NFL: 5 Coaches Who Have the Most Riding on Camp Battles

Dan SnyderCorrespondent IJune 19, 2012

NFL: 5 Coaches Who Have the Most Riding on Camp Battles

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    Every year, teams enter training camp with positions still up in the air. Sometimes, it's these position battles that make or break a season for some teams.

    This year, a few coaches took big risks in the offseason and will have to pay the price if they don't work out, but if they do, they'll look like absolute geniuses.

    Let's take a look at five coaches who could be facing the music following the 2012 season.  

Rex Ryan: New York Jets

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    This is the easiest camp battle to point out, and you're probably sick of hearing about it by now, but we'll have to discuss it. 

    Ryan and the Jets made the move to acquire Tim Tebow following a season where New York fell to 8-8 and the fans criticized quarterback Mark Sanchez regularly. 

    Statistically, Sanchez had the best season of his career, but still made plenty of mistakes and looked lost at times. On the other hand, Tebow was the darling of the NFL, leading the once-thought hapless Broncos to a playoff win over the Steelers. 

    So looking at the facts, even if the Jets say there are none, there most certainly is a quarterback battle going on in New York. 

    Ryan has a lot at stake in this as well. 

    He vouched for Tebow and is very responsible for him being in New York. It doesn't help that the Jets have fallen off as a team, so if Sanchez and Tebow both fail, Ryan should be feeling a very hot seat underneath him. 

Norv Turner: San Diego Chargers

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    Norv Turner doesn't need any help losing his job; he can do that all on his own. 

    But this offseason, which could very well be Turner's last, the team did little to improve itself from the mediocre 8-8 record it posted last season. 

    One of the biggest changes in San Diego is the wide receiver position. The Chargers let disgruntled receiver Vincent Jackson walk in free agency and will now attempt to replace his 4,754 yards and 37 touchdowns with some underachievers and free agents. 

    San Diego is deep at receiver, but the problem is that there's no real clear No. 1 on this team. 

    Malcom Floyd will enter his eighth season with the Chargers and is the favorite to be the No. 1, but free-agent acquisition and former Saint Robert Meachem will push for the job. San Diego also has Vincent Brown and former Bronco Eddie Royal to compete for spots.

    The Chargers are a team built around the passing game, which really struggled last year. Take away the team's top target, and all eyes will be on Turner to turn this team back around.  

Pete Carroll: Seattle Seahawks

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    When the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn, everyone thought they finally added the missing piece to their offense. 

    Even after the team drafted Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round, it seemed that he'd only be a backup to Flynn. 

    But it wouldn't be a Pete Carroll team without drama. 

    Carroll and the entire staff have praised both Wilson and the incumbent Tavaris Jackson while also stating there will be an open quarterback competition. 

    This could be the make-or-break point in Carroll's career. I understand he's a big fan of Russell Wilson's, but he's nowhere near NFL-ready, and the team should turn to Flynn to run an offense that is very under the radar. 

Pat Shurmur: Cleveland Browns

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    After the Browns took 27-year-old Brandon Weeden with the 22nd-overall pick, it became pretty clear that the team would try to deal Colt McCoy after only two seasons and 21 starts. 

    But awkwardly enough, McCoy was still with the Browns as they entered OTA's and began a competition that seemed like it already had a winner. 

    I'm not really high on Weeden because he struggles under pressure and he's playing in a division with three teams that can get to the quarterback. But this also seems a bit unfair because McCoy was never given a real opportunity in Cleveland. He played on an offense with horrific receivers and virtually no running game in 2011. 

    This competition means the world to both Shurmur and president Mike Holmgren, because if Weeden fails, it most likely spells the end for this pair. 

Joe Vitt/Pete Carmichael: New Orleans Saints

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    Although there's no position battle at quarterback going on in New Orleans, there is a major battle between Drew Brees and the Saints front office that could spell bad news for the team's interim coaches.

    It's no secret that Brees is the backbone of the Saints organization, yet the team refuses to pay him like the elite player he is.

    Brees' absence from OTA's may not look like a big deal, but this is a guy who wouldn't generally miss his backup long snapper's three-year-old's birthday party.

    It will be interesting to look at the Brees situation heading into camp, because without him, New Orleans doesn't stand a chance in 2012. And that doesn't bode well for Pete Carmichael and Joe Vitt.