The 2022 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.
Belichick the offensive coach?
The indications of who will be calling offensive plays for the Patriots in 2022 seem to be true -- at least for now. NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported Friday on Inside Training Camp Live that it's "looking like" Matt Patricia will be the team's offensive play-caller after primarily being in that role through the first week of practices. However, Giardi added that it was head coach Bill Belichick who was calling plays during the final install of 11-on-11 drills. The team didn't name an offensive coordinator for the 2022 season, and curiosity on the matter has persisted ever since. Veteran cornerback Malcolm Butler has been mentioning Belichick hasn't been working with the defense so far in camp, and it seems as though the Patriots are prepared to go forward with great defensive minds calling plays following the exit of longtime OC Josh McDaniels.
Claypool has high praise for rookie WR
Rookie wideout George Pickens is impressing his Steelers teammates in the early throes of training camp. Steelers WR Chase Claypool told reporters Friday that he believes the Georgia product is going to be "the best rookie receiver in the NFL" in 2022, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Chris Adamski. A second-round selection by Pittsburgh in April, Pickens flew under the radar as a WR prospect coming off an ACL injury during his junior season, limiting him to just four games, as he concluded his college career with 90 receptions for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns (26 games) in three years. Pickens, 21, enters camp with an opportunity to earn viable playing time following the offseason exits of JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington. Considering the Steelers have had a knack for finding great WR talent during the just-ended Kevin Colbert era, who's to say Claypool is being hyperbolic? The former Steelers general manager drafted current starters Claypool (second round) and Diontae Johnson (third round), and has been finding great pass-catching talent over the course of his tenure in Pittsburgh since 2000, including Smith-Schuster (second round), Emmanuel Sanders (third round), Antonio Brown (sixth round), Santonio Holmes (first round), and Antwaan Randle El (second round). After what was Colbert's final draft as GM, Claypool is indicating Pickens may very well be his parting gem. Unfortunately, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced Claypool left Friday's practice with a shoulder injury and is being evaluated to determine its severity.
WR Romeo Doubs wowing Packers
Another rookie wide receiver receiving praise early in camp is fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs in Green Bay, and coach Matt LaFleur is liking the intangibles he's seeing from the 22-year-old. "Romeo is the first one in the building," LaFleur told reporters Friday. "He is in his locker getting primed. I see him in the weight room getting his body and mind ready. He's already kind of established a routine for himself, and I think that's one of the things that rookies have a hard time finding, and once they do, they can take off." Doubs wasn't the highlight draft pick for a Packers team in need of wide receivers following the exits of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but he's seizing the moment as second-rounder Christian Watson nurses an injury. Doubs, who is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Nevada, wowed his teammates with two highlight-reel catches from Aaron Rodgers, but the rookie is staying level-headed following his second practice in camp. "I just make sure I try to focus on the next play," Doubs said. "That's my biggest thing for me. You can have a great play, next play could be bad. Emotions kinda change, so that's why I try to make sure I stay flat-lined."
Falcons are like the iPhone ...
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has had enough with the low expectations in Atlanta. "Who cares?" Smith told reporters Friday. "Like, just go do a Google search. Go look and see what they thought of the iPhone coming out if you want to humor yourself. It's hard to find good comedy today. Go back and look at predictions if you want real comedy. Anything else? I mean, it's a joke." Smith's first season with the Falcons ended with a 7-10 record, but surpassed many expectations as they flirted with a .500 record up as late as Week 16. Yet, the cynicism hasn't subsided in Atlanta following the offseason trade of Matt Ryan, which was not only the end of an era but the signaling of a full-on rebuild. Smith isn't hearing it, though, as the second-year coach found a clever way of telling us he's not an Android guy.
Lamar Jackson nearing a deal?
Lamar Jackson's contract situation is reaching its boiling point as the Ravens quarterback enters the final year of his rookie contract, but NFL Network's Scott Pioli is here to quell any potential nerves in Baltimore. "Team sources are pretty confident that things can get done and that a deal is going to get done," Pioli said Friday on Inside Training Camp Live. "And that makes total sense to me because you've got have two sides that are very smart and very thoughtful. Both know how important this is for each side." Jackson spoke with the media on Thursday, saying the two sides are having a "mutual conversation" but didn't get into details of their negotiations. The 2019 MVP is about as valuable as the term gets for the Ravens, who have comprised their offensive roster off the dynamic QB's strengths. Getting pen to paper isn't as easy at sounds when it comes to multi-hundred-million-dollar deals, but locking in Jackson will make surely be worth the wait.
Watt reflects on a 'vet day'
An off day for J.J. Watt has the future Hall of Fame defensive lineman deep in thought, realizing how long practices can get from the sidelines while providing meme-worthy content in the process.
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