The team shook up their approach to practice today, running through some different drills early on. One thing didn't change -- practice remained fast and physical.
Ryan Schraeder, who suffered a strain of some sort during yesterday's practice, was back on the field today.
- The Falcons have a lot of depth at receiver, and it's going to be interesting to see which players secure roster spots with so many guys making a strong case right now. Leonard Hankerson, who impressed throughout OTAs and minicamp and stood out on day one of training camp, had another solid showing today. Hankerson tracks the ball really well and does a good job of receiving with his hands as opposed to using his body to make catches.
- Eric Weems had a reallly good day, pulling in seemingly everything that was thrown his way, including a nice sideline catch.
- 2014 fan favorite Bernard Reedy had a really impressive contested catch. He had to really work for it, but clearly Reedy can be both fast and physical.
- I saw Justin Hardy pull in one really nice catch. The rookie is definitely coming along.
- Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman continue to battle it out to determine which player will get the heavier workload during the season. Both players took some first team snaps today. Dan Quinn said after practice that they intend to get players like Coleman first team reps because it will give the coaching staff a better idea of what they're capable of achieving.
- Undrafted free agent running back Terron Ward broke off a long run, weaving through the defense for a big gain.
- T.J. Yates did not have a good day. He looked uncomfortable in the pocket and throws were inaccurate. Sean Renfree, on the other hand, looked pretty comfortable. He had particularly good chemistry with Weems.
- Jacob Tamme continued to impress, and Levine Toilolo had a couple of nice catches.
- David Walker was at practice with me today, and he will have a closer look at the offensive line's performance in today's practice, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
- This secondary should be much improved. Desmond Trufant had a really good day today, including an interception on a ball intended for Julio Jones. Trufant said after practice that, on that particular play, he saw where the ball was going and anticipated the route and jumped it. It paid off for him.
- Phillip Allen stood out again today. He has really good instincts in coverage and good timing.
- Ricardo Allen continues to take first-team reps at free safety, and he really seems to have a good grasp on the position. Both Trufant and Dan Quinn praised Allen's efforts off the field to ease his transition to the new position.
- Vic Beasley's technique is really coming along. I like what I saw from him today in terms of what he's doing with his hands. His burst off the line is remarkable.
I like this new scheme a lot. It's very simple, and I think just the simple fact that guys aren't thinking through complex plays on every down is allowing them to just execute. Players all seem to be settling in well.
It's hard to gauge linebacker performance without contact because that's such a big part of that unit being effective. They look pretty prepared against the run in particular. They're also really attacking the ball.
We'll have a better idea during preseason and padded practices, but as long as these guys stay healthy, they're looking like solid additions.
Yes. I am all the way fired up for the season. Let's say 11.
Sure. I think this Julio guy may have a future in the league. He's pretty good.
@jeannathomas Stone showed more functional strength last yr. What is Hawley doing to separate himself as starter?— Stuart (@stucifer) August 1, 2015
Stone may have the edge in functional strength, and I like Stone a lot. I think he filled in admirably last season, and he's a smart guy and a hard worker. However, Hawley is really athletic, and that's a good fit for the zone blocking scheme. Thankfully, Hawley appears to be moving around pretty comfortably on that knee.
I think this will be practice number five, it's just a few days away.
Ask your training camp questions in the comments, and if you were there yesterday or today, share your take on camp.