EDITOR's NOTE: This was supposed to be published yesterday. Apologies for the delay, but great stuff from Jeanna.
I finally made it to the 2013 Russell Athletic Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Monday afternoon, after missing the first few days because I was on vacation with my family. One of our stops on vacation was Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the home of the Packers. (My husband is a Wisconsin native and a lifelong Packers fan and current shareholder.) I did get to see Green Bay's first day of training camp, which provided an interesting comparative when visiting Flowery Branch yesterday. Compared to the Packers, Atlanta's sense of urgency in training camp really stands out to me. This Falcons team wants very badly to win it all, and it shows in the energy level at camp. I don't want to say that the Packers are complacent, but I do think a recent Super Bowl win takes the edge off, so to speak, and I think Atlanta's urgency (I'm using that word with approximately the same frequency as Thomas Dimitroff does) is a very good indication of their level of focus and commitment heading into the 2013 season.
It was a beautiful day yesterday, and there was a great turnout at camp, particularly for a Monday.
There was a celebrity sighting at training camp yesterday, and no, I don't mean Deion Sanders.
Buddy the Elf would have been so excited.
Julio Jones is great.
I mean, he's seriously phenomenal. One thing that stood out to me about Julio, in addition to his exceptional athleticism and work ethic was the way that he's developing as a leader. I observed Julio and Roddy working with younger receivers on technique on the sidelines.
Do we have a center controversy? Joe Hawley did take some first team snaps in practice, but it's important for the backup center to have good chemistry with Matt Ryan, also. Konz will win this "battle."
Matt is going back and forth between Konz and Hawley practicing snaps right now. Good competition going on there. #aftc13— Morgan (@FalconsMorgan) July 29, 2013
This was really funny...Asante was on one yesterday. He continues to set the tone for the overall defensive attitude.
I believe it was Asante who just yelled, "Where the f--- is Tony Gonzalez?" Haha. #aftc13— Jeanna (@jeannathomas) July 29, 2013
Seems like the team recognizes rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant's efforts to adjust to the speed of the game, and they're responding with one-on-one coaching to help him adapt.
Desmond Trufant is CONSTANTLY getting coached up. Not a negative thing, just looks like he's getting a whole lot of 1-on-1 time. #aftc13— FOX 5 Sports (@FOX5Sports) July 29, 2013
Asante's not the only one setting the defensive tone. Sean Weatherspoon has emerged as a real leader on that side of the ball.
Spoon's on the sideline talking about ballin'. Read yesterday's Five Things We Learned Today to learn what he's talking about. #aftc13— Daniel Cox (@FalconsDCox) July 29, 2013
I thought Levine Toilolo had a nice day yesterday. I watched a lot of the tight end position drills, he was very physical in line of scrimmage drills and had several nice catches. Have we mentioned that he's quite tall?
I love everything about this.
Rookie cornerback Robert Alford continues to impress in training camp. He's quite physical.
Okay, this is just all kinds of unacceptable. Sir, please allow me to give you directions to Tampa Bay, because you are clearly confused.
It's worth noting that, after practice, Steven Jackson had this to say.
Steven Jackson: Come New Orleans, that's when you'll get the full package. #aftc13— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) July 29, 2013
Be afraid, Saints. Be very afraid.
Alec and I will both be at training camp this afternoon, and we'll have more observations on the site tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy some photos the Falcons have shared from camp yesterday.