Saturday's 2021 NFL training camp practices opened with the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in pads for the first time trying to put it all together after a rough practice Friday that coach Bruce Arians called "horses---." He was encouraged after Saturday's effort.
"I thought everyone practiced to win rather than practiced to practice," Arians said. "And there's a big damn difference."
The two plays that stood out were Tom Brady's deep shot to Antonio Brown working against Jamel Dean for a touchdown and Devin White's leaping interception over the middle on a Brady pass, that had Brady shouting expletives. Arians said there was "good ebb and flow" between the offense and defense.
In other news, the Baltimore Ravens have shored up their pass rush by signing Justin Houston and the Detroit Lions had a watch party to witness Melissa Gonzalez, the wife of quarterback David Blough, qualify for the Olympic semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles in Tokyo.
All 32 NFL teams are on the field Saturday, here's what's happening:
Top NFL news of the day
The Indianapolis Colts are still awaiting further information on the severity of starting quarterback Carson Wentz's injured foot. Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who spoke to the media in coach Frank Reich's absence due to COVID-19, said Saturday that there's "no new information" and still "no timetable" on Wentz's return.
The Cleveland Browns and running back Nick Chubb have reached an agreement on a three-year, $36.6 million contract extension, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Saturday. Chubb's $20 million in guaranteed money is the seventh-highest total in the league among running backs. He will be a free agent again at age 29.
The Baltimore Ravens signed outside linebacker Justin Houston to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. This is a significant move for the Ravens, who added the best available pass-rusher to address the biggest hole on their team. Houston, 32, is a four-time Pro Bowl defender who has recorded at least eight sacks in each of the past four seasons. Baltimore's pass rush was a major question mark after losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.
Xavien Howard is leaving the door open for the Miami Dolphins to fix his contract issues. "It's up to them," Howard, an All-Pro cornerback, said on Saturday, in his first public comments since requesting a trade. Howard posted an Instagram statement in which he questioned whether Miami acted in good faith on his five-year, $75-million extension signed in 2019 and made clear he's unhappy and wants out.
Marcus Maye expressed frustration Saturday that a long-term contract wasn't reached by the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players. He hinted he hasn't ruled out asking for a trade if he's tagged again in 2022. "I've got 17 weeks to be the best that I can be -- and once we get to that point, we'll cross that line again," he said, commenting on whether he has approached the Jets about a trade.
Vikings rookie Kellen Mond has tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network reported, leaving Minnesota without three quarterbacks, including starter Kirk Cousins, for Saturday night's practice as the team conducts contact tracing.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Cam Newton is the team's starting quarterback -- repeating what he said in April when the team drafted Mac Jones in the first round -- but also left open the possibility that things could change if Newton struggles in training camp. "We'll see how it goes. Let them play, and [we'll] try to do what we feel like is best for the team based on their performance," Belichick said.
Jameis Winston said earlier this offseason that the main thing he learned as Brees' backup with the New Orleans Saints last year was the value of "making the right decision" instead of trying to force things that aren't there. And sure enough, Winston has made a notable impression during the first three days of training camp with an efficient mix of quick, decisive throws and smart checkdowns, along with the occasional deep ball.
It's been different for Matt Ryan during Falcons training camp. Yes, it's a new coach and a new offensive scheme, but wide receiver Julio Jones is in Tennessee, traded to the Titans in June. "That's always the hard part of our business, when things like this happen," Ryan said. "I was fortunate to play with him for a long time and have tons of great memories from his time here. I've said it before. He probably has impacted my career as significantly as anybody that I've ever played with so I love him and I wish him the best moving forward."
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy, who coached Nick Foles in Kansas City and Chicago, said trade speculation comes with the territory given Foles' career accomplishments. He said he "absolutely" understands why teams would be interested in Foles. "And you're talking about a Super Bowl MVP and a guy that's started a lot of games," Nagy said before practice. "He's had a really interesting career in so many ways that I just think that he deserves that. I mean, anybody that's had the career he has is somebody that's always going to be ... for all teams, as a third-string guy, teams are going to look at guys like him."
