Sports Out West

NFL training camp 2013: 3 best and worst stories so far

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

NFL training camp has caused quite a stirrup so far this offseason. From the good to the bad, every team has something to look forward to in 2013 before the actual season gets underway. Here’s a look at some of the best and worst stories taking place this during the 2013 edition of NFL training camp.

Best #1: Rookie watch

Although this year’s rookie class wasn’t the most exciting, training camp is always a time to closely watch the newest players to join the NFL. The West Coast teams have their fair share of rookies to watch in training camp this offseason:

Oakland Raiders: CB D.J. Hayden, TE Nick Kasa, T Menelik Watson, QB Tyler Wilson
San Diego Chargers: WR Keenan Allen, T D.J. Fluker, ILB Manti Te’o, OLB Tourek Williams
San Francisco 49ers: RB Marcus Lattimore, TE Vance McDonald, WR Quinton Patton, FS Eric Reid
Seattle Seahawks: WR Chris Harper, DT Jordan Hill, RB Christine Michael, DT Jesse Williams

Best #2: Quarterback battles

It feels like there are more quarterback battles in the NFL than ever before, which will only add to the excitement of training camps. In total, there are five teams (Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles) with definite questions at quarterback and unknowns as to who will start to begin the season. With so much importance placed on the starting quarterback, these battles will be interesting to follow before the start of the regular season.

Best #3. 49ers vs. Seahawks rivalry

From Seattle fans trying to buy a brick at San Francisco’s new stadium to a picture of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson “Kaepernicking,” this rivalry between two Super Bowl contenders has continued to heat up this offseason. With a Week 2 matchup in Seattle taking place near the beginning of the NFL season, both teams have plenty of preparation in store before the big matchup.

Worst #1: ACL injuries rampant

Just this past weekend alone, two established NFL players went down with season-ending ACL injuries. While Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin suffered the injury in a contract year, Denver Broncos center Dan Koppen went down this weekend as well, potentially affecting Peyton Manning’s future success this season. Devastating injuries like these are always disappointing to see.

Worst #2: Veterans out of work

By now, teams are looking at their current rosters and deciding who to cut for their 53-man roster. However, there are still many big-name veteran players who have not caught on with any teams and are waiting for an opportunity to continue their NFL careers. Here’s a list of some of the more notable-names still available: DE John Abraham, TE Dallas Clark, WR Brandon Lloyd, RB Willis McGahee, WR Randy Moss, FS Kerry Rhodes, OLB Bart Scott, DT Richard Seymour, OLB Takeo Spikes, RB Michael Turner.

Worst #3: Aaron Hernandez

While the New England Patriots have done the best they could to dissipate this situation, the early part of NFL training camp was centered on Hernandez’s legal situation. Even though the franchise made the right decision of releasing him immediately, it left a black mark on the team’s “Patriot Way.”

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
NFL training camp

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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.