Well folks, training camp has concluded. Which is weird, because I feel as if it just started. We’ve had a lot of strong performances in camp and thankfully not so many poor performances. As we conclude this series here at Climbing the Pocket, we will take the final segment and highlight the winners and losers of camp. Thanks for checking in every day to this and I hope you enjoy!
Winners of Training Camp
KJ Osborn– This has to be the biggest surprise of camp. Coming off a very disappointing season where many fans wrote him off. KJ Osborn stepped up in a big way in a crowded WR room. He showed continuous improvement with his route running, his understanding of the offense, his hands, his release. Osborn has firmly set himself as the WR3 headed into the season. The next step for Osborn will be to translate this success to the regular season.
Oli Udoh– Another pleasant surprise this camp came from Oli Udoh. We knew that there would be an opening at one of the guard positions, but I don’t think many expected this performance from Udoh. He possesses unique size and agility and he’s shown that throughout training camp. As we head into the first game of the preseason he’ll have a firm lead on the RG spot unless Wyatt Davis puts on some amazing performances throughout the remainder of the preseason.
Jake Browning– The NFL is all about opportunity and Browning took advantage of that. Thrust into the starting role due to many QB’s being on the Covid-19 list, he took every rep and showed the coaching staff exactly what he’s capable of. He showed poise, and command of the offense. This is not to say that Browning is ready for the starting role, but he for sure took control of the QB2 spot and will likely be the man behind Kirk heading into the season.
Losers of Training Camp
Christian Darrisaw– A poor start for the 1st rounder, which has been mainly plagued by injuries. This doesn’t mean that we should write him off, but it definitely delayed what many fans hoped for, which was a starting LT week one. It was reported he underwent surgery and could be ready for Week 1, but with limited playing time it seems unlikely. The next steps for Darrisaw should be for him to get healthy and then work his way up to what we all want for him, which is to be our starting LT.
Kellen Mond– Similar to Darrisaw, Mond missed a lot of time this camp, all which would have been valuable reps. The one thing Mond has going for him is he will get to play this preseason whereas Darrisaw likely won’t. We knew that this season was likely a redshirt year for Mond, but the practice reps and working with the coaches are key. He’ll have plenty of time to continue to improve, so no fans should be worried, but this probably was not the start many had hoped for. Now it’s all about where you go from here.
Cameron Dantzler– Struggling to put him as a loser of camp, but honestly he’s had just an okay camp. That’s not to say he’s due for a bad year, but what will be important for him is to continue to be more consistent. He still shows those flashes, and he definitely was starting to come along as camp progressed. There is plenty of time before the season for him to get back into form and build off a promising rookie campaign, and it starts this weekend in his very first preseason game.