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Training Camp

Training Camp Buzz: Chuck Clark on Earl Thomas release: Ravens 'putting that situation in the rear view'

The 2020 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • The tipping point for Earl Thomas' tenure with the Ravens was an in-practice skirmish last Friday with fellow safety Chuck Clark. Less than 48 hours after being sent home from training camp, Thomas was released by Baltimore. On Monday, Clark wasn't interested in rehashing the fracas with his now former teammate. "We're just moving forward and putting that situation in the rear view," Clark told reporters, via the Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. It's a stance multiple Ravens took in the wake of Thomas' departure. DeShon Elliott, who's in line to take over Thomas' spot, bluntly stated: "I'm not worried about Earl. I'm worried about me." Defensive end Calais Campbell, who joined the Ravens this past March, juxtaposed the development with the team's unity and objectives. "Obviously, things happen, and you kind of just roll with the punches, figure it out as you go along," Campbell said. "I think this team is special. We've got great team chemistry, great mindset. This team, we believe that this could be a special year. That's where it starts." That also seems to be where it ended for Thomas in Baltimore. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Clark incident was "the last of a string of events" involving the Pro Bowl safety. NFL Network's Mike Silver reported Thomas' issues date back to when he became a Raven. "It was bad last year too," Silver said. "He was late, he missed meetings. They warned him after he got fined repeatedly. Look, at some point this is going to be conduct detrimental. That's going to affect your contract. Things picked up right where they left off at this training camp, and not in a good way." Per Silver, Thomas complained that he needed more time between practice and meetings and explained that he was late because he needed to get his car washed." This was just a couple days before Thomas blew a red-zone assignment in practice, which prompted Clark to throw his helmet. "Earl Thomas essentially said, It's cool," Silver explained. "Chuck Clark said, No, it's not cool. You need to go to meetings and walk-through and maybe you'll get it. That's how the fight started. But this was a long time brewing."
  • When Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement this spring to reunite with Tom Brady and play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, general manager Jason Licht waited all of one day to shoot down speculation that O.J. Howard could be traded. A week after acquiring Gronk, the Bucs exercised Howard's fifth-year option. Their continued commitment to their 2017 first-round pick looks to be paying off four months later. NFL Network’s James Palmer, who's been stationed in Tampa Bay for the past two weeks, reported Howard had another strong day as part of a strong camp. Bucs coach Bruce Arians reiterated that all the trade talk with Howard came from outside the building.
  • Odell Beckham's per-game production was down across the board last season, from receptions to yards to touchdowns to catch percentage. Baker Mayfield's rate stats also took a significant hit. That's not how Year 1 between the young quarterback and Pro Bowl receiver was supposed to play out. As the Browns enter the 2020 season with similar star power but less hype following a 6-10 campaign, Mayfield said his chemistry with OBJ is much improved. "It's sure as hell going to be a lot better than last year," Mayfield said. "We're just on the same page, things we talked about, there was a lot going on within the building last year. We're not going to get into that, but we're both in a better state. He's healthy, surgery was successful, thank God. He's feeling great. He's in a great state of mind." Mayfield added that new wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Chad O'Shea is quickly instilling a better culture among the WRs while intimating they'll work within the scheme better. Beckham's buy-in is particularly important for the Browns. "You can tell how serious the offseason was for him," Mayfield said. "It just kind of permeates throughout the whole building."
  • Dwayne Haskins has been throwing to Terry McLaurin since 2016, though their connection crystallized last year as fellow rookies in Washington. Don't be surprised if McLaurin shatters his first-year production (58 catches, 919 yards, seven touchdowns) this season. The former Ohio State Buckeyes are simpatico. Of course, Haskins has to beat out Alex Smith for the starting job first. Throws like this one to McLaurin help.
  • Leonard Williams has been in New York his entire pro career. The five-year run has included a Pro Bowl selection with the Jets at just 22 years old and a trade to the crosstown Giants less than three years later. Perhaps, a new coaching regime, specifically the addition of defensive line coach Sean Spencer, will spark a swing in Williams' production. The new Giants assistant is getting his first extended look at the 26-year-old lineman and said he sees a "tremendous athlete" who is still very much in a learning phase. "I think he's starting to put it all together," Spencer said, per Ralph Vacciano of SportsNet New York. "He's always had the tools. He's working on refining his craft right now. He looks strong and powerful. I'm just happy with his progress right now." How much Williams progresses will determine whether the Giants lock up the former top-10 pick long term after placing him on the franchise tag for 2020.

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