For NFL fans, the month of July signals a new beginning—football is finally here again.
All 32 teams are scheduled to kick off training camp in July, and the start of training camp means the NFL's regular season is fast approaching.
Training camp is not for the feint of heart or the weary of mind. Players who hope to earn roster spots must rise above themselves and their competition to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they belong on the same field as the league's superstars.
Coaches and general managers also work tirelessly to ensure their teams have the best chance of getting off to a good start at the beginning of the year, as well as sustain success throughout the 16-game season.
Here's a look at when and where every team will kick off training camp for the 2013 NFL season.
|Baltimore Ravens||Under Armour Performance Center||Owings Mills, Md.||July21||July 24|
|Buffalo Bills||St. John Fisher College||Pittsford, N.Y.||July 22||July 27|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Paul Brown Stadium||Cincinnati, Ohio||July 24||July 24|
|Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns Training Facility||Berea, Ohio||July 19||July 24|
|Denver Broncos||Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre||Englewood, Colo.||July 24||July 24|
|Houston Texans||Methodist Training Center||Houston, Texas||July 21||July 25|
|Indianapolis Colts||Anderson University||Anderson, Ind.||July 23||July 27|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields||Jacksonville, Fla.||July 25||July 25|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Missouri Western State University||St. Joseph, Mo.||July 22||July 25|
|Miami Dolphins||Miami Dolphins Training Facility||Davie, Fla.||July 20||July 20|
|New England Patriots||Gillette Stadium||Foxboro, Mass.||July 21||July 25|
|New York Jets||SUNY Cortland||Cortland, N.Y.||July 22||July 25|
|Oakland Raiders||Napa Valley Marriott||Napa, Calif.||July 25||July 25|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Saint Vincent College||Latrobe, Pa.||July 26||July 26|
|San Diego Chargers||Chargers Park||San Diego, Calif.||July 24||July 24|
|Tennessee Titans||Baptist Sports Park||Nashville, Tenn.||July 24||July 24|
|Arizona Cardinals||University of Phoenix Stadium||Glendale, Ariz.||July 23||July 25|
|Atlanta Falcons||Atlanta Falcons Training Facility||Flowery Branch, Ga.||July 24||July 24|
|Carolina Panthers||Wofford College||Spartanburg, S.C.||July 21||July 25|
|Chicago Bears||Olivet Nazarene University||Bourbonnais, Ill.||July 25||July 25|
|Dallas Cowboys||City of Oxnard Fields||Oxnard, Calif.||July 20||July 20|
|Detroit Lions||Detroit Lions Training Facility||Allen Park, Mich.||July 22||July 25|
|Green Bay Packers||St. Norbert College||Green Bay, Wis.||July 25||July 25|
|Minnesota Vikings||Minnesota State University, Mankato||Mankato, Minn.||July 25||July 25|
|New Orleans Saints||New Orleans Saints Training Facility||Metairie, La.||July 18||July 25|
|New York Giants||Timex Performance Center||East Rutherford, N.J.||July 26||July 26|
|Philadelphia Eagles||NovaCare Complex||Philadelphia, Pa.||July 22||July 25|
|St. Louis Rams||Rams Park Training Center||Earth City, Mo.||July 21||July 24|
|San Francisco 49ers||Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Center||Santa Clara, Calif.||July 19||July 24|
|Seattle Seahawks||Virginia Mason Athletic Center||Renton, Wash.||July 24||July 24|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||One Buccaneer Place||Tampa, Fla.||July 17||July 24|
|Washington Redskins||Bon Secours Training Center||Richmond, Va.||July 24||July 24|
*Note: All training-camp information courtesy of NFL.com's Dan Hanzus.
Is Denver a lock to win the AFC West?
The Broncos are being considered by most as one of a handful of legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The biggest camp storyline for this team is whether or not its best players can stay healthy.
Peyton Manning has an excellent group of receivers to work with, and the team's defense has the potential to be one of the league's best with Von Miller leading the charge.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City, under new head coach Andy Reid, will be fascinating to watch this season. Reid traded for quarterback Alex Smith this past offseason, and he's drawn rave reviews from coaches and teammates alike. Running back Jamaal Charles recently called him a "Super Bowl quarterback" and praised his "great arm," as reported by NFL Network's Around the League.
The biggest question facing Oakland this summer concerns the quarterback position.
Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and rookie Tyler Wilson will be immersed in a full-blown quarterback competition. To this point, there's a sense that Wilson could emerge as the team's starter. Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times noted in late-May that Wilson looked better than Flynn.
San Diego Chargers
Can the Chargers protect Philip Rivers in 2013?
That's the biggest question facing this team. Without protection, Rivers' inability to escape pressure becomes a major issue. The Chargers brought on Max Starks and rookie D.J. Fluker to try to give the quarterback a boost, but there isn't much depth behind them.
Like the Broncos, Houston's biggest concern this summer (besides developing young talent) will be staying healthy. With elite talent on both sides of the ball and Super Bowl aspirations, the Texans will be an exiting team to watch this upcoming season.
