NFL 2013: Some hot training camp spots _ and not because of weather

  • Article by: BARRY WILNER , AP Pro Football Writer
  • Updated: July 25, 2013 - 3:00 AM

A map is always a good idea for anyone planning a road trip to NFL training camps.

The map we have in mind is not so much geographic or topographic. It's a guide to the hot spots where the story lines are juicy, the position battles intense, the rosters in flux or being retooled.

Here's a Pick 6 of the camp melodramas:

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PATRIOTS, Foxborough, Mass.: For most franchises, undergoing so many roster changes while making so much news off the field could set up a distraction-filled buildup to a disappointing season. But these are the Patriots, and coach Bill Belichick doesn't allow such things. He finished (in his mind, at least) addressing the Aaron Hernandez murder arrest on Wednesday, saying, "We'll try to do a good job in bringing people into this organization in the future and try to learn from the mistakes that we've made along the way, of which there have been plenty."

Even if the club won't talk about Hernandez, this is a challenging preseason for New England. The Patriots need to reinvent their passing game — Tom Brady's top five receivers from 2012, at least until star TE Rob Gronkowski is healthy, are gone — and upgrade their defense.

REDSKINS, Richmond, Va.: This camp is all about one guy: Robert Griffin III. It shouldn't be, but when there are so many health questions about the dynamic Offensive Rookie of the Year and he plays quarterback, well, it will be RG3 24/7.

Coach Mike Shanahan won't make a second mistake of playing RG3 when he isn't up to snuff, and Griffin's every practice move will be well-documented. But with the Redskins favored in the NFC East, keeping an eye on how their secondary and offensive line come together will be just as worthwhile.

EAGLES, Philadelphia: Welcome to the NFL, Chip Kelly. Now let us catch our breath while you run that up-up-up-tempo offense.

Kelly brings with him from Oregon the quintessential fast-paced, spread-'em-out, go-for-the-big-play attack. With the likes of Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, it will be exciting, don't-blink stuff. Watching how it works, or how many kinks the Eagles must work out in the new system, will put Philly on the must-see list.

CHIEFS, St. Joseph, Mo.: No coaching change, not even Kelly to Philly, was as intriguing as Andy Reid immediately landing in Kansas City after his 14-year stint with the Eagles ended. The Chiefs were abysmal last season, going 2-14 yet having six players making the Pro Bowl.

Now they have a quality quarterback in Alex Smith, a perennially successful coach, an aggressive new general manager, and the look of a team that could soar in the standings.

SEAHAWKS, Renton, Wash.: Lots of reasons to journey to the Pacific Northwest, not the least of which is watching the further development of QB Russell Wilson. And Seattle's defense yielded the fewest points in the league in 2012 and could be stronger.

But there also are storm clouds: LB Bruce Irvin's four-game suspension makes five Seahawks players getting suspended for using performance enhancers since 2011. Does coach Pete Carroll have things under control on his supremely talented team?

CARDINALS, Glendale, Ariz.: At age 60, Bruce Arians finally has a head coaching gig. He earned it with a 9-3 record as interim coach for leukemia-stricken Chuck Pagano in Indianapolis last season. He brings an aggressive mindset and actually has a quarterback, Carson Palmer, who can get the ball downfield. He also will find ways to get star WR Larry Fitzgerald the ball. Often.

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Cleveland - LP: T. Bauer 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 3
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: Z. Putnam 1
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 6
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: T. Walker 2
Detroit - WP: A. Sanchez 11 FINAL
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 5
Los Angeles - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 6
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Papelbon 1
Texas - LP: Y. Darvish 1 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Phelps 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 6
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 3 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 0
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 3
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 7 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 9
Baltimore - LP: T. Hunter 2 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 3
Chicago 1 FINAL
San Jose 5
Calgary 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Connecticut 75 FINAL
Washington 89
New York 66 FINAL
Los Angeles 64
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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