Nothing gets fans excited like the prospect of a great NFL training camp battle. Yet, for the players, nothing could be worse.
For fans, training camp battles are something to which just about everyone can relate. Most of us played some sort of sport at some point in our lives, and many of us played high school or college football. The rush of seeing the weekly depth chart put up on the bulletin board or going head-to-head with the guy above you is a connection we have to our NFL heroes, even if so much of their lives is drastically foreign.
This isn't high school for the players, however. Imagine your boss walking up to you and asking you to sit down and watch someone else take a "few reps" at your job. Then imagine your job being on the line. For some NFL players, sliding down the depth chart ostensibly means sliding off a roster altogether—if the salary cap calls for it.
Moreover, training camp battles split reps in ways established positions don't have to worry about. Think an eventual rookie starter wouldn't be better off if he'd gotten 75 percent of the reps in camp rather than splitting them 50-50?
The stress of a training camp battle is great for fans, great for media and terrible for the players themselves. Here are the potential winners of some of the most action-packed battles across the league this preseason.