Members of the Lions held a watch party Friday evening to witness Melissa Gonzalez, the wife of quarterback David Blough, qualify for the Olympic semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles in Tokyo. Gonzalez is representing Colombia. Before leaving practice, the Lions organization also set up a camera for players walking off the field to send their congratulations through social medial. Fellow quarterback Jared Goff joked into the camera that, "David never talks about you, we have no idea what's going on," before seriously encouraging her to "do your thing." Lions coach Dan Campbell opened Saturday's news conference by saying, "You don't always get these type of experiences, but to me that embodies enjoying the ride because that was pretty cool. It was a moment, I can tell you that."
What our NFL Nation reporters saw today
My hit on this morning's @SportsCenter: The #Titans aren't concerned with the spotlight being on other teams in the division. As Kevin Byard said, "Actions speak louder than words." pic.twitter.com/hxxzS6VzuS— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) July 31, 2021
After a shaky debut on Friday, Jets rookie Zach Wilson rebounded. Working with the first-team offense, he displayed some of the traits that convinced the Jets to draft him second overall -- off-balance throws, a quick release and an ability to throw on the move. He completed 14 of 20 passes in 11-on-11 drills, including an 80-yard bomb to rookie Elijah Moore. Coach Robert Saleh kept it in perspective. "He's going to have so many ebbs and flows that he's going to drive us crazy," he said. "But it's all part of the process of getting better." -- Rich Cimini
With quarterback Tyrod Taylor excused from practice for personal reasons, rookie Davis Mills was QB1 Saturday. It was red zone day at practice, something coach David Culley said was a good test for the rookie quarterback. On his busiest day of training camp, Mills struggled at times, throwing four interceptions during the team period, including two picked off by safety Justin Reid. The Texans are off Sunday and Culley said Taylor will be back at practice on Monday. -- Sarah Barshop
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver DK Metcalf combined for a long touchdown as Wilson heaved a throw at least 50 yards down field. Metcalf made a nice adjustment to break free from cornerback D.J. Reed as the ball hung up in the wind. Coordinator Shane Waldron is installing more short and intermediate throws to get the ball out of Wilson's hands quicker, something the Seahawks' offense didn't do well enough late last season. But the deep ball is still Wilson's biggest strength and should be a focal point of their passing game. -- Brady Henderson
The wait continues for rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who hasn't been on the field for practice after testing positive for COVID-19 despite returning Wednesday. Even during a light practice, a "Pro Bowl jog" as coach Joe Judge called it, Saturday night Toney didn't participate. But Judge says Toney is making progress, doing "more and more." He seems to be getting close. The Giants haven't seen much from their rookie class. Their first-, third- and fourth-round picks have yet to practice at training camp. Third-round pick Aaron Robinson and fourth-rounder Elerson Smith are out with injuries. -- Jordan Raanan
In his first three NFL practices, rookie quarterback Trey Lance operated exclusively out of the pocket. But Lance offered some glimpses into what he can add to San Francisco's offense Saturday. Lance took off running about a half-dozen times during team drills, including three or four designed runs. "We've all been kind of waiting for it," right tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "We've been waiting to see when he does take off how it goes and I think we ran like three or four read zones, which is probably three or four more than we've ever run in my four years here." Lance also had a solid day throwing from the pocket while Jimmy Garoppolo struggled with a couple of interceptions. -- Nick Wagoner
The Browns' defense got the best of the offense during 7-on-7 and team drills, highlighted by safety John Johnson III's interception of Baker Mayfield, whose receivers really struggled to get open and against Cleveland's revamped secondary. The Browns didn't have wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who has been sitting out every other practice as he works his way back from last year's knee surgery. -- Jake Trotter
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford became intimately familiar with the ball skills of cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who intercepted a pass intended for receiver Cooper Kupp and returned it more than 90 yards for a touchdown. Stafford rebounded with a strike to Kupp in the back of the end zone. "There was a great play by Ramsey and the defense today," coach Sean McVay said. "And then what I'm as interested in as anything is seeing the response and he's just so steady, unaffected by it." Through four practices, Stafford has established consistent connections with Kupp, DeSean Jackson and Robert Woods, who he squeezed about a 35 yard pass to between two defenders that drew cheers from the crowd Saturday. -- Lindsey Thiry
