Jauron and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell also need to find some depth on the interior line, since it is becoming clear that disgruntled former Eagle Darwin Walker will not report to camp. On offense, the spotlight will be on first-round draft pick Marshawn Lynch (Cal), who takes over for Willis McGahee at running back. Other issues concern finding a reliable receiver to start opposite Lee Evans and shaping a line that should feature two new starters in guard Derrick Dockery (ex-Redskins) and tackle Langston Walker (ex-Raiders).

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/10 at New Orleans; 8/17 vs. Atlanta; 8/24 vs. Tennessee; 8/30 at Detroit

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Kansas City Chiefs 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: University of Wisconsin-River Falls, River Falls, WI

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Herm Edwards' second training camp with Kansas City will be all about answering burning questions, each one seemingly more concerning than the next. Who will emerge in the quarterback battle between longtime backup Damon Huard and second-year-pro Brodie Croyle? Will the potential absence of Larry Johnson, who is hinting at a training camp holdout if he doesn't receive a new contract, be a distraction? Will first-round draft choice Dwayne Bowe (LSU) develop into the consistent target the Chiefs have long lacked? Will an offensive line that saw Will Shields follow Willie Roaf into retirement come together quickly? The questions persist on an aging defense, where projected middle linebacker Donnie Edwards and cornerbacks Ty Law and Patrick Surtain are all above the age of 30. And just for good measure, the special teams will be going through a transition, as longtime return staple Dante Hall was traded to the Rams and kicker Lawrence Tynes dealt to the Giants. Second-year-pro Jeff Webb will have to step up on returns and rookie Justin Medlock (UCLA) will have to show he is ready in the kicking game.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 at Cleveland; 8/16 vs. Miami; 8/23 vs. New Orleans; 8/30 at St. Louis

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Indianapolis Colts 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 29th, Veterans July 29th

SITE: Rose-Human Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Tony Dungy's most important training camp job could involve the psyche of his football team, as the reigning champs try to avoid the natural complacency that comes with winning the Super Bowl. Otherwise, Dungy needs to take a hard look at his defense, which still has some major holes following last year's Jekyll-and-Hyde routine. With playmaker Cato June now a Buccaneer, Indy is looking at entering the season with a linebacking corps of Gary Brackett in the middle and Rob Morris and Freddie Keiaho on the outside. Identifying depth in that department will be a major task for Dungy. The secondary also needs some work, as cornerbacks Nick Harper (Titans) and Jason David (Saints) took the money and ran, leaving the less experienced Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden to man the corner slots. The perpetually injured but unquestionably important Bob Sanders (shoulder) could miss the start of training camp, meaning Indy needs a solid plan B at safety. On the other side of the ball, the defection of Dominic Rhodes to the Raiders means the team must find a backup to Joseph Addai at the running back spot. Also worth keeping an eye on is rookie wideout Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio State), who will be expected to replace Brandon Stokley (Broncos) as the No. 3 receiver.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/9 at Dallas; 8/20 vs. Chicago; 8/25 vs. Detroit; 8/31 at Cincinnati

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Miami Dolphins 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 22nd, Veterans July 27th

SITE: Dolphins Training Center, Davie, FL

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Cam Cameron figures to endure so many headaches in his first training camp as Dolphins coach, team owner Wayne Huizenga might want to look into a sponsorship deal with Excedrin. Projected offensive weapons like quarterback Trent Green, running back Ronnie Brown, and rookie wideout Ted Ginn, Jr. all have concerning injury histories, and the depth is not great at any of the above positions. The offensive line remains a bottom-tier unit, and won't be any better following the surprise release of tight end Randy McMichael in the offseason. The defense still boasts the likes of Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas, but the fact that those two players and projected starters Joey Porter, Keith Traylor, and Vonnie Holliday are all well over the age of 30 should put Cameron and his staff on red-alert when it comes to identifying reliable backups. There is even total uncertainty on special teams, where probable return man Ginn, rookie punter Brandon Fields and kicker Jay Feely will all be wearing Miami uniforms for the first time.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 vs. Jacksonville; 8/16 at Kansas City; 8/25 vs. Tampa Bay; 8/30 at New Orleans

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Jacksonville Jaguars 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 27th

