I took these pictures today. LET'S GIT IT.
Our defense high-fives a lot. No fist bumps; just high fives. Couldn't approve more.
Roddy White and Jerious Norwood take a break from what they're doing to invade the punt return drill and heckle Special Weems, who's just let a kick doink off his facemask! Among the talkiest players today, from where we were sitting at least: Roddy, Ovie Mughelli, Mike Peterson, and Tyson Clabo. Also, Roddy seems to be That Guy who just saunters from drill to drill whenever he likes. He turned up amongst the quarterbacks more than once, which is bad because
At this point, Brian Finneran is Bill Russell in every way but all the ways that aren't "he plays and coaches too." He literally spent more time instructing or assisting with drills than practicing. Here he walks some youngsters through some sort of ¡Ole! drill.
The Falcons' practice facility comes with its own quarantine. Wounded Birds Club members Peria Jerry, William Moore, Brian Williams, and Harry Douglas spent most of their day way the hell over there in Middle Earth by themselves, doing gimpy P90X plyometrics stunts with no coaching supervision whatsoever. From here the whole thing looks like Blackstreet's first day of choreography. "Are we allowed to just go hike in the woods?"
I have photos of Tony Gonzalez standing around in four different superhero poses. He even broke out the Superman fists-on-hips at one point. He eventually got around to playing some football around 4:30 pm.
Michael Turner demonstrates the effects of switching from the DiGiorno's diet to Tony Gonzalez' UltraSoy Bran-Star Vegafiber Fuel Consumption Plan For Life-Serious Winners.
After dusting Dunta Robinson, Kerry Meier came within inches of pulling off the day's official highlight right here. Later on in the afternoon practice, he succeeded, racking up the oh-god-my-knees-are-too-sunburnt-to-stand equivalent of a standing o for an amazing catch in traffic. Meier was the only Falcon to sustain an injury today, and it was only a small ankle thing that he walked away from.
Regarding the UDFAs in attendance, this image is your cheat sheet: all day #17 looked fantastic while #37 looked awful. Brandyn Harvey of Villanova was catching everything that flew, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him stick around. Even asked him to sign my football, joining Bear Woods as the only potentials to earn such a distinction.
Thomas DeCoud, likely the day's most fan-friendly player, breaks up a pass. Everybody was courteous enough to sign autographs for fans after both practices, but DeCoud took two or three extra laps while asking aloud who he'd missed, ensuring that anyone in Hall County who wanted a Thomas DeCoud signature would never go hungry again. Other autograph session standouts: Jason Snelling quietly kept signing long after all other players had gone inside; Sean Weatherspoon had to be dragged off the field after his first round and still came back for more; Garrett Reynolds is one of the three biggest humans I've ever spoken to; Coach Smith and Matt Ryan handled GETTING MOBBED with grace and charm; Chauncey Davis somehow signed my football multiple times (when a looming Chauncey Davis reaches for an object in your hand, you don't really find yourself telling Chauncey Davis what to do, whether he's already signed the object or not); and Dunta Robinson, Mike Peterson, Ovie Mughelli, Holla McGhee, Kroy Biermann, Bear Woods, Mike Johnson, Jerious Norwood, Shann Shillenger, and Harry Douglas were especially interacty while signing -- everybody appreciates this behavior. Stephen Nicholas even offered to relieve me of my expensive borrowed camera that I don't know how to use, which was nice of him.
Dominique Franks looked pretty solid in one-on-ones. This wasn't his best play, as Kerry Meier simply fell down, but it's the best-looking photo of Franks I have. Life is hard. Also, Kerry Meier falls down a LOT. Hawks fans, he may remind you of Mario West: tons and tons of effort and hustle, usually best expressed by earnest, meaningful, frequent, and surprising contact with the ground. I recommend new socks?
It's a spoon.
Simba often looked confused at SLB today -- he
bit on chomped down on engorged himself on a play fake so badly he wound up near where Mughelli lines up, his signals to other players were tentative (by contrast, Bear Woods expressed a little bit of authority from his MLB spot), and he was alternately great and shaky in pass coverage. However, shaky-great is much better than should reasonably be expected of him on day freaking two. He's constantly conferencing with coaches and other linebackers and seemed to be taking everything in stride.
As we watched Michael Koenen drift through life, Ball Hawk concocted a brilliant plan in case he ever stumbles upon a time machine. Step 1: Go back to age 9 and punt for hours every single day. Step 2: Profit? Step 3: Profit. (The best thing about being a punter? Only absolute diehard fans will ever remember your screwups. Even a punt returned for a TD is usually blamed on WHY DON'T THESE BOYS PRACTICE ON TACKLING???)
Ice greets 2008 NCAA national champion quarterback Eric Ward. (To clear up a common misconception, Eric Ward's team won a postseason tournament. Tim Tebow's didn't.) QB1 looked tremendous today, hitting Troy Bergeron in stride in the end zone and zipping through his progressions.
This guy is a hero and the pride of Flowery Branch. After two little girls accidentally threw their football (are you listening, Lane Kiffin?) over the back fence atop the hill, this guy up and set off on a 15-minute jaunt to go recover it, with no hesitation.
Proof we paid attention to offensive linemen.
During a kickoff coverage drill that was really boring and hard to understand. THIS DRILL SUCKS. If these two are running back kicks, a problem has arisen.
The shortest individual at the facility, including the two girls on top of the hill.Ovie handed him that pad, and the pad seemed to start walking around on its own.
God I can't wait til we trot out octups left in a game and watch the defense call all three timeouts at once.
Chris Owens may have been the most impressive player on our end of the field today. I'll be surprised if he doesn't start opposite Dunta. Yes, he broke this pass up, believe it or not.
AW HELL YEAH IT'S MAY IN GEORGIA this was actually the second altercation of the day. The first pitted Will Svitek against Jamaal Anderson (no decision). This dustup allegedly featured Sam Baker and Emmanuel Stephens. COOL STORY BRO. Mularkey called several end-arounds throughout the day and they all got blown up, which means we're in perfect midseason form already.