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Falcons Training Camp 2015: Sean Renfree takes second team reps

After fighting for a Falcons win on Friday night with the third team, Sean Renfree got more second team reps today.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons took the practice field in pads today to work on correcting the issues they saw on film after Friday night's win over the Titans. There was plenty of positive news on the injury front, as Dave noted earlier, as Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Brooks Reed, Cliff Matthews, and Devin Hester all returned to the field in full pads today. They all had a limited workload, as expected, but it's excellent progress nonetheless.

Antone Smith was out today, obviously, as he's recovering from a hamstring injury suffered during Friday night's game, and Desmond Trufant was also out with the shoulder strain from last week.

One thing that was really noticeable today was the second team offense working against the first team defense and vice versa. This gives the coaching staff the ability to better evaluate players' ability and also pushes those second team units to improve.


  • WR Nick Williams, who stood out in Friday's game, actually got some work with the first team offense today.
  • The starting o-line was the same lineup as last week's. Jonathan Asamoah and Mike Person were running with the second team.
  • Matt Ryan looks really good in play action situations. There was a play in 11-on-11s today where the defense maintained coverage and Ryan had to extend the play with his legs. Obviously, the defense isn't allowed to hit Ryan, which was a factor, but Ryan looked really comfortable extending the play and then hitting new running back Evan Royster on a short pass.
  • Julio Jones had one Matt Ryan pass go right through his hands when it was pouring rain, but he also hauled in a one-handed sideline catch a few minutes later.
  • Sean Renfree seemed to get more second team work today.


  • With Desmond Trufant out today, Robert Alford took some snaps in the nickel while Phillip Adams and Kevin White got first team looks outside.
  • Ricardo Allen is really developing confidence at free safety. He's a good fit for this physical scheme. In one-on-ones against Levine Toilolo, who is 11 inches taller than Allen, Allen was aggressive enough to break up the pass. There haven't been many passes during camp that Toilolo hasn't hauled in, which made Allen's coverage more impressive.

Fan Questions

Adams has been excellent throughout minicamp/OTAs and training camp, and the coaching staff has rewarded him with plenty of first team opportunities.

This coaching staff likes to evaluate guys in different roles to try to get a sense of each player's particular skill set and how they can best use their talents to help the team win.

Oh, definitely.

I didn't eat breakfast. I woke up super-late this morning and ran out of time. Please do not follow my bad example. Breakfast is important.

Renfree looked really good. He looks poised and confident. It will be really interesting to see who works with the second team in Friday's game.

Yeah, I am actually starting to think I may have been wrong about Asamoah getting his starting role back. Quinn did say after practice that the team will continue to evaluate different offensive line combinations, so it's something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks, but they seem pretty settled on the starting five for now.

The running game is always going to look better in practice because the team limits contact even in padded practices. This coaching staff emphasizes protecting the team, so they're not hitting at full speed or anything. I do think getting Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman back will help, but I was concerned about run blocking in Friday's game. Let's hope we see improvement on that front this week.

Quinn always says there's room for improvement in every aspect of the game, and players seem to buy into that as well. I'd say the run game is certainly an area the team will focus on improving.

Alford can easily transition to nickel if that's what the team decides is best for him. He looked fine.

I think Joplo Bartu has a reasonable shot at the final 53. He definitely has special teams value and could be effective as a rotational player.

Reed was limited to individual drills as far as I could tell, so it's hard to really assess his performance. I'll keep an eye on him as the team expands his workload.

They practice play action quite a bit, and what's interesting to me is that all three quarterbacks are pretty adept at it. I need to re-watch Friday's game this afternoon, but in real time, I felt like Yates looked best in play action scenarios. I'm really impressed with how Ryan looks running play action.

Williams has actually been solid throughout training camp, and I know he caught a lot of fans' eyes on Friday night. He looked good running with the first team. It's a big difference having Matt Ryan throw you the ball as opposed to Yates or Renfree, so it's nice that he's getting the opportunity to showcase his talent.

It's hard to know, but based on first team reps today, I'd say Williams has at least. The problem is that WR is such a crowded position. I think Devin Hester and Eric Weems have shown enough to warrant spots on the 53, but one of those guys may be cut and one of these guys might stick if the team carries six receivers.

I truly don't think so, but Royster did get to run a little with the first team today. I think he'll get a fair shot to compete for a role.

Dan Quinn wouldn't tolerate any decrease in intensity! The team was still fast and physical today.

You're definitely not alone. I saw several people suggest this was a factor. I felt like it was mostly on Justin Hardy, but I haven't re-watched the game yet.

I could see Akeem King locking up a spot on the final 53. I believe the team will stash Jake Rodgers on the practice squad, but I could be wrong. Both guys are coming along nicely.

I'm really starting to think Toilolo is the TE2. He has improved dramatically.

Hester was back at practice today.

Ward was underwhelming Friday night, but so was the blocking. He got plenty of first team work today and looked good.

The first team center competition seems to be primarily between Joe Hawley and Mike Person. I think they like Stone at guard and as a backup center, potentially.

There's plenty of competition. Eric Weems, Robert Alford, Nick Williams, Bernard Reedy and others have all gotten shots to return kicks and punts.

There were no noticeable changes to what the team does on the field to warm up and stretch, but they may have made changes behind the scenes with the athletic performance staff, so it's hard to know.

Okay, this whole Q&A has become the @j_playz show and I only answered about half the questions he sent me. Starr has really improved, and it showed on the field on Friday, I thought. This scheme is a good fit for him. He's using his speed intelligently.

I did not, though I was aware he was here.

I think it's just a normal hamstring injury. He'll probably miss as much time as Freeman and Coleman have.

Have questions about camp? Ask them in the comments!