AFC Training Camp Report: Top 10 Storylines of Week One
The NFL had plenty of stories going on during week one of the pre-season. The AFC was all abuzz with stories from positive, to negative, to simply curious. Be it contracts, prior history, rookie hazing, or injury-laden camps, the pre-season is producing plenty of material for the NFL fan's to also warm up the seasonal rabidly curious and inquisitive.
10. Coaches Getting in On the Sympathy Pain
After coming off of a disastereous performance at Notre Dame (by Fighting Irish standards), Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator Charlie Weis revealed why he has been needing motorized assistance for part of his knee "broke off," according to the AP's Doug Tucker.
9. Reshaping the Landscape with Early and Often Injured and Signings
The walking (and many times unable to walk) injured were well-accounted for as players both key and in droves were being injured. The Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens were literally reshaped and faced with urgency by the end of week one.
Yet players are coming and going in regular intervals as teams look to find the the right newcomers with chemistry to propel a team forward.
Dallas saw their promising tight end John Phillips go down along with the Bengals' Brian Leonard get helped off the field by Cincinnati's training staff.
8. Hold Up and Hold Out
Several key players for teams that have deep post-season aspirations were still no where to be seen. Darrell Revis of the Jets continues to hold out for more money while the San Diego Chargers have three primary players outside of camp in Shawne Merriman (OLB), Vincent Jackson (WR), and Marcus McNeil (LT).
Even Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was showing malcontent with the team in what was quickly developing into a gentleman's disagreement.
7. Ravens' Secondary In the Crow's Nest
The Ravens' secondary looks like it needs a third.
Ed Reed (S) is out along with Dominique Foxworth (CB). Chris Carr (CB) tweaked his hamstring but is likely to recover quickly.
Either way, Reed and Foxworth are tremendous blows to the team. Reed is expected to return mid-season from off-season hip surgery but the results of his recovery are still to be seen.
The Ravens' line also took a hit with Jared Gaithers suffering from back issues.
6. Denver Broncos Walking Wounded
The injuries to the Denver Broncos mounted to such an extent that a practice session had to be canceled on Sunday. In fact, by Sunday no less than 12 players were injured enough to be kept out of practice and leading to the session cancellation.
2009 NFL sack leader Elvis Dumervil tore a pectoral muscle (chest) and is likely out for the season after his Tuesday surgery. Top pick wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is out and running back Lendale White has also hit the skids among others.
5. Steelers Hall of Fame: Dick Lebeau
Pittsburgh Steeler's defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau was inducted into the football Hall of Fame on Sunday. In a stirring testament to Lebeau, the Steelers team showed up while old friends and coworkers from the Bengals were on hand to pay tribute to this player-coach with a long history and NFL resume
4. Overtrained what-the Syndrome?
In an ongoing story pre-dating training camp and developing into week two, Brian Cushing continues to deny ever injecting or ingesting HCG nor the complimentary steroid use that goes along with HCG. As of the beginning of week two, the Houston Texans' owner, Bob McNair, was backing Cushing's claim of "overtrained athletes' syndrome."
3. Super Bowls Past, Present, and Future
While a referee was apologizing to an NFC team (the Seattle Seahawks) for essentially handing the 40th Super Bowl championship to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005, the New York Jets unabashed coach, Rex Ryan, was once again declaring that the Jets would be the Super Bowl champions. At the same time, Terrell Owens—newly of he Cincinnati Bengals—was essentially saying that this was the Bengals year to win it all (and therefore the purpose of this presence).
2. Hazing and Haircuts
The Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow showed off his best imitation of a Franciscan monk with a bald head and ring of hair to adorn his scalp. Many new players touted strange appearances which humored as well as confused fans as to the knee-slapping rituals of training camp and newbies.
1. TO and Ocho: Batman and Robin or Laverne and Shirley?
In a mixture of superstar media mergers and a potential soap opera in the making, Terrell Owens united with Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati. Breakout the sedatives people because this Cincinnati Bengals has more personality than a Hollywood red carpet.