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Everything you need to know about Falcons training camp

If you’re planning to attend any of the Falcons’ six open training camp practices this year, here’s what you can expect.

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

Last year was different from anything we’ve ever experienced as a nation and as sports fans. COVID dominated the news cycle, in-person events were disrupted, and everything changed.

Now, with about 60% of adults nationwide fully vaccinated, things aren’t fully back to normal, but we’re at least taking steps in that direction. That brings opportunities to watch the Falcons hit the field in person this summer.

The team announced Friday it will hold five open training camp practices at IBM Performance Field at the team’s training facility in Flowery Branch, Ga., and one open practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Below is that schedule:

  • Saturday, July 31 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, August 1 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 3 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 4 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 5 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 7 at 2 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Here’s everything you need to know to enjoy Falcons training camp this summer.

Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith will speak after the July 31 practice

I don’t know about you, but I am amped about this new regime. I can’t wait to hear what the Falcons’ new GM and head coach have to say about how the Falcons are shaping up under their leadership. Also on hand will be Freddie Falcon, the Falcons cheerleaders, and some unnamed Falcons legends.

No autographs this year

Yeah, it’s a bummer, but you can leave your memorabilia at home this year. Due to COVID protocols, there won’t be opportunities to interact with players and get autographs following practice. Maybe next year!

Georgia summers are very hot and very humid. Be prepared.

When I tell you I’ve never been hotter in my life than I’ve been at Falcons training camp over the years, it’s not hyperbole. Staying hydrated under that Georgia sun is work.

The Falcons will have food trucks and concessions available for fans to enjoy during open practices in Flowery Branch. Take advantage of that and drink as much water and/or Gatorade as you can. Wear cool, comfortable clothes and make sure you bring a hat or sunglasses and some sunscreen. If you have one of those little fan misters, this is the time to figure out where you’ve stashed it, because that’ll come in handy.

Get your tickets ASAP

We’ve all missed being out in the world actually doing things. I expect the turnout to be pretty phenomenal for the open practices this year for that reason. Tickets for the open practices in Flowery Branch are free and they’re available via this link. Tickets for the open practice at the Benz are $5 each, and you can buy those here. All of the proceeds from the open practice at the Benz will go to Emory Healthcare’s research and discovery programs.

Get there early and stake out a good spot on the hill

Gates open at 8:30 a.m. for the open practices in Flowery Branch. I like to sit about halfway up the hill, so I’m not too far from the field, but have enough height that I can actually see what’s happening. You’ll want to bring folding lawn chairs or a blanket to sit on (at least you will if you’re like me and absolutely cannot stand sitting directly on grass because you’re very allergic). You might want to bring along an umbrella, too, to give yourself some shade when needed.

What to look for during camp:

This is a little tricky, because with a new coaching staff, it’s going to take some time to get a feel for their approach. But you will be able to keep an eye on things like who’s getting first-team reps at various positions, how the rookies are getting up to speed, the chemistry the team is developing, and how the new coaching staff interacts with and teaches players.

What else do you want to know about Falcons training camp? Ask your questions in the comments.