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer is using training camp to practice the two-minute drill. The clock rules are different in the NFL than college -- it doesn't stop for first downs. Meyer said this is one of the reasons he went with established NFL assistants at offensive coordinator and quarterback coach instead of hiring college coaches with no NFL experience. "There are some really good quarterback coaches out there in college that really I thought about, but that's not fair to [QB Trevor Lawrence]," Meyer said. "A lot of ways the game's the same, a lot it's different and clock management is a lot different. It's also the reality that I think it's 70 percent of the games are two-minute drills to win or lose." -- Mike DiRocco
Before this week, rookie receiver Amari Rodgers could only go off what everyone else told him about his quarterback. "In OTAs, everybody was like, 'When 12 gets here, it's just going to be different,'" the third-round pick from Clemson said. Saturday's practice not only showed him what Aaron Rodgers could do, but he also got involved in it. Despite skipping the entire offseason during his standoff with the team, Rodgers hasn't missed a beat. That included perhaps his best throw of the week -- an on-the-run 40-yard rope to Davante Adams down the right sideline -- and one of his trademark no looks to Rodgers that the rookie admitted caught him off guard. "I ain't going to lie, I wasn't even ready for it," Amari Rodgers said. "I had seen it a couple times before he did it to me. When he did it to me, I was like, 'Dang.' It's different when it's actually you catching a no-look pass vs. seeing somebody catch it. It was pretty cool. I'm looking forward to catching more of those." -- Rob Demovsky
Colts coach Frank Reich is expected back when the team returns to practice Monday after missing the start of training camp following a positive COVID test. Reich took part in all of the team meetings via Zoom. Special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus ran practice in Reich's absence. -- Mike Wells
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, after a rough Friday practice, responded with a much better showing. His chemistry and rapport with rookie WR Ja'Marr Chase was put on display when the two linked up for a deep out toward the left sideline, Burrow's best throw this camp period. He was also very effective in the day's 7-on-7 drills. -- Ben Baby
The Cowboys dealt mostly with end-of-game (or half) situations. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert beat the clock with a touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson. Under some pressure, Gilbert stepped up in the pocket and found Wilson, who slipped behind linebacker Micah Parsons for the score. The offense had the upper hand for the early portion of practice, but the defensive pressure got the best of the offense later. The first-team offense scored touchdowns on its first two plays of goal line with a catch by Blake Jarwin and run by Tony Pollard. On the second-go around, the defense had three straight stops. -- Todd Archer
Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos laid down the law early: keep the players injury free. As a result, first-year coach Brandon Staley mandated the Chargers spend the first 30 minus of practice stretching and doing what they call "activation," with bands around their legs and foam rollers. Players say they feel thoroughly warmed up and ready for drills. -- Shelly Smith
Wide receiver Robby Anderson had the catch of the night, a one-handed snag of a deep pass from backup quarterback Will Grier. But it's second-round pick Terrace Marshall Jr. who keeps making a big impression with this size, speed and athletic ability. He doesn't catch everything, but he's going to be a big target for starting quarterback Sam Darnold. Steve Smith, Carolina's all-time leading receiver who was hosting the telecast of Saturday's practice and was impressed. "He's going to surprise some people, not as fans, but people actually lined up ahead of him,'' Smith said. "That young man is going to steal some folk's jobs.'' -- David Newton
Roughly 15,000 fans filed into Highmark Stadium for the Bills first open practice of training camp providing an almost game-like atmosphere. The energy the crowd brought matched what Buffalo's defense is hoping to bring this season. "When we're energetic and we're making plays, that drives them to be better and make more plays," cornerback Dane Jackson said. "We're going to try and continue that. Whenever we make plays it's a celebration." -- Marcel Louis-Jacques
