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Twelve things you need to know from camps

Training camp news slowed to relative trickle on Wednesday, as teams began traveling for the opening week's slate of preseason games.

Practices are no longer new, pronouncements have fallen off and the dog days of camp have settled in.

What we did learn Wednesday is that veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel will start the preseason openers for the Browns and Vikings respectively.

Cleveland coach Mike Pettine suggested that a suddenly studiousJohnny Manziel could see action with the first team in relief of Hoyer.

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer went a step further, confirming that Teddy Bridgewater will indeed receive reps with the starters versus the RaidersFriday night.

The veterans might have the early edge, but the rookies control their own destinies over the next three weeks. They were drafted in the first round for a reason.

  1. A tale of two deep balls: Tony Romo has struggled to throw downfield early in camp but still boasts a strong deep-ball record that suggests he will turn it around once his back is in game shape. The chemistry between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallaceremains an issue after the Dolphins produced one of the least effective downfield attacks in 2013.
  1. Knowshon Moreno's nightmare start to his Dolphins career took a turn for the better Wednesday, as the team activated him from the physically unable to perform list. He remains far behind Lamar Miller in the battle for the starting job.
  1. In other injury news, DeSean Jackson (ankle), Pierre Garcon (hamstring), Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and Toby Gerhart (hip) are all doubtful for their preseason openers due to minor injuries.
  1. With Tony Gonzalez out of the picture, Julio Jones is predicting that he and Roddy White will become the first teammates to clear 1,500 receiving yards in the same season. Jones was on pace for a league-leading 131 receptions and 1,850 yards before foot surgery shut him down last October. White has never topped 1,400 yards in a season.
  1. Wide-receiver optimism extends beyond Atlanta. A "much improved" DeAndre Hopkins has "starred" in Texans camp ever since Andre Johnson went down with a hamstring injury a week ago. The breakout is nigh.
  1. After watching Bryce Brown come off the bench behind special teamer Anthony Dixon on Preseason Live, we suggested the Bills would use 2014 as a redshirt year for a player acquired from the Eagles in May. Coach Doug Marrone confirmed as much on Wednesday, telling reporters he's never been in the habit of using three backs in one game. In fact, no NFL team had three running backs with at least 80 carries apiece last season.

"I've always believed, and you guys know, in the two backs," Marrone explained. "It'll come down to two backs; the two backs going in there."

  1. Two days after claiming Jon Baldwin, the Lions waived the former first-round receiver due to a failed physical. That begs the question: Was his Detroit stint more memorable than those in Kansas City and San Francisco?
  1. Wednesday was a time for goodbyes in the NFL. Citing a knee that never got right after Super Bowl XLVI, former Giants tight end Jake Ballard surprisingly announced his retirement. Giants running back David Wilson also stepped to the podium, poignantly acknowledging the premature end of a promising football career.
  1. Is one of the NFC's superpowers likely to fall on hard times in 2014? San Francisco's defense is falling behind Seattle's.
  1. The Eagles have discussed switching back to the old kelly green uniforms last worn in 1995. Self-appointed sports uniform monitor Dave Dameshek approves, but wonders, "What took so long?"
  1. Confession: I've yet to see a full season of football's greatest documentary because I've been without HBO on my television for the past decade. I never miss out on the water-cool talk, though, thanks to Dan Hanzus' comprehensive *Hard Knocks* recaps. The Falcons' debut introduced viewers to several interesting new characters and a can't-miss Roddy White quote.

The latest Around The League Podcast debates which offense will be the NFL's most prolific and dives into the quarterback battles in Cleveland and Minnesota.

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