They used to be called training-camp battles.
|At 32, Chad Pennington is still fighting for his job. (Getty Images)|
But camp is where the winner is decided. Each team has a handful of jobs up for grabs as they ready to open training camps, some more than others.
This AFC East look is the first of our division-by-division breakdown of the training-camp battles for all 32 teams.
Oops. I mean the climax of the yearlong battles.
The Bills used the 11th overall pick this year to land McKelvin, a small-school star from Troy. He has the coverage skills they need to complement Terrence McGee. Greer plays smart and sound, but he doesn't have McKelvin's speed.
Edge: Greer. It's tough for a rookie to step in and play right away.
Opening day starter: McKelvin. Why? He has silky smooth cover skills.
They have been looking for a franchise passer since Dan Marino retired. This year is no different. The Bill Parcells regime takes over and has given all three quarterbacks a chance to win the job. Beck came before the current regime, so he has a lot of impressing to do. Henne is a rookie project.
|A bust in Oakland, Josh McCown gets a shot in Miami. (US Presswire)|
Opening day starter: Beck. Dolphins coaches have been impressed by the way Beck has embraced his chances. He is a gym rat. Beck struggled last season as a rookie, but he has the tools to be a solid starter. Henne is a little too raw, but will be a factor if Beck struggles.
Sanders is the incumbent starter, but the Patriots love Meriweather's athletic ability. He has the range you want from a free safety. With Rodney Harrison playing the other safety, a player who lacks great range, it is needed. Meriweather is entering his second season, so it could be his time.
Edge: Sanders. He's got the experience.
Opening day starter: Meriweather. The Patriots need to get more athletic on defense and Meriweather brings that.
Pennington is 32, so his days as a starter could be decided this summer. He has been pestered by injuries in his career, including a high-ankle sprain last season. Clemens has a bigger arm but he didn't impress much when given the chance last season. His decision-making leaves a lot to be desired.
Edge: Pennington. It's not by much.
Opening day starter: Pennington. Clemens might have blown his chance last season. Pennington is the better option right now.