NFL Training Camps Open This Week

"Helmets on!  Buckle ’em up!"
That’s what coaches will say to players this week as the first group of NFL teams report to training camp.
Four clubs will begin their on-field preparations for NFL Kickoff 2010 this week, starting with the Cleveland Browns on Friday, July 23 when their rookies report.
Three teams will follow this weekend, starting with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, July 24 and then the rookie class of two more clubs on Sunday, July 25 – the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers.
By August 1, every NFL team will be in camp.

For the second consecutive year, 17 of the 32 NFL teams will be "staying home" for training camp, which represents more than half the league (53 percent).  In 2001, only 5 of 31 (16 percent) teams stayed close to home.
When he accepted the position of Washington Redskins executive vice president/head coach in January, MIKE SHANAHAN liked the idea of "going away" for training camp to build his team in his image.
But after viewing the considerable meeting space and pristine practice fields at Redskins Park and hearing stories about the huge fan support the team received at the club’s Ashburn, Virginia facility during recent camps, he changed his mind.
"I have heard about the passionate fans and the huge, enthusiastic crowds that come out to support our team during training camp," says Shanahan.  "I’m looking forward to sharing in this experience for the first time. Training camp is the time our players build their identity as a team, and we are pleased to begin laying the foundation for the 2010 season in front of Redskins Nation."
Here’s a look at the number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp the past 10 years:
20015 of 31 (16%) 200613 of 32 (41%)
20027 of 32 (22%) 200717 of 32 (53%)
200312 of 32 (38%) 200814 of 32 (44%)
200412 of 32 (38%) 200917 of 32 (53%)
200515 of 32 (47%) 201017 of 32 (53%)

The Saints’ dream 2009 season began with a home training camp before culminating with the franchise’s first NFL title.  The club decided to remain in Metairie, Louisiana for the first time at the Saints practice facility for training camp last summer.
"As NFL training facilities evolve and develop, there is a trend to want to maximize the exposure your team has to all of the amenities that help make training camp successful," says New Orleans general manager MICKEY LOOMIS.  "Training camp is a very physically and mentally demanding period of time for the players, and by being able to utilize our facilities, we feel like it is the best decision that we can make for our team."
The numbers may prove home-base popularity is a growing league-wide trend, but there are still teams employing the "old-time" philosophy of encamping away.  And they just might know something.
Before the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV victory, the previous four NFL champions all trained away from home at college training sites, starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers (XL, XLIII) and continuing with the Indianapolis Colts (XLI) and New York Giants (XLII).
"You could just feel the way that the team was coming together, and it went through the whole year," says New York Jets owner WOODY JOHNSON, whose team trained at SUNY-Cortland last summer en route to an AFC Championship Game appearance.  The club recently extended its agreement with the university through 2012.
"The trends that started here at Cortland continue," says Johnson.  "Those kinds of traditions are very important."
There may be two NFL schools of thought when it comes to where to train, but the debate rages on.  When it comes down to it, Detroit Lions head coach JIM SCHWARTZ thinks how they train is even more important than where they train.
"In Tennessee, we did it both ways," says Schwartz, who spent 10 years with the Titans, including his last eight as defensive coordinator, before earning his first head-coaching opportunity last year.  "We went away. We stayed home.  We were successful both ways."
Two teams – the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs – will encamp at new training sites this year.  The Cowboys will once again return to the Alamodome in San Antonio for a portion of camp, but will also spend time in Oxnard, California and Dallas.
While some clubs have changed their training bases in the past decade, others return to familiar venues where they have spent their summer months for years.
The NFL training camp longevity king?  The Green Bay Packers, who return on July 30 for their 53rd consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.
The longest active NFL training camp tenures:
Green Bay PackersSt. Norbert CollegeDePere, Wisconsin53
Minnesota VikingsMinnesota State MankatoMankato, Minnesota44
Pittsburgh SteelersSaint Vincent CollegeLatrobe, Pennsylvania44

********************************************************************************************************************The 2010 NFL training camp sites and reporting dates:
BaltimoreMcDaniel CollegeWestminster, MD7/267/28
BuffaloSt. John Fisher CollegePittsford, NY7/297/29
CincinnatiGeorgetown CollegeGeorgetown, KY7/287/28
Cleveland      Cleveland Browns Training FacilityBerea, OH7/237/30
DenverPaul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos CentreEnglewood, CO7/267/31
HoustonMethodist Training CenterHouston, TX7/307/30
IndianapolisAnderson UniversityAnderson, IN8/18/1
JacksonvilleJacksonville Municipal StadiumJacksonville, FL7/297/29
Kansas CityMissouri Western State UniversitySt. Joseph, MO7/297/29
MiamiMiami Dolphins Training FacilityDavie, FL7/307/30
New EnglandGillette StadiumFoxboro, MA7/257/28
NY JetsSUNY Cortland Cortland, NY7/298/1
OaklandNapa Valley MarriottNapa Valley, CA7/287/28
PittsburghSaint Vincent CollegeLatrobe, PA7/307/30
San DiegoChargers ParkSan Diego, CA7/257/30
TennesseeBaptist Sports ParkNashville, TN7/317/31

ArizonaNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff, AZ7/307/30
AtlantaAtlanta Falcons Training FacilityFlowery Branch, GA7/297/29
CarolinaWofford CollegeSpartanburg, SC7/287/28
ChicagoOlivet Nazarene UniversityBourbonnais, IL7/307/30
Dallas*Alamodome/Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard River RidgeSan Antonio, TX/Oxnard, CA7/247/24
DetroitDetroit Lions Training FacilityAllen Park, MI7/307/30
Green BaySt. Norbert CollegeDe Pere, WI7/307/30
MinnesotaMinnesota State University, MankatoMankato, MN7/307/30
New OrleansNew Orleans Saints Training Facility Metairie, LA 7/297/29
NY GiantsUniversity at AlbanyAlbany, NY8/18/1
PhiladelphiaLehigh UniversityBethlehem, PA7/267/29
St. LouisRussell Training Center Earth City, MO7/287/30
San FranciscoMarie P. DeBartolo Sports Center Santa Clara, CA7/307/31
SeattleVirginia Mason Athletic CenterRenton, WA7/297/30
Tampa BayOne Buccaneer Place Tampa, FL7/307/30
WashingtonRedskins ParkAshburn, VA7/297/29
* Dallas will train in San Antonio (7/24-8/6), Dallas (8/7-8/13), and Oxnard, CA (8/14-8/27).

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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