The Falcons were in pads again today, and we saw some progress from some players and some struggles from others. It's still early, so don't panic, but there are definitely a few things to keep an eye on over the next few weeks, and especially as the team gets into preseason games.
After practice, Dan Quinn said the team got off to a slower start than he would have liked, which wasn't terribly surprising after a day off, but he was pleased with the way players picked it up as practice went on.
"We thought it was sloppy at times, certainly at the beginning," Quinn said. "We came back out after our little break there, and I liked our intensity for that one. Coming off a day off, I want to make sure the intensity is just right from the start. It didn't start exactly like we want, so that intensity picked up as practice went on."
- There's no way around it -- the offensive timing looks a bit off five days in. Matt Ryan threw a few picks today, and fans panicked. It's not time to panic, because guys are still learning routes and settling in, but I'd like to see the offense start to look more consistent soon.
- Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman continue to be bright spots even amid shaky offensive performances.
- Aldrick Robinson is someone to watch as the depth chart begins to take shape. He looks solid most of the time, and he could lock up that fourth spot behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy.
- The way Austin Hooper has settled in continues to impress, particularly after he missed minicamp. He has a really thorough understanding of the offense and his role in it, and despite a few little lapses here and there, which is totally expected, he's acclimated nicely
- The defense looks fast, and they look solid, and De'Vondre Campbell continues to stand out. He covers like a cornerback. It's actually fun to watch him drop into coverage. He also is taking good angles to the ball carrier on run plays. All in all, he's consistently impressive.
- Quinn always says this defense is going to be about the ball, and it's a sentiment the players echo, and today they really were about the ball. There were a couple of picks by Robert Alford and Ricardo Allen.
Julio Jones was back to full participation today after suffering a "tweak" of indeterminate origin on Day 1 that limited him through the first several days of camp.
After practice, Dan Quinn discussed the status of a few position battles.
After the four days we went back, took an evaluation of everything, and so for Chris Chester, Mike Person, Wes Schweitzer and all those guys have gotten reps at it. That process is going to continue again this week. It's going to continue again all the way through the preseason. So, it's a battle that we're looking forward to over the next couple of weeks. But I'm pleased with the first week I can tell you that.
We've been playing Poole at safety and nickel as well. He's done a nice job in the zone. We're going to keep forcing it on him to see where he can get to. With Van Dyke we've mostly concentrated on the outside stuff. He's also been a factor on special teams, and it's nice to see what he can do as a gunner on the punt team. He has great long speed and it's another part of his game that we are going to try to push to see where he can get to.
Also of note: I'll plan to answer your training camp questions on Facebook Live this Thursday at 8:30 p.m., so plan to tune in and ask your questions in the comments.