Organized team activities don't feature a lot of notable drills, obvious depth chart tells, or any live contact. What you learn from them is basically who might play where, and that's what we picked up from the first day at Flowery Branch this year.
Upshaw at DE
Quinn said he'll experiment with Courtney Upshaw at defensive end now because he knows Upshaw can play SAm— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) May 23, 2016
Hey, I kinda predicted this! Upshaw is big and good against the run, and could certainly relieve (or start over) Ra'Shede Hageman at defensive end in a pinch. The Falcons appear to have a little bit of a playing time logjam looming at both defensive end and linebacker, so the more versatile a player is, the better the chances are that he'll carve out a role. Keep an eye on Upshaw.
Chester Out, Person In
7 quick takes from the first day of #Atlanta #Falcons first OTA session. https://t.co/RHpqlqRFSu— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) May 23, 2016
I've had a heard time shaking the feeling that the team is not in love with Mike Person this offseason, but maybe I'm wrong. He showed enough as a blocker last year to at least hold on to a roster spot, and with Chris Chester recovering from offseason surgery, he was installed as the starter at right guard for at least this session. Guard's one of the most crowded positions on the roster and there's a few guys duking it out for those backup gigs, but Person certainly will have an experience-based edge, at the very least.
Slim Brooks Reed
If you're a professional athlete and you sign a sizable contract to go start somewhere else, and you are both injured and lousy in your first season of that contract, one would hope you'd be motivated heading into the second year. Looks like Brooks Reed is.
"The quickness jumped out to me," Quinn said of Reed. "It started all the way back in his offseason preparation when I saw him doing drill work. You can tell he worked extremely hard through this offseason to put his best foot forward. We are also moving him some to the LEO spot, so all of that versatility will pay off. He’s off to a great start, he looks great."
I'm dubious about Brooks Reed's ability to rush the passer effectively, but he's at least decent at it, and the Falcons are trying a lot of things out. I'll reserve judgement and hope he delivers.
We'll be monitoring the second day today, so stay tuned form ore reports. What stood out for you from the first day?