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Falcons OTAs: Antone Smith Returns

Fan favorite Antone Smith is healthy enough to return to the field.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It was a hot and humid day at Falcons OTAs, yet the pace and intensity were consistent with what we've seen under Dan Quinn so far. Something that stands out about the way the team approaches practice now is that it seems that every drill or warmup or stretch has a purpose  the coaching staff is very engaged, making sure that each player gets the most out of each repetition.

Antone Smith returned to the field today, and he was running with no hesitation, making cuts easily and not favoring his leg at all. Joe Hawley, Peter Konz, Jake Matthews, William Moore, Jalen Collins and Brooks Reed continued to work with the trainers.

While Tyson Jackson indicated last week that he hasn't lost a ton of weight, he did look noticeably slimmer at practice today. That personal chef, coupled, certainly, with the physical demands of OTAs, must be helping a great deal. Ra'Shede Hageman, who looks remarkably slimmer as well, told the media after practice that he's just lost ten pounds and has ten more to go.

There was a fight today during team drills. Devonta Freeman and undrafted free agent cornerback Kevin White came to blows. It was quickly resolved, but it's nice to see guys this -- to borrow a phrase from Dan Quinn -- fired up this early in the process.

Another day, another great Dan Quinn practice playlist. Today's playlist featured T.I.'s Whatever You Like (the clean version), ACDC's Thunderstruck, Run DMC's Tricky, Roll Out (My Business) by Ludacris, Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar on Me, James Brown's Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, and Jump by Kriss Kross, an indisputable classic, made another appearance.

After OTAs, I fielded some questions from readers on Twitter, and I ran out of time to answer them all, so I'm going to answer them here mailbag-style.

Texting and driving is a bad idea, and I certainly hope not. Please don't text and drive, Vic Beasley and everyone else.

The chemistry of the whole team is looking really solid. Connecting with players is something Quinn emphasizes consistently, and it seems the players are connecting well with each other, also.

The running backs look really good. That competition is going to be so much fun to watch this summer. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman have both impressed me, and it was fantastic to see Antone back on the field. As far as Justin Hardy, he has not stood out to me one way or the other, but receivers coach Terry Robiskie said after practice that Hardy is a little sore, so perhaps that's why.

I love that someone asked me what my favorite song was today. I'd have to go with Ice Cube's Check Yo Self from today's playlist. A close second would be Kanye's Can't Tell Me Nothin'. Of the rookies, I'd say Tevin Coleman impressed me the most today. He was a great pick, and this competition between Coleman and Devonta during training camp is going to be exciting.

You know, Quinn is more of an encourager and teacher. I haven't really seen him call out anyone or get on anyone for not doing what they're supposed to. It's more his style to make sure that the players understand what's expected of them and help them achieve that. It's not that he wouldn't get after a player if they weren't living up to expectations, but I think the players have all responded really well to his approach and thus it hasn't been necessary.

As far as Hageman, he spoke to the media after practice, and I was impressed by how much he seems to have matured. We'll have more on that later in the week.

It is incredibly different. From the pace to the intensity to the style of instruction, the entire atmosphere is different. And thanks for reading!

Roddy looks fantastic, actually. He looks healthy and he's going full speed and things seem to be going really well for him.

We should all ask @TheFalcoholic if the Falcons are going to sign him.

Share your questions about OTAs in the comments, and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.