Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Lions QB Blough celebrates wife's Olympic run with teammates

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.

  • Detroit Lions quarterback David Blough got the best birthday gift he could ask for. His wife, Melissa Gonzalez, advanced to the Olympic semifinals in the 400-meter hurdles Friday. The Lions turned the event into a surprise watch party, with the coaching staff joining Blough and the other quarterbacks in a conference room. Blough could be seen rabidly cheering on Gonzalez -- her time of 55.32 set a Colombian national record -- and then later realizing several members of the organization had attended the viewing. "I turn around and see them and it just made us feel loved," the 26-year-old backup QB said. "It made me feel loved. Sending the video I had to Melissa made her emotional and cry. That's what it's all about. This is a family, it's what we're trying to build and it was very special."

Joining Blough in the celebration was Jared Goff, who's experienced a whirlwind of his own in recent years. Four years ago, he was starting for a Rams team coming off a four-win season and helped lead his club to the playoffs with then-first-year coach Sean McVay. An offseason trade to Detroit aligns him with first-year coach Dan Campbell, with the two tasked to turn around the 5-11 Lions. That isn't daunting to Goff. "It can happen that fast," he said Saturday on Back Together Saturday. "And that's our goal, is to be extremely competitive this year and win a championship."

  • Despite dealing with a right shoulder strain and continuing his recovery from a broken ankle, Dak Prescott says he won't be deterred from sticking to his play style. When asked Saturday if he'll change how he plays, the Dallas Cowboys star expressed he'll only make minor modifications, if anything. "I think I'll just be a little smarter once I get past the line of scrimmage," he said on Inside Training Camp Live. "Maybe not quite as reckless as maybe times before, trying to throw stiff arms and doing that. I'll go down and slide and stuff like that. But I mean, you're talking third-and-short, fourth-and-short, entering the red zone, that's who I am. I don't think I can change that."
  • Spending any amount of time away from the game can alter a player's outlook. Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey discussed the perspective he gained after enduring an injury-riddled 2020 season. "There's definitely some positives you can take from just taking a step back and looking at the game from another vantage point," CMC told NFL Network's Charles Davis. "Just doing the best I can to stay mentally in it and it also gives you just another appreciation for the game when you can't play. So, I'm just fired up to be back here playing football healthy, ready to roll."
  • Marlon Humphrey, meet Rashod Bateman. The Ravens Pro Bowl safety matched up with the rookie receiver on this play in practice and it was quite a sight to behold. To borrow a line from our own Mike Garafolo, Bateman's stock "contiues to rise" ahead of his first season.
  • Davante Adams pronounced recently that he's the best wide receiver in football and therefore should be paid like it. Green Bay and Adams' representation are still sorting through that matter. The All-Pro wideout says his focus has shifted, but he was happy to share his list of the other top receivers in the league with NFL Network's James Jones on BTS: Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen.
  • It's a new era in New York, where the Jets have a rookie head coach and rookie quarterback. Success might take time to ferment, but forgive their fans for their impatience. The team's last playoff appearance (and win) came more than 10 years ago. Last division championship was in 2002. Last Super Bowl was the sport's third one ever, in January of 1969. Man had yet to walk on the moon. But If Zach Wilson keeps connecting downfield with fellow rookie Elijah Moore, perhaps Robert Saleh's Jets will be ready to take off in the near future.
  • Following the bad practice heard around the world Friday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a better effort Saturday. Tight end Rob Gronkowski said the two days served as a good reminder for a team aiming to win it all again. "It's difficult, its difficult to win a preseason game," Gronk said on Back Together Saturday. "It's difficult to win on a daily basis, week to week. Just being in the league forever, whatever's in the past is in the past. It doesn't matter if you won the Super Bowl last year. That was great getting that ring, celebrating it. But that's bye now, bye-bye. It's a new season. We just got to focus and we got to get better every single day, and we got to find ways to get better. Because everyone's coming at us, throwing whatever they got at us and we got to be ready for it."
  • The Raiders have one of the best tight ends in the league in Darren Waller. The rest of their receiving corps is full of questions and potential. Jon Gruden said he's "most excited about" fellow TE Foster Moreau, who had a promising rookie campaign in 2019 but was hampered by injuries last year. "When we get into our two tight end set, it's really something," Gruden said. But what about Las Vegas' wideouts? Expectations remain high for a pair of 2020 draft picks. "(Bryan) Edwards has great ability," Gruden said on BTS. "He's got great ability. I'm excited about him. You see he looks like T.O., he looks like one of the number one wideouts in the league. And (Henry) Ruggs is putting it together. I think his experience shows."

