In just more than two hours the Falcons take the field for the first real “practice” of 2010 — a mini camp workout in Flowery Branch to knock off some rust and start laying the foundation for the pre- and regular-season.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions with the first snaps on mini camp Friday but let’s, for just a moment, look strategically at what the Falcons will do over the next three days.
- What’s the gut feeling? The Falcons aren’t in pads during mini camp so some drills just won’t have the same “pop” as they will later this summer. How do you judge production if you come out Saturday or see a few highlights? Simple. Gut. It’s pretty easy to tell when the team is in sync.
- Does the offense pick up from early 2009? Remember the 45-10 win at San Francisco last season? Remember Michael Turner ripping through defenses in November? Remember Turner’s injury? Ryan’s? Harvey Dahl’s? With healthy bodies, keep an early eye on what the offense can do. Let your imagination run wild.
- What is the health of the team? Fans need not panic about players being held out of mini camp, reported to include Jonathan Babineaux and William Moore. Others could also miss some practice time in the three-day stretch. This is no time to risk further injury or rush a rehab. The word is “precaution” and it sometimes gets a bad reputation. In other words, don’t panic.
- What are the position battles? Good question, but don’t expect to see much in the way of spots won or lost in mini camp. The Falcons have young players that will get a chance to work their magic — particularly on the defensive line with Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury — but a depth chart is a long way off.
- Is chemistry getting stronger? People underestimate it, but consider for a moment this is the third year in a row the Falcons have had a mini camp with Head Coach Mike Smith in May. Outside of a few changes, the coaching staff and system has been the same. The roster changed dramatically from 2007 to 2008 but not as much from 2008 to now. Consistency sets precedence.
MORE ON MINI CAMP:
- ROSTERS: Click here for the updated Falcons roster
- PRINTABLE ROSTERS: Alphabetical (PDF) | Numerical (PDF) | Position (PDF)
- DRAFT: Click here for 2010 Draft coverage from AF.com
- HOMEPAGE: Mini camp information and news archive
- FAQ: Common questions about attending Mini Camp
- DIRECTIONS: Info and directions to Flowery Branch
- TWITTER: Updates on weather if necessary during mini camp