Some position battles mean a bunch in the long term.
After all, only one quarterback will be on the field for most plays.
But when there's multiple spots at a position that can be expanded through nuanced schemes, a camp battle might not mean as much as it might seem.
Take Maryland's second cornerback spot.
Cameron Chism is pretty much locked in as one starter, assuming his hamstring holds up. On the other side, Trenton Hughes and Dexter McDougle have competed since spring ball.
One of them will start on Sept. 6 against Navy.
The other will still play. Plenty.
Which is why in the big picture, they have a camp competition that could prove more cosmetic than concrete.
"McDougle had a very solid day," defensive coordinator Don Brown said of Monday's scrimmage. "He obviously had an interception that resulted in a touchdown and a number of passes defensed. But Trenton did as well. The bottom line is you're not going to get away in this league with two corners. The unfortunate thing is Chism, we're aching to get back because I know what he's capable of. But I'm also very happy with Avery Graham. Michael Carter's done a nice job moving to nickel, and the corners are coming together."
Brown's point holds up particularly well given Maryland's recent history. Kevin Barnes got hurt and missed the last half of 2008. Nolan Carroll's senior season ended less than two games into last fall.
Either Hughes or McDougle will wind up starting.
Both, though, are going to be crucial components of any sort of success the Terps' secondary enjoys this year.