5 Top Undecided NFL Training Camp Depth Chart Battles Still Going Strong
Quarterback competitions dominate the top undecided training camp battles still going strong after two weeks of the preseason. The Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans are all inching closer to finding out who will be under center this season.
In the NFC East, both the New York Giants and Washington Redskins have key decisions to make at crucial positions on offense. Here are the top depth chart battles still going strong at training camps.
Miami Dolphins: QB - David Garrard vs. Matt Moore vs. Ryan Tannehill
Veteran David Garrard's chances of securing the job in Miami were hurt by his injury in Week 1 of the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That allowed eighth overall draft pick Ryan Tannehill to take his chance to impress.
However, an uninspired showing from both Tannehill and 2011 starter Matt Moore during a Week 2 loss to the Carolina Panthers has sent the Dolphins back to square one. Tannehill fared marginally better than Moore, who is now probably the biggest long shot to win the job.
Head coach Joe Philbin's search for his starting quarterback is likely to drag on and increase in intensity throughout the final weeks of preseason. Tannehill should have the inside track, thanks to time working with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman at Texas A&M.
Seattle Seahawks: QB - Matt Flynn vs. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Russell Wilson
The picture might be becoming a little clearer in Seattle, with reports from NFL.com suggesting Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll wants to trade Tarvaris Jackson. That would leave this enticing quarterback duel between big free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and unheralded rookie Russell Wilson.
The third-round draft choice has enjoyed an impressive preseason, piling the pressure on Flynn to live up to the contract Seattle paid him in the offseason. The former backup to Aaron Rodgers likely remains the favourite, but if Wilson continues to shine, all bets are off.
The Tennesse Titans may have brushed aside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-7 , but the result was overshadowed by the abject performance from Jake Locker. The 2011 first-round draft pick did nothing to show he deserves to supplant veteran Matt Hasselbeck as the Titans' starting quarterback.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, indicated that Locker's feeble showing could force a rethink by Titans head coach Mike Munchak regarding who will lead his team this season. The next preseason games will be crucial. If Hasselbeck shines, the 36-year-old could enter his 14th pro season still a starter.
New York Giants: 3rd WR - Ramses Barden vs. David Douglas vs. Domenik Hixon vs. Jerrel Jernigan vs. Rueben Randle
Perhaps the most keenly contested battle in NFL training camps is the fight for the third receiver spot on the depth chart of the New York Giants.
What's making this battle so interesting is that the unknown and unheralded players are upsetting the odds so far. Rookie free agent David Douglas exemplifies this trend.
He has been a camp star. He also hauled in a 23-yard pass during the team's win over city rivals the New York Jets. Diminutive 2011 rookie Jerrel Jernigan is also making a strong case to win the job.
This year's second-round pick Rueben Randle should probably still be considered the favourite, but he is currently taking on the starting load in the absence of Hakeem Nicks. Nobody is really standing out so far, so expect this battle to rage on right up until opening day.
Washington Redskins: RB - Roy Helu vs. Tim Hightower vs. Alfred Morris vs. Evan Royster
In typical Mike Shanahan fashion, no clear starter has yet emerged to lead the Washington Redskins' running game. It hasn't helped that 2011 starter Tim Hightower has not yet been able to take the field during the preseason, as he continues to recover from an ACL injury.
Explosive youngster Roy Helu has also been slowed by niggling injuries and fellow 2011 rookie Evan Royster has failed to take his chance in their absence. It is this year's sixth-round rookie, Alfred Morris, who has made the biggest impression so far.
He has been decisive attacking the gaps created by Washington's zone-blocking scheme and has shown the power to punish would-be tacklers and fight for extra yards.
Don't be surprised if the ex-Florida Atlantic standout upsets the odds and becomes the regular workhorse in the Redskins' backfield this season.
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