Expect Collins to unseat Gannon

Updated: June 28, 2004, 11:01 AM ET
By Steve Muench | Scouts, Inc.
Training camp has always been a time for rookies, backups and new additions to the roster to challenge established starters. Some veterans just aren't the players they were earlier in their careers and there are players ready to push them for playing time. These camps have always been spirited as a result, but two factors make today's training camps that much more competitive.

The first is the remarkably high amount of turnover free agency and the salary-cap cause, as teams often need to find replacements for key starters. Tampa Bay, which won the Super Bowl two years ago, will have eight different starters on offense this year.

Pressure to win now also plays a big role because there is no such thing as job security for coaches or players. Rich Gannon is an excellent example. Despite leading Oakland to the Super Bowl and being named the NFL's Most Valuable Player following the 2002 season, Gannon will have to compete for his starting job during training camp.

On Tuesday we listed the rash of unsettled running back situations around the league. Here is a list of 10 training camp battles at positions other than running back and who the early favorite is to open the regular season as the starter.

Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.

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