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Camp Buzz: Updating the biggest position battles

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It's been nearly a month since the Arizona Cardinals kick-started training camp. The finish line -- which is actually a glorious starting line -- is right around the corner.

For Tuesday's Training Camp Buzz, let's do something different. I want to take a look back and update our position battle series Around the League wrote in July. We'll do the top-15 from the list today. 

1. Seattle Seahawks QB: Matt Flynn vs. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Russell Wilson

Jackson never really got a chance. All signs have pointed to Flynn definitely being the pick, but there is some belief in Seattle that Wilson could start the team's third preseason after two scintillating preseason appearances as the No. 2. This one isn't quite over yet.

2. Tennessee Titans QB: Jake Locker vs. Matt Hasselbeck

Locker made fewer mistakes in practice. Tie goes to the young kid; the future starts now.

3. The Oakland Raiders

We mentioned a slew of battles in Oakland. Tight end remains up for grabs. Rolando McClain has solidified his starting job, but Aaron Curry could lose his gig to Miles Burris. Phillip Wheeler looks like a fit at the other linebacker spot. Backup quarterback Matt Leinart is closer to Carson Palmer than to Terrelle Pryor.

Taiwan Jones hasn't been on the field enough to compete for the backup running back job. Undrafted rookie Rod Streater could wind up passing Jacoby Ford on the receiver depth chart. Veterans Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer are the starters at cornerback. Demarcus Van Dyke has given up some big plays in the preseason.

4. Arizona Cardinals QB: Kevin Kolb vs. John Skelton

We'd be stunned at this point if Skelton didn't finish off Kolb in the Cardinals' next preseason game. Arizona has to be regretting giving Kolb his big offseason bonus.

5. Miami Dolphins WR

What a mess. Chad Johnson was arrested and released. Brian Hartline hasn't practiced because he's not healthy. The Dolphins' top three at the moment are Davone Bess, Roberto "ankle weights" Wallace, and Legedu Naanee. Good luck, Ryan Tannehill.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers DE: Ziggy Hood vs. Cameron Heyward

This one never materialized. It's Hood's job, and the Steelers look quite deep on the defensive line. What's new?

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB: LeGarrette Blount vs. Doug Martin

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Blount surprisingly has held his ground, although Martin looked more dynamic in the preseason. This will be a timeshare, although we expect Martin to lead the way.

8. Dolphins QB: David Garrard vs. Matt Moore vs. Ryan Tannehill

It's Tannehill Time. (Wait, do people not say that?) The only real question now is if Garrard makes the team. It wouldn't be surprising if they released him with an injury settlement.

9. Baltimore Ravens DE and OLB

We have an upset alert in the making. Second-year pro linebacker Albert McClellan might beat out second-round draft pick Courtney Upshaw for one of the starting linebacker spots. Paul Kruger is entrenched on the other side. Meanwhile, Arthur Jones still is listed as a starter at defensive end over Pernell McPhee.

10. Cardinals RB: Beanie Wells vs. Ryan Williams

It was great to see Williams back on the field last week nearly a year removed from his torn patella tendon. He ran with power and made sharp cuts. Wells is practicing again but hasn't played in the preseason. The Cardinals have to split up carries because neither guy will be ready for a lead role.

11. Detroit Lions WR: Nate Burleson vs. Titus Young

We're probably splitting hairs here because both players will get starter-worthy snaps. Young has been too good all month to keep off the field.

12. San Francisco 49ers WR: Randy Moss vs. Father Time

Moss has a step up. It appears the 49ers will use him in a rotation with Mario Manningham to keep Moss' legs fresh.

13. Chicago Bears LT: Chris Williams vs. J'Marcus Webb

Webb has suffered through an up and down month. Coordinator Mike Tice rotated the two players in the Bears' second preseason game, but Webb will get the start in the third. He remains the favorite, but there are no winners here.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars No. 2 WR: Justin Blackmon vs. Mike Thomas vs. Lee Evans

Evans was cut and his career probably is over. Thomas might be passed on the depth chart by Cecil Shorts. Blackmon held out, yet looked very strong in his first preseason game. This one was over before it started.

15. The Safety Dance

We listed eleven safety battles to monitor. Some of the key takeaways from them this month: LaRon Landry is healthy for the Jets. ... Rahim Moore is likely to win the job in Denver with Quinton Carter hurt. ... Barry Church has been a standout in Dallas Cowboys training camp. ... The New England Patriots like what they have with Steve Gregory. ... First-rounder Harrison Smith looks like the starter for the Minnesota Vikings.

On the Agenda

We'll finish our look on the top-30 battles in a Part II of this post on Wednesday morning. Coming on Tuesday: Encouraging signs for all 32 teams.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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