With the NFL season just around the corner and training camp getting underway, there are many teams looking to fill significant holes in their rosters following player departures, as well as huge question marks for a position this season for some teams. There are many training camp battles to look forward to this season.
#1 – Miami Dolphins Quarterback: Josh Rosen vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
This should be a very interesting battle this season to see who newly minted head coach Brian Flores will pick. While the team itself isn’t looking too great, Miami is looking to fill a significant hole at quarterback following the trade of former first-round pick Ryan Tannehill to Tennessee.
Josh Rosen, 22, is looking to prove himself to the NFL following a season in Arizona where he threw for more picks (14) than touchdowns (11) on an abysmal Cardinals team. Rosen was thrust into the starter’s job after Sam Bradford struggled and stayed there for the rest of the year. The Dolphins thought highly of him enough to the point where they traded two draft picks to get him, and the Cardinals already had his replacement in first-overall pick Kyler Murray. Flores was quoted recently as saying that Rosen has “improved across the board”.
Veteran signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick enters his age-36 season following signing a two-year deal with Miami. He comes off an interesting 2018 season in Tampa Bay where he was swapped from backup to starter a lot due to the struggles and suspension of Jameis Winston. He had an incredible first few weeks of the season, but his performance really tailed off later in the season. Miami will be looking to revive “Fitzmagic” this season, as it seems the Miami quarterback role is his job to lose.
#2 – Buffalo Bills Running Back
The Bills enter 2019 with a major question mark at running back. Following a brutal 2018 season for LeSean McCoy where he posted multiple career-lows in statistics, Buffalo has added a few contingency plans should McCoy not perform up to expectations. Frank Gore, who had a solid 2018 season for Miami, was signed to a one-year deal, TJ Yeldon was also signed to a one-year deal after four years in Jacksonville, and they drafted Devin Singletary in the third round of this year’s draft out of Florida Atlantic University. It will be interesting to see how the Bills work this situation.
#3 – Bears Kicker
The Bears have a hole at the kicker position on their roster. Cody Parkey was released after a 2018 season where he missed 11 kicks, not including the infamous “Double Doink” in the NFC Wild Card Game against Philadelphia. Chicago is not currently working out any kickers with NFL experience. Chris Blewitt was cut back in July, and the team is looking to rely on rookies Eddy Pineiro and Elliott Fry to win the job this season. Should those two fail, free agent options such as Sebastian Janikowski are available.
#4 – Steelers Number Two Wide Receiver
After JuJu Smith-Schuster was jettisoned into the #1 wide receiver role following a breakout 2018 and the trade of All-Pro Antonio Brown, the Steelers have a place open for their #2 wide receiver. Experienced option Donte Moncrief looms, but he has been pretty average during his career, and relying on an inexperienced James Washington to be your #2 just spells trouble. Perhaps the most interesting option is Diontae Johnson whom the Steelers drafted out of Toledo. He could make an impact this year as the Steelers look to fill the void created by Brown.
#5 – Packers Number Two Wide Receiver
Another team enters camp looking for an option at #2 for the wide receiver position. While Davante Adams is firmly entrenched as the #1, the Packers will be mulling through a few solid options to take the #2 role. Marquez Valdes-Scantling will look to follow up a good rookie campaign where he caught 38 passes for 581 yards. He is certainly the option with the most fanfare, but there are two others behind him who could potentially steal the role from him. Geronimo Allison comes off of a 2018 season where he could have been #2 if not for injury, and Equanimeous St. Brown is another option for Aaron Rodgers.
While there are many positional battles going on in camps, these five are certainly the most interesting, and only time will tell to see who these teams pick for these roles.