We got an update on James Carpenter after practice, we learned about what the Falcons’ plan is for getting ready for Thursday, and more on Tuesday. Here’s everything you need to know from Tuesday’s practice.
Aug. 6 notes
- The Falcons were in shorts and helmets today. That makes it more challenging to evaluate both lines because contact is so limited.
- Roddy White graced the Falcons’ sideline with his presence today. Between seeing Roddy and Julio hanging out on the sideline to seeing Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey coaching up on the offense on the field, it did feel a bit like time travel.
- To add to the throwback vibe, legendary Falcons linebacker and legendary dad of Grady Jarrett Jessie Tuggle, was also on hand.
- Monday marked five years since the premiere of the Falcons’ Hard Knocks season. This popped up in my Facebook memories on Monday.
That photo reminded me of what it was like to watch Freeman during his first NFL training camp after being selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. What stood out about Freeman then was his vision on the field, and that vision also was on display in today’s practice.
- The other running backs have looked good, too. Brian Hill, Ito Smith, and Qadree Ollison all had nice plays during camp today, both as receivers and on the ground. I didn’t notice anything specific from Kenjon Barner, but he’s flashed at other times during camp, and his return skills add a beneficial wrinkle.
- Dan Quinn said that eight to 10 players will sit out Thursday’s game, but the rest of the roster will play at least some snaps. If I had to guess, the 10 most likely to sit are James Carpenter, Julio Jones, Deion Jones, Calvin Ridley, Duke Riley, Foye Oluokun, Kaleb McGary, Desmond Trufant, Ra’Shede Hageman, and Marcus Green. Everyone but McGary has been working through some level of rehab for various injuries. McGary, of course, is not yet cleared to return following a minimally invasive heart procedure.
- Speaking of McGary, he was at practice watching his teammates, which is an encouraging sign.
- James Carpenter does not have a timetable to return, according to Quinn, but it’s not expected to keep him sidelined long-term.
- There were reports Monday that Jamon Brown may have been injured, but he was back out there today getting first-team reps in Carpenter’s stead.
Aug. 6 quotes
- On how the team has performed through training camp: “A couple of things I noticed from this block, as you’re going to recap, I thought defensively, a good awareness for the ball. We’re going to keep working hard on that. You’ve heard me talk about communication — we’ve had more guys mic’d up. They’re going to be in the meeting room today — what was the communication? What did it sound like? And so we’re kind of going through each of the markers.”
- On who’s standing out among the young players: “I’m going to kind of call the rookies and maybe some guys who are going into Year 2 but haven’t had game experience — I’m putting those all under the same group. That could be 30 guys in that space. Matt Gono is one that’s jumped out to me. We’ve given him a lot of reps. He’s played both tackle and guard, and so to see the development he’s made in a year, he’s really somebody that’s coming on and doing good things. Brian Hill would be another one of that group of guys who had that moving in from Year 1 to Year 2. From the entire rookie class, I’d say it’s probably too early to tell. The same guys who flashed some things in last week’s game, I’m excited to see them do more and more.”
- On Chris Lindstrom: “Chris had limited snaps (on Thursday), maybe somewhere — eight to 10, somewhere in that space. But what you saw in practice, you saw in the game. The quickness, the urgency to get out. I thought his first job was really good — a couple of finishes in a limited amount.”
- On John Cominsky: “What I liked about John, it was teams-related, defense-related. And he showed he could play within the scheme. We moved him at defensive tackle, defensive end, over a guard, outside over a tight end. So those things and showing that kind of versatility, I think it’s pretty rare for a guy who’s in the 280s to run like he does. Like there’s a 285-pounder on punt and on kickoff, that’s not normal. So the fact that he can, we’re going to give him the opportunity to do that.”
- On his training camp experience in general: “Another opportunity to get better for me. It’s been fun watching the young guys get better every week. So I’m looking forward … to this week, to get better, and play Falcons football, going out there and competing — just seeing what they got and see what guys can help us throughout and possibly during the season.”
- On his advice to the young players: “Don’t let one game determine who you are or one play determine who you are. Just get the next play, and once you have that mentality and that attitude, just play the next play, play the next play, and you do put your best foot forward, your best effort forward, you’ll be pleased with the outcome of the game. So that’s my message to them, and they’ve been practicing really, really well here, so hopefully they can turn it on in the game as well, not only just out on the practice field.”
- On this stacked Falcons offense: “With the weapons we have on offense, we just need to line up and just beat people, because we’re really talented all around the board, from the running backs, quarterbacks, to the line, wide receivers, tight ends. If we can just line up and just find the best matchup and just work them. We don’t have to trick anybody. You’re gonna know where I’m at on the field, you’re gonna know where Mo’s at, you’re gonna know where guys are at. You’ve just gotta stop us.”
- On his health and mindset heading into the season: That’s the ultimate goal is to go into the season healthy. That’s really the main thing. You don’t want to go into the season with a nagging injury or anything like that, where it’s hindering you, and your mind is somewhere else. I’m going into the season clear-minded, ready to play, ready to ball. I can help the team out.
- On rookie DB Jordan Miller: “Him, since Day 1, he told me — he pulled me to the side one day, and he was like, I want to cover you. I want to get better. So for him to even have that mentality is very impressive.”