Many eyes at Raiders camp are on their rebuilt offensive line. Rookie right tackle Alex Leatherwood has given them something to watch thus far. NFL Network's Omar Ruiz reported that the first-rounder is drawing rave reviews from his offensive coordinator. Greg Olson told Ruiz that Leatherwood made few mental mistakes during a lengthy install. "He picked it up nearly flawlessly," Ruiz said.

  • For the first time in training camp, Jameis Winston took first-team reps with the Saints as the battle for QB1 plays out with Taysom Hill, NFL Network's Jim Trotter reports. However, there's no hurry for head coach Sean Payton and Co. to determine a starter. "At this point, there's no major concern within the organization about how that position is going to play out," Trotter said. "Over the last two years, when Drew Brees -- their future Hall of Fame quarterback who retired this offseason -- was down with injury, the Saints went 8-1. Sean Payton and his staff have done a tremendous job in terms of fitting the offense to the skillset of the quarterback. They will continue to do that." Trotter added that the competition will continue through camp and the preseason until Payton makes his decision.
  • Payton seemed displeased with star wideout Michael Thomas not undergoing surgery sooner on his balky ankle, an injury that will sideline him for the start of the season. Winston offered a different point of view, asserting that he and others are not upset with Thomas. "We're encouraging our teammates, here," he told reporters. "That's what we do. We got his back. I got his back, 100%." Thomas' indefinite absence will surely compromise New Orleans' passing game. It's a blow for Winston, who's embroiled in the aforementioned competition with Hill. But Winston sounded more hurt for his teammate than himself. "I was devastated," the former Bucs QB said. "He's one of the best receivers in the game. The thing about Mike Thomas, you know, he's working his tail off to get back with us. It's not like we have a guy that's not gonna be working. This guy is one of the most dominant receivers over the past five years, this guy has a tremendous work ethic, this guy wants to be here, so I guarantee you Mike Thomas is working his tail off right now to get back with us."
  • Observers at Broncos training camp are split on whether Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater is leading the quarterback derby. But there's not yet a front runner among the team's decision-makers, NFL Network's James Palmer reported. The Broncos are hoping one of the two will separate himself in the coming weeks but might use the entire preseason before making a decision, Palmer added. One of the determining factors is which QB makes fewer mistakes. Given Denver's strong defense and supporting cast on offense, a game-manager is seen as an attractive option. That would seem to favor Bridgewater, although he threw three consecutive interceptions during a team period Saturday. "This decision is nowhere close to being made," Palmer said. "Every rep is going to count, but I'm told the games will count the most."
  • From fans chanting his name to veterans familiarizing themselves with his game, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Najee Harris is already making his presence felt. NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala provided some insight into the promising running back's laser focus on executing to the best of his ability. "He said it's his job to create better situations. He said it's his job to make sure he breaks the first tackle. He said it's his job to create something out of nothing when there is nothing there," Kinkhabwala said on Inside Training Camp Live. "And, unfortunately, because the Steelers have not yet been able to put together the offensive line that they're projecting to start for even one snap through 10 days, Harris had indeed had to create something out of nothing. But he is unbowed by all of this."
  • Kinkhabwala kept the anecdotes rolling, detailing an interesting encounter between Harris and veteran Cameron Heyward. "Every day before practice, he goes to head coach Mike Tomlin and he says I want you to match me up against a bigger guy" she shared. "Whether it's backs on backers, whether it's an 11-on-11 drill, he said I just want a bigger body. Today, it was against Cam Heyward, the defensive captain. Heyward missed on the tackle, he told us he was a bit peeved by that and Harris shrugged his shoulders and said, 'That's football.'" Not a bad day in the office for a guy who told reporters he's actually below his target body fat goal.
  • Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter is back, and Mike Zimmer is very pleased with what he's seeing from the imposing 26-year-old pass rusher. "He's looked terrific - really good in the run game, really good in the passing game … I'm glad we have him. I wish we had 10 more like him," Zimmer said, per the team. Hunter missed all of the 2020 season with a neck injury.
  • Cam Akers ' season-ending injury earlier this offseason certainly delivered a hit to the L.A. Rams' lofty aspirations, but head coach Sean McVay has plenty of confidence in Darrell Henderson leading the way out of the backfield. "Darrell Henderson's a really good football player," McVay said Saturday on NFL Network's Back Together Saturday. "I have a ton of confidence in him. Thought he did a great job leveling some runs off today. He really is a complete player. It's never been an ability question with him, it's just a matter of keeping him healthy, figuring out what that perfect amount of touches is per game and then we'll see who establishes themselves behind him." A 2019 third-round pick of the Rams, Henderson has a much larger role going into 2021 than previously anticipated, but McVay is brimming with confidence as July turns to August.

Training camp is finally here! Be sure to check outNFL 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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