It's going to be challenging for the Colts to follow up their impressive 2012 campaign after winning 11 games and making the playoffs. It will be interesting to watch the battle between rookie pass-rusher Bjoern Werner and free-agent acquisition Erik Walden to see which player will start at outside linebacker opposite Robert Mathis.
Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert? That is the question.
The two of them will be embroiled in a quarterback competition that will likely last into the team's preseason games. Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union believes that Gabbert will once again emerge as the team's starter, "barring a horrific August."
Tennessee made an investment into its offensive line this past offseason, drafting Chance Warmack and signing free-agent guard Andy Levitre. These two men should provide running back Chris Johnson with more room to maneuver this season, which will certainly help quarterback Jake Locker, who has yet to prove himself in the NFL.
After winning the Super Bowl, the Ravens will attempt to repeat without a few key members from last year's squad. Ray Lewis retired, Ed Reed signed with the Texans and Anquan Boldin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers—just to name a few.
Can Joe Flacco become the team's new leader? Will he be able to perform at a high level without Boldin as his safety valve? Who will step up as the new face of the team's defense?
There are more questions than answers facing the Ravens this summer.
Which team will win the AFC North in 2013?
The Bengals are on the cusp of taking over as the lead dogs of the AFC North.
Andy Dalton has been to the playoffs in both of his first two seasons as a pro, and now he has an absolutely loaded group of offensive weapons to work with. Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard will likely emerge as go-to guys for Cincinnati this year, and watching them progress this summer will be a treat.
Brandon Weeden drew mixed reviews as a rookie starter for the Browns last year. Thankfully for him, new head coach Rob Chudzinski hired Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator, and he's known for getting the most out of his quarterbacks.
Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer recently reported that the team's coaching staff has been impressed with Weeden's work ethic and have implemented more shotgun plays to better suit his strengths.
There are two major storylines that will be key for Pittsburgh this summer.
First of all, the team's corps of veterans must stay healthy—especially on the offensive line and secondary.
Secondly, it will be interesting to see how well rookies Jarvis Jones and Le'Veon Bell can transition to the pro game. If they manage to pick things up and make big contributions early for the Steelers, Pittsburgh will be a dangerous team in 2013.
Who will start at QB for the Bills in 2013?
Can EJ Manuel pick up the nuances of playing the quarterback position fast enough to hit the field as a rookie in 2013? If not, the Bills will turn to journeyman Kevin Kolb, who is a competent signal-caller but lacks any true star power.
According to the team's official website, the two quarterbacks will enter training camp on equal footing, but there's no rush to get Manuel on the field. We could be seeing another Russell Wilson/Matt Flynn dynamic playing out this summer.
Expectations are high in Miami this year. General manager Jeff Ireland pulled out all the stops—both in free agency and in the draft—to land players he believes will put the Dolphins over the top and into the playoffs.
This summer will be a critical time for all the new players to come together as a cohesive unit.
The most important question that must be answered, however, is whether or not second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill can build on his impressive rookie campaign.
New England Patriots
Another season, another group of receivers for Tom Brady.
Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd—Brady's two top targets from last year—are both gone. In their stead will be Danny Amendola and rookie Aaron Dobson, and you can be sure they'll be spending extra time with Brady after practices to develop the chemistry needed to thrive.
Of further interest to many fans is the questions surrounding Tim Tebow. Will he make the team's roster? Will he see much time on the field during preseason? Will he play tight end?
New York Jets
Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith will compete for the right to start at quarterback for the Jets this summer, but all signs point to Sanchez retaining his job. He recently told ESPN New York's Rich Cimini, "When it's a straight-up competition for the job, let's roll... All right, I'm going to win. That's just how I am."
Time will tell.
To this point, Smith hasn't done enough to prove he's ready to lead an NFL offense, and Cimini recently wrote, "Bet the rent on Sanchez starting in Week 1."
New head coach Bruce Arians brings a fresh new approach to the Cardinals—a team that desperately needed it.
New quarterback Carson Palmer should be a huge upgrade over Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, and Larry Fitzgerald could return to form with his arrival.
But there are still some big question marks surrounding this team. Will the offensive line be able to protect Palmer and create running lanes for Rashard Mendenhall? Will the team's secondary be able to thrive without Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes?
How the team answers these questions—among others—will determine whether or not it improves upon a dismal 2012 campaign.
San Francisco 49ers
Who will step in to take Michael Crabtree's place while he recovers from an Achilles injury?
Which team will win the NFC West?
Ricardo Lockette, A.J. Jenkins and rookie Quinton Patton will battle one another for the job, but if nobody emerges, then the 49ers will reportedly keep Austin Collie on speed dial for a camp invite, as noted by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
After a stellar rookie season, Russell Wilson will look to improve upon his personal performance, and the Seahawks will attempt to overtake the 49ers in the NFC West.
The franchise made some significant moves to make it happen, trading for receiver Percy Harvin and signing pass-rushers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Wilson and Harvin could become a dynamic duo, and it will be fun to watch them develop chemistry this summer.
