Every year during training camp, NFL fans breathlessly await golden nuggets of information regarding meaningless position battles that they will likely forget about in September. There are those golden nuggets regarding those meaningless position battles you will likely forget for this week…
Arizona Cardinals, Quarterback: Kevin Kolb vs. John Skelton. Kolb bruised his ribs in a wind-related incident in Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game loss to the Saints, but coach Ken Whisenhunt says the injury is minor and Kolb is expected to play in Friday’s exhibition game against the Chiefs. “He’s still a little sore,” Whisenhunt said, “but I don’t anticipate there being any problems as we progress through the week. As we speak, he’s back to overthrowing open receivers by ten yards, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s back to normal already.”
Seattle Seahawks, Quarterback: Matt Flynn vs. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Russell Wilson. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Flynn will start this week’s preseason opener against Tennessee but won’t commit to any decisions beyond that. “To make a big decision like this, it’s about your information that you gather, and I want really, really good information coming in so that we can make a really clear-cut choice as we do it,” Carroll said. “Also, the longer we wait to make a decision, the greater the likelihood that the spirit of 1989 Joe Montana invades one of our quarterbacks’ bodies, so that’s another reason.”
Houston Texans, Kicker: Randy Bullock vs. Shayne Graham. The rookie fifth-round pick Bullock has had a shaky camp, shanking some field goals and tweaking his groin. On the other hand, Shayne Graham is Shayne Graham, so this could be a real issue going forward. Former Texans kicker Kris Brown reportedly offered his interest in trying out for his former team, but was rebuffed and went back to opening his very own Dunkin Donuts in Omaha, Nebraska.
New England Patriots, Halfback: Stevan Ridley vs. Shane Vereen. Ridley is the frontrunner to scoring the cushiest starting gig in the league, but admits he has to remedy his fumbleitis. “The ball can’t be on the ground,” Ridley said. “That’s no secret.” A perplexed Hubie Brown agreed with Ridley but argued it’s tough for men of a certain age to do anything about that problem before realizing that Ridley had only been talking about a single ball.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Halfback: LeGarrette Blount vs. Doug Martin. Blount is the incumbent and owner of some pretty dazzling runs, but the versatile rookie Martin may be gaining the edge as training camp continues on. Rather than come up with his own reporting on the position battle, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King instead notes that Josh Freeman “rather enjoyed” a turkey, lettuce, and tomato sandwich and the turkey burger at the Bucs cafeteria rates a B+. Hard-hitting reporting, as always.
Baltimore Ravens, Backup Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor vs. Curtis Painter. Taylor will apparently be the first quarterback substituted for Joe Flacco in their opening preseason game against Atlanta, but he isn’t claiming victory in his battle against Painter. “We’re all making each other better,” Taylor said. “Of course, it’s a battle. It’s a battle every day between everybody on this team. But we’re striving to get better ourselves and to challenge each other to get better because in that way, we get better as a team.” Just then, Taylor was hit in the head by a stray football. “Dang it, man!” Taylor said angrily. “We’re thirty yards off the field! How in the hell did Curtis hit us from that far away?”