Saturday’s 2021 NFL training camp practices opened with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in pads for the first time trying to put it all together after a rough practice on Friday that coach Bruce Arians called “horses—.”
Quarterback Tom Brady, who has ditched the knee sleeve, said he realizes the Bucs are like every other team in the league, starting from the bottom and trying to get back to the top.
In other news, the Baltimore Ravens have shored up their pass rush by signing Justin Houston and the Detroit Lions had a watch party to witness Melissa Gonzalez, the wife of quarterback David Blough, qualify for the Olympic semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles in Tokyo.
All 32 NFL teams are on the field Saturday, here’s what’s happening:
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Top NFL news of the day
Baltimore Ravens shore up pass rush, agree to one-year, $4 million deal with Justin Houston, sources say
The Baltimore Ravens signed outside linebacker Justin Houston to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is a significant move for the Ravens, who added the best available pass-rusher to address the biggest hole on their team. Houston, 32, is a four-time Pro Bowl defender who has recorded at least eight sacks in each of the past four seasons. Baltimore’s pass rush was a major question mark after losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.
Bill Belichick reiterates Cam Newton is New England Patriots starting QB, but will evaluate ‘whole situation’
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Cam Newton is the team’s starting quarterback – repeating what he said in April when the team drafted Mac Jones in the first round — but also left open the possibility that things could change if Newton struggles in training camp. “We’ll see how it goes. Let them play, and [we’ll] try to do what we feel like is best for the team based on their performance,” Belichick said.
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan ‘moving forward’ at camp without Julio Jones
It’s been different for Matt Ryan during Falcons training camp. Yes, it’s a new coach and a new offensive scheme, but wide receiver Julio Jones is in Tennessee, traded to the Titans in June. “That’s always the hard part of our business, when things like this happen,” Ryan said. “I was fortunate to play with him for a long time and have tons of great memories from his time here. I’ve said it before. He probably has impacted my career as significantly as anybody that I’ve ever played with so I love him and I wish him the best moving forward.”
Bears coach Matt Nagy ‘absolutely’ understands other teams’ interest in QB Nick Foles
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy, who coached Nick Foles in Kansas City and Chicago, said trade speculation comes with the territory given Foles’ career accomplishments. He said he “absolutely” understands why teams would be interested in Foles. “And you’re talking about a Super Bowl MVP and a guy that’s started a lot of games,” Nagy said before practice. “He’s had a really interesting career in so many ways that I just think that he deserves that. I mean, anybody that’s had the career he has is somebody that’s always going to be … for all teams, as a third-string guy, teams are going to look at guys like him.”
Bears coach Matt Nagy says he understands why teams would be interested in a QB like Nick Foles.
Detroit Lions hold watch party to support Olympic hurdler Melissa Gonzalez, wife of QB David Blough
Members of the Lions held a watch party Friday evening to witness Melissa Gonzalez, the wife of quarterback David Blough, qualify for the Olympic semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles in Tokyo. Gonzalez is representing Colombia. Before leaving practice, the Lions organization also set up a camera for players walking off the field to send their congratulations through social medial. Fellow quarterback Jared Goff joked into the camera that, “David never talks about you, we have no idea what’s going on,” before seriously encouraging her to “do your thing.” Lions coach Dan Campbell opened Saturday’s news conference by saying, “You don’t always get these type of experiences, but to me that embodies enjoying the ride because that was pretty cool. It was a moment, I can tell you that.”
What our NFL Nation reporters saw today
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) July 31, 2021
My hit on this morning’s @SportsCenter: The #Titans aren’t concerned with the spotlight being on other teams in the division. As Kevin Byard said, “Actions speak louder than words.” pic.twitter.com/hxxzS6VzuS
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) July 31, 2021
Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos laid down the law early: keep the players injury free. As a result, first-year coach Brandon Staley mandated the Chargers spend the first 30 minus of practice stretching and doing what they call “activation,” with bands around their legs and foam rollers. Players say they feel thoroughly warmed up and ready for drills. — Shelly Smith
Best NFL videos
Chargers coach Brandon Staley speaks highly of quarterback Justin Herbert.
Trevor Lawrence rolls out of the pocket and drops a dime to a diving Tim Tebow in the end zone.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 31, 2021
Aww Tress ? pic.twitter.com/EHjrcl6wOs
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) July 31, 2021
Lions TE T.J. Hockenson has a new swag to him entering Year 3, coming off his 1st Pro Bowl season. Longer hair, smoother approach.
Says he’s more “comfortable.” Also attending Tight End U. this off-season opened his eyes on what it takes to be great at the position. pic.twitter.com/mFIq9W20ec
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) July 31, 2021
Best NFL photos
15,000 fans at Highmark Stadium for practice today.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) July 31, 2021