At long last, football is back. We've got you covered today with live coverage on NFL Network until 11 p.m. ET. On NFL.com, we'll be featuring highlights from the television coverage and notes from our reporters in the field. Here are today's whispers.
» Twenty-two teams are in camp today in some capacity (some teams with full rosters, others with only rookies). It's the first day of camp for the Bears, Cowboys, Packers, Dolphins, Jets, and Redskins, and the veteran reporting day for the Ravens, Browns, Patriots, and Saints. Check out the full training camp schedule.
» NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport told Rhett Lewis about the feelings in Chiefs' camp after the news that safety Eric Berry had been cleared to practice. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma last December and missed the season's final five games. Rapoport said that a Chiefs official described Berry's quick return as "a gift from God ... something that nobody expected." Read more on the NFL community's reaction.
» Veterans report to Patriots' camp today in preparation for a full practice Thursday. With Commissioner Roger Goodell's upholding of Tom Brady's 4-game suspension Tuesday, Rapoport gave Lewis a feel for the team's training camp and preseason plans. "Tom Brady will be at practice ... He will likely take snaps in the preseason games as he has done over the years," Rapoport said. "But still, there is now an element of having to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready to play."
» Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Garoppolo Tuesday morning but would not comment specifically on the second-year quarterback. "Training camp is where everybody gets reps. We evaluate the entire team," he said in response to a question about how he would divide reps between Brady and Garoppolo.
» Safety Devin McCourty also weighed in, describing how Garoppolo "hangs on every word and everything that Tom does, you see him try to emulate that and do that."
» NFL Media's Charley Casserly compared the Patriots' current situation to 2008, when Brady went down with a torn ACL in Week 1 and Matt Cassell stepped in. Though Cassell, who in Week 2 started his first game since high school, led the Patriots to an 11-5 record, the team missed the playoffs. "As I remember, they started off running the Brady offense. They immediately got into the Cassel offense, which was more conservative," Casserly said. "Then by the end of the year they were more open again ... I think they will adapt to what Garoppolo can do best on his throws and then work from there."
» Casserly later added that even if Brady does sit out four games, he's still picking the Pats: "There isn't a team in the division that can beat the Patriots with Brady (playing) 12 games."
» The Seahawks begin camp Thursday, but Rapoport reported that they may be without safety Kam Chancellor, who Rapoport said is "strongly considering a camp holdout," according to sources.
» With the Jets in Florham Park, New Jersey, NFL Media's Kimberly Jones reported that the team took its first conditioning test of camp this morning. "Significantly but not surprisingly, Muhammad Wilkerson is here," Jones said, referencing the star defensive end and his tense contract situation. "Wilkerson is always important to the Jets but particularly important given that (DE) Sheldon Richardson will be suspended for the first four games of the season."
» Per Jones, QB Geno Smith met the media and appears "very confident." Jones added: "It seems to me that he now realizes, frankly, what it means to be a starting quarterback in this league, what it means to be a franchise quarterback ... He's looking to instill that confidence in his teammates. That's a new feel for Geno Smith." Casserly also weighed in on Geno, essentially labeling the upcoming campaign a make-or-break season for the third-year QB. "Is this a crucial year for him? Absolutely, it's a crucial year for him." Smith himself addressed the doubters, telling reporters that he laughed when he saw a ranking that had him dead last among starting QBs. "It's hilarious," Smith said.
» After meeting the media yesterday, Cardinals coaching intern Jen Welter led linebacker drills this morning in Glendale.
» Albert Breer with the Redskins in Richmond, Va. and the obligatory Robert Griffin III check-in: "He's made a lot of progress over the offseason, and he does carry some momentum into camp," Breer said, citing Griffin's work to improve in the pocket, keep his eyes downfield, and stay under control during busted plays.
» The NFL Network's roundtable continued the RGIII conversation. Jamie Dukes: "To me, he's not a pure drop-back passer. He's an athlete quarterback who needs to play both inside the pocket and outside the pocket." Heath Evans: "I'm not sure people thought his awareness in space would be as bad as it is. There's been a lot of times when he's really struggled to get down ... our game is about evolving. This guy's rookie year was special ... But this league catches up to you."
» Breer added an interesting tidbit about management and coaching additions in Washington. "The other big story here is new the faces, in particular Scot McCLoughan and Bill Callahan, the new offensive line coach and general manager, (who are) bringing a new physicality to the team."
» Harrison also told Baldinger that the Steelers' defense is moving along without longtime coordinator Dick LeBeau, who left for the Titans during the offseason. "It's not really a big chaange. Different tweaks here and there but all around it's not really a big change," Harrisn said. "Coach LeBeau is not here but Keith Butler has been here (for 10 years) ... so it's a voice we're used to hearing."
» Dolphin fans were euphoric last week after a mathematical model predicted a big year for the Fins. More good news today: the Dolphins are in camp in Davie. In one move of note, the team has placed 1st-round pick DaVante Parker on the active/PUP list, meaning Parker's foot has still not completely healed from surgery last month. The Miami Herald reported that the team expects Parker to be ready for Week 1.
» The Cowboys once again will train in Oxnard, Calif. this year, and owner/GM Jerry Jones remarked that he was happy to be in camp coming off a strong season. "It's not like we have to tell these guys about 1992" he joked.
» Desmond Purnell has made the trip from Dallas to Oxnard, and he discussed the return of LB Sean Lee with NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano. "Having Sean Lee back, (he is) a guy that has the ability to make plays. He led the team in interceptions two seasons ago. If he can stay healthy he definitely gives this defense a pick me up," Purnell said. He confirmed, though, that DE Jeremy Mincey is a currently camp holdout due to a contract dispute. Purnell said a prolonged Mincy absence could force second-round pick Randy Gregory into significant early action.
That's it for the July 29th edition of 'whispers.' Check back Thursday as nine teams begin camp and teams like the Patriots hold opening practices. We'll join nine hours of live coverage on * NFL Network * kicking off at 9 a.m. ET.