It’s almost that time.

When rookies and high draft picks try to prove themselves and veterans fighting for jobs or to keep their jobs, while fighting heat, humidity, bugs and sometimes each other.

It’s Training Camp 2016.

All 32 National Football League teams will have their camps in various locations across the country. While their Canadian Football League counterparts have already started their 2016 season in earnest, the NFL will start theirs on Thursday, September 8. (In case you’re wondering, the CFL preseason is two weeks long and that’s it) Some teams will have their rookie and free agent players report first with the veterans showing up later, while other teams will have both rookies and veterans report at the same time.

Playbooks will be passed out, players and coaches will sleep in college dorms or dorm-type settings, meetings will be held, practices will take place and then the pre-season gets underway. After the first week of pre-season play, cuts will be made, so for that player that’s trying to make an impression on their coaches. Otherwise, their fate rests in the hands of the coaching staff, which means that they could either stay at the very least another week or so or be cut, with a ball boy or other staff person coming to them, saying the dreadful words, “coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” Those words are all but the kiss of death for a football player and it’s words that NO player wants to hear.


Whether you’re replacing a Peyton Manning, trying to win another Super Bowl (like Denver will want to) or trying to improve on a bad season, training camp is a chance for fans to see their team for the first time since the end of last season and make predictions on how their team will do in the 2016 campaign. There will be several teams that will have joint practices before they play a preseason game against each other, so you might want to check your team’s schedule for that.

It’s a time for players to improve on what they did last year or for rookies and free agents to impress coaches and fans. It’ll be a time for fans to see their heroes up close and personal. There are going to be times where things are going to be a bit on the chippy side. That is the business of the National Football League. There’s only room for 53 players and your goal is to be one of those 53, even if it means playing on special teams and that’s not much but it’s a game check every week.

Heat. Humidity. Fights with teammates. Coaches yelling at you to do the same play over and over again. Pack your patience, bug spray and use lots of sunscreen if you go.

And be sure to hydrate.

Following is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates (records are from 2015; Los Angeles’ record is from their last season in St. Louis):

Baltimore (5-11) – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies: 7/22; Veterans: 7/27)
Buffalo (8-8) – St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York (Rookies: 7/28; Veterans: 7/29)
Cincinnati (12-4) – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio (Rookies 7/26; Veterans 7/28)
Cleveland (3-13) – Cleveland Browns Training Complex in Berea, Ohio (Rookies 7/25; Veterans 7/28)
Denver (12-4) – Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre in Englewood, Colorado (Rookies 7/24/ Veterans 7/27)
Houston (9-7) – Houston Methodist Training Center in Houston, Texas (Rookies 7/25; Veterans 7/30)
Indianapolis (8-8) – Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana (Rookies and Veterans 7/26)
Jacksonville (5-11) – Practice Fields at EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies 7/25; Veterans 7/27)
Kansas City (11-5) – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies 7/26; Veterans 7/29)
Miami (6-10) – Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida (Rookies and Veterans 7/28)
New England (12-4) – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies 7/24; Veterans 7/27)
New York Jets (10-6) – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans 7/27)
Oakland (7-9) – Napa Valley Training Complex in Napa, California (Rookies 7/24; Veterans 7/28)
Pittsburgh (10-6) – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies 7/27; Veterans 7/28)
San Diego (4-12) – Chargers Park in San Diego, California (Rookies and Veterans 7/29)
Tennessee (3-13) – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies and Veterans 7/29)

Arizona (13-3) – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies 7/25; Veterans 7/28)
Atlanta (8-8) – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies and Veterans 7/27)
Carolina (15-1) – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans 7/27)
Chicago (6-10) – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonais, Illinois (Rookies and Veterans 7/27)
Dallas (4-12) – River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard, California (Rookies and Veterans 7/29)
Detroit (7-9) – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies 7/23; Veterans 7/28
Green Bay (10-6) – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans 7/25)
Los Angeles (7-9) – University of California – Irvine in Irvine, California (Rookies 7/27; Veterans 7/29)
Minnesota (11-5) – Minnesota State University – Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota (Rookies and Veterans 7/28)
New Orleans (7-9) – The Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia (Rookies 7/20; Veterans 7/27)
New York Giants (6-10) – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies and Veterans 7/28)
Philadelphia (7-9) – NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies 7/24; Veterans 7/27)
San Francisco (5-11) – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans 7/30)
Seattle (10-6) – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans 7/29)
Tampa Bay (6-10) – One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida (Rookies 7/25; Veterans 7/27)
Washington (9-7) – Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans 7/27)

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date.