Falcons: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - Printable Version
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10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - atljbo - 06-24-2011 12:47 PM
10 things we learned from Camp Exile
Buford — The Falcons wrapped up their unofficial offseason program with the closing of “Camp Exile” on Wednesday.
During the NFL Lockout they tried to a normal offseason as quarterback Matt Ryan led the organized team activities.
In a surprise move, rookie Julio Jones was a regular at the practices after he was medically cleared from his foot surgery.
The Falcons, with between 20 to 35 players at the practices, actually went a week longer than what would have been allowed under league rules.
Here are the 10 things we learned from the practices:
1. Jones should be ready to go: After the last practice, Jones spent some extra time on the field running routes before he went over to Ryan’s house for sandwiches and some chalk talk.
They have been meeting away from the field since Jones was drafted.
“He’s taken me under his wings,” Jones said. “He’s let me come over his house to go over material that I don’t have in my playbook. Everything has been great.”
Jones said they study some of the finer nuances of the Falcons’ passing attack.
“We are just going over different material that I don’t have and I’m learning like that.” Jones said.
The Falcons’ offensive attack is not foreign to Jones.
“I recognize everything,” Jones said. “It’s the same pro-set that we ran at Alabama. Matt and all of the other guys, the other receivers, are helping me out as well.”
Jones and linebacker Akeem Dent were the only members of the rookie class to attend the seven-on-seven drills. Now, they must wait until the lockout is over to sign their deals and report for camp.
Jones went pretty hard during the workouts, but admitted that he guarded against injury. There were no major injuries during the practices, although reserve wide receiver Tim Buckley did tweak an ankle in a collision.
“Everybody knows how to practice out here,” Jones said. “This is the professional level. Nobody is going to do anything crazy and try to hurt anyone else. If the cornerback has position on me, I’m not going to jump up out here. I’m just going to let him get the ball and help him get better. I don’t want to push him, fall down and roll our ankles or something like that.”
2. Matt Ryan is the unquestioned leader: Ryan is about to enter his fourth year in the NFL and it’s clear that he’s the leader of the Falcons.
He organized the workouts, came up with the schedule and got input from the key veterans.
He also kept tabs on the players who were working out on their own, too.
3. Curtis Lofton has a whistle: Lofton came with a defensive script and thoroughly enjoyed calling the defenses.
He has to work on his coaching voice to become the next Brian VanGorder.
4. Offensive line might be in good shape: Although the offensive linemen don’t play a key role in seven-on-seven drills, Joe Hawley and Garrett Reynolds were at nearly all of the practices. Mike Johnson was also a regular.
They all could be competing for starting jobs if Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock leave in free agency.
5. Shann Schillinger is recovering: The backup safety suffered a fractured ankle in the 15th game of the season. He took part in two of the practices.
“I’m getting closer and closer everyday,” Schillinger said. “I can start getting into more football related drills now. Hopefully, things will progress here in the next couple of weeks.”
Schillinger said he was at 85 percent healthy. He was limping some on Wednesday while playing free safety.
“I was cautious with it,” Schillinger said. “It was good to come out and move around a little bit. It was good to get back on the field.”
6. Franks maybe ready to challenge: Cornerback Dominique Franks, a fifth round pick in 2010, was a regular at the practices.
Franks was clearly more comfortable back pedaling and making his breaks on the ball. He could be ready from some action.
7. Roddy White is not a cornerback: One of the delights was watching White play cornerback during the last practice.
He bit on Michael Palmer’s inside move and gave up a sideline route before falling down.
The All-Pro receiver is not going to be a two-way player anytime soon.
8. Palmer’s has some nice hands: Palmer, the Parkview High and Clemson product, was a regular and received a lot of work.
Tony Gonzalez did not make any of the sessions and Justin Peelle and Robbie Agnone made a few practices, but for the most part it was the “Michael Palmer Show” at tight end.
He caught nearly every pass thrown his way.
9. Harry Douglas is fully recovered: He battled back from knee surgery last season.
At the NFL scouting combine, head coach Mike Smith noted that it could take an extra year to fully recover from major knee surgery.
Douglas was a regular, ran extremely well and showed that explosiveness he displayed as a rookie.
With Jones on board, and the recovery of Kerry Meier, the wide receiver position is stacked.
10. Free agents flow: You have to respect linebacker Stephen Nicholas, kicker Matt Bryant, and linebacker Mike Peterson, who all made some practices despite the fact they are free agents. Nicholas was a regular.
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - papachaz - 06-24-2011 01:44 PM
nice read Jbo, thanks! I have good expectations for Palmer, to hear he caught everything thrown at his is good news.
Also nice to see Franks name mentioned positively. he's been called lazy....i'm remembering a former FIRST round pick we wondered about work ethic, whether he was gonna get it and play up to his potential, or just take it all for granted and not make the effort to make it as a pro.....
then the light came on and Roddy is now one of the best in the game. Not comparing White and Franks, other than, how many of us were ready to give up on RW after a couple of years?
