AFC West camp preview: Chiefs rebuilding on the fly

Will Andy Reid play Patrick Mahomes and his starters within the preseason? Can the Los Angeles Chargers keep away from their conventional summer time harm catastrophe? Will Khalil Mack be able to take part in Las Vegas Raiders coaching camp? WHAT THE HELL IS CIARA DOING TO RUSSELL WILSON’S FACE? The solutions to these questions and extra may be present in Walkthrough’s AFC West Coaching Camp previews!

Denver Broncos 2022 Coaching Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: The Broncos did not simply commerce for Russell Wilson. They traded the false optimism about their quarterback scenario of 2016-2021 for false optimism about their protection for 2022. Sure, the Broncos had been the winners in that commerce. However they nonetheless have quite a bit to do that summer time in the event that they hope to do greater than get a bit of higher below Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett.

(The protection factor is defined additional in Soccer Outsiders Almanac 2022 or on this ESPN+ article.)

Camp Battles to Watch: Lloyd Cushenberry should maintain off a push from former Lions starter Graham Glasgow at heart. Glasgow may additionally slide to protect (he performed each positions in Detroit) if Quinn Meinerz, final yr’s third-round decide from Wisconsin-Whitewater, would not take a leap ahead this yr.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: It is Wilson, in fact, as he and Ciara set up themselves as Duke and Duchess of the Rockies. Let’s examine what the ultra-glamorous couple was as much as throughout their Italian getaway and … oof, cannot unsee that.

Wilson apart, Randy Gregory underwent rotator cuff surgical procedure not lengthy after signing his reported $70-million contract with the Broncos and was not accessible for OTAs. Hackett sounded A-OK with the scenario in minicamp. Why ought to anybody fear a couple of participant who has by no means been wholesome and accessible for a full yr in seven NFL seasons? In spite of everything, Bradley Chubb is the Broncos’ different edge rusher, and what are the chances that man will get injured or disappoints…

Circle-It Date: The Broncos-Cowboys August 11 joint follow ought to function storylines and sound bites galore. There is no approach Jerrah desires to see his boys upstaged by Russ and Dr. Pimple Popper!

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 2022 Coaching Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: New receivers! New edge rushers! New defensive backs! Excessive draft picks and budget-friendly free brokers all over the place! The Chiefs are like a Tremendous Bowl contender dressed up for Halloween like a rebuilding group. Or vice versa? Nope, so long as Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid round, they’re nonetheless contenders.

Coaching Camp Battles to Watch:
Nate Taylor of The Athletic reviews that Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the Chiefs’ greatest receiver throughout OTAs. Rookie Skyy Moore, in the meantime, missed most of OTAs with a hamstring harm. The Chiefs know what they’re getting from Mecole Hardman (screens and reverses) and Juju Smith-Schuster (catches in site visitors, TikTok movies that gave Steelers followers conniptions). Oh, and Josh Gordon participated in minicamp like an everyday soccer participant, not some receiving cryptid. Nobody receiver will substitute Tyreek Hill, however we’ll get a greater sense within the weeks to come back of who Patrick Mahomes’ go-to receiver shall be, whether or not Moore could have a serious position in 2022, and if Gordon will as soon as once more disappear into the underbrush.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: First-round pass-rusher George Karlaftis was reportedly so energetic throughout rookie camp that coaches ordered him to (in his phrases) “tone down.” Karlaftis, the thirtieth general decide, has instruments to rival edge rushers taken within the prime 10, however he spent his childhood in Greece taking part in water polo as an alternative of soccer. The Chiefs are counting on Karlaftis and Trent McDuffie, one other first-round decide, to stabilize a protection that wanted a second-half surge to climb all the way in which to twenty fourth in DVOA in 2021.

Circle-It Date: Andy Reid nonetheless performs a lot of his starters within the preseason. Actually, Mahomes really threw 18 passes within the second preseason recreation of 2021! So search for an old school costume rehearsal when the Chiefs face the Commanders on August 20. Even when Mahomes would not play a lot, all of these receivers and first-round picks most likely will.

Los Angeles Chargers 2022 Coaching Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: The Chargers have a clear-cut to-do record.

  1. Keep away from their conventional Curse of the Mummy harm plague (which has subsided lately).
  2. Be sure that the run protection is mounted.
  3. Create the best fourth-down conversion bundle in NFL historical past so their season would not finish with Austin Ekeler getting stuffed on fourth-and-1 from his personal 28 when the Chargers are defending a two-point lead.
  4. Hope Justin Herbert is not shopping for into his personal hype.