SITE: Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, FL

CAMP OBJECTIVES: All of Jacksonville's major training camp questions reside on offense, beginning at the top with new coordinator and ex-Arizona State head coach Dirk Koetter. The battle between quarterbacks Byron Leftwich and David Garrard will be well worth watching, and if the team ends up with Daunte Culpepper as is widely expected, things will get exceptionally interesting. Elsewhere in the backfield, Koetter must find a way to get the football to rising star Maurice Jones-Drew without offending the declining Fred Taylor. The pass-catching situation is no less certain, with major competitions going on at both receiver (Reggie Williams, Matt Jones, Ernest Wilford, Dennis Northcutt) and tight end (Jermaine Wiggins, Marcedes Lewis, George Wrighster). By comparison, the defense has all of its ducks in a row, though the team will need to ensure that last year's injured (end Reggie Hayward, linebacker Mike Peterson) have made a full recovery and will expect this year's highly- regarded draft picks (safety Reggie Nelson, linebacker Justin Durant) to develop quickly.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 at Miami; 8/18 vs. Tampa Bay; 8/23 at Green Bay; 8/30 vs. Washington

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New York Jets 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 27th

SITE: Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Eric Mangini won't have to concern himself with a quarterback controversy in this, his second, training camp, since Chad Pennington proved his durability and effectiveness during 2006. But there will be some drama, especially concerning disgruntled left guard Pete Kendall, who wants a bigger contract and is reportedly in Mangini's doghouse for being something of a "clubhouse lawyer." If Kendall is traded or released, as expected, there will be greater pressure in terms of the development of a young o-line. Elsewhere on offense, coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will look to find a role for new starting running back Thomas Jones, and will try to find a credible third receiver. In the offseason, the Jets showed particular concern for the edges of their 3-4 defense, signing five players (Eric Hicks, David Bowens, Kenyon Coleman, Michael Haynes, and Andre Wadsworth) that fit the description of either an end or outside linebacker. Watching to see which of those players stick will be entertaining. Many both inside and outside the organization will also be closely monitoring the work of cornerback Darrelle Revis (Pittsburgh), whom the team traded up to select in April's first round and is expected to offer the team another much-needed playmaker.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/10 vs. Atlanta; 8/17 vs. Minnesota; 8/25 at NY Giants; 8/30 at Philadelphia

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New England Patriots 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 27th

SITE: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

CAMP OBJECTIVES: After adding receiving weapons Randy Moss, Donte' Stallworth, and Wes Welker to an offensive corps that already included standouts like quarterback Tom Brady, running back Laurence Maroney and tight end Ben Watson, New England will spend much of the late summer polishing what could be a frighteningly explosive attack. The offseason receiving additions mean that '06 wideout staples like Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell - not to mention 2006 second-round draft choice Chad Jackson - are on notice. With Corey Dillon gone, New England needs to locate a primary backup to Laurence Maroney, who comes off of shoulder surgery. Ex-Dolphin Sammy Morris is the favorite there. Defensively, the big news should concern the addition of Pro Bowl linebacker Adalius Thomas, though the threatened holdout by franchised cornerback Asante Samuel could end up being the juicier item. If Samuel fails to report, Bill Belichick will have to do some finagling in a secondary that includes new faces such as ex-Bengals corner Tory James and first-round draft choice Brandon Meriweather (Miami-Florida) along with holdovers Ellis Hobbs, Eugene Wilson, Rodney Harrison, Randall Gay, and Chad Scott.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/10 at Tampa Bay; 8/17 vs. Tennessee; 8/24 at Carolina; 8/30 vs. NY Giants

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Oakland Raiders 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: Napa Valley Marriott, Napa Valley, CA

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Though it is that most tired of clichs, the notion of "changing the culture" will be a primary objective of Lane Kiffin's first training camp. The Raiders are 15-49 (.234) and have been through three head coaches in the past four years, so Kiffin is going to have some work to do in proving things are about to change for the better. Critical to the progress of the team will be the organization's ability to sign top pick JaMarcus Russell. If it doesn't happen quickly, either newcomer Josh McCown or holdover Andrew Walter will have to step in at quarterback. Identifying a final group of receivers should also be a challenge, since newcomers such as Mike Williams, Travis Taylor, and rookie Johnnie Lee Higgins (UTEP) will be competing with holdovers Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Alvis Whitted, and Doug Gabriel for playing time. Reworking last year's woeful offensive line will also be a considerable task for Kiffin and coordinator Greg Knapp. Rex Ryan's defense is in much better shape than the offense, with former Jaguar safety Donovin Darius looking like the only newcomer who will seriously contend for a starting job.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 vs. Arizona; 8/18 at San Francisco; 8/25 vs. St. Louis; 8/30 at Seattle

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Baltimore Ravens 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 29th, Veterans July 29th

