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Five things we learned at this week's OTAs

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The offseason is littered with myths.

As we opined on Thursday's Around the NFL podcast, organized team activities are a fertile breeding ground for football's weather-worn tropes -- cliche-ridden narratives -- that crop up each spring. You've seen these stories a million times: 

» THE OFFENSE HAS NEVER BEEN FASTER

» INJURY-PRONE PLAYER X BULKED UP IN OFFSEASON

» PLAYER Z: I HAVEN'T BEEN THIS HEALTHY IN YEARS!

» COACH X: WE'RE EXTREMELY IMPRESSED BY CAMP BODY Y/FADED VET Z

» MIDDLING TEAM X WILL SHOCK THE WORLD!

To be fair, we're guilty for lengthening the life-cycle of these puff-pieces. We spent the week writing about Khalil Mack and Jimmy Graham resembling unstoppable monsters in non-padded practices. We also brought you clickable candy on the Browns calling Justin Gilbertchanged player while Kam Chancellor crowed about the "strongest offseason I've had since I've been in the league."

Amid this whirlwind of white noise, at least some real news emerged. With another week of OTA action in the books, let's examine some of the bigger stories we tackled:

1. Peterson returns: Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner had Adrian Peterson for just one game last season. The rust is off the All-Pro back, though, with Turner telling reporters this week that A.P. "just comes out and looks like he hasn't missed a day."

Why we're buying it: Peterson is the same runner who bounced back from an ACL tear in December 2011 to shred the league for 2,097 yards the following season. We heard all along that Peterson stayed in top shape during his exodus, with Vikings teammate Tom Johnson calling him "one of the strongest guys pound for pound I've seen," adding in March: "You see him put 500 pounds on the squat and just do it like it ain't nothing."

We don't accept that Peterson's return alone makes the Vikings a playoff team, but Christmas has come early for Teddy Bridgewater. After watching the team sign wideout Mike Wallace to play alongside Charles Johnson and tight end Kyle Rudolph, the second-year passer sports one of the NFC's better gaggles of skill players.

2. Philly's loaded backfield: Whether the Eagles start Mark Sanchez or Sam Bradford at quarterback in Week 1, we continue to view Philadelphia as a team poised to lead the NFL in rushing attempts. And while DeMarco Murray is the favorite to top the team in touches, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur made it clear that Ryan Mathews will be heavily involved.

Our take: The Around the NFL gang is split, with Gregg Rosenthal arguing on Thursday's podcast that Mathews wouldn't see more than 20 percent of the carries if Murray stays healthy. Chris Wesseling and I both believe that the former Chargers back will see much more action, with Wesseling saying: "It wouldn't surprise me if Ryan Mathews outgained DeMarco Murray this year."

3. Eagles Sam Bradford on target for Week 1: This flew under the radar, but speaking of Bradford, Shurmur insists the Eagles are "very confident" that the quarterback -- coming off back-to-back ACL tears -- will be "ready to go when it's time to play for real."

More trope bait? Too early to tell. The Eagles are optimistic, but we can't think of another quarterback who roared back from consecutive knee surgeries. That said, it would be great to see the former No. 1 pick rebuild his career in Philly.

4. Dangerous games: Let's unpack the dumbest injury of the offseason, in which Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis suffered a tweaked quad on his plant leg during a team-organized kickball game.

Real talk: Sturgis will be fine, but it's another reminder that the recent trend of adults playing kickball marks a low point for our culture. Forgive me for shifting into "get off my lawn" mode, but here in Los Angeles, you can't walk the streets during "Sunday Funday" without seeing 30-something "youths" prance about in "kickball gear," drinking cans of PBR and talking vapidly about an Earth that held no meaning prior to 1995.

After the Downing of Sturgis, we pray the 'Fins reconsider partaking in a sport invented for second-graders.

5. Jimmy's jitters: New England's gang of cornerbacks made our list of the NFL's weakest position groups, but don't tell that to Jimmy Garoppolo. Tom Brady's backup -- and the presumptive Week 1 starter -- uncorked five interceptions on Thursday. Four of the picks came during a two-minute drill. Brady, meanwhile, went 14 of 15 with one drop during the same drill.

Sky falling in Foxborough? Hardly. We aren't in the habit of melting over stats culled from an OTA soiree. Garoppolo looked good last preseason and played admirably in a Week 4 loss to the Chiefs. No team does a better job of preparing its young players on offense. If Brady's four-game suspension stands, look for play-caller Josh McDaniels to cook up a string of game plans that keep Jimmy on steady soil.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses offseason clichés and who are the NFL's most valuable non-QBs. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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