Your Midweek Update on Meaningless Training Camp Battles 4

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…

Miami Dolphins, Quarterback: Matt Moore vs. RYAN TANNEHILL (***WINNER***) vs. David Garrard. The rookie Tannehill (pictured above, again, with wife Lauren, who [if Google Image Search is any indication] will likely always be the most popular Tannehill) has surprisingly been named the starter for the Dolphins’ opening game against Houston. Even more excitingly: the rest of the Dolphins didn’t learn about Coach Joe Philbin’s decision until they heard it through the media. Best Dolphin reaction has to go to receiver Clyde Gates: “I’m not surprised (at the decision). I was surprised.” That makes…sense?

Tennessee Titans, Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck vs. JAKE LOCKER (***WINNER***). Youth also beat out experience in Tennessee, as the second-year man Locker will be behind center for the Titans’ opener against the Patriots. What does Coach Mike Munchak want to see out of his newly named starter? “We still want completions, no matter how [Locker] has to do it.” Revolutionary thought right there!

Arizona Cardinals, Quarterback: Kevin Kolb vs. John Skelton (STILL NO WINNER). Not exactly thrilled with what he’s seen out of either potential starter so far, Coach Ken Whisenhunt will start Skelton in the third preseason game at Tennessee but is in no rush to name a starter. “I don’t think there is any pressure or any reason to say that you would have to make that decision,” Whisenhunt told reporters. “Peyton Manning may still wind up deciding that he’d rather play here than with Denver. And when he asks for that trade in the next week, I’ll shove those text messages in your face!”

St. Louis Rams, Cornerback: Josh Gordy vs. JANORIS JENKINS (***WINNER***) vs. Kendric Burney. Rookie and noted herbal cigarette enthusisast Jenkins has won the right to start opposite free agent signee Cortland Finnegan, leading the Rams to ship the suddenly expendable Gordy to the Colts for an undisclosed draft pick. For the Colts’ side of the story, let’s go to SI’s Peter King for a report: “Team SI ate at the Olive Garden down the road [from the Colts training camp facility]. Have I ever told you how much I love the salad bowl they plunk down at your table? I could do without the huge peppers, but I demolish a couple of bowls of the stuff before every meal there.” Thank you , Peter.

Buffalo Bills, Left Tackle: CORDY GLENN (***WINNER***) vs. Chris Hairston. Glenn will be entrusted with protecting Ryan Fitzpatrick’s blind side, but the story also ends happily for Hairston, who will start at right tackle in place of the injured Erik Pears. When reached for comment, coach Chan Gailey snored grumpily and said, “Do you have any idea what time it is, young man? Some of us try to get to bed at a reasonable hour,” and hung up the phone. The time was 5:30 P.M.

Detroit Lions, Cornerback: Alphonso Smith vs. Jacob Lacey vs. BILL BENTLEY (***PROJECTED WINNER***). Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports Bentley “is on track” to start the Lions’ opener against the Rams opposite Chris Houston. Bentley, a high school teammate of the aforemention Janoris Jenkins, said starting against the team employing his old buddy “will be a blessing. A great opportunity.” Bentley went on to say that he missed Jenkins “mostly because of his weed connections. I mean, he had it all. Northern Lights, Holland’s Hope, Californian Skunk…it was amazing. I really miss that hookup.”

Your Midweek Update on Meaningless Training Camp Battles 3

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…

Miami Dolphins, Quarterback: Matt Moore vs. Ryan Tannehill vs. David Garrard. Tannehill (pictured above with wife Lauren in a transparent scheme to drive up site traffic) looked good against Tampa Bay’s 2nd and 3rd stringers last Friday, convincing some people that he should start from day one in Miami. Because any time you can throw away a shot at the playoffs by playing a rookie quarterback who is NOWHERE NEAR READY YET, you have to do it.

Detroit Lions, Cornerback: Alphonso Smith vs. Jacob Lacey vs. Bill Bentley. The rookie Bentley has so inspired his coaching staff in this exciting battle to start opposite Chris Houston that he caused Jim Schwartz to say this about Bentley’s preseason opener: “It’s too inconsistent play for a cornerback.” Bentley also apparently drew f-bombs from his coaching staff in practice for letting Stefan “New York’s Hottest Club is BOOF” Logan burn him deep. And he’s still the favorite to win the job! Yikes.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Wide Receiver: Laurent Robinson vs. Cecil Shorts vs. Mike Thomas. SI’s Peter King reports that second-year man Shorts is pushing newly signed Robinson for a starting gig alongside Justin Blackmon. Peter also reports that the grilled chicken at the Jaguars’ cafeteria was good, even though there’s “not a lot of ways you can screw up the grilled chicken unless you over- or under-cook it.” Well…yeah. I suppose that covers it.

