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Training Camp Buzz: Marcus Mariota is Falcons' QB1; Jets' Mekhi Becton moving to RT

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 1 p.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • As for who will be quarterbacking the Falcons in the post-Matt Ryan era, QBs coach Charles London called veteran Marcus Mariota the starter over rookie Desmond Ridder following the first day of practice. "Obviously, we've got a plan for each of them. Marcus is the starter," London said Wednesday, via Josh Kendall of The Athletic. "That's how we're going into this thing." Mariota getting the early nod over Ridder isn't all that surprising, especially considering the former No. 2 overall pick worked with Falcons coach Arthur Smith for a few seasons in Tennessee, which was among the reasons why the Falcons signed the veteran. London was merely the first coach to say what everyone has expected all along, but Ridder has well over a month to make his case.
  • Just days into Jets training camp, head coach Robert Saleh has already put one preseason storyline to bed. Saleh announced on Wednesday that veteran George Fant is set to be the team's starting left tackle while former first-round pick Mekhi Becton will take over the right tackle spot. Saleh went on to declare there will be "no competition" on the matter this summer, which was thought to be the case entering the 2022 season, and that the decision was made because Fant is "more comfortable" on the left side. The Jets found that out last season once Fant took over for the injured Becton, whose season ended after a knee injury in Week 1. Becton's figure has been a hot topic in New York since, but Saleh credited the 23-year-old for showing up to camp in good shape. As for how Becton feels about the position switch? The third-year tackle said, "As long as I'm on the field, it don't really matter to me."
  • Speaking of players reporting to camp in shape, Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said he was pleased with how running back Leonard Fournette looked entering camp. Fournette's rumored weight gain garnered plenty of offseason material in the days leading up to camp, but Bowles put any worries to rest, saying, "I don't know too many players in the offseason that are gonna stay in shape year-round." Bowles went on to say Fournette looked good and ran great during the team's conditioning test on Tuesday and looked fast and explosive in practice.
  • Staying in line with the theme, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters that he has slimmed down after taking up boxing and bettering his diet. Per NFL Network's Jane Slater, McCarthy thanked the media for the motivation while boxing and that he "throws with bad intentions."
  • All eyes are on 49ers star wideout Deebo Samuel upon his arrival to training camp, but he won't be taking part in practice, as of now, per coach Kyle Shanahan. Instead, Samuel did conditioning drills on the side while his representation tries to hammer out a new deal with the club. Samuel, who is coming off a breakout All-Pro season, requested a trade from the 49ers in the offseason, but things are now trending in the right direction for all parties some three months later. Said Shanahan: "Hopefully we can figure something out soon, but we're in a good place today."
  • Panthers coach Matt Rhule gave the first update on the team's quarterback competition, telling reporters that the incumbent Sam Darnold took all first-team reps on Day 1 of practice of while Baker Mayfield worked with the second team. With Mayfield set to take first-team reps on Thursday, Rhule said the two will alternate practice teams because he wants them to practice with the same wide receivers on each day. Certainly this won't be the final QB update from Rhule as training camp chugs along.
  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is taking the offseason departure of Davante Adams in stride. When asked how he was adjusting from Adams to Allen Lazard as his No. 1 option, Rodgers quipped, "I mean it's always tough going from Hall of Famer to Hall of Famer." Rodgers, of course, was referencing to Adams' recent comments on adjusting to Derek Carr, calling the Raiders QB a Hall of Famer under the same sentiment. After pausing for the subsequent laughs, Rodgers said the change is "going to be a transition" but that Lazard is "capable of a lot."
  • Bears pass rusher Robert Quinn told reporters that his motivation behind skipping mandatory minicamp last month was more to take care of his body and get right mentally, per ESPN's Courtney Cronin. Quinn's absence drew speculation of whether or not he wanted to remain in Chicago, and rumors of the Bears trading the 12-year veteran also arose over the summer. Quinn, who posted a career-best 18.5 sacks in 2021, said he's never expected to play elsewhere. "I've been traded twice," Quinn said. "You get tired of moving. ... I expect to be here but if not, that's out of my control."
  • NFL Network's Mike Giardi has several interesting tidbits from Patriots training camp, including Matt Patricia calling offensive plays during the team's first practice. Giardi added that Patriots players pointed out Patricia, a longtime defensive coordinator and former head coach, brings all that knowledge to the table and allows the offense to see "the who, what, where, when and why" of how a defense thinks and wants to play. With the Patriots not naming an offensive coordinator this season, could it maybe be Patricia (the Pats' senior football advisor/offensive line coach) is calling offensive plays in New England? It'd be quite the feather -- or pencil -- in his cap if he can pull it off successfully. Giardi also noticed Trent Brown lining up at left tackle while Isaiah Wynn manned the right side during practice, which is new considering both were the starters on opposite sides last season. The Patriots are patiently bringing along veteran cornerback Malcolm Butler after his unretirement, per Giardi. Butler worked primarily with the second team on Wednesday and "owned" a rookie wideout in press coverage according to Giardi, but would eventually get beat on a deep ball from Mac Jones.
  • Titans star running back Derrick Henry's highly anticipated return to health in 2022 is fueling excitement in Tennessee. But first let King Henry warm your heart as he takes the practice field with his princess.

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