SITE: McDaniel College, Westminster, MD

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Getting the offense in sync will be job number one for a Ravens team that will be featuring a new running back (Willis McGahee), fullback (Justin Green or rookie Le'Ron McClain), an offensive lineman or two (former starters tackle Tony Pashos and guard Edwin Mulitalo are now ex- Ravens), and coordinator (Rick Neuheisel was promoted). The glue should be Steve McNair, who is expected to make a positive step forward in his second year at the helm of the Baltimore offense. Defensively, all eyes will be on fourth-year-pro Jarret Johnson, who takes over at outside linebacker for free agent defection and Pro Bowler Adalius Thomas. Otherwise, Rex Ryan's defense remains intact. There could be an issue in the return game, where the dynamic B.J. Sams returns from injury but will be pushed by third-round draft choice Yamon Figurs (Kansas State).

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/13 vs. Philadelphia; 8/19 vs. NY Giants; 8/25 at Washington; 8/31 at Atlanta

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 23rd, Veterans July 23rd

SITE: Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA

CAMP OBJECTIVES: The Steelers' veterans will report before any of those on the league's other 31 teams, which is handy given the amount of work new head coach Mike Tomlin has before him in his first summer session. The most pressing concerns are on defense, where major questions remain about how the Tampa-2-loving Tomlin will coexist with coordinator Dick LeBeau and his zone blitz. The fact that the team drafted a pair of defensive end/outside linebacker hybrids - Lawrence Timmons (Florida State) and LaMarr Woodley (Michigan) in the first two rounds - failed to tip Tomlin's philosophical hand. Other battles worth watching will come from the secondary, where Deshea Townsend, Ike Taylor, and Bryant McFadden are fighting for two cornerback jobs, and where Anthony Smith and Ryan Clark are duking it out for free safety honors. On offense, there won't be much philosophical transition from departed coordinator Ken Whisenhunt to Bruce Arians, who served as Pittsburgh's wide receivers coach for the past three years, but the team will be expected to be more consistent behind a fully healthy Ben Roethlisberger from the outset of camp. There are issues on the offensive line, where ex-Buccaneer Sean Mahan is expected to take over for the retired Jeff Hartings at center, and where veteran left guard Alan Faneca could make some waves due to dissatisfaction with his contract.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/5 vs. New Orleans (Canton); 8/11 vs. Green Bay; 8/18 at Washington; 8/26 vs. Philadelphia; 8/30 at Carolina

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Houston Texans 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: Houston Texans Practice Facility, Houston, TX

CAMP OBJECTIVES: The summer learning curve will be steep for new starting quarterback Matt Schaub, whom many Houston fans have ordained as team savior despite the continued presence of a shaky supporting cast. If a still-suspect offensive line, which welcomes only one noteworthy new member in tackle Jordan Black (ex-Chiefs), doesn't learn how to block, neither Schaub nor running back Ahman Green (ex-Packers) will make much of an impact. Elsewhere on offense, Gary Kubiak must find a credible receiver to start opposite the overworked Andre Johnson. The defense is largely the same as last year's unit, a scary fact considering that Houston finished in the bottom half of the league in every major defensive category. The biggest upgrades came on the interior line, where the Texans used their first-round draft pick on Amobi Akoye (Lousiville) and also brought in veteran Jeff Zgonina (ex-Dolphins) to add depth. Akoye and Zgonina must immediately prove that they can raise the level of play within the front seven.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 vs. Chicago; 8/18 at Arizona; 8/25 vs. Dallas; 8/30 at Tampa Bay

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Tennessee Titans 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 17th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 27th

SITE: Baptist Sports Park, Nashville, TN

CAMP OBJECTIVES: The Titans roster was pillaged during the offseason, with one-time key pieces like running back Travis Henry (Broncos), wideouts Drew Bennett (Rams) and Bobby Wade (Vikings), tight end Erron Kinney (released), linebacker Peter Sirmon (released), and cornerback Pacman Jones (one-year suspension) all leaving by either desire or force. The challenging task of finding replacements for those players will consume Jeff Fisher and his staff throughout camp. At running back, the once-left-for-dead Chris Brown has magically returned to the top of the depth chart, and should be able to hold off the embattled LenDale White. Receiver is more problematic, since projected starter David Givens (knee) will likely start the year on the Physically- Unable-to-Perform list and no one else on the roster at that position has more than 31 catches in an NFL season. On defense, Fisher must locate some depth behind cornerbacks Nick Harper (ex-Colts) and Reynaldo Hill, and will have to come up with a plan B in the event that the green Stephen Tulloch falls on his face in a transition to the starting middle linebacker slot.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 vs. Washington; 8/17 at New England; 8/24 at Buffalo; 8/30 vs. Green Bay

