Training camp philosophies vary for NFL teams

Since 2009, more than half of NFL teams have been holding training camp at home.

NFL teams are buying into the saying that there’s no place like home … even for training camp.

While most of the camps around the NFL don’t open until next week, there is a generally increasing trend of having more camps at home base. From 2000 to 2008, more than half of the NFL’s training camps were held away from their regular-season training headquarters, but that changed in 2009, when more than half of the camps started to be held at home.

In 2009 and 2010, 17 of the 32 NFL teams held training camp at home. For a four-year stretch between 2011 and 2014, 18 or 19 camps were held at home. Last year, the number increased to 20 of 32 teams (62.5 percent), but this year it dropped to 19 teams (59 percent).

There are varying opinions from coach to coach and team to team.

Some coaches like to have players isolated away from home to have more time to study playbooks and schemes, and spend time bonding with teammates. The Los Angeles Rams moved from St. Louis this year and will hold their training camp at the University of California-Irvine.

“We look forward to training at UCI in preparation for the 2016 season,” said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “Their facilities are top-notch and we’re excited to welcome our fans to their campus and also to the Coliseum as we gear up for the start of the season.”

Others believe there is a benefit to veteran players having the familiarity of family and sleeping in their own beds.

“It’s a great set-up here at home,” Philadelphia Eagles first-year head coach Doug Pederson said of his team conducting training camp at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia. “I like the idea of doing it right here in our backyard where we are comfortable. That part makes it nice. You can come right in off the practice field and your film is ready to go. And the way the setup is here, it’s awesome.”

Teams also differ on how spread apart their rookies and veterans should be when reporting to camp. Some teams have them all report on the same day, and most do it within a few days of each other, but five teams have rookies reporting at least four days earlier than their veterans.

The camps are just beginning.

The New Orleans Saints are the first team to have players reporting for the start of 2016 camps, as their rookies report on Wednesday. Rookies for the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions head to camp on Friday and Saturday, and the Green Bay Packers are the first to have their full squad report, on Monday, as they and the Indianapolis Colts kick off the preseason with the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7.

The Packers continue to hold their camp at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., the 59th consecutive season at the same spot and the longevity king of NFL camps. The Minnesota Vikings have been in Mankato, Minn. for 51 years and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been in Latrobe, Penn. just as long.

By July 30, every NFL team will have its camp in full swing, with a full slate of preseason games the weekend of Aug. 11-16.



2000 5 of 31 (16%)
2001 5 of 31 (16%)
2002 7 of 32 (22%)
2003 12 of 32 (38%)
2004 12 of 32 (38%)
2005 15 of 32 (47%)
2006 13 of 32 (41%)
2007 17 of 32 (53%)
2008 14 of 32 (44%)
2009 17 of 32 (53%)
2010 17 of 32 (53%)
2011 19 of 32 (59%)
2012 18 of 32 (56%)
2013 19 of 32 (59%)
2014 18 of 32 (56%)
2015 20 of 32 (62.5%)
2016 19 of 32 (59%)



Baltimore Under Armour Performance Center Owings Mills, MD 22-Jul 27-Jul
Buffalo St. John Fisher College Pittsford, NY 28-Jul 29-Jul
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium  Cincinnati, OH 26-Jul 28-Jul
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Training Complex Berea, OH 25-Jul 28-Jul
Denver Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre Englewood, CO 24-Jul 27-Jul
Houston Houston Methodist Training Center Houston, TX 25-Jul 30-Jul
Indianapolis Anderson University Anderson, IN 26-Jul 26-Jul
Jacksonville Practice Fields at EverBank Field Jacksonville, FL 25-Jul 27-Jul
Kansas City Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO 26-Jul 29-Jul
Miami Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University Davie, FL 28-Jul 28-Jul
New England Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA 24-Jul 27-Jul
NY Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Florham Park, NJ 27-Jul 27-Jul
Oakland Napa Valley Training Complex Napa, CA 24-Jul 28-Jul
Pittsburgh Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 27-Jul 28-Jul
San Diego Chargers Park San Diego, CA 29-Jul 29-Jul
Tennessee Saint Thomas Sports Park Nashville, TN 29-Jul 29-Jul


Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, AZ 25-Jul 28-Jul
Atlanta Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 27-Jul 27-Jul
Carolina Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 27-Jul 27-Jul
Chicago Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 27-Jul 27-Jul
Dallas River Ridge Playing Fields Oxnard, CA 29-Jul 29-Jul
Detroit Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 23-Jul 28-Jul
Green Bay St. Norbert College De Pere, WI 25-Jul 25-Jul
Los Angeles University of California – Irvine Irvine, CA 27-Jul 29-Jul
Minnesota Minnesota State University – Mankato Mankato, MN 28-Jul 28-Jul
New Orleans The Greenbrier White Sulpher Springs, WV 20-Jul 27-Jul
NY Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center East Rutherford, NJ 28-Jul 28-Jul
Philadelphia NovaCare Complex Philadelphia, PA 24-Jul 27-Jul
San Francisco SAP Performance Facility Santa Clara, CA 30-Jul 30-Jul
Seattle Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 29-Jul 29-Jul
Tampa Bay One Buccaneer Place  Tampa, FL 25-Jul 27-Jul
Washington Bon Secours Training Center Richmond, VA 27-Jul 27-Jul

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