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Training Camp Buzz: Tyrod Taylor to begin season as Chargers' starting quarterback

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 1 p.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "Inside Training Camp Live" and around the NFL.

  • Tyrod Taylor's mobility was one reason the Chargers chose to part ways with former franchise cornerstone Philip Rivers. Taylor's experience compared to that of rookie Justin Herbert made him the easy choice for Week 1 starter. Anthony Lynn told reporters Wednesday that Taylor will begin the season atop Los Angeles' depth chart. "Right now Tyrod Taylor is our starter," Lynn said. "Until someone steps up and shows that they can run this team, that's the way we're going into it. Tyrod Taylor is our starter." The move was expected with Herbert, the No. 6 pick in the 2020 draft, needing more time to get acclimated. QB1 is nothing new for Taylor, albeit outside of Los Angeles. He's started 46 games in his nine-year career, winning 24 of them. All but three of those starts came in Buffalo, where Lynn was his offensive coordinator for the 2016 season. Taylor's numbers were nothing to write home about (3,023 yards, 17 touchdowns, six interceptions, 61.7 percent completions), but the Bills did boast the league's No. 10 scoring offense. The Chargers will need such production to supplement a defense that might reside in the middle of the pack after losing stalwart safety Derwin James for the year. Los Angeles opens the season Sept. 13 at the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • Speaking of Rivers, he might have another formidable backfield duo to work with. During his first few years with the Chargers, he had the luxury of handing off to a league MVP in LaDainian Tomlinson and future All-Pro in Michael Turner. The new Colts QB told reporters that rookie Jonathan Taylor reminds him of Turner, who was comparably short and sturdy. Rivers also lauded the vision of both Taylor and Marlon Mack, who's coming off his first 1,000-yard season. "It's going to be a tough combo to stop," Rivers said.
  • In a QB competition akin to the Chargers', Dwyane Haskins was announced as Washington's starter. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported there wasn't much of a battle, with Haskins taking the bulk of the first-team reps as Alex Smith continues his miraculous comeback to the football field. "This was Haskins all along," Rapoport asserted. That doesn't take away from Smith's progress. But it does speak to his uncertainty moving forward. The lack of preseason games means he still hasn't been hit, and his recovering right leg hasn't been tested. "It's an incredible story," Rapoport said. "It's great that he's been out there. But the reality is, there are some real questions about how well he can protect himself. ... Is he going to be safe?"
  • Pro Bowl wideout Amari Cooper has been held out of team drills the past three practices. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said there are many reasons for that, most of which come back to Cooper's experience compared to peers at his position. He might also be nursing a physical ailment, but McCarthy would not elaborate. "It's training camp," McCarthy said. "Everybody has a little bit of something."
  • Less Cooper has meant more CeeDee Lamb. Dallas' first-round pick has made the extra targets count, quickly winning over his quarterback. "My confidence is through the roof for him," Dak Prescott told reporters. "I think he's had as good of a camp as anyone on this team."
  • Bruce Arians and parts of his Buccaneers defensive staff were present for the first NFL days of safeties such as Tyrann Mathieu, Tony Jefferson and Budda Baker. Antoine Winfield Jr. might be their next standout. NFL Network's James Palmer reported that, despite the lack of an offseason, the second-round pick been working at both safety and nickel in training camp. "They say this guy acts unlike a rookie, in the way that he studies, the notes that he takes," Palmer said. "You tell him something one time and he is back to doing it." No wonder NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah tabbed Winfield as a dark-horse Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
  • When it came time to choose a number, new Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas reached out to Kam Chancellor for his blessing to wear 31. Seattle hadn't issued the number since the former All-Pro safety was forced to retire before the 2018 season because of a neck injury. Dallas insisted he knew before joining the Seahawks that 31 belonged to Chancellor. "Of course I knew this was Kam Chancellor's number," the rookie said. "Kam is a legend. ... If you don't know Kam Chancellor, you must have been living under a rock." If the fourth-round pick's output approaches that of the club's fifth-round selection from 2010, everyone will know 31 is back in play for Seattle.

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