Camp Battles to Watch: Incumbent proper deal with Storm Norton completed third within the NFL with 42 blown blocks in 2021. Trey Pipkins, who began at proper deal with for some time in 2020, seems able to overtake him. Within the occasion of a double knockout, Matt Feiler may transfer over to proper deal with, with sixth-round decide Jamaree Salyer (Georgia) changing Feiler at left guard.

Isaiah Spiller (Texas A&M) is predicted to win a task as Ekeler’s platoon mate, particularly since Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree did little within the position. However regulate UDFAs Leddie Brown (West Virginia) and Kevin Marks (Buffalo), a pair of compact however decided dirty-work rushers. Ekeler, for his half, desires some assist. “I wanna play a very long time, so I would like guys to come back in and earn some reps,” he stated per Alex Katson at Chargers Wire). “I would like these guys to come back problem me.” The Chargers would love one in every of these backs to show himself as a short-yardage battering ram.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: Let’s verify in on Khalil Mack’s exercise routine and … oh my. All Mack and his coach have to do is throw a tiger at a motorbike and this may very well be an outtake from RRR! Mack, recovering from a foot harm, did carry out just a few particular person drills in minicamp; it is unclear how a lot motion he’ll see in August.

The Chargers face the Raiders in Week 1, and Mack claims it is simply one other recreation. Yep, simply one other recreation towards the group that traded you for a bunch of draft picks that they used as birdcage liner, and which additionally tied your new group’s shoelaces collectively in a must-win Week 18 recreation in 2021. No further feelings at play right here.

Circle-It Date: Brandon Staley shrink-wraps his starters throughout camp, so there shall be little to see. Coaching camp formally ends for the Chargers on August 18. If Herbert hasn’t gotten electrocuted by his toaster or a megavolcano hasn’t swallowed the group by then, it must be easy crusing.

Las Vegas Raiders 2022 Coaching Camp Preview

Heading into Camp: Good luck attempting to gauge the expectations for the 2022 Raiders. With Davante Adams and Chandler Jones, they need to be higher than final yr’s Raiders. And final yr’s Raiders reached the playoffs! But this yr’s Raiders do not appear to be way more than a one-and-done playoff group. Confused? A coaching camp by which Josh McDaniels imposes Belichick-level omertà is more likely to reveal little or no.

Camp Battles to Watch: Adams is WR1. Hunter Renfrow is WR2, although he’ll function largely out of the slot. The candidates for WR3 embody Demarcus Robinson, a toolsy speedster who was by no means 100% with the Chiefs program; Keelan Cole, a toolsy speedster who by no means fairly constructed upon his come-from-nowhere 2017 success with the Jaguars; and Mack Hollins, a toolsy speedster who enjoys life as a particular groups gunner. There is a excessive chance that McDaniels solves this riddle with 12 personnel, Darren Waller and Foster Moreau to the best, Adams cut up left, Renfrow within the slot, and Robinson coming off the bench for 20 decoy deep routes per recreation.

Rock Ya-Sin and Nate Hobbs shall be two of the beginning corners, although Hobbs (like Renfrow) will most likely keep on with the slot. The opposite cornerback job will both go to former Ravens position participant Anthony Averett or Trayvon Mullen, a stereotypical Raiders draft bust out of Clemson. Others are within the combine, together with former Bengals particular groups ace Darius Phillips (McDaniels actually hoarded particular groups aces in free company) and Eagles slot robust man Cre’Von LeBlanc. A deep unit isn’t essentially the identical factor as a robust unit.

Newcomer to Obsess Over: Davante Adams. You will have most likely learn sufficient about him.

Returnee to Obsess Over: Alex Leatherwood remained forward of Brandon Parker and others for the best deal with place when minicamp ended. Meaning Leatherwood both improved considerably from the final time we noticed him or that McDaniels will spend the entire yr scheming to cover the rain barrel on the offensive line.

Circle-It Date: Raiders coaching camp shall be boring as a result of there aren’t many glamor-position battles, McDaniels will management info just like the Belichick caporegime he has been for years, and the Vegas press pool has probably not had an opportunity to coalesce right into a supply for breathless intrigue and devoted hornet’s nest-poking. However the Raiders face the Jaguars within the Corridor of Fame Sport on August 4. It is the worst soccer recreation on any schedule. However it’s additionally the harbinger of the thrills and glory to come back.

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