NFL fans can't learn that much from training camp. Preseason results are irrelevant and it's difficult to separate reality from hype in practice reports.
I focus on two things in every team's camp: Which players are getting first-team snaps, and which players are hurt. Since it's too early to know who truly is healthy, this column focuses on the position competitions.
We'll start with our Top 25 position battles to watch in the NFC, and break out the AFC list on Monday. Ahoy:
Broyles showed flashes of being a difference-maker last year. If his anterior cruciate ligament recovers quickly, he might pass Nate Burleson on the depth chart.
Chung, the former New England Patriot, and Allen lined up as starters in the offseason. Phillips, the former New York Giant, is a wild card coming off an injury. No one even is guaranteed a roster spot here, but it's a group with some talent.
Both players will get plenty of touches, so perhaps this isn't the most important battle. But it's looking like a Thomas kind of year in New Orleans.
Durant has to prove he can stay healthy. Albright is popular within the organization and Magee received a lot of money for an undrafted player. This battle is typical of the Cowboys, who have shaky depth at No. 3 receiver (Dwayne Harris vs. Terrance Williams) and backup running back (Joseph Randle vs. Lance Dunbar.) A late free-agent signing at any of these spots wouldn't surprise.
Jones quietly owns a 4.8 yards-per-carry career average; only four active running backs are better. Chip Kelly likes to use his reserves and Brown has a new coaching staff to impress.
Mathieu figures to get snaps in the slot, but he'll have to knock off a veteran to start at safety. Two spots are open here and it's possible Johnson could move to strong safety with Bell hitting the bench.
Yeah, Drew Brees' blind-side protector seems like an important spot. Brown has been a disappointment since being selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Armstead is a raw rookie, a 2013 third-round draft pick. Also, keep an eye on Junior Galette and Martez Wilson battling for one of the Saints' outside linebacker spots.
We like Pead's chances, but plenty of smart people love Richardson despite his lack of inside running skills.
Henderson didn't sound too fired up when the Vikings signed Bishop, promising to keep the starting Mike linebacker job. Bishop showed potential to be a great player with the Green Bay Packers before he tore his hamstring tendon last year.
This battle was high on our list before Wright was added to the mix, via a Friday trade. Brown and Culliver should be safe, and would be my favorites to start. (Although it's wide open.) Rogers' big salary might potentially put him at risk of getting cut. Asomugha and Wright also might be fighting for one spot if Perrish Cox or Tramaine Brock make the roster.
It's No. 1 on the list because it's a starting quarterback job for a team that might make the playoffs. It's easy to forget Vick was getting MVP consideration only three years ago. He's the favorite because of his salary and experience, but Foles has a legitimate chance.