Indianapolis Colts, Inside Linebacker: Jerrell Freeman vs. Moise Fokou. With Pat Angerer out for at least six weeks with a broken foot, the former CFL star Freeman will battle Philadelphia castoff Fokou for the right to replace him. Colts coach Chuck Pagano seems content with either player starting, however: “We’ll continue to look at the waiver wire and see what happens there and see if there’s somebody on the street — that we’ve had some history with — and see if we can bring somebody in.” Wait, did I say “content?” Sorry, I think the better choice of words there would be “CATATONIC AT THE THOUGHT OF EITHER PLAYER STARTING.” That’s probably more correct.

Seattle Seahawks, Wide Receiver: Golden Tate vs. Sidney Rice vs. Braylon Edwards vs. Terrell Owens vs. Joey Galloway vs. Keenan McCardell vs. Irving Fryar vs. Any other washed-up receivers the Seahawks may have signed in the past few minutes. Somewhat shockingly, SI’s Jim Trotter reports that this motley crew of hopefuls aiming for the starting spot opposite Doug Baldwin were “less than impressive on my visit.” Trotter also reports that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll could be heard in the background asking general manager John Schneider if “reanimating the corpse of Don Hutson was a possibility,” then visibly slumping his shoulders when he was told it was not.

Chicago Bears, Left Tackle: J’Marcus Webb vs. Chris Williams vs. Saying, “Screw it, we’ll try it with just four offensive linemen.” Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice made a point last Thursday when he left Webb in until the fourth quarter of the Bears’ preseason opener. What that point possibly could be is unknown, but rest assured, Tice says he’s got everything covered and he doesn’t need any help and the line is going to turn out great, you’ll see. The good news (at least if you’re Olivet Nazarene University): Peter King finds your fruit salad to be of the quality “a Tahitian resort would be proud to serve.” Huzzah!

Your Midweek Update on Meaningless Training Camp Battles 2

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?”

Your Midweek Update on Meaningless Training Camp Battles

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…

  • Tennessee Titans, Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck vs. Jake Locker. The NFL Network’s Mike “I Have Approximately Seven Percent the Intellect of the Other” Lombardi is reporting that Jake Locker is the favorite to win the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback position. Because any time you have a chance to start a guy who struggled to complete half of his passes in college, you have to do it.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars, Quarterback: Blaine Gabbert vs. Chad Henne vs. the random guy they pulled out of the crowd today. ESPN’s AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky notes that Blaine Gabbert didn’t throw the ball very well on Tuesday. In related news, the sun came up this morning.
  • Chicago Bears, Left Tackle: J’Marcus Webb vs. Chris Williams. Offensive Coordinator Mike Tice says Webb and Williams will split the first-team reps throughout training camp. Meanwhile, at an undisclosed retirement home, Mike Martz could be heard shouting, “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO THE LEFT TACKLE IS! JUST LEAVE HIM OUT AN ISLAND, TAKE SEVEN-STEP DROPS, THROW IT TO TORRY AND ISAAC AND THE SHOW WILL BEGIN!!!!” before momentarily losing control of his bowels again.
  • St. Louis Rams, Cornerback: Josh Gordy vs. Janoris Jenkins vs. Kendric Burney. Safety Quintin Mikell spoke highly of rookie cornerback Jenkins on Tuesday, saying, “He is a young guy who is coming in with a lot of confidence. He has come in and made a lot of plays already.” Mikell went on to say that Jenkins was “already off-the-charts, as far as what he brings to the team in terms of weed connections. I mean, you name it, he’s got it: White Widow, Big Bud, Purple Power, even a little Hawaii Mauwie Wauwie. It’s impressive, real impressive.”
  • Buffalo Bills, Left Tackle: Cordy Glenn vs. Chris Hairston. The rookie Glenn and the second-year Hairston have been staging a fight to the death (not in a literal sense, of course) for the right to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick’s blind side. For his part, Fitzpatrick said, “Whoever the front five are up there I am going to be very confident in that and we are just going to go out there and play.” Fitzpatrick went on to add, “It doesn’t really matter because I get rid of the ball so quickly anyway. I prefer throwing interceptions to taking sacks. Just my personal taste, I suppose.”
  • Green Bay Packers, Cornerback: Sam Shields vs. Jarrett Bush vs. Davon House vs. Casey Hayward. Shields and Bush are in the incumbents in the battle to start opposite Tramon Williams, but House has impressed the coaching staff early on in camp. All four, however, are said to have perfected the coverage in which they forget Nick Collins is no longer behind them to save their bacon, sag off their receiver by five yards, and express surprise and bewilderment when said receiver ends up with a touchdown.