The New York Jets and Carolina Panthers were among the NFL teams taking part in joint practices Wednesday, which provided an opportunity for No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young to meet his quarterback idol Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately for Rodgers, some bumps on offense in the practice also led to some signs of frustration for the Jets' new quarterback.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers laid out their plans for when quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask will start for the first two preseason games, and Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera tried to walk back his comments from Tuesday on offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
Here's what you need to know from camps across the league:
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Aaron Rodgers, facing a different team for the first time as the New York Jets' quarterback, got a little sampling of what playing the position was like for his predecessors. Rodgers, who was pressured by the Carolina Panthers' pass rush in a joint practice Wednesday, ended a spotty day for the Jets' offense with an ugly three-and-out in a two-minute drill. "I sensed frustration from everybody -- everybody on the O-line, Aaron, the coaches," center Connor McGovern said. "You can't go three-and-out in a two-minute drive like that. ... I think there was disappointment from the whole team."
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' tightly contested quarterback competition will see Baker Mayfield get the start Friday night in the Bucs' preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Todd Bowles announced the move Wednesday, saying that Kyle Trask will get the start in preseason Week 2 at the New York Jets.
Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that "I put my foot in my mouth" when discussing Eric Bieniemy's intensity Tuesday, insisting he did not want to portray his players as soft or the first-year offensive coordinator as too demanding. Rivera said he told Bieniemy on Tuesday that what he said "wasn't as clear as it needed to be."
Free agent running back Kareem Hunt left his visit with the Colts without a contract and will continue to field interest from other teams, a source told ESPN on Wednesday. The Colts hosted Hunt on Wednesday as the sides had mutual interest given the Colts' significant lack of depth at running back. But, according to the source, the parties were unable to reach an accord and no deal was struck.
There are joint-practice fights and then there are joint-practice fights in which the same player is involved in both of them and then he's removed from the field. It was the latter when the Packers and Bengals brawled on two separate occasions, with Packers left guard Elgton Jenkins involved in both of them.
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Rookie & a vet 🤝 pic.twitter.com/eSVECWyydM— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 9, 2023
Dane Belton straight up stripped that 😳 pic.twitter.com/c09Lg4MBTY— New York Giants (@Giants) August 9, 2023
Dunk on 'em, Mack! pic.twitter.com/g39HSUDCDx— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 9, 2023
The GOAT! pic.twitter.com/QLEAIA6zYe— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 9, 2023
Saw a Star last night ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/sdFiV2dDOh— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 9, 2023
Spin move nasty 😮💨 pic.twitter.com/SJGLi74nav— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 9, 2023
What our NFL Nation reporters saw today
Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young met his childhood role model before the Panthers-Jets joint practice and was given the following advice from Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers: "Be gentle with yourself. It's a long journey.'' Then, interestingly enough, it was Rodgers who got a little frustrated during the first of two joint practices, and Young who left feeling pretty good about his performance. Young should be pleased with his effort in a final two-minute drive in which he was 5-for-8 en route to a field goal. He didn't get a touchdown, but he moved the offense in position to score against a tough Jets defense. Rodgers wasn't as successful against Carolina's defense. Overall, Young was 14-of-22 in team drills with an interception early on a ball that was thrown a bit late. But the top pick handled facing his first opposing NFL defense well. Jets coach Robert Saleh called Young an "unbelievable point guard,'' which made Carolina coach Frank Reich smile. Reich said he wants his quarterback to be like NBA star guard Stephen Curry in terms of "pushing the ball up the court, put the pressure on the defense, make them declare what they're doing and immediately get the ball to the right guy.'' -- David Newton
Kansas City Chiefs: In their next-to-last practice session before Sunday's preseason opener, the Chiefs fielded a starting defensive line that didn't feature either of their significant offseason additions. Free agent pickup Charles Omenihu and first-round draft choice Felix Anudike-Uzomah were on the sideline watching a group that included George Karlaftis and Mike Danna at end and Derrick Nnadi and Tershawn Wharton at tackle. Omenihu will be suspended for the first six games for a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, but he's practicing with the Chiefs through the end of the preseason. Also missing, of course, is Chris Jones, who is holding out as he seeks a new contract. -- Adam Teicher
Washington Commanders: Washington doesn't have many starting jobs open, but the Commanders do have to settle on a kicker. They signed Michael Badgley shortly before training camp to compete with holdover Joey Slye. They've both kicked well during training camp, but Friday will give the team a chance to see them in game action versus the Cleveland Browns. Slye remains the favorite because he has a strong leg and is superior on kickoffs; Badgley has not done well in that area, as hang time and distance are issues. Badgley has kicked off only nine times in his past 42 games and has 12 touchbacks in 74 career kickoffs. Even with new rules allowing touchbacks from outside the end zone, Badgley must prove he can be effective in this role in order to win the job. -- John Keim
New Orleans Saints: Saints tight end Jimmy Graham hasn't been a featured pass-catcher yet in camp as the team eases him back into football shape. They let him loose a little bit Wednesday, though, going to him six different times with three different quarterbacks in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. The crowd at the Saints' camp, the last practice of camp that allowed fans, cheered every time Graham caught a pass. Graham caught every pass that came his way, including two straight from Derek Carr during 11-on-11 two-minute work. When Graham subbed out, Taysom Hill came in to pick up the slack, getting four straight targets from Jameis Winston and catching three passes in a row. It was a heavy day for the tight ends with the exception of Juwan Johnson, who did not appear to have a target in what might have been a scheduled lighter day. "It's just getting him ramped up," Saints coach Dennis Allen said of Graham. "He didn't play all of last season. You've kind of got to get your legs back into football shape, and I think he's getting back to that spot. We've said this before: You don't have to see it every day from some of these veteran guys. But at some point you've got to see it, and it's nice to see him show up today and hopefully that'll continue." -- Katherine Terrell
Detroit Lions: Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer was in attendance during Day 2 of the Lions' joint practice with the New York Giants. Whitmer expressed her excitement for the upcoming season as a longtime fan, with grandparents who lived in Pontiac. She said that "you can just feel the momentum" under head coach Dan Campbell with how strategically they've constructed the roster, and she anticipates "a great year." Whitmer has witnessed fans across the state rooting for the team.
