It's been clear that the Falcons are serious about getting tougher this season. If the first day of rookie minicamp is any indication, they are succeeding. The coaching staff reportedly had to remind the young players to take it down a notch. First round draft choice Jake Matthews busted his lip during a drill.
Jake Matthews had his lip busted open in a walkthrough. Smitty had to tell rookies to calm down. Bunch of excited kids #Falcons— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) May 16, 2014
Off the field, Matthews is exactly the kind of guy you want on your team.
Linemen aren't usually the most talkative position group but Jake Matthews was great. He's mature beyond his years on & off the field.— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) May 16, 2014
Vaughn McClure had some encouraging takes on Atlanta's first, second, and third round draft picks.
Jake Matthews is very fluid on the field, Rashede Hageman just intimidating in general, and Dez Southward very well spoken, eager to learn.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) May 16, 2014
Add second-round pick Ra'Shede Hageman to the list of people who are aware that a shift to a 3-4 base defense is occurring.
The #Falcons won't clear up defensive scheme, but Ra'Shede Hageman will: "In college we played a 4-3, but here, you know, we play a 3-4."— Knox Bardeen (@knoxbardeen) May 16, 2014
Even the language around Flowery Branch is tougher.
The language at practice is definitely different with Mike Tice and Bryan Cox around. Far from G-rated.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) May 16, 2014
Rookie minicamp is closed to the public, so we have to rely on the Falcons' own Jay Adams, ESPN's Vaughn McClure, and D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC for closer looks at the day's events.
Matthews' assessment of first day of rookie camp: "We were busting lips and hitting guys" More here: http://t.co/WQCuJXfUFh #RiseUp— Jay Adams (@FalconsJAdams) May 16, 2014
Ten observations from a ho-hum first day of Falcons rookie minicamp. http://t.co/CZwYMSqoFM— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) May 17, 2014
6 quick takes from rookie minicamp - 1st-rd pick Jake Matthews won 2 battles v. 2nd rd pick Ra’Shede Hageman #Falcons http://t.co/AeNzW4j2RV— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) May 17, 2014
The Falcons also have a photo gallery and some video from the day's events on their site.
Check out a photo gallery from the first day of Falcons rookie minicamp: http://t.co/Ok8cXU9bS6 #RiseUp pic.twitter.com/p3ntdIGzyu— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) May 16, 2014
VIDEO: See your new Falcons players in action on the first day of rookie minicamp: http://t.co/TvOueoHfOz #RiseUp— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) May 16, 2014
Based on what you've read about rookie minicamp, which player are you most excited to see in action this season?