Washington Redskins training camp starts in less than a week. Though the team has experienced a relatively quiet off-season and subsequently little changeover, there will still be some exciting positional battles at camp. Here is a look at a few of them:
Todd Collins vs. Casey Bramlet
Collins is a great clipboard holder and mentor, but has he served his purpose only to be cast out like yesterday's trash? The veteran was brought in to help the other quarterbacks learn Al Saunders' system; with a year now under their belts for Jason Campbell and Mark Brunell, Collins may be expendable.
When you consider what Bramlet did in the last ever season of the NFL Europa, one would think that he's at least earned a good, long look. Casey led his Hamburg team to a 37-28 victory in World Bowl XV, with a record setting four touchdown performance. He also piled up 347 yards en route to MVP honors, and made the last World Bowl the highest scoring, most exciting NFLE Championship ever.
While scout duty might not be glorious for Collins (having done it many times), it would be a great learning experience for Bramlet. Organizationally, it would seem better to have a young up-and-comer on the depth chart. Brunell will already be the steadying influence in the group, and has likely learned the system well enough to help out. Collins just looks like the odd man out.
It might also work in Casey's favor that the Redskins drafted Jordan Palmer. Palmer won't likely be taking a roster spot any time soon, if at all, but he is a great practice squad project, and will push Bramlet that much more.
LaRon Landry vs. Pierson Prioleau
There's no doubt that Landry was drafted to make an impact in the Redskins' secondary, but how soon do they expect him to do so?
Prioleau was injured on the very first play of the season in 2006, and he was missed immensely. Adam Archuletta's fall from grace and inability to cover was well publicized, but many forget that it was a move necessitated by Prioleau's injury.
Prioleau will be hungry to put his injury behind him, and make a statement.
Landry will likely be eased into Gregg Williams' plans, but expect LaRon to try and make his own statement early on that he's ready to play every down.
The two are very different safeties, and Prioleau's experience will likely give him the leg up that he needs to win the job initially. Nevertheless, it will be fun to watch Landry flying around training camp trying to prove that he's ready too.
Rocky McIntosh vs. Lemar Marshall
Weakside linebacker may be the position most 'up-in-the-air' going into training camp.
Marshall will be moving over to the weakside spot after playing in the middle, and is probably the odds-on favorite to win the battle; but second-year man McIntosh will have a lot to say about it.
McIntosh didn't wow anyone in his rookie season, but he did manage to earn some valuable playing time down the stretch. The added confidence seems to have helped him and he has put in a very strong off-season in preparation for taking his game to the next level. He also became a father for the first time, and seems to be more focused because of it.
Marshall is going back to a spot that is much better suited to his natural physique and talents. He should thrive on the outside with the added vision and experience he gained from being thrust inside for the last two seasons.
The conclusion is certainly to be determined, and both of these players will have to step it up at practice to make their bid. That makes it exciting for fans to watch, and one of 2007's best camp battles.
Stay tuned for more positional camp battles later on this week.