The promising group of 2018 Atlanta Falcons rookies are hitting the ground running for OTAs as of now, and team defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel likes what he sees so far.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was able to secure a brief nugget from Manuel, who promises this isn’t just coach speak when asked if any one player is standing out so far.
“I wouldn’t just say one,” Manuel said. “There’s a combination. All of these guys came in from the first meeting, these guys have been hungry. I’m not just giving you the playbook version of my answer. These guys have been hungry. They have been consistent. Guys coming by your office before they should, sometimes walking with their breakfast in their hands just ... to see the coach. Guys that are taking being a professional serious.”
You could take this is as a big bite of nothingburger fit for a summer afternoon, but the fact that Manuel made it a point to say “hey, I actually mean something here!” should...well...mean something.
It’s a nice early sign that this class is already coming in to learn and get better, which, y’know, they’ll certainly need in getting adjusted to what the NFL has waiting for them.
The bit about getting breakfast on-the-go just to have coach meetings sounds like overachieving at its finest, which is a good thing! Overachieve, young men! Go the extra-extra mile! It’ll help! To be honest, I’d love to sit down for a bowl of oatmeal with Keith Armstrong to talk about my blocking assignments, because oatmeal is delicious and blocking assignments are important.
From little snippets like this, we’re getting a good picture of the professionalism of these new guys, which will only help their effort to get on the field early in their careers. After a few misses in the “be a pro” department with higher draft picks in recent years, chalk it up as a big win that none of these guys look like bozos yet. In fact, they all seem to be pretty focused and impassioned to get to work right way.
So, back to your summering. Head back into the heat knowing the new Falcons rookies are already making a strong impression on the coaching staff.