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - phocis850 - 06-24-2011 05:03 PM
Very nice article. Really, it looks like Ryan and the guys don't want to lose any time.
We know what we have. We know that we are close. The guys know this and it's great to hear things going so well.
Will be interesting when/if the lockout ends and where the coaches rank the workouts and how each team did without help.
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - Nuccah - 06-24-2011 05:04 PM
(06-24-2011 01:44 PM)papachaz Wrote: Also nice to see Franks name mentioned positively. he's been called lazy.I've never heard of Franks being labeled as lazy. In fact, CBS Sports has his intangibles being high because of good worth ethic and character.
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - papachaz - 06-24-2011 07:16 PM
(06-24-2011 05:04 PM)Nuccah Wrote: I've never heard of Franks being labeled as lazy. In fact, CBS Sports has his intangibles being high because of good worth ethic and character.
a particular member here, who is friends with one of the players wives, has posted that word was franks was lazy and might not even make the team this year. of course this person also posted that williemo was dumb as dirt..... but either way, this person has posted a lot of stuff about players, and a lot of it turned out to true, not all, but some of it.
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - Radical - 06-24-2011 08:57 PM
(06-24-2011 07:16 PM)papachaz Wrote: a particular member here, who is friends with one of the players wives, has posted that word was franks was lazy and might not even make the team this year. of course this person also posted that williemo was dumb as dirt..... but either way, this person has posted a lot of stuff about players, and a lot of it turned out to true, not all, but some of it.
She posted that William Moore has had a hard time grasping our defensive playbook, and has had a hard time calling the sets for our secondary. Concerning Franks, all I remember her saying is that he wasn't what the FO thought it was getting, mostly relating to his special teams ability.
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - papachaz - 06-24-2011 09:39 PM
(06-24-2011 08:57 PM)Radical Wrote: She posted that William Moore has had a hard time grasping our defensive playbook, and has had a hard time calling the sets for our secondary. Concerning Franks, all I remember her saying is that he wasn't what the FO thought it was getting, mostly relating to his special teams ability.
ok here's the one with her saying franks is lazy, i'm looking for the williemo dumb as dirt one....
it's in the thread julio jones not running in workouts, post 41, her responding to me specifically asking about some of the players, franks being one of them:
"What I've heard: Everybody is really just waiting for the lockout to end to really get to talking about whats really gonna happen so I dont really know any of that stuff yet, plus I have a new job so I cant always be around anymore. But here is all I have heard...
Franks... Lazy! But will probably get another shot since this whole lockout thing is still lingering. JN...Rumor has it his time has run out.
Finn....was cut! but is was at the workouts keeping in shape incase he gets picked up, plus he knows all the plays so they need him to teach the other guys.
Linebackers drama...who will we keep? Most say Wire stays b/c he is a locker room guy. Nicholas is out and so is Peterson. Not sold on Peterson leaving but depending on how this thing goes, its possible b/c everyone LOVES & believes in Spoon
Who's at workouts?
Linebackers...Lofton, Peterson, Dent, Nicholas, Spoon, Atkins, & Wire
Secondary...Grimes was there, and he got a new agent (CAA) so u already know he is tryna get PAID! I hope they pay him, he deserves it. No sign of Robinson in workouts yet but Bush, Franks, Owens, Decoud, Moore and Schillinger were all present. (Shill not running yet).
Receivers...Douglas, Agnone, Jenkins, Strickland, Harvey & Buckley
Backs...Mughelli, Smith, Johnson
Linemen...I cant tell u anything about them. Lol " and i'm not knocking her at all, i did say she's given us a lot of info, some right, some wrong....
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - atljbo - 06-24-2011 09:47 PM
I see us bringing back Peterson... Peterson said the guys in charge told him they want him back
Its going to be interesting to see what happens to our LB group... Will Adkins get a chance to become a 3rd down LB if Nic walks ?
Pat from espn said we was working on a deal with Grimes during the season... He is a RFA but either way.. He is not going any where... We will resign him.
I'm glad to hear HD and Franks doing their thing... I honestly think Franks would have been a 2nd round pick this year if he went back to school.... Good value pick at the time.
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - papachaz - 06-24-2011 10:01 PM
(06-24-2011 09:47 PM)atljbo Wrote: I see us bringing back Peterson... Peterson said the guys in charge told him they want him back
i think you're probably right about peterson, with the lockout and all the usual workouts being lost, he'd be valuable to bring back for a while if not for the whole year. he's a good leader, and could certainly fill the role of player/coach
RE: 10 things we learned from Camp Exile (ajc) - Paprika Neck - 06-25-2011 12:33 PM
dent some heads