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:

___

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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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Orlando 7:00 PM
Memphis
Boston 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 6:00 PM
American Univ
Wright State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Syracuse 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Delaware State 6:00 PM
NC Central
High Point 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Howard 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Coppin State 6:30 PM
NC A&T
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Hampton 6:30 PM
SC State
Gardner-Webb 7:00 PM
Campbell
MD-Eastern Shore 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Norfolk State 7:00 PM
Savannah State
TX A&M-CC 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Sam Houston St 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
McNeese State 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Milwaukee 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 40 2nd Half
Bryant 40
Central Conn St 37 2nd Half 13:00
St Francis-NY 28
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 15 1st Half 16:22
Wagner 7
Delaware State 6 1st Half 16:57
NC Central 3
Howard 4:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Coppin State 4:30 PM
NC A&T
Hampton 4:30 PM
SC State
Norfolk State 4:45 PM
Savannah State
MD-Eastern Shore 5:00 PM
Florida A&M
Samford 5:00 PM
(25) Chattanooga
Prairie View 5:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Alcorn State 5:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 5:30 PM
Alabama State
Texas Southern 5:30 PM
Miss Valley St
(12) Texas A&M 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Robert Morris 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
Furman
Morehead St 6:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Illinois 6:00 PM
Michigan
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
Auburn
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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