Summer theater: Five hot dramas spice up training camps

All 32 NFL teams will be in training camp by Sunday, and there are enough dramas simmering around the league to make the summer even hotter, including:
 

Broncos’ QB battle royal

Brady Quinn's wingmen Tim Tebow (15) and Brady Quinn (8) are developing.
Brady Quinn’s wingmen Tim Tebow (15) and Brady Quinn (8) are developing.

Kyle Orton is the incumbent, but both Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow are hovering. Tebow remains unsigned and was not in camp Wednesday when rookies began working out. Once Tebow reports, how coach Josh McDaniels handles the development of Quinn and Tebow will be intriguing.

 
"Brady Quinn is not a natural passer, but he’s a big strong kid who has a passion for the game," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "Ultimately, given enough reps, he could be an average to slightly above average starting quarterback.
 
"As for Tebow, you’re talking bigger risk, bigger reward. You know the intangibles — great leader, tough kid, players will rally around him. You don’t know if he will ever overcome the mechanical issues well enough to be a big-time player."
 
The Broncos traded up in the first round to draft Tebow, but Mayock says Tebow is at least two years away from being ready to start. No matter how Orton and Quinn perform, Mayock says Tebow should not be rushed.
 
"If you look at Aaron Rodgers a few years ago, people were upset that he fell in the draft to the Packers but he had an opportunity to learn behind one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played," Mayock said. "When Rodgers stepped in, he became a high-level quarterback very quickly.
 
"Every rep Tebow takes this year is critical, and he doesn’t need to take them with the added pressure of having to win games. Maybe next year he can compete for the starting job. But not now."
 

Big Ben’s big void

The Steelers open camp knowing QB Ben Roethlisberger will be suspended for the first at least four and possibly six regular-season games. But star safety Troy Polamalu does not accept that the Steelers will struggle in September.
 

"It’s adversity that we’re going to face, but it’s nothing we haven’t faced before," Polamalu said. "We’ve played games without Ben. We understand as a defense that we have to step up."

 

Albert’s angst in D.C.

After meeting Wednesday with coach Mike Shanahan, Albert Haynesworth says he will report to Redskins camp Thursday. But will he accept his new role as a nose tackle, or balk and become a distraction?
 
"It’s easy to talk the game, but we’ll see what he does in practice," Shanahan told reporters Wednesday. "I haven’t talked to our players. I think all players are very consistent in their feelings: They’re hoping Albert’s in great shape, plays like heck, helps our football team win. Our players would accept that. But he’s going to have to buy in."
 

The Ochocinco-T.O. Show

The Bengals’ buzz factor went up dramatically with Tuesday’s signing of Terrell Owens. Can QB Carson Palmer keep diva receivers Owens and Chad Ochocinco happy? And does the signing of Owens improve or hurt the team’s chances or repeating as AFC North champs?
 

The Favre watch

Most expect Vikings QB Brett Favre to play in ’10, but as his annual tradition he is making everyone wait and wonder. Said Mayock: "I’d be flabbergasted if he doesn’t come back."
 
This story appears in July 29’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only digital sports daily, sign up today.
 
Senior writer Clifton Brown covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.
All 32 NFL teams will be in training camp by Sunday, and there are enough dramas simmering around the league to make the summer even hotter, including:
 

Broncos’ QB battle royal

Brady Quinn's wingmen Tim Tebow (15) and Brady Quinn (8) are developing.
Brady Quinn’s wingmen Tim Tebow (15) and Brady Quinn (8) are developing.

Kyle Orton is the incumbent, but both Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow are hovering. Tebow remains unsigned and was not in camp Wednesday when rookies began working out. Once Tebow reports, how coach Josh McDaniels handles the development of Quinn and Tebow will be intriguing.

 
"Brady Quinn is not a natural passer, but he’s a big strong kid who has a passion for the game," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "Ultimately, given enough reps, he could be an average to slightly above average starting quarterback.
 
"As for Tebow, you’re talking bigger risk, bigger reward. You know the intangibles — great leader, tough kid, players will rally around him. You don’t know if he will ever overcome the mechanical issues well enough to be a big-time player."
 
The Broncos traded up in the first round to draft Tebow, but Mayock says Tebow is at least two years away from being ready to start. No matter how Orton and Quinn perform, Mayock says Tebow should not be rushed.
 
"If you look at Aaron Rodgers a few years ago, people were upset that he fell in the draft to the Packers but he had an opportunity to learn behind one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played," Mayock said. "When Rodgers stepped in, he became a high-level quarterback very quickly.
 
"Every rep Tebow takes this year is critical, and he doesn’t need to take them with the added pressure of having to win games. Maybe next year he can compete for the starting job. But not now."
 

Big Ben’s big void

The Steelers open camp knowing QB Ben Roethlisberger will be suspended for the first at least four and possibly six regular-season games. But star safety Troy Polamalu does not accept that the Steelers will struggle in September.
 

"It’s adversity that we’re going to face, but it’s nothing we haven’t faced before," Polamalu said. "We’ve played games without Ben. We understand as a defense that we have to step up."

 

Albert’s angst in D.C.

After meeting Wednesday with coach Mike Shanahan, Albert Haynesworth says he will report to Redskins camp Thursday. But will he accept his new role as a nose tackle, or balk and become a distraction?
 
"It’s easy to talk the game, but we’ll see what he does in practice," Shanahan told reporters Wednesday. "I haven’t talked to our players. I think all players are very consistent in their feelings: They’re hoping Albert’s in great shape, plays like heck, helps our football team win. Our players would accept that. But he’s going to have to buy in."
 

The Ochocinco-T.O. Show

The Bengals’ buzz factor went up dramatically with Tuesday’s signing of Terrell Owens. Can QB Carson Palmer keep diva receivers Owens and Chad Ochocinco happy? And does the signing of Owens improve or hurt the team’s chances or repeating as AFC North champs?
 

The Favre watch

Most expect Vikings QB Brett Favre to play in ’10, but as his annual tradition he is making everyone wait and wonder. Said Mayock: "I’d be flabbergasted if he doesn’t come back."
 
This story appears in July 29’s edition of Sporting News Today. If you are not receiving Sporting News Today, the only digital sports daily, sign up today.
 
Senior writer Clifton Brown covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.

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