From Caleb to Jalen to CeeDee, one thing we're watching at every NFL minicamp this week


The 2024 NFL season kicks off in 94 days and before teams take a summer break ahead of late-July training camps, they’ll gather for mandatory minicamps.

Nine teams have scheduled theirs to take place this week: Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts. Minicamps for the remaining 23 teams are being held next week.

This will give everyone a chance to see who shows up after skipping voluntary workouts, how rookies perform against veterans and how offensive and defensive systems look under new coordinators.

Here is one key thing our NFL Nation reporters will be watching from each team that hits the field this week:

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One thing to watch: Caleb Williams’ comfort level in the Bears’ offense

By no means will Chicago’s rookie quarterback be a polished product by the time the team breaks for summer. However, having the entire offense together for three days (Williams’ worst practice of OTAs came without WRs Rome Odunze and Keenan Allen and two starting offensive linemen) will allow the Bears to see what the No. 1 pick has mastered and where he needs to improve before training camp. Is Williams willing to get rid of the ball when he can’t find anything open instead of running out of bounds? Does his execution in the red zone look improved? Those are a handful of questions the Bears hope to have answered by the end of minicamp. — Courtney Cronin


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One thing to watch: The Dolphins’ defense

The Dolphins’ offense remains more or less intact after leading the NFL in yards per game last season. However, the other side of the ball has some questions, starting with its front seven rotation. Christian Wilkins is gone and Miami signed seven defensive tackles to compete for his vacant spot. Miami also drafted two edge rushers (first-rounder Chop Robinson, fifth-rounder Mohamed Kamara) with Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb recovering from season-ending injuries suffered in 2023. Add in a new defensive coordinator in Anthony Weaver, and the Dolphins’ defensive cohesion will be a focal point in both minicamp and training camp. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


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One thing to watch: How will the offensive line be reshaped under assistant coach Bill Callahan?

The Titans added center Lloyd Cushenberry III and offensive guard Saahdiq Charles in free agency and used the seventh pick to select left tackle JC Latham. The offensive line should have a new look with at least two new starters in Cushenberry and Latham. Perhaps the most significant addition is Callahan as position coach. He brought some of his patented blocking sleds with him to utilize in practice. How Callahan helps Latham switch from right tackle to left tackle will determine the O-line’s level of success in 2024. Mandatory minicamp will be another opportunity for Callahan to take a step toward significant improvements. — Turron Davenport


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One thing to watch: Will CeeDee Lamb be in attendance?

The minicamp is mandatory and the wide receiver could face a fine of close to $100,000 if he skips every day, but the receiver has not taken part in offseason voluntary work as he seeks a new contract. There has not been much movement toward a new deal during the spring, but that could begin to change with a number of receiver deals coming in across the league since the draft. Lamb has been working out on his own and has had a few throwing sessions with Dak Prescott away from The Star. The Cowboys are not worried about his absence hurting production when the season starts. — Todd Archer


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One thing to watch: Has Jameson Williams truly improved?

Can the third-year receiver break out this season? Williams has had a less-than-ideal start in his first two seasons due to injury and a gambling suspension, but he should be available in 2024 and has an opportunity to take on a larger role in the Lions’ offense. Williams has struggled at times with dropped passes and lining up properly in formations, but he is looking to pick up where he left off last season, when he had two touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game versus San Francisco. All eyes will be on the 2022 No. 12 pick at the Lions’ mandatory minicamp. — Eric Woodyard


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One thing to watch: The quarterbacks

All eyes will remain on the Vikings’ quarterback situation and that goes for the spring, summer and beyond. Veteran Sam Darnold will continue to get the first-team work while No. 10 pick J.J. McCarthy works through a developmental plan that has no specific timetable. The immediate question to answer is not when McCarthy will start, but can Darnold hold down the position credibly until that (undefined) point? — Kevin Seifert


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One thing to watch: How quarterback Jalen Hurts is adapting to the new offense

After a 1-6 implosion down the stretch last season, the Eagles fired offensive coordinator Brian Johnson — a longtime friend of the Hurts family — and hired Kellen Moore to replace him. The Eagles are implementing a hybrid system that will attempt to fuse Moore’s playbook with concepts and verbiage used by coach Nick Sirianni over the past several years. Hurts has had little schematic consistency through his college and pro career. The one time he had the same playcaller in consecutive seasons was Shane Steichen for 2021 and 2022, leading to a near-MVP campaign for Hurts and a run to the Super Bowl for Philly. — Tim McManus


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One thing to watch: How is the defense coming along under new leadership?

Coach Kyle Shanahan fired defensive coordinator Steve Wilks after one season and hired Nick Sorensen from within in an attempt to get the defense back to its previous levels of success. Shanahan also hired Brandon Staley as assistant head coach to provide some new wrinkles that could better tie together the pass rush and coverage. While the full-squad minicamp is still a long way from the regular season, it’s a good gauge of where things are headed for a defense that is aiming to return to dominance in 2024. — Nick Wagoner


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One thing to watch: How will the Colts deploy their defensive line talent?

They’ve got a new position coach (longtime college assistant Charlie Partridge) and top prospect in first-round choice Laiatu Latu. Now, the question is who plays where and when. DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart will still mostly man the interior, but edge rushers like Latu, Samson Ebukam and Kwity Paye, as well as inside-outside players Dayo Odeyingbo and Tyquan Lewis, will share snaps in a rotation that has yet to be determined. The Colts finished 2023 ranked fifth in sacks but believe there’s room for improvement. — Stephen Holder



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