The Falcons were back at it on Saturday after a day off on Friday. Saturday was another padded practice, and the intensity was high.
Saturday was the largest crowd I’ve seen at camp thus far. It’s what I expected, given that it was the first weekend practice of training camp and the weather was nearly perfect. Dan Quinn said after practice that the crowd helped the players keep that intensity up throughout practice.
Here are the notes and quotes from Day 5.
Day 5 notes
- In today’s episode of Keeping Up with the Joneses, we’ve got nothing new to report. Julio was in pads today, but continued to work off to the side with Deion instead of participating in full team drills. There have been no updates to that 10 to 14-day timetable, but we’ll keep you posted if that changes.
- Calvin Ridley and Duke Riley both did not participate in practice. Ridley has some soreness in his hamstring. Riley is dealing with a groin and hip flexor issue. Both guys are day-to-day and neither injury is expected to keep them out long term.
- Takk McKinley was not at practice. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure learned that McKinley was excused for personal reasons.
- Russell Gage was already getting plenty of first-team reps, and with Ridley and Julio out, he was featured consistently with the 1s again on Saturday and lived up to the challenge.
- Ty Sambrailo had a rough day. Both Vic Beasley (who had maybe his best game as a pro against Sambrailo when Sambrailo was with the Broncos during the 2016 season) and John Cominsky got the better of him on Saturday.
- Kaleb McGary still needs some development, but he’s looking pretty solid as a run blocker. He plays hard through the whistle and definitely brings the attitude you want to see in an offensive lineman.
- We already know Mohamed Sanu can catch, and we know that he can throw the ball. He can also make field goals, apparently. Sanu is a national treasure.
- Another day, another Damontae Kazee pick. It was a pretty one, too.
- The team had a full NFL officiating crew there refereeing 11-on-11s.
- We got our first look at Allen Bailey today. Obviously he’ll have a learning curve just coming in now, but he did not seem to be lagging behind at all in practice.
- John Cominsky got quite a bit of first-team work today.
- Finally, a PSA: If you go to training camp, PLEASE DO NOT EVER DO THIS FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS SACRED AND HOLY.
You probably want to make sure Matt Ryan’s looking directly at you before tossing him a ball to sign. Falcons don’t need him on IR with an eye injury or something. pic.twitter.com/wfRCSU31Pu— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 27, 2019
Day 5 quotes
On today’s practice: “So today, obviously, was a big red zone push, and we did almost exclusively our move the ball, red zone work. Then we did a two-minute at the end of the game in the red zone, and then we flipped the scenario to work a four-minute at the end of the game and working time outs, the calls we feature in those spaces. So today had so many situations.”
On the fan presence: “There’s nothing like that connection, so hearing them yell and have fun does make practice even more fun.”
On what to expect tomorrow and Monday: “Tomorrow, we’ll split the team up into two and we’ll have a good first-half scrimmage — a bunch of scenarios and situations that will come up, and then we’ll kind of get into the same format the next day, but go through the second half possibly into some overtime and some scenarios that would come up.”
On Kaleb McGary: “As far as the rookies go, first, to start off, Kaleb (McGary) at tackle really pushing Ty (Sambrailo) in a close fight, in a close battle. All the things that go on in the first install, he was able to handle very well. And that’s a testament to the work he put in over the summer to get right and get ready.”
On Chris Lindstrom: “I think the urgency that he plays with just always seems to be the thing that jumps out (at) me. Any time you can go against somebody and have a good fight against Grady or something, yeah, it can build and breed some confidence knowing, OK, that’s what it looks like at its best, that’s what it feels like. So having those moments, different guys to go against, I think it’s only helpful for him.”
On Saturday’s practice: “We wanted to make sure that after the day off, every day we get on this field, we’re trying to go at it, and that’s what we did. The offense came out early and they were striking, and we started off in the red zone, and they were doing pretty good, And then we came back at two minutes as a defense and started fighting on, and we just keep working over situations over and over. But it’s feeling really good.”
On his Achilles: “I haven’t been thinking about it. It’s different when you’re coming from just training by yourself, just training with the trainers and stuff, and you’re telling yourself to plant or you’re telling yourself to break. But once you start getting plays out there, you start reacting off of other people, you can’t time that up in your head. If you’re that good, man — I wish I was that good to be able to tell myself to break much before then, but my body’s just naturally going with it. And I’m feeling good, man. My soreness is really minimal, so it’s making me feel confident with it, and I’m just going. I’m taking it for what it is. I’m not gonna hold back. Y’all know me — the way I do anything is the way I do everything. I’m a full-speed kind of guy.”
On training camp so far: “It’s been amazing. It’s just such a great feeling to be a part of this organization and every day getting better together as an offensive line and as a team and as a unit, and just being able to gel with these guys has been really incredible. A lot of fun, and just learning so much. If you’re a player and you love football, you just love being a part of this. It’s special.”
On facing Grady Jarrett: “Coach always talks about iron sharpening iron, and there’s no better way to get better as a player than playing a guy like that, who’s one of the top players at that position that I’m going to be going against every day. So it’s really fun and it’s great because there’s so much that I’m learning, and I have to be better and have to try to be perfect on every play to block a guy like him.”
On not wanting to be the “annoying new guy”: “The biggest challenge has been still being kind of one of the new guys and trying to do everything you can to come together with the old guys and learn without being a pest. The rookies, we’re starting to figure things out. But we’re nowhere near the vets, so we’re trying to catch up, so we bother them all the time. And they’re really cool about helping, but you don’t want to be that annoying new guy, you know what I mean? But that’s been awesome. They’ve done a really good job of helping the young guys and just coming together with us.”
On the speed of the game: “It’s slowed down a little bit. It’s still obviously very fast. Very, very fast. (Laughs) It’s starting to slow down a little, thankfully.”
The Falcoholic won’t have anyone at camp on Sunday, but we’ll still have plenty of takes and analysis right here for you.