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Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Jets 'absolutely not' giving up on second-year WR Denzel Mims

The 2021 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims has been lost in the conversation in New York but coach Robert Saleh put the kibosh on any speculation surrounding the second-year wide receiver on Wednesday. Saleh made it a point to say the Jets are "absolutely not" giving up on last year's second-round pick, via SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. The rumor mill speculated about Mims' rotation in the WR depth chart thanks to the free-agent signing of Corey Davis and the glowing reviews of rookie Elijah Moore all summer, and his absence from OTAs may've shifted the hearsay into a higher gear. Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Mims revealed a case of food poisoning in the spring forced 20 pounds off his 6-foot-3 frame, going from 217 to 197 pounds, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. Mims says the bad salmon he ate forced his absence during OTAs and prompted a rough preparation for Year 2 that would soon be cluttered with unfounded speculation. Feeling good now, he says, Mims could be seen working with the first-team offense this week and is putting in the extra work after practice as he heads into a competitive preseason within the WR room. "That's something I choose to do," Mims said. "You don't have to catch extra balls, but I want to get extra time so that I can be ready."
  • As the curious career of Sammy Watkins continues in Baltimore, the veteran wide receiver spoke on his motivations for 2021 while disclosing some shocking truths. "Honestly, I'm 28, but I feel like I'm 19," Watkins told reporters. "I'm trying to stay young, trying to do what the young guys are doing, doing extra work." If Watkins being only 28 years old shocks you then maybe the fact that he's never made the Pro Bowl or that he's only eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark once will create head-scratching reflection of an otherwise esteemed career. His veteran presence is an ideal fit for the Ravens young WR room and should be a reliable safety net for quarterback Lamar Jackson, but Watkins enters a passing game that pales in comparison to the Chiefs and Rams offenses he was featured in the past four seasons. "It's not (about) reviving my career," Watkins said. "I've been to two Super Bowls. I did some great things in this league. Now it's like what do I want out of this time being here? I want to win another Super Bowl. I want to go to the Pro Bowl. I want to have 1,000 yards. So it's many other things that I'm focused on this year. I think I can accomplish those goals here and have fun doing it."
  • Joey Bosa brought some buzz to the last practice before the Chargers' first preseason game. First, Bosa talked about what he's seen from rookie Rashawn Slater, who he labeled as "really impressive" after battling him all camp long. "I'm really happy we got him. I think he's gonna be a really good player," Bosa said on ITC Live. "We've had some great battles. He has really good feet, really fast hands and he's strong. He's just a smart guy. I think that's a deadly combination at tackle. All of us have been having trouble with him."

Next, Bosa showed some love to Derwin James for the safety's wide-reaching impact on the Bolts' locker room. "You definitely notice when he's not in the locker room 'cause every day you hear him joking with somebody," he said of having James back. "I love Derwin, he's an absolute freak. It's an honor to get to watch him play because I truly think he's just a Hall of Famer. As long as he can stay healthy, I think he's one of the best players in the NFL. The energy he brings is kind of unmatched and you need that on the team, whether it's fake some days or not, you need it 'cause you need to bring guys along with you and he always brings it no matter what. But, more than anything, he just leads by example by being an absolute animal on the field. The way he can move, the way he covers, the way he hits, the way he does everything is just really spectacular. So, it's great to have him back."

  • Joe Burrow has a young, talented receiving corps at his disposal in 2021 but the Bengals quarterback won't feel pressured into distributing the ball equally. Speaking with NFL Network's Rhett Lewis and James Jones, Burrow talked about the promising wide receiver trio of Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase on Inside Training Camp Live. "The best thing about these guys is they don't have any ego," Burrow said. "They don't care how many balls we get as long as we win. Now they're going to get their yards -- they don't have to worry about that -- but there's no ego with these guys, there's no pouting if they don't get the ball. It's been great." Coming off an ACL tear that ended a promising rookie campaign, Burrow admitted his early struggles in camp but was sure to point out he's gotten the better of the Bengals defense the past couple days. Entering Year 2, Burrow made clear the lone goal in mind with the weapons now in his arsenal. "We're coming to challenge the division," Burrow said. "Challenge those three teams, obviously. Three of the best teams in the league happen to be in our division and that's no excuse -- we have to go out and compete every week, gotta win games, gotta make the playoffs and the easiest way to make the playoffs is win the division."
  • Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest coach of them all? An unprompted poke from Falcons coach Arthur Smith to Packers coach Matt LaFleur has led to a morning after follow-up on Wednesday. It all started when Smith was asked some off-the-wall questions from the media on Tuesday in order to try and get to know the rookie coach. Responding to if he's superstitious at all in his choice of gear on the field, Smith replied, "I don't think I'm sweet and awesome -- I don't spend an hour, like Matt LaFleur does, looking in the mirror before he runs out there... You can tell Matt I said that." LaFleur's Wednesday response: "I'm honored that he would think of me. First of all, you know Arthur and I did share a locker room together in Tennessee. I might have been looking in the mirror getting my clothes right while he was trying to get his hair right with that Just For Men." And there's already a response from Smith: "I've been graying since 20. I don't look like I've got black shoe polish in my hair, so go figure. But no, I love Matt LaFleur. He's one of my good friends in the business... But again, (the rebuttal) did take him a day." Unfortunately this won't build into a scheduled Falcons-Packers clash in 2021 for the former Titans coaches, but evidently that isn't keeping these offensive minds from exchanging friendly jabs through the grapevine.

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