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Camp Buzz: Danny Amendola 'very dependable'

Football -- officially -- is back.

Sunday night's Hall of Fame Game saw a Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys squad upend the Miami Dolphins 24-20.

The Cowboys' win included two major tweaks in strategy, with coach Jason Garrett giving up play-calling duties and new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin giving us a preview of his 4-3 scheme. Garrett was asked after the game how it felt to be a walk-around coach.

"For me it was little different," Garrett told reporters, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "because I wasn't directly involved, but just like a lot of stuff this offseason, it allowed me to step back and coach the whole team. I've always tried to do that, but when you are calling plays, you are occupied doing that, as well. The conversations were good on the offensive side of the ball, the defensive side of the ball and on special teams."

As for Kiffin, he received a jolt of motivation from his former Tampa Bay Buccaneers pupil and newly minted Hall of Fame inductee Warren Sapp, The Dallas Morning News reported.

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After Sapp was introduced before the game, he marched to the Dallas sideline, grabbed a headset from Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, and barked into Kiffin's ear: "You'd better call a good game, coach."

Classic Warren. Here's the rest of the buzz from around the NFL:

» Tom Brady might be short on offensive targets, but the Patriots are happy with the progress of receiver Danny Amendola. Coach Bill Belichick told reporters Monday, per ESPNBoston.com: "He's become a very dependable player for us. He doesn't make many mental errors. He's a guy who is usually in the right spot and has a good understanding of defenses and what he's supposed to do. You can tell he's been in the league for four years."

» NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga will miss the season after tearing his ACL in Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage. That represents a crushing loss for Green Bay, who might now be forced to move Marshall Newhouse back to left tackle or try out Don Barclay at the position. This is one void Vince Young can't fill.

» Houston Texans safety Ed Reed told Deion Sanders on Monday's "Inside Training Camp" that he's "75 to 80 percent." He acknowledged he wouldn't play in a game today, but Reed said: "If it was the Super Bowl today, I'd play."

» Two receivers generating noise: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area says Raiders pass-catcher Jacoby Ford, returning from a knee injury, "looks agile as ever" and "showed what he can do in space (on Saturday), taking a short slant for a big gain with elusive moves and pure speed." In Houston, Texans rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins enjoyed a "fantastic week at training camp," per CSN Houston. Asked about Hopkins' hands, coach Gary Kubiak said, "They're exceptional. All the contested stuff is what he's exceptional at, when it's close and it's him and another guy, he makes the play."

» Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that he's highly confident he'll play Week 1 against the New York Jets and doesn't expect his surgically repaired knee to cause him trouble as the season wears on. "I'm very confident. Very," Revis said. "My mindset is, when they tell me I could cut, I figured it meant I could cut hard on it. I did, and it didn't hurt and the knee didn't swell. And I've been out there putting pressure on it and it hasn't hurt. So I feel when I get out there, I'll be confident I can do everything I need to."

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