NFL Training Camps: Around the league in 32 plays

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The Red Rifle has caught a lot of flak in Cincy…but should that ire be pointed higher? Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals:  Can the Bengals move beyond mediocrity?  Marvin Lewis has done a wonderful job of keeping the Bengals competitive during his tenure.  But at some point, you have to become more than that.  Cincy fans are pretty split on Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback, but I think the problem goes higher than that.  At some point, this franchise needs to demand more.

Cleveland Browns:  Who is the starting quarterback?  Wait…no, I’m sorry…that was last year’s headline.  Oh wait, no…sorry again…it’s still the headline.  The Browns continue to defy the laws of nature in how bad they are at finding decent quarterbacks.  Personally, I say put Connor Football (Shaw) in there.  But I’m insanely biased…though I’m also not wrong here.

Dallas Cowboys:  Did the Cowboys learn anything from last year?  How do you follow up a great season that saw your team return to prominence?  If you said “replace the best running back in the NFL with a group of nobodies”, then you may have a future in the Dallas front office.  For years, Cowboys fans were screaming for the team to get Tony Romo some help.  They finally did…and promptly let him leave for their division rival the following year.   I do not understand how nobody in that front office was able to find the correlation between a good running game and their newly found success.

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Denver Broncos:  The last hurrah, or the beginning of the end?  Can Peyton Manning go out on top the way John Elway did, or is he destined to continue what has honestly been a disappointing career for a player of his greatness?  Manning’s playoff failures are well-documented.  And in what may be his final year, the Broncos are attempting a coaching change.  Lost in all of that is the fact that their “heir apparent”, Brock Osweiler, is in the final year of his contract without having played any meaningful football.

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Detroit Lions:  What will the defense be without Suh?  The Lions made the decision to move on from Ndamukong Suh, which seems like the right idea after how much the Dolphins paid for him.  However the identity of their defense is now up in the air.  They brought in Haloti Ngata to help fill the void, but that wouldn’t even be an even trade in Ngata’s prime.  Moving on from Suh was the right move, but did they do it the right way?

Green Bay Packers:  Can they unseat the Seahawks?  The Packers have consistently been one of the top three teams in the NFC for years now.  Fans and analysts alike laud the team for jumping from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers with a seamless transition.  But truth be told, when you look at the talent this team has, they have to be considered underachievers.  The current Packers are essentially the same team that the Chargers were in the early 2000s.  Yeah, you can get to the NFC Championship, but then what?  This is a team that should be thinking Super Bowl or bust every year…and has been landing on the bust end of that far too often.

Next: Texans QB Competition