What does excellence in OTAs really mean? It can be a harbinger of good things to come in the season ahead, but I'm not sure it's all that meaningful when a guy shows up, to use the old saw, "in the best shape of his life." Those are the lessons to be taken away from the first week of OTAs, which wrapped up on Thursday.
We gave it a day because there was a lot to talk about yesterday, but we always like to wrap up what we've learned after we've had a little time to digest, so let's do that now. In bulleted format, here's a quick look at what we learned from the first week of Falcons organized team activities, all filtered through the lens I just mentioned:
- Brooks Reed genuinely looks slimmer, faster, and better than he did at any point last year, per virtually everyone who has come in contact with Brooks Reed. He's going to have to fight for snaps with a lot of different players, which means his role is extremely unclear at the moment, but remember that Dan Quinn and company went out and signed Reed to the biggest free agent contract of the Falcons' spring in 2015 because they liked him. If he's truly faster and healthy, he should find himself firmly in the mix, but the question will continue to be where.
- Dan Quinn is not going to be afraid to move guys around, as we alluded to several times this spring. He's got Courtney Upshaw at defensive end, Brooks Reed at end and linebacker, Vic Beasley and linebacker, and Ra'Shede Hageman kicked out to end, to name a few, and all of those guys will rotate in and out of the lineup depending on the opponent and the situation. Having players on the field only when they're best suited to help the team is not a bad idea, quite obviously.
- Nobody got hurt! Grady Jarrett's injury is a mild concern going forward and we still don't know when we'll see Devin Hester and Chris Chester back on the field, but the Falcons remain relatively healthy. Let us hope they continue to do so.