Najee Harris was born in 1998, but that didn't stop him from looking like a running back straight out of the 1970s at the Steelers' practice on Saturday. On the second play of a team run period, the first-round pick took the handoff, ran to his left and broke through one would-be tackle. He strung the run out, eventually gaining five yards in a Walter Payton-esque run. He said later that it wasn't blocked completely correctly, but it's on him to break the tackle and make something happen -- to create something from nothing. "What separates the running backs from the good one and an amateur one is when a play isn't blocked for what it was, what can he create?," Harris said. "That's what I try to do. I try to create as much as I can when the play is not blocked." Harris was told by reporters that his run looked like Walter Payton, and he assured everyone he knew who that was -- even if Payton was well before his time. "Come on now, I know Walter Payton," he said with a big grin. "Gale Sayers, come on now. Herschel Walker. Where else you wanna go? Berry Sanders, yeah." -- Brooke Pryor
Saturday's practice had a lot of juice and jawing. The defense looked good starting with Janoris Jenkins, who intercepted Ryan Tannehill twice. The team played music during team period for the first time in camp, which along with the heat, probably contributed to a couple of minor scuffles. Nate Davis got into it with Teair Tart first. Then Davis along with David Quessenberry exchanged helmet yanks with Denico Autry and Jeffery Simmons. -- Turron Davenport
It was the fastest and most physical practice of camp yet for the Raiders, who will put on the pads Tuesday, and coach Jon Gruden liked what he saw. "Practicing at 7:30 a.m. is unprecedented, at least in my career as a coach," Gruden said. "But to have everybody come out with that type of concentration, energy and effort was impressive. It's hot out there ... guys got to get up at 5 a.m. every day so these guys must like football. That's promising." Particularly impressive was backup quarterback Marcus Mariota's grasp of the offense, as he was sharp enough to warrant a high-five from starter Derek Carr after an especially crisp deep ball down the left sideline to Marcell Ateman. -- Paul Gutierrez
Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted three times in 11-on-11 drills, including one ball defensive end McTelvin Agim knocked down, then caught and returned for what would have been a touchdown. Broncos coach Vic Fangio split the reps at quarterback 50-50 between Bridgewater and Drew Lock, neither of whom have effectively moved the ball in more than one practice period against the first-team defense. -- Jeff Legwold
First-year Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai invented the turnover bucket as a way to inspire the defense at camp. Every time the Bears force a turnover at practice, Desai wheels the blue turnover bucket onto the field and the Bears slam -- sometimes creatively -- a football inside of it. The turnover bucket got plenty of use of Saturday when safety Deon Bush intercepted Andy Dalton in a full-team drill. The small crowd of fans erupted as the Bears' defense placed another ball in the bucket. -- Jeff Dickerson
The Chiefs had three rookies on their starting offensive line in practice Saturday and at least two of them, center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith, are likely to remain as starters when the regular season begins. Coach Andy Reid indicated he wouldn't hesitate to start all three if they win their jobs. "Sure you'd like to have experience, but I've had success with rookies too,'' Reid said. The battle for starting line spots begins in earnest on Tuesday when the Chiefs are able to practice in pads for the first time. -- Adam Teicher
In the first full-team practice at M&T Bank Stadium, the biggest cheer came when first-round pick Rashod Bateman ran past Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey and caught a 30-yard touchdown. It was a reminder Bateman averaged 20.3 yards per reception at Minnesota in 2019, his last full season. Bateman had a quiet start to training camp before coming on strong the past two days. Bateman's night ended early. He didn't practice for the last 30 minutes after limping to the sideline. -- Jamison Hensley
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Says he's more "comfortable." Also attending Tight End U. this off-season opened his eyes on what it takes to be great at the position. pic.twitter.com/mFIq9W20ec
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✨ golden hour ✨ pic.twitter.com/BajD4FNblB— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 1, 2021
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So great seeing fans back ❤️💛 pic.twitter.com/T5YZ8Pdzxh
NFL quotes of the day
"When I was at Clemson when I first came in, it was a similar situation and that's how it has to be. It has to be a competition -- nothing can be given. When you start giving things to people, you set the wrong precedent for the team." Jaguars rookie Trevor Lawrence on earning the starting QB job
"I have been on the sidelines for 22 years and I'm much more active and involved now with my husband. We couldn't be more excited about our new leadership that are wonderful. They're so strong. Outside of football and the best in their class of everything they've done. So, you're going to see a lot of great growth and listening to all of our fans, and we want to see you at the stadium." Washington Football Team co-CEO Tanya Snyder