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What to know for Falcons mandatory minicamp, which starts today

We’re edging closer to training camp and the season, thankfully.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons Rookie Minicamp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory minicamp starts today. The big milestones are still ahead of us, with training camp arriving sometime in July, preseason in August, and the season kicking off in September, which means we’re closer than it feels to actual Falcons football.

Because all these offseason mile markers can start to blend together, I put together a quick primer for mandatory minicamp and what’s beyond that. Gird your loins.

What is mandatory minicamp?

The first non-voluntary set of workouts this offseason for the Falcons, mandatory minicamp runs for three days from June 8-10. It will be followed by more OTAs, and eventually by training camp. Matt Haley at AtlantaFalcons.com wrote an excellent guide to phase 3 of the offseason program, which includes minicamp and a few OTAs after it has concluded. Then we’re just waiting for training camp.

At minicamp, the Falcons will be continuing to hone the work they’ve put in at OTAs, all with the aim of being as up to speed as possible when training camp and preseason arrive. This is a new coaching staff installing new schemes with a changed roster, so that work takes on extra importance in 2021.

As Haley writes:

After focusing on getting the terminology, alignment, and responsibilities down now it’s time to start focusing on clean execution. These practices won’t be full speed, but they’re designed to get everyone to the point where they’ll be able to operate at full speed when training camp starts in July.

When’s training camp?

We don’t know yet. The Falcons usually release a schedule sometime in June. The good news is that this year’s camp seems likely to be open to the public, so if you’re local and you want to, you’ll be able to go check out the new coaching staff and roster in action.

How about preseason?

That kicks off August 13 against the Titans, which will be pretty fun given that Arthur Smith gets a low-stakes crack at his old team, and will be pretty sad because we’ll see Julio Jones in a Titans uniform. There’s only three preseason games this year, mercifully.

Are we expecting any big news?

No, not really. As has been the case with OTAs, reporters from the AJC, ESPN, The Athletic, and local TV and radio will likely provide us some interesting updates on who is lining up with the starters (like Josh Andrews at left guard) and who looks good in the early going. We love to hear those tidbits, but the needle-moving stuff will probably wait until training camp.