As Atlanta Falcons veterans slowly trickle in to team headquarters in Flowery Branch, the franchise begins to peel back the layers of the 2020 season. Starting today, the team will conduct required COVID testing and virtual meetings for everyone on the squad.
Head coach Dan Quinn had his press conference to officially open up training camp for team. Here are key notes from the the virtual presser:
Quinn is overall impressed with the rookies and their ability to adjust to the current circumstances, which included a number of virtual meetings over the last few months with a lack of person-to-person interaction with coaches and staff.
Coaches will focus on stringing together situational concepts during practices to make up for the absence of preseason games.
Quinn gave credit to the NFL and the NFLPA for coming to an agreement to implement necessary policies in place in time for the training camp.
He did say the team had not decided whether to split the squad in half or cut down to 80 players.
Dan Quinn said there will be daily discussions about the roster. Didn't say if Falcons plan to cut to 80 immediately but doesn't like the idea of splitting things up and keeping rookies away from veterans.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 28, 2020
Quinn said that no Falcons players have tested positive for COVID-19 up to the start of the press conference. The daily testing will carry a significant emphasis as the offseason rolls along into the start of the regular season.
As expected, Quinn is optimistic about the current makeup of the team and the possible success the 2020 season may bring and stated that the team will “have to go prove it.”
Quinn expects to filter through a number of masks while on the field during practices.
"Wearing our mask? That's our seatbelt."— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) July 28, 2020
When it comes to new procedures and policies, DQ says it's all about discipline. It has to be a collective effort for everyone to be disciplined at all times to make this work.
Quinn said there are no exceptions for the team’s quarterback. Matt Ryan will not be isolated from the team during this phase of training camp and will undergo proper protocols for COVID-19 testing.
Matt Ryan won't be kept isolated from the team, Dan Quinn says. "That's not Matt, that's not us." Says following guidelines will be the most important thing.— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) July 28, 2020
So far, no player has told Quinn they intend to opt out of playing this season. That’s not the case for others teams, with the Patriots already losing multiple players who have opted out, for example.
Dan Quinn said he hasn’t had any discussions with players about potentially opting out for the 2020 season due to COVID-19.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) July 28, 2020
Overall, it was a positive press conference for a team that seems to be in good shape at the moment. Let’s hope it stays that way.