The Falcons were in pads for the second consecutive day on Sunday, and what stood out was the intensity on the field.
During 11-on-11 drills, when a receiver would make a pre-snap shift and the defender would adjust, they both did it at full speed. Every play looked to be running at game speed.
It wasn’t just the speed that stood out to Dan Quinn.
“I was happy on the first day and looking back can we play really tough and be physical at the line of scrimmage with the run game and pass protection,” Quinn said. “Offensively, it’s all 11 the way we come off the ball. That’s the intent we’re looking for so I’m always trying to keep that in mind. Defensive line-wise, it’s all about penetration. When you can get that, that’s when the disruption happens.”
Here are some things we learned on Day 4.
1. Damontae Kazee is standing out in a good way.
Damontae Kazee added yet another interception on Sunday. Quinn had plenty of things to say about the rookie cornerback who is making the transition to free safety.
“We like doing that with guys who are tough, who are good tacklers, but maybe aren’t as long all the time,” Quinn said. “He’s a fantastic model and a guy who has made that transition. Not only is Ricardo Allen such a good teammate to bring him along, but he also can talk about some of the nuances along the way in that transition from corner to safety. We’re encouraged and we’re anxious to see what he can do on special teams. We feel like that’s a role for him as well.”
The rookie isn’t satisfied.
"I'd give myself a 'D' right now. I have a long way to go." - @Damontaekazee— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) July 30, 2017
(He already has multiple interceptions ) pic.twitter.com/uQFJ2wTp9B
2. Jalen Collins seems to be farther down the depth chart than expected.
A reader asked me about this on Twitter yesterday, so I did some digging. Collins didn’t get many reps on Sunday, and he was out there with third and fourth-team guys. Collins started for Desmond Trufant after Trufant went out with the shoulder injury last season, and Collins played well. I’m not sure why he’s not getting more first and second-team reps.
3. The right guard competition seems to be neck and neck.
Ben Garland, Wes Schweitzer and Sean Harlow are all getting reps at right guard, with Garland and Schweitzer getting the bulk of the first-team reps. It’s too close to call at this point.
4. Mohamed Sanu looks great.
Sanu is getting plenty of work with Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel limited. He’s making the most of it.
#Agent12 finding the end zone. pic.twitter.com/IcLE4CxJ7g— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) July 30, 2017
“I mean obviously you guys see the plays that he makes on the field, but it’s also the energy that he brings day to day on the practice field,” Matt Ryan said after practice. “He’s a high energy guy and guys feed off of it for sure. I know for me when he’s going and he’s talking with that big smile on his face, that positive energy is contagious. He’s been really good for us. He’s a leader for this football team and he does a great job with it.”
We’ll be back with more updates from training camp when the team returns to the field on Tuesday.