First off, sorry for my absence. I work. A lot. But, like General MacArthur said and Arnold paraphrased, I shall be back. Err, something like that.
Anyway, Training Camp is the place where we finally get to see the team that was put together in the offseason. Draft picks, veteran signings and trade-brought players (word up, Jason Taylor) alike will be together. And, hopefully, everyone remembered their alarm clocks.
So, without further ado... the three biggest camp battles as I see them:
#3. The Cornerback Position. This is going to be interesting. Springs and Smoot are set. Rogers is out for a while. Leigh Torrence filled in pretty well last year (as long as he wasn't covering Randy Moss... apparently that's a bad matchup.) Rookie Justin Tryon is in a great position to step in a be the #3 guy. This could be an important position, especially with Jason Taylor putting pressure on the opposing QB, because there might be more than a few balls thrown early and up for grabs. Tryon is younger and more athletic, Torrence has no learning curve.
Advantage: Torrence early, Tryon before the end of the year.
#2. The Wide Reciever Position. This seems kinda weird to be in the top 3, but the new West Coast offense, especially the variety that new Head Pooba Jim Zorn came from in Seattle, employs 3 and 4 WR sets frequently. If heathy, Moss and ARE are #1 and #2... for now. The interesting part come after those two. Rookies Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas are both the prototypical WR bodies that NFL GMs drool over. They are fighting for the 3rd and 4th spots. Anthony Mix has the 5th spot locked up so no need to even discuss the others (sorry Burl Toler, Billy McMullen, Maurice Mann, Horace Gant, and (regretfully) James Thrash.) James Thrash was a Gibbs guy, through and through. I just don't see him being a Zorn guy.
Advantage: Thomas over Kelly, Mix over the others, Thrash as the #6 guy, if Zorn keeps 6.
#1. The Safety Position. Newcomer Stuart Schweigert and old hand (despite going into his 3rd year) Reed Doughty are fighting it out to see who gets to line up next to LaRon Landry. Schweigert was a part of some very good Oakland defenses under Rex Ryan and has plenty of experience. Doughty stepped up big last year after the death of Sean Taylor and became a fan favorite... at least around these parts.
As I stated in SP's earlier post, the punting "competition" isn't a battle at all. Durant Brooks is the new punter. Get used to it (and better field position.)As always, hit up the comments. What's your biggest position battle?