Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Dolphins 'working through' issues with CB Xavien Howard

The 2021 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • Two years ago, a premier defensive back for the Dolphins asked to be set free from South Beach and got his wish. Will Xavien Howard's trade request be fulfilled like Minkah Fitzpatrick's once was? Brian Flores is not planning on it. "We love coaching him," the Miami coach said Friday morning on Inside Training Camp. "Obviously he's a very talented player, makes our team better. In any relationship there's issues at times but we're working through them and we'll continue to have dialogue and communication. Hopefully we can work through this." After leading the NFL with 10 interceptions last year, the All-Pro cornerback has been looking for a new contract. He skipped mandatory offseason workouts but has reported to training camp to avoid fines, all while taking to social media to voice his displeasure. That prompted two playoff teams to reach out to Miami to inquire about a trade. Howard isn't practicing Friday because of an ankle injury. The Dolphins are hoping that's the only thing keeping him off their practice field.
  • There is no current momentum on the extension front for quarterback Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, NFL Network's Kim Jones reported Friday. Jones added that if "on, say, Aug. 15 there is still no progress, sides could agree to table until after season." Nonetheless, Allen conveyed to Jones he's not worried about it and knows it's not if, but when the deal gets done and said it was the "least of my worries." Allen is coming off a stellar 2020 season -- his third as a pro -- in which he threw for a franchise-record 37 touchdowns and 4,544 yards as he guided the Bills to an AFC East title and the AFC Championship Game.
  • For those torn between which running backs to draft in fantasy this season, Austin Ekeler is here to ease your mind. "I'm gonna get the ball, I'm gonna make things happen," the Chargers RB said, per Sports Illustrated. "They're gonna throw me the ball, I'm gonna make things happen. If you want to get fantasy points, you better have me on your team. That's all I got to say. If I'm healthy, I'm gonna score you points."
  • J.K. Dobbins wants to be regarded as one of the top running backs in football. To do that, he knows he must be a more complete one. That initiative could line up well with the Ravens'. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that Baltimore is looking to expand its offense in Year 4 for Lamar Jackson, who expects to be used under center more. Ravens RBs haven't been much of a factor in the passing game in recent seasons, but that could change with there being a bit less depth at the position. Moreover, Dobbins' pass-catching ability was seen as a plus coming out of Ohio State. If he continues to grow as a blocker, he'll have the opportunity to be an every-down back. He's already transitioned to the pro game as a runner, averaging 6.0 yards in his rookie year. That's the biggest step toward being one of the best.

Elsewhere on the Ravens roster, tight end Mark Andrews is heading into the final season of his current contract. Does that have any effect on him after two straight seasons of being Baltimore's top pass-catcher (he tied for the team lead of 58 catches with "Hollywood" Brown last year)? "I mean, yeah, it's a contract year, but the way I play is going out there every time trying to help my team win and that's what I'm going to do," Andrews told Garafolo on Friday. "It's a big year, but at the end of the day, I'm just going to go out there and play football, which is always what I intend to do." Andrews, a 2018 third-round pick, is due $3.38 million in 2021, but is due a pay bump after establishing himself as Lamar Jackson's most trusted aerial option.

  • For as long as Aaron Rodgers was away from the Packers this offseason, it shouldn't take long for him to get reacclimated. Packers coach Matt LaFleur told reporters there are two matters in particular that he's addressed with his All-Pro quarterback thus far: a pitch count for training camp, and "getting on the same page with some of the offseason tweaks we made to the offense." Green Bay led the NFL in scoring last year. With Rodgers and the remaining core still intact, things figure to look similarly great in 2021.
  • Brian Hoyer is in his third stint with the Patriots. At 35-years-old, he's the senior citizen in the quarterback room. Mac Jones, whose NFL career is all of three months old, knows where to go to get help. Hoyer told reporters he's been waking up to 6 a.m. texts from the zealous rookie asking questions. Jones said he's keeping a "correction bucket" while noting he's making more mistakes than his teammates. It's only the first week of his first training camp, but he's already embroiled in a quarterback competition with Hoyer and former MVP Cam Newton. "Our goal is to win, so I guess they're obviously going to play the best player and that's going to be whoever it may be," Jones said, per NFL Network's Mike Giardi. "I'm just here to work and I got to get better. I'm young and I know that and I have to produce on the field and do exactly what I'm supposed to do on each play and fix every problem. If I can do that, things will work out."
  • When it comes to media scrums, Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams is about fun and fairness. Case in point:
  • Fans are back at training camp and as excited as they are, players seem to be just as amped. Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin was all smiles and waves as fans clamored for him when he walked on to the field Friday. "I love the fans, man," McLaurin said.
  • And with the return of fans also comes the return of the bike tradition at Green Bay Packers camp in which player ride kids' bikes to practice.
  • There's also a chance fans could head home with an extra special memory, such as this youngster after receiving a gift from Baltimore Ravens defensive back Marcus Peters.
  • The first defensive selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn nabbed his first training camp interception on Friday.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin welcomed fans to practice with a rousing speech during which he reflected on a tumultuous year, stated the team's goals and thanked Steeler Nation for their support.

Training camp is finally here! Be sure to check out NFL Network's extensive live coverage, including Inside Training Camp every day and highlighted by Training Camp: Back Together Saturday Fueled by Gatorade on July 31.

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