The Falcons were back at it on “Fast Friday” in Flowery Branch, Ga. today finalizing their preparations for the Vikings.
“So today for us on the Friday, a big time to finish our preparation, I was really pleased with the work that these guys put in together,” Quinn said after practice. “And that was really kind of the goal we set out at the beginning of the week when we started on Bonus Monday. So that part was big for us, preparation wise. Now you can trust it, because you put the work in.”
The Falcons will fly up to Minneapolis tomorrow, then they take on the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday. Here’s everything you need to know from Friday’s practice.
- Tackle Matt Gono did not participate with a back injury. He has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Quinn said that both Ty Sambrailo and Kaleb McGary will see playing time on Sunday, but he declined to confirm a starter for this week.
- Julio Jones started practice warming up solo off to the side, running the ladder drill. It looked like he was testing his ability to push off of the foot he had offseason surgery on. Jones did say Thursday that the foot was a little sore from working inside on the turf on Wednesday. The team worked inside on Thursday, also, but moved outside on Friday. Julio did participate in individual drills during the open portion of practice.
- James Carpenter will get the start at left guard on Sunday, which is probably good news for the run game.
Head coach Dan Quinn:
- On Jacob Tuioti-Mariner being the Teammate of the Week: “Jacob Tuioti-Mariner was our winner this week. He played offensive line, defensive line. You know (the Vikings have) got good defensive ends — I thought he gave a good look, man. He was trying to bring it every chance he could. So that’s one example of us getting one another ready, so I was appreciative for that.”
- On Kaleb McGary: “The thing about Kaleb, he really applied himself to work his butt off and come back. The physicality really showed, and he worked really hard this week to get ready. So we’ll play them both there.”
- On James Carpenter getting the starting nod: “I wouldn’t say from here on out (it’s Carpenter’s job). I think that’s always the competition — these guys are so close to battle for it. But James earned the right to do it, and so you’ve got to be true to the competition and we took it all the way through the end. So that can tell you how close these two are to call it, so they’ll keep battling for it.”
- On Julio’s contract: Well, I know people are working around the clock to get it right, and I’ve got great faith in that. Julio and I, our jobs are to do that — let the outside stuff stay there and our focus stay right toward the game, so that’s what he and I will do.
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter:
- On the start of the 2019 season: “Well, of course, everyone’s excited to get the season started. If you’re in this b business, this is what you’re in it for. You put in all the time in the offseason, all the hours, players doing their work, coaches doing their work — you can’t wait for the real thing to start. Practice games are over, and just seeing that game last night kind of gets your nerves rolling a little bit and seeing the situations. Fun time of year.”
- On Kaleb McGary’s development: “I think he’s grown a ton, going clear back to when he first got here, through OTAs. It’s unfortunate that he had the setback with the procedure, but Kaleb’s come a long way, and if his number’s called, then I’m sure he’ll be ready to go.”
- On his confidence in McGary: “I’m confident in every guy we’ve got. If they’re out there on the field, I’m confident in them.”
- On Julio Jones being ready to go: “I’ve met a lot of players in my life. I’ve been around a lot of players in my life. Julio Jones knows when he’s ready to play. He knows how to prepare for a game. He knows how to handle himself. So there’s no concern at all for me.”