Training camp is important for each and every player, though for different reasons. For a veteran, it might be an opportunity to get back in the swing of things as another NFL season approaches. For a rookie, it might be their biggest taste of professional football yet. For the locked-in starters, it can be time to settle in with faces new and old. For those fighting for a roster spot, it can make-or-break their career.
There is no shortage of interesting stories and questions from camp. Whether you’re looking at who will take the next step in 2022 or who will emerge as a team leader, those journeys begin with training camp. And much like a good breakfast to start the day off, a good training camp can set the tone for a successful season.
The Detroit Lions have no shortage of players that need to make an impact in training camp. For some players, the difference between a good or bad training camp could mean starting or benchwarming. With the team eventually having to shrink to 53 players, training camp and preseason will be deciding factors for who sticks around.
In a perfect world, every player would have an excellent training camp. In reality, however, some players need a good training camp more than others. We would love if Jared Goff had a great training camp, but there is essentially no way his starting role gets usurped, regardless of how he performs prior to September. On the other end of the spectrum, the multiple undrafted rookies need to flash early and often to make the team. If they follow in the footsteps of AJ Parker and Jerry Jacobs, they, too, could earn a notable role.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Which player needs to have a good training camp?
My answer: I think Logan Stenberg needs to have a good camp.
You can consider this an early glance at Pride of Detroit’s Bubble Watch series—stay tuned!—but of all the players on the roster bubble, none stand out as much as Stenberg. Selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Stenberg has played a total of 26 snaps, all on special teams. Jonah Jackson, a fellow guard drafted a round earlier by Detroit, has started all but one game as a professional with a Pro Bowl nod to boot.
It’s not fair to compare Stenberg to Jackson too closely—Stenberg was always viewed as a project, while Jackson was pro-ready—but it illustrates the disappointing start to Stenberg’s career. When it looked like he might get a role in 2021, an injury ended his season in October.
Thanks to a great showing from center/guard Evan Brown and plenty of promise from undrafted guard Tommy Kraemer, Stenberg faces stiff competition headed into 2022—and that’s not even including undrafted rookies Kevin Jarvis and Zein Obeid. For as much potential as Stenberg has, he needs to demonstrate it on the field.
The interior offensive line battle will be one to watch in training camp. Stenberg seems to have the top backup guard spot right now, but that could easily change in the coming weeks.
Which player in particular needs to shine in training camp?