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Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Joe Burrow 'breathes life' into Bengals

The 2020 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.

  • Before the Bengals broke for training camp, coach Zac Taylor said rookie quarterback Joe Burrow was his Week 1 starter. One look at Cincinnati's depth chart combined with Burrow being the top pick in the 2020 draft made that inevitable. Seven of the past eight QBs selected No. 1 overall started the ensuing season opener. The difference with Burrow is he won the job before his first practice. Taylor said Burrow's work the past few weeks has only reaffirmed his decision. "He's got full grasp of our offense. … You want your quarterback to be the hardest worker on the team and an extension of the coaching staff. He fits both those descriptions for us right now. He really breathes life into this offense, into this team. … He's very confident, he's not arrogant. I think the team believes in this guy right now, but again he's earned that in the way that he's gone about his work, the way he operates in the meetings, the way he communicates with his teammates on both sides of the ball. He's filling into that leadership role as well as any young player can do right now." That the LSU product has so quickly established himself in the locker room in the absence of a full offseason is even more impressive. Taylor said he would have probably handled the QB situation differently had team workouts commenced in May rather than August. "We're not going to beat around the bush. We're going to give the guy the reps. I didn't want him to be splitting reps with somebody else and not getting all the work in that he needed to get to be the Week 1 starter. Sometimes you just have to make those decisions and go with it. Again, I haven't looked back. He's done an excellent job. He's been the No. 1 quarterback. We still have work to do these next three weeks, but again we're not going to look again on that decision. … He's done nothing since he's been in the building or on the field to make us second guess any of those decisions, in terms of taking him, or making him the starting quarterback from Day 1."
  • Much has been made about Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones' efforts to diversify his game and improve as a pass catcher in the offseason. It's been a sticking point since his days at USC. RoJo's meal ticket, though, is his speed. It's why he sits fifth on the Trojans' all-time rushing list, ahead of three Heisman winners. And it remains his most distinctive trait in an offense loaded with receiving targets for its Hall of Fame QB. That burst was on display in a Tuesday practice. NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Jones had multiple splash runs, including a 40-yard touchdown in which he outran the defense. Jones, who became a starter for the Bucs midway through last season, has only one such run thus far in an NFL game. Perhaps increased attention elsewhere will free up the third-year back to do what he does best: run.
  • Tom Brady scrambled for a TD run himself during a live period. TB12 went right up the middle -- untouched, as you'd imagine. "Nobody was going to touch him," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said afterward, per The Athletic's Greg Auman. "They know better." Brady, of course, is the Buccaneers' meal ticket.
  • Five months after Brady's departure, the Patriots still have yet to announce a starting quarterback. But Julian Edelman's tweet depicting himself as Batman alongside Cam Newton as Superman is worth a few words.
  • The Washington Football Team experienced a brief scare Tuesday. Promising wide receiver Terry McLaurin walked off the field and removed his helmet after taking a big hit from safety Troy Apke. The second-year wideout would return a moment later. Coach Ron Rivera expressed mixed feelings about the play afterward, noting he appreciated Apke's aggressiveness but would have preferred he give the right away to McLaurin, especially since they were in shells. It's always a fine line.
  • Odell Beckham says Stefon Diggs is one of his favorite receivers, and he especially enjoyed watching him work in tandem with Adam Thielen. The individual who orchestrated that Vikings offense, of course, is now Beckham's head coach. Kevin Stefanski's arrival has OBJ believing he'll reassert himself as an explosive playmaker. "Definitely," he told reporters. "It's funny cause I watched the Vikings for so many years. ... I always was kinda wondering who was the one behind this and then you know we end up getting the guy. So, there's definitely something to look forward to." Another player who Beckham was a fan of prior to joining the Browns is his current quarterback, Baker Mayfield. On Monday, Mayfield said he and Beckham have been working out their differences and have improved on-field chemistry as a result. "It's sure as hell going to be a lot better than last year," were Mayfield's exact words. Beckham wasn't quite as emphatic about their rapport a day later but encouraged nonetheless. "Of course, I'm gonna say it's gonna be better than last year. But it's kind of a day-by-day approach and we'll see what happens when we get out on the field. As far as him, he looks great, mentally, physically he's got like a four-pack now so he's doing great. He's just in a good place and as a teammate and as a guy who's always been a fan of Bake, as a brother, it's great to see him in this place."
  • Greg Olsen has not only been a leading tight end most his career but often his teams' best receiver. The veteran might not start for the Seahawks and is unlikely to lead them in receiving in 2020. But that's part of what he appreciates about his new team. Olsen told reporters Seattle's tight end group is the most talented he's played with from "top to bottom." Olsen, who was still good for 52 catches last year despite the Panthers' spotty QB play, has been splitting reps with five Seahawks. Among Russell Wilson's TE targets: Will Dissly, who is competing for the No. 1 spot, rookie Colby Parkinson, former Patriot Jacob Hollister, and Luke Willson, who returned to Seattle last year and played on its recent Super Bowl squads.

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