The Falcons continue to prepare for their third preseason game against the Jets in Atlanta on Thursday, August 15th. With training camp officially over, the team is now working on installs and getting guys into the preparation mindset, even if they’re still fielding 90 guys right now.
Notes - Tuesday, Aug. 13
- RB Kenjon Barner suffered an ankle injury on Monday and did not practice on Tuesday. He’s competing for a spot as a return specialist and running back.
- These players were off to the side working with trainers during practice: OG James Carpenter, LB Foye Oluokun, DT Ra’Shede Hageman and CB Taveze Calhoun
- WR Marcus Green was back in action today
- LB Deion Jones appeared to be going through the first team walkthrough on defense
Quotes - Tuesday, Aug. 13
- On what he wants to see on Thursday from special teams: We just want to make sure we’re covering. Last week in our punt return game, we didn’t get a lot of looks at it. I’m hopeful we get some chances to get some returns this week. We only had one punt return last week...hopefully we can play well enough that we can force a few punts to give our returners a chance to play.
- On what he wants to see from the offense: I’d like to see us function without having some of the fouls that are limiting some of the plays.
- On rotating guys on the defensive line: I’ve always felt for a long time that’s when you’re at your best when you’re able to play a lot of defensive linemen. You can keep attacking, keep going.
- On Luke Stocker and his flexibility at TE and FB: Certainly on a gameday it does. On the 46 compared to the 53, anytime there can be a person that can have more than one role, that’s a big deal.
- On RB Kenyon Barner: He’s had an excellent off-season. A third down back, the screen game. He’s been very sure handed in the returns.
- On LB Jermaine Grace: He and Matt Gono are ones that I thought, they put the work in, they developed and now we’re getting to see some of the unique stuff they both have. He can also guard backs. As you’re looking at third down and how to match up with people when you want to play man-to-man, you’re looking for players that have those kind of traits.
- On how much Matt Ryan will play: We’ll definitely get a little more for sure. The same goes with the line...It’s mostly by feel. I don’t generally tell the guys how much they go or how long they’re out.
- On Keanu Neal and telling him he wouldn’t play last week: None was madder last week than Keanu Neal. I was nervous telling him...I felt like I should have had some backup when I told him.
- On how the offensive install is coming along: It’s been good. We had some extra time at the beginning of training camp this year, which was good for us. We’ve kind of taken our time with the installs. Feeling like we’re getting to the end of it now.
- On connecting with Julio during practice: Connection’s good. It’s been good for him to get himself back to the point where he can run. It’s been a lot of hard work. He’s put in a lot of work to get to this point. He looked great the other day and he’ll continue to feel better.
- On Russell Gage: I think he’s a lot more comfortable in terms of all that we’re asking him to do. He wears a lot of different hats for our team. He’s a big special teams player for us. I think his role on offense will continue to increase as he continues to show that he can make plays. He just has such a better understanding of the offense, too. You can tell that when we break the huddle and he’s kind of shooting right to the spot he’s supposed to be. Route conversions, all those things are further along than they’ve been in the past. He continues to impress us every time he steps on the field.
- On Devonta Freeman: He’s looked great in practice. He’s got such great balance, but his ability to cut and then accelerate after cuts is what impresses me the most. I agree with Hugh, I think he looks great when he’s doing that.
- On Brian Hill: I think he’s hungry. You can tell that everyday he steps on the practice field there’s a real intent for him to get better. To me, that’s been really impressive to see. I think his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is something he’s greatly improved on. And you’ve seen that this preseason. In practice he’s been catching the ball extremely efficiently for us. And that’s a big part of what we ask our backs to do, is to make plays out of the backfield in the passing game, so he’s really improved there.