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Isaiah Oliver, Calvin Ridley among the Falcons managing to get together to practice in a pandemic

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You have to imagine every bit of this will help when the season arrives.

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Falcons’ virtual offseason program is in full swing at the moment, and it’s been interesting to hear scraps and tidbits about how that program is going. We know the Falcons have been providing guidance and in some cases equipment, but obviously it’s been a tough substitute for actually having everyone together.

Still, as the pandemic has rolled on and players have figured out ways to get together, albeit on a limited basis. Earlier this week, Isaiah Oliver told local media that he was getting in practice with two of the team’s top receivers, with Damontae Kazee joining him as well.

I highlight this not because Oliver and company are alone—Hayden Hurst has talked about driving up from Florida to work out with Matt Ryan multiple times—but because it’s nice to see the initiative from players who will be counted on to take the leap in 2020. Oliver has much to prove after an up-and-down 2019 but is pretty much locked in as a starter, while Ridley and Gage in particular will be counted on to have breakout years to keep this offense humming. Practicing against one another—particularly for Oliver against Ridley and Gage—is only going to help when we get closer to the season.

We’ll keep passing along these stories as we see them, because hey, it’s nice to feel encouraged about something.