NFL Training Camps Open This Week

pre-season-eagles-mcnabbBack to work! That’s where NFL players and coaches are headed as the first group of teams report to training camp this week. Six clubs will begin their on-field preparations for NFL Kickoff 2009 this week, starting withthe Cleveland Browns on Friday, July 24 when their rookies report.

Five teams will follow this weekend, starting with the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, July25 and then four more clubs on Sunday, July 26 – the Houston Texans, NewEngland Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers.

EveryNFL team will be in camp by August 2.

Three clubs – the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – have opted to follow a growing NFL training camp trend by “staying home.” All three clubs will train at their home facilities in 2009 after being on the road last summer.

“I’m looking forward to practicing at our own facility,” says Tampa Bay tackle JEREMY TRUEBLOOD. “It will be nice to stay closer to home. For the players, it will be different and less stressful.”

Thisyear’s new crop of stay-at-home teams raises the number of clubs that will train at home to 17, representing more than half the league (53 percent). In 2000, only 4 of 31 (13 percent) teamsstayed close to home.

Here’s a look at the number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp the past10 years:

2000 4 of 31 (13%)   2005 15 of 32 (47%)
2001 5 of 31 (16%)   2006 13 of 32 (41%)
2002 7 of 32 (22%)   2007 17 of 32 (53%)
2003 12 of 32 (38%)   2008 14 of 32 (44%)
2004 12 of 32 (38%)   2009 17 of 32 (53%)

Forthe Buccaneers, whose state-of-the art facility at One Buccaneer Place openedto rave reviews in 2006, being closer to home will be a welcome change forplayers and coaches alike.

“Ithink it’s great,” says Buccaneers linebackers coach JOE BARRY. “With a newfacility, it only makes sense to stay and use it. We have everything there that we need. That’s great news.”

TheSaints, too, are looking forward to having all the comforts of home at theirdisposal as they remain in Metairie, Louisiana this summer.

“As NFLtraining facilities evolve and develop, there is a trend to want to maximizethe exposure your team has to all of the amenities that help make training campsuccessful,” says New Orleans general manager MICKEY LOOMIS. “Trainingcamp is a very physically and mentally demanding period of time for theplayers, and by being able to utilize our facilities, we feel like it is thebest decision that we can make for our team.”

Thehomecoming is also great news for Saints fans across the Gulf Coast who’d liketo watch their team prepare this summer.

“Fansin New Orleans and in our entire region, from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles andfrom Biloxi to Pensacola, will have the ability to come out and watch our teamget ready for what will be a very exciting season,” says Saints owner TOM BENSON. “We are committedto our region. We remain committed todoing our part to strengthen our state and our city. I believe this is another step in thatdirection.”

Eachsummer, training camps mark not only the beginning of a new season, but alsothe end of an offseason filled with hard work, preparation and anticipation of what’sto come.

Thingshappen fast in the NFL. In just a fewshort weeks of training camp and preseason action, starting jobs and rosterspots are won and lost, and one team will embark on a memorable march towards aSuper Bowl championship. Players need tobe in top shape from Day 1.

Asthe Rams wrapped up their organized team activities this offseason, rookie headcoach STEVE SPAGNUOLO told hisplayers, “When we get back here together, we’ll hit the ground running.”

Playersacross the NFL are ready to sprint!

In addition to the Buccaneers, Rams and Saints, three otherteams – the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks – will encamp atnew training sites this year.

While some clubs have changed their training bases in thepast decade, others return to familiar venues where they have spent their summermonths for years.

The NFL training camp longevity king? The Green Bay Packers, who return on July 31for their 52nd consecutive summer at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

The longest active NFL training camp tenures:

Green Bay Packers St. Norbert College DePere, Wisconsin 52
Minnesota Vikings Minnesota State Mankato Mankato, Minnesota 43
Pittsburgh Steelers Saint Vincent College Latrobe, Pennsylvania 43

The 2009 NFL training camp sites and reporting dates:



Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ 29-Jul 29-Jul
Atlanta Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 31-Jul 31-Jul
Baltimore McDaniel College Westminster, MD 27-Jul 29-Jul
Buffalo St. John Fisher College Pittsford, NY 25-Jul 25-Jul
Carolina Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 2-Aug 2-Aug
Chicago Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 31-Jul 31-Jul
Cincinnati Georgetown College Georgetown, KY 30-Jul 30-Jul
Cleveland       Cleveland Browns Training Facility Berea, OH 24-Jul 31-Jul
Dallas Alamodome San Antonio, TX 29-Jul 29-Jul
Denver Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre Englewood, CO 27-Jul 30-Jul
Detroit Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 31-Jul 31-Jul
Green Bay St. Norbert College De Pere, WI 31-Jul 31-Jul
Houston Methodist Training Center Houston, TX 26-Jul 31-Jul
Indianapolis Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Terre Haute, IN 2-Aug 2-Aug
Jacksonville Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Jacksonville, FL 2-Aug 2-Aug
Kansas City University of Wisconsin-River Falls River Falls, WI 31-Jul 31-Jul
Miami Miami Dolphins Training Facility Davie, FL 2-Aug 2-Aug
Minnesota Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, MN 30-Jul 30-Jul
New England Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA 26-Jul 29-Jul
New Orleans New Orleans Saints Training Facility  Metairie, LA  30-Jul 30-Jul
NY Giants University at Albany Albany, NY 2-Aug 2-Aug
NY Jets SUNY Cortland  Cortland, NY 27-Jul 30-Jul
Oakland Napa Valley Marriott Napa Valley, CA 29-Jul 29-Jul
Philadelphia Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 26-Jul 29-Jul
Pittsburgh Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 31-Jul 31-Jul
San Diego Chargers Park San Diego, CA 26-Jul 31-Jul
San Francisco Marie P. DeBartolo Sports Center  Santa Clara, CA 28-Jul 30-Jul
Seattle Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 30-Jul 31-Jul
St. Louis Russell Training Center  Earth City, MO 29-Jul 30-Jul
Tampa Bay One Buccaneer Place  Tampa, FL 31-Jul 31-Jul
Tennessee Baptist Sports Park Nashville, TN 30-Jul 30-Jul
Washington Redskins Park Ashburn, VA 29-Jul 29-Jul

(All times Eastern)

Sunday, August 9 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio:  NBC (8:00 PM)
Buffalo vs. Tennessee
Thursday, August 13 Arizona at Pittsburgh ESPN (8:00 PM)
Monday, August 17 Carolina at N.Y. Giants ESPN (8:00 PM)
Thursday, August 20 Philadelphia at Indianapolis FOX (8:00 PM)
Friday, August 21 Tennessee at Dallas FOX (8:00 PM)
Monday, August 24 N.Y. Jets at Baltimore ESPN (8:00 PM)
Thursday, August 27 Miami at Tampa Bay FOX (8:00 PM)
Friday, August 28 New England at Washington CBS (8:00 PM)
Saturday, August 29 San Diego at Atlanta CBS (8:00 PM)
Sunday, August 30 Chicago at Denver NBC (8:00 PM)
Monday, August 31 Minnesota at Houston ESPN (8:00 PM)