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San Francisco 49ers 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 28th, Veterans July 28th

SITE: San Francisco 49ers Complex, Santa Clara, CA

CAMP OBJECTIVES: The 49ers received high marks for upgrading their talent level in the offseason, but training camp will be critical in terms of getting all of those new faces to come together to form a cohesive whole. New coordinator Jim Hostler, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach following the departure of Norv Turner to the Chargers, will be looking to nurture a passing game that now includes ex-Seahawk Darrell Jackson in the top receiver slot and former Bronco and Falcon Ashley Lelie in the mix as well. Quarterback Alex Smith, who is expected to take a positive leap from year two to year three of his pro career, will seek greater involvement from tight end Vernon Davis and protection from new starting right tackle Joe Staley (Central Michigan). The Niners' defensive development under first-year coordinator Greg Manusky could be even more important. San Francisco will feature key new starters at cornerback (ex-Bill Nate Clements), inside linebacker (first-round draft choice Patrick Willis), strong safety (ex-Eagle Michael Lewis), and defensive tackle (ex-Raven Aubrayo Franklin), and the team needs to see those additions begin to pay dividends from the jump.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/13 vs. Denver; 8/18 vs. Oakland; 8/25 at Chicago; 8/30 at San Diego

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Chicago Bears 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
(Sports Network) -

REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, IL

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Just one year removed from a dominating defensive performance that culminated in a Super Bowl appearance, the Bears have major questions in their area of expertise as camp begins. With Lance Briggs not likely to wear a Chicago uniform again, the Bears might be looking at throwing rookie Michael Okwo (Stanford) in to the fire at one of the outside linebacker slots. On the interior line, Tommie Harris returns from a hamstring injury that prematurely ended his 2006 season, and with Tank Johnson having been released and backups Alfonso Boone (Chiefs) and Ian Scott (Eagles) both gone, the inexperienced Dusty Dvoracek will be counted on to make an impact. The secondary has question marks too, with the woeful Adam Archuleta or the injury-plagued Mike Brown competing for a starting job at strong safety. Rex Grossman's job appears safe at quarterback, and he will have to use camp to get acquainted with tight end and first-round draft choice Greg Olsen (Miami-Florida) along with Devin Hester, who is expected to see significant snaps at wide receiver. Elsewhere in the backfield, Cedric Benson enters camp as the unquestioned No. 1 back for the first time, with either rookie Garrett Wolfe (Northern Illinois) or special teams ace Adrian Peterson trying to win the backup job.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 at Houston; 8/20 at Indianapolis; 8/25 vs. San Francisco; 8/30 vs. Cleveland

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 26th, Veterans July 26th

SITE: Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, Lake Buena Vista, FL

CAMP OBJECTIVES: There was supposed to be a quarterback battle in Tampa Bay during the preseason, though head coach Jon Gruden effectively quashed it by placing free agent pickup Jeff Garcia ahead of incumbent Chris Simms prior to the start of camp. Garcia will have to show that he can learn another new offense, one that Gruden himself tweaked in the midst of last year's 4-12 horror show. The Bucs could have as many as three new starters on the offensive line, and will have to ensure that left tackle Luke Petitgout (ex- Giants), tight end Jerramy Stevens (ex-Seahawks), and rookie guard Arron Sears (Tennessee) are up to the task. Given the unsure state of the offense, the Bucs are counting heavily on their defense jelling during camp, which will require new blood like rookie end Gaines Adams (Clemson), tackle Kevin Carter (ex-Dolphins), and linebacker Cato June (ex-Colts) to be as good as advertised. On the injury front, both cornerback Brian Kelly (toe) and end Simeon Rice (shoulder) could be limited in the early stages of camp.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/10 vs. New England; 8/18 at Jacksonville; 8/25 at Miami; 8/30 vs. Houston

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Arizona Cardinals 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 27th

SITE: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Ken Whisenhunt's initial camp in the desert will be a busy one, as the new head coach and his staff attempt to employ new schemes while integrating a number of new faces into their program. Offensively, Whisenhunt's biggest task will be shaping the line, which was among the worst in the league in 2006 and is expected to feature new starters in center Al Johnson (ex-Cowboys) and first-round draft choice and tackle Levi Brown (Penn State). Those additions, along with that of former Saints and Browns fullback Terrelle Smith, were initiated in order to aid a long-dormant run game. On defense, the team is expected to move from a 4-3 scheme to the 3-4 favored during Whisenhunt's tenure in Pittsburgh. How players that seem best-suited for the 4-3, such as ends Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor along with linebackers Karlos Dansby and Darryl Blackstock, will adjust will be worth watching. Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast must also inspire good things out of a secondary that added cornerback Roderick Hood (ex-Eagles) and safety Terrence Holt (ex-Lions) to the mix.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/11 at Oakland; 8/18 vs. Houston; 8/25 vs. San Diego; 8/30 at Denver

