NFL Training Camps: 10 Most Intriguing Storylines from the First Week

Wes StueveContributor IIIJuly 31, 2012

NFL Training Camps: 10 Most Intriguing Storylines from the First Week

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    Training camp—otherwise known as the unofficial beginning of the 2012 NFL season—brings excitement, hope and stories. Lots and lots of stories.

    Some of the NFL's most famous players (Peyton Manning) and some lesser-known people (Randy Lerner) are among the league's most talked-about stories as training camp opens.

    Who joins them?

Peyton Manning's Recovery

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    Fellow players and coaches have had no problem praising Peyton Manning as he begins work for his new NFL team.

    Manning, on the other hand, has been much more cautious as he recovers from multiple neck surgeries. 

    With these conflicting reports, we're left wondering who is right. Is Manning back to his old All-Pro self, or does he still have a ways to go?

Andrew Luck's Growing Star

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    It's rare that a coach comes out and compares a quarterback to a combination of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and, uh, Tim Couch. But that's exactly what Bruce Arians did.

    Obviously Arians is in Andrew Luck's corner. Others have been quick to praise the No. 1 overall pick as well, though.

    Luck had a huge following because of his college play and draft status, but he is quickly impressing in the NFL.

Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez

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    From Tim Tebow running shirtless in the rain to to a reporter calling Mark Sanchez "Tim," this non-competition sure is getting plenty of attention.

    Neither quarterback has dominated, but the duo is receiving plenty of attention regardless. I guess that's what happens when Tebow meets New York City.

Cleveland Browns Sale

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    UPDATE: The Browns sold Thursday for over $1 billion to Jimmy Haslam, who has experience as part of the Steelers ownership group.

    News of the impending Browns sale broke just before camp started, and it has become a huge story. Current owner Randy Lerner has often been criticized, and former Eagles president Joe Banner is part of the group taking over the team.

    The sale could mean the end of Mike Holmgren's tenure in Cleveland, so it could even affect the Browns' coaching staff.

    The reach of the sale is nearly impossible to calculate.

Mike Wallace Holdout

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    Mike Wallace still hasn't signed his restricted free-agent tender. And now the Steelers have given a wide receiver other than Wallace a big extension

    There have been rumors of a Wallace trade, though the Steelers have denied any possibility of the rumors coming to fruition. 

    Wallace is a star in the NFL, and the Steelers' success gives his story even more publicity. This is already a red-hot story, but it may just be heating up.

Tennessee Titans Quarterback Competition

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    With Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck competing for the starting quarterback job, the two are alternating reps.

    Locker is more talented and younger, but Hasselbeck has experience on his side. There is a huge contract between the two players, and the battle could go either way.

    This is one that will be fun not only for the first week of camp but for its entirety.

NFL Officiating Lockout

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    As the NFL and NFL Referees Association have failed to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, the NFL has hired replacement officials.

    People are starting to get worried about the implications of replacement referees. If we thought the old refs were bad, what will we think of these?

Saints Overcoming Bountygate

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    The Saints are facing more questions than they have in years as they fight to overcome the horribly-named Bountygate scandal.

    Sean Payton isn't leading the team's training camp practices for the first time since 2006, and the whole team is surrounded by the controversy.

    Will New Orleans be able to overcome the loss of two coaches and two players? That's what is on every Saints fan's mind.

Seahawks Quarterback Competition

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    When the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn from the Packers, most assumed he would immediately start. Flynn, however, appears to be locked in a legitimate competition with rookie Russell Wilson and veteran Tarvaris Jackson.

    Flynn remains the favorite, but neither of the two—especially Wilson—is going down without a fight. It remains to be seen if Flynn truly is as superior as everyone thinks he is.

Detroit Lions' off-the-Field Issues

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    Detroit faced many arrests over the offseason and actually released Aaron Berry after his second incident. The Lions are undeniably talented, but is their talent enough to overcome the distractions?

    Right now, the focus isn't on Detroit's ability but its character makeup. The Lions need to prove they are of high enough character to still win football games.

    And the media are all for finding out.