This has not been a happy year for many of us, for reasons that range from COVID-19 to economic woes that have impacted most people in this country to a miserably hot summer. It may be that the NFL season ahead—if not just the Falcons season ahead—will hold more miseries for us all, and we’re only weeks away from knowing if that will be the case or not.
With that in mind, I think it’s time to step back and appreciate what August is bringing us: Non-stop happy reports about the Falcons we know and love. With no preseason games to intrude on our little dreamland and more reports and highlights being filtered through the team thanks to COVID-19 restrictions on media at practices, all we’re hearing about players who were great a year ago and players who disappointed is a series of glowing things.
I mean, look:
Dan Quinn: Chris Lindstrom is off to a hell of a start. #Falcons— Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey) August 19, 2020
One of the guys really impressing the team so far has been defensive lineman John Cominsky just with his overall improvement from his stance to his rush ability inside.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) August 19, 2020
Hayden Hurst is expected to be another vertical threat for the Falcons this season. “A lot of guys don’t understand how quickly I can move around ... I’m able to use my size to box those guys out and make those big boy catches.” https://t.co/A1AlpZwZck— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) August 19, 2020
There are so many more of these, from A.J. Terrell (legitimately) impressing by sticking with Julio Jones and making plays on the ball to Isaiah Oliver standing out in his battle for a starting job at corner. You could pull up Twitter, search Falcons, and scroll for a good 30 minutes just basking in reports that indicate every player who isn’t injured looks terrific and is in contention for an expanded role. It’s fun.
It’s obviously not entirely accurate, however. There’s no guarantee that Lindstrom, Cominsky, Hurst, and the promising rookie class are all going to be gangbusters and this team is going to go 13-3, beating the Saints by a combined score of 200-10. But besides the height of free agency and the draft, when hopes can run as high as you let them, this is the time of year where it’s possible to pretend every good thing really is going to happen. It helps that this really does look like a more talented, cohesive team on paper than it did a year ago, even if I can’t help but fret about the quality veterans lost to free agency.
We’ll butt up against reality soon enough, as the season gets closer and we either get to see a full year of the Falcons in all their infuriating glory or a truncated year. Right now, I suggest you turn off that ever-present skepticism, enjoy the fact that this Falcons team looks great on the practice field, and find a little glimmer of happiness in a very dumb year.