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Dallas Cowboys 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 24th, Veterans July 24th

SITE: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Instead of being uptight in California, toiling under Bill Parcells, the Cowboys will spend this year's training camp relaxed in San Antonio with new coach Wade Phillips. Whether Phillips' more laid-back camp approach inspires more wins remains to be seen, however. The offense is basically the same one that started in last year's playoff game against the Seahawks, though Leonard Davis (ex-Cardinals) was paid handsomely to come in and fill the right guard slot and new coordinator Jason Garrett will be the man calling the offensive shots. More than anything else, Phillips will be expected to craft a strong defense out of last year's underachieving unit, albeit with few new players apart from first-round draft choice Anthony Spencer (Purdue) and former Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin. Spencer, a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid, projects as a situational pass rusher at first, while Hamlin figures to be penciled in at free safety next to the coverage- challenged Roy Williams. Finding a way to accentuate Williams' skills will be one of Phillips' most important training camp objectives. As usual, the Cowboys will also have to find a reliable kicker, with the hope being that sixth-round draft choice Nick Folk (Arizona) can beat out Martin Gramatica.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/9 vs. Indianapolis; 8/18 vs. Denver; 8/25 at Houston; 8/30 at Minnesota

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Philadelphia Eagles 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 27th, Veterans July 30th

SITE: Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

CAMP OBJECTIVES: There will be much intrigue at quarterback, where Donovan McNabb attempts to return from last year's season-ending knee injury and backups A.J. Feeley, Kevin Kolb, and Kelly Holcomb battle for the other slots on the depth chart. If second-round draft choice Kolb fares well in preseason action, brace yourself for loud debate in Eagle-land. Elsewhere on offense, free agent pickup Kevin Curtis (ex-Rams) and holdovers Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett will be counted on to compensate for the defection of Donte' Stallworth (Patriots). Last year's generally poor linebacking group has been upgraded via a trade for Takeo Spikes (ex-Bills) and the selection of Stewart Bradley (Nebraska) on the first day of the draft. Philly is also looking for 2006 third-round pick Chris Gocong, who missed all of his rookie year due to injury, to push for a starting job at LB. Up front, the Birds will seek an early impact from free agent acquisitions Montae Reagor (ex-Colts) and Ian Scott (ex-Bears), as well as a return to form for oft-injured defensive end Jevon Kearse. The 2007 starting secondary will look exactly like that of 2006 as camp begins, though the team is actively searching for a replacement for the overmatched Sean Considine at strong safety. The biggest special teams story revolves around ex-Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom, who is vying for return duties after missing all of his rookie year due to injury.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/13 at Baltimore; 8/17 vs. Carolina; 8/26 at Pittsburgh; 8/30 vs. NY Jets

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Atlanta Falcons 2007 Training Camp Preview
July 19th, 2007
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REPORT DATES: Rookies July 25th, Veterans July 25th

SITE: Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, GA

CAMP OBJECTIVES: The first training camp of the Bobby Petrino era figures to be something of a zoo, as the recent indictment handed down against Michael Vick will likely cast a pall over the sessions. Atlanta will operate under the assumption that Vick is going to play a full season in 2007, though Petrino is also going to have to seriously prepare a backup in the event that Vick is suspended by the league or is forced to miss time due to criminal proceedings. The Falcons' backups entering camp are veterans Joey Harrington and Chris Redman along with second-year-pro D.J. Shockley, and it is conceivable that the team could make a play at the recently-released Daunte Culpepper. Whoever takes the snaps will be attempting to learn Petrino's scheme on the fly, and will be throwing to a receiving group upgraded in the offseason with the addition of Joe Horn. There is uncertainty throughout the defense, both in terms of injured players attempting to return (tackle Rod Coleman and linebacker Demorrio Williams could miss a large stretch of camp) and in rookies attempting to make a quick adjustment to the league (end Jamaal Anderson and cornerback Chris Houston could both make starting bids). Questions linger in the kicking game as well, with the team hoping that one of two journeymen - Billy Cundiff or Aaron Elling - can rise to the occasion.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: 8/10 at NY Jets; 8/17 at Buffalo; 8/27 vs. Cincinnati; 8/31 vs. Baltimore

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