The Falcons were back at Flowery Branch on Monday morning for another day spent getting ready for the 2019 season.
The team has put plenty of focus on two-minute situations, and Monday was no different. Quinn said after practice that the team will emphasize red zone work on Tuesday morning. Tuesday evening’s work will focus on preparing specifically for this week’s preseason opponent, the Miami Dolphins.
Here’s everything you need to know from Monday’s training camp practice.
Aug. 5 Notes
- Deion Jones, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley are still working their way back onto the field for full practice.
- DeVondre Campbell looked good in coverage against Austin Hooper on a few plays. Hooper also got quite a few targets from Matt Ryan.
- Speaking of Matts, Matt Simms is back on the roster following the injury Kurt Benkert suffered in Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game. Simms looked surprisingly comfortable. He obviously spent two seasons here, most recently in 2016, but a lot has changed since then. Still, he has a familiarity with the formations and many of his teammates, which will help him settle in.
- Jamon Brown is getting first-team snaps consistently at left guard with James Carpenter sidelined with an injury. Quinn said after practice that we’ll get an update on Carpenter on Tuesday. He was scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
- It looked like Brown also left practice, but Quinn was unaware of any injury to the guard. He said he thought offensive line coach Chris Morgan may have just been rotating different guys in to get snaps. That’s good news, considering the Falcons really can’t afford to lose another lineman.
- There’s a ton of chatter from the defense in full team drills, and I saw a lot of pre-snap movement on that side of the ball on Monday.
- Toward the end of practice when the Falcons were doing two-minute work, the clock expired, and the team started tossing backward passes to keep it alive. Matt Ryan eventually got the ball and threw a forward pass, which was funny, but he honestly may have done it on purpose to move on to the next try.
Aug. 5 Quotes
- On Calvin Ridley: “I think he’s worked really hard on getting stronger with his hands. He’s always had good hands, but in this league, there are so many contested catches and so many times that people are going to be hanging on you or trying to chop through your arms, and he’s worked really hard on being stronger through the catch, and that’s been a huge point of emphasis.”
- On Brian Hill’s game on Thursday: “I think you look at a young guy like Brian Hill, how much he’s improved since he first got here to now and the way that he played the other night was impressive, so it’s always encouraging to see these young guys get their first opportunity of the year or their first opportunity in the NFL and to see them improve and go out there and cut it loose is fun.”
- On how Matt Simms fits into the QB room: “We spent two years with Matt. I spent 2015 with him in the room. He was here with Matt Schaub and I in 2016. I think the room changes a little bit in that you have a different person in here, but in all honesty, it’s really their job as a three or four or whatever to fit into the room. The room and the culture of that room is set by myself and our quarterback coach, the experience that Matt Schaub has. So it doesn’t change all that much. Matt fits in really well with us and has done a great job in all of the time that he’s been here.”
- On Jake Matthews’ preparation: “He’s a guy that’s gotten a little bit better every year that he’s been here, and that’s impressive, because he was super-talented when he got here and played well for us right away. But he’s just continued to work at it. He’s relentless when it comes to his training, preparation, film study, practice habits on the field. There’s nobody — probably nobody in the building who’s as consistent as he is when it comes to taking care of his business. He sets the standard for it.”
- On making the most of the team being gassed: “In the two-minute at the end, had a foul — a false start — to say, that’s the time the hyper-focus becomes the most important. So I brought the guys up. They were gassed, tired. This is the exact time that you want to go in two minutes. So we made it really challenging for them, really difficult, and then go into a two-minute. Those are the times when you could lose focus, so I thought it was a good time for them. We really pushed it today to see if we could get them into that two-minute gassed, and they did a good job working through.”
- On the RB depth chart being far from settled: “Brian (Hill) has definitely come full circle in catching the ball, so I would say that would be, to me, a big one. Both of them had shown the propensity for big plays. (Qadree) Ollison actually had quite a few long runs in college. But we want to see the downhill runs because of his size where he can get his shoulder down to get the yard. So it’s not just that short yardage, but the second-and-3 run that gets the first, not just on the third-and-1. So we’re looking forward to him and all he can do on special teams in that role.”
- On the plan for the rest of the preseason: “So the first game, to me, was kind of like a bonus game for all the rookies. And now for the guys who have been more veteran players, their preseason game and exhibition season begins, so it’s like Game 1. And so generally a small amount, second game, a little more, third game, a little more. So you go into blocks to ramp up the conditioning, ramp up the play. And so some of the guys will get a small amount, as they would in a normal Game 1.”
- On spending additional time with Vic Beasley: “I think he and Takk and AC specifically, I spend a lot of time with the three of them. We’ve worked hard in the individual skill set piece to carry it over into the team sessions, and then we go back through and say, OK, what do we want to apply here? And I like their feedback as well. We’ve studied a lot, we’ve been pushing good to get our conditioning right. So much of pass rushing is about the finish … so when we get chances to demonstrate that, you don’t get to do it to the QB, but you’d better find moments to do it. He’s definitely had some place in this camp that he’s been difficult to block off the edge.”
Practice begins at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, so keep an eye out for updates.