St. Louis Rams
General manager Les Snead did a phenomenal job this offseason providing quarterback Sam Bradford with protection and playmakers. Tight end Jared Cook, receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey and offensive tackle Jake Long will help Bradford immensely.
Running back Steven Jackson is no longer with the team, however, which opens up the door for a full-blown competition at this position. Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and rookie Zac Stacy will likely all get reps with the first team.
After missing the Super Bowl by the slimmest of margins last season, Atlanta features a loaded roster capable of improving on both sides of the ball.
Battles on the team's offensive line and secondary will be ongoing throughout training camp, but the biggest key for the Falcons this summer is finding more production from the team's corps of pass-rushers.
Osi Umenyiora was signed this spring, and he replaces John Abraham. But the team must find more production from other defensive ends to complement the former New York Giants star.
Cam Newton will _____ in 2013.
The Panthers are a team on the rise.
The additions of defensive tackles Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei will certainly help Luke Kuechly and the team's defense this season.
But the biggest question this year, and every year going forward, is whether or not Cam Newton can develop into a top-five NFL quarterback and lead his team to greatness. Positive steps—even small ones—are of the utmost importance for Newton this season.
New Orleans Saints
The return of Sean Payton can't be overstated. The Saints were utterly lost without his leadership and offensive savvy last season.
The biggest storyline for New Orleans this summer, however, will be the team's shift to a 3-4 defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. After last year's debacle of a season on the defensive side of the ball (worst in the NFL), it can't get any worse.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Head coach Greg Schiano is hopeful that star cornerback Darrelle Revis will be ready for the start of Week 1, as noted by NFL Media PR:
On NFLN, Greg Schiano: Revis looks good in his rehab. He works incredibility hard. If I am a betting man, he is going to be ready.— NFL Media PR (@InsideNFLMedia) July 1, 2013
With Revis, safety Dashon Goldson and second-year safety Mark Barron, Tampa Bay now has a formidable secondary with which to oppose the high-powered offenses of the NFC South. Still, the biggest question mark going forward is whether or not the Bucs can find pass-rushers to complement this loaded secondary.
What will the Bears look like without Brian Urlacher and Lovie Smith?
It's a brave, new world for Chicago and its fans, as new head coach and offensive guru Marc Trestman is expected to usher in an improved offense and help quarterback Jay Cutler reach his full potential.
Ezekiel Ansah and Reggie Bush have Lions fans excited for the 2013 NFL season. It remains to be seen how much of a role Ansah will have as a rookie, but the raw potential for greatness is certainly there.
Bush, meanwhile, could give Matthew Stafford and the team's offense a huge boost as a receiving threat out of the backfield. The biggest question will continue to be whether or not Stafford will have enough time to set his feet and throw.
Green Bay Packers
Who will win the starting RB job for Green Bay?
It will be fascinating to watch the camp battle between rookie running backs Johnathan Franklin and Eddie Lacy. One of them will earn the starting running back spot, but both will likely see plenty of action this summer and throughout the regular season.
Percy Harvin is gone, as are the headaches associated with his antics. In his stead, Greg Jennings will step into the starting lineup, but the real wild card for the Vikings this summer is receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who has more potential in his pinky finger than most athletes do in their entire body.
If Patterson can pick up the nuances of playing the receiver position in the NFL to the point where the Vikings trust him to play a lot of snaps, Minnesota's offense could be dynamic.
Of course, this all hinges on whether or not Christian Ponder can become a franchise quarterback, which is debatable.
The Cowboys have some serious work to do on both sides of the ball.
Tony Romo needs better protection than he's been getting the past two years, and his offensive line still appears to be in shambles.
On the other side of the ball, the team's defense is switching to a 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin after years of utilizing and drafting for a 3-4 scheme.
It's not going to be an easy season for Dallas in 2013.
New York Giants
The Giants must get healthy and stay healthy.
Which team will win the NFC East divisional crown?
On both sides of the ball, New York features dynamic playmakers capable of dominating at their position. But, as we saw from the team's 3-5 record in the second half of last year, depth is a concern.
Philadelphia will be one of the most interesting teams to watch this summer.
Chip Kelly won't name a starting quarterback until he's absolutely sold on either Michael Vick or Nick Foles (rookie Matt Barkley has a slim shot, as well).
The Eagles will certainly look different on both sides of the ball under Kelly, and his style of coaching couldn't be more different than that of the laid-back Andy Reid, who ran the show for the past 14 seasons.
Will Robert Griffin III be fully healthy in time for the start of the regular season?
For many Redskins fans, this is the only question that matters.
Thankfully, RG3 is reportedly "smashing" every physical test on his surgically repaired ACL, as noted by ESPN Radio 980's Chris Russell:
Same person did allow that every test they give him, every path they set - he completely smashes it. They are astonished so far. #Redskins— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) July 13, 2013
Barring an unforeseen setback, Griffin III will be ready to lead Washington's offense from the first game of the 2013 season. With him at the helm the Redskins have a legitimate chance to repeat as NFC East champions.
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