"While everything feels so divisive in this moment, the state of Michigan is united and excited about the Lions this year," Whitmer said. -- Eric Woodyard
Philadelphia Eagles: Wednesday's session served as a reminder that the defense, which will feature at least five new starters and a new coordinator in Sean Desai, is still very much a work in progress. There were lags in communication when it came to personnel groupings, including an instance where general manager Howie Roseman felt compelled to alert Desai that the situation called for his second-team unit to be on the field where, instead, the first team was deployed. Myles Jack, signed Sunday, received first-team reps at linebacker for the second consecutive day, showing how up in the air that position remains. After practice, offensive tackle Jordan Mailata noted how the defense is "trying to figure out their DNA" as evidenced by the fact that "every day is a new look." That's keeping the offense sharp, Mailata said. There is still time before the start of the season but plenty of wrinkles to iron out between now and then. -- Tim McManus
Denver Broncos: Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has consistently lauded his group of outside linebackers during this training camp, especially their potential in the pass rush. But it doesn't mean the Broncos didn't go looking for a little extra guidance for those players. Coach Sean Payton invited former defensive end Jared Allen to help with the team's pass-rushers this season on a part-time basis, and he has spent a few days in camp so far. He spent 30 minutes after practice working with defensive end Zach Allen on Wednesday. "He's kind of the guest coaches,'' Payton said. "He'll be in for a few days throughout the season, helping us with pass rush. I told him he's kind of putting his toe in the water with coaching, not jumping in full yet.'' Allen finished his career 12th all-time in sacks with 136. "It came in in the offseason, he was interested, we spoke a number of times,'' Payton said. " ... We'll have him on a kind of a schedule here [to help].'' -- Jeff Legwold
Cleveland Browns: Quarterback Deshaun Watson confirmed that he will start Friday's preseason game versus Washington. Watson said his goal is "just going out there to be sharp and really take charge of the offense." Coach Kevin Stefanski hinted that Watson would play only a series or two, alongside the bulk of the first-team offense. Early in Wednesday's practice, safety Juan Thornhill had a pick-six on a Watson pass. But Watson came back with a string of nice throws, including a pair to tight end David Njoku. -- Jake Trotter
Las Vegas Raiders: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had his sharpest day of camp yet for the Raiders, who returned to practice after two days off. He connected consistently on short and intermediate routes with slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, who has been a revelation in camp, and on a deep ball to Davante Adams, who got a congratulatory hug from general manager Dave Ziegler after the play. None of Garoppolo's passes were picked off, and few hit the turf during the indoor practice, which was a relief considering the seven INTs he had thrown in his previous two practices combined. His next test: joint practices with his old team, the 49ers, Thursday and Friday. -- Paul Gutierrez
Baltimore Ravens: Wide receiver Rashod Bateman ran well in his first training camp practice of the year, showing no signs of a surgically repaired left foot that had kept him sidelined for the first two weeks. Bateman was limited to individual drills, but he had a good burst each time. This was unlike the spring workouts, when Bateman favored the foot and needed a cortisone shot before mandatory minicamp. If Bateman can stay healthy, Lamar Jackson will have his deepest wide receiver group. Baltimore signed Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency and drafted Zay Flowers in the first round of the draft. -- Jamison Hensley
Buffalo Bills: Running back Damien Harris sat out practice because of a sore knee -- he was out with the team in street clothes for some of the day but had a sleeve on his right leg -- after missing some time Monday. His absence provided an opportunity for Latavius Murray, who has had a good camp overall, to show off what he can do as receiving back. His highlight of the day came on a short throw to the right from quarterback Josh Allen, which Murray proceeded to take 60-70 yards for a touchdown. He is competing with Harris in short-yardage opportunities and despite being the oldest player on the roster, Murray has shown how he could help the Bills' offense this season. -- Alaina Getzenberg
Cincinnati Bengals: Quarterback Joe Burrow was spotted on the practice field for the first time since he strained his right calf muscle. Wearing a bucket hat and shades, Burrow inconspicuously stood with his teammates as he observed Wednesday's joint practice with the Packers. Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said Burrow's presence was welcomed. "He's been rehabbing quite a bit, he's doing a good job and to have him out at practice is always beneficial," Callahan said. "Guys like seeing him, too. I think you saw everybody excited to have him out, standing around watching." -- Ben Baby
Seattle Seahawks: Rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon has had an eventful training camp. The latest development: another hamstring injury. The fifth overall pick has been sidelined since late in Monday's practice and is expected to miss Thursday's preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Coach Pete Carroll said it doesn't appear to be a serious injury that will keep Witherspoon out for an extended period. But it is another setback in Witherspoon's quest to win a starting job; he's competing at left cornerback and nickelback. Witherspoon missed time early in the spring because of a hamstring injury. He missed the first two days of training camp amid a short-lived holdout and then began to stand out when the pads came on. -- Brady Henderson
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