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Putting the right amount of stock in Falcons training camp

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Don’t worry too much about a bad day for the offense. Do worry about a bad couple of weeks.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Training Camp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

As Jeanna Thomas will recount in more detail later today, the Falcons had kind of a rough day on offense. There were drops, most notably by new receiver Mohamed Sanu, and Matt Ryan tossed up a few picks along the way. That doesn’t mean you should start panicking about the offense, though.

One of the toughest balances to strike when you’re following training camp is sorting out what truly matters from what doesn’t matter. Given that position battles are at stake here and we’re all looking for genuine improvement, you can’t just dismiss bad days (and especially not bad weeks).

Take Sanu, a man who has already proven to be divisive for Falcons fans. We’ve heard a lot about his rapport with Matt Ryan early, and his potentially strong fit in the offense. He had multiple drops on Friday, though, and that’s going to spark genuine concern about how he’s going to fare this year, even if we all know better than to put too much into one practice.

So do this: Keep an eye on these kinds of lousy days and ratchet up your concern accordingly if Sanu starts dropping passes left and right, or if Ryan looks rusty and throws a ton of picks in practice, or especially if you see those things happening in preseason. These are all warmups and only mean so much, but as we’ve learned from years past, you can’t ignore warning signs that endure.

In other words, keep up and care, but don’t start really worrying unless these issues are persistent and crop up in the preseason games.