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Falcons Training Camp: 8/3/09


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Daniel Cox

Atlanta Falcons Examiner

Atlanta Falcons: Sights and Sounds of Camp: 8/3/09

August 3, 10:52 PM

A practice in pads always promises a pop.

Monday's morning Atlanta Falcons training camp practice was open to the public and though there were fewer fans than the crowds over the weekend, crowds that many said were the largest they'd seen, the players clearly enjoyed putting on a show.

The crunch of pads sounded nice to the fans, thirsty for contact, however light it was, but Coach Smith cautioned after practice that the first days can sometimes be the easiest. The true test of a team's grit will come later, when their arms are sore and the rigors of two-a-days set in.

Smith pointed to Wednesday, the third day of pads, as to the measure of what his team is made of.

Veteran safety Erik Coleman echoed his coach's sentiments, saying that's when the character of your team is created.

Rookie hazing

An NFL team's hazing of its rookies isn't talked about much any more. Some say it hardly happens and certainly not like it once did, but others believe things still happen behind closed doors. The rites of passage most often associated with rookies and the NFL is the carrying of a veteran's luggage on road trips. That service also extends to helmet and pads at training camp. Rookie defensive end Lawrence Sidbury was seen carrying his pads, but also those of fellow end and five-year veteran Chauncey Davis.

Coaching intensity

If you pay close enough attention you'll witness coaching occurring everywhere at training camp. During defensive tackle and offensive lineman drills, Jonathan Babineaux spent face time with his fellow tackles, specifically face mask-to-face mask to make sure they got the message. First-round pick Peria Jerry didn't ignore what Babineaux had to say.

However, the true intensity came from the coaches. The message they're preaching is to play through the whistle and sometimes beyond it. Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder, unhappy with the effort of one of the members of his secondary, looked him square in the eyes as he let him know it didn't go unnoticed.

But Van Gorder wasn't all criticism. He gave an animated thumbs up late in the afternoon practice to his second-year safety Thomas DeCoud for his hustle. Incidentally, three days into camp the 2009 third-round pick is looking very impressive. He's getting his hands on balls, showing good quickness, understanding his role, and in general seems comfortable on the field.

Special tandem in the making

When asked about the relationship of the 2008 rookie class, rookie cornerback Chris Owens laughed and said "I've heard those guys are really close."

Watching them practice you realize it's true. They are quick to congratulate each other and they all carry themselves with a confidence that can only be gained through knowing they were a part of last year's success.

But the relationship that stands out the most is between Harry Douglas and Matt Ryan. There are a lot of reasons for it. Similar age. They play positions that are dependent on each other. Same rookie class.

As they were preparing to stretch in the afternoon, Douglas shared a high-five with Ryan that was more clownish than congratulatory. That mood was light and the two of them seemed to enjoy the others company.

Ryan also enjoys Douglas' hands. Whether it's because of holdout Roddy White's absence or by design, Ryan looks to the former Louisville receiver often. He doesn't let his quarterback down often. The play of Harry Douglas six practices into training camp has stood out considerably. On a practice-to-practice basis the 24-year-old wideout is doing something to light up the eyes of his teammates.

http://www.examiner.com/x-1778-Atlanta-Fal...ds-of-camp-8309

High intensity first practice with pads for Atlanta Falcons

August 3, 1:41 PM

Mike Peterson said he'd been looking forward to this day.

If the first day of camp is Head Coach Mike Smith's favorite day, the first day of pads in camp is possibly the players' favorite day.

With a clear sky above and the sun beating down, the Falcons went through a morning practice that was as intense as it was hot.

"I thought our guys worked hard," Smith said. "It's probably the toughest practice that we'll have. These padded practices are long. There's a lot of hitting going on and I thought our guys handled it really well today."

After a weekend of warming up, everything turned up a notch Monday morning.

The coaches yelled louder, the whistles more frequent, and the players' on-field hollering was strong.

In the words of Smith, the practice was spirited.

"The first practice in pads should be. The big key for us will be Wednesday when we have our third day of padded practices," said Smith following the morning practice.

The coaches didn't lack spirit either, using this practice to step up their emotions as well. At one point Brian Van Gorder issued a warning to his players.

"I need competing guys," the defensive coordinator screamed following a moment in practice when he felt some of his unit weren't giving 100 percent.

For the veterans, they know a practice like this is necessary and needs to come early. It helps shake off the cobwebs and gets the juices flowing. As has been the case over the last few days of practice, the young, rebuilt defense was following the lead of its newly acquired leader, linebacker Peterson. Practices like Monday's are second nature to players like the 11-year veteran.

"To play this game you can only play it one way," Peterson said. "I think that's one of the reasons I was brought here, to instill that in the young guys. To let them know you can only play this game, and play this defense, one way and that's with a lot of energy and high intensity."

Erik Coleman, in his second year with the Falcons, is another one of the players trying to set the tone early. He believes tough practices help shape a team.

"It's always nice the first day with pads because there's a lot of popping and energy going on," said Coleman. "That's when you start building the character of your team and how tough you are."

He said this as beads of sweat collected on his forehead, running lines down his face. His voice was hoarse, strained from being a coach on the practice field.

Despite all that, he looked and sounded like a man ready to do it all over again. If guys like Peterson and Coleman are the players Atlanta's young defense chooses to follow, they just might be in good hands.

http://www.examiner.com/x-1778-Atlanta-Fal...Atlanta-Falcons

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Daniel Cox

Atlanta Falcons Examiner

Atlanta Falcons: Sights and Sounds of Camp: 8/3/09

August 3, 10:52 PM

Despite all that, he looked and sounded like a man ready to do it all over again. If guys like Peterson and Coleman are the players Atlanta's young defense chooses to follow, they just might be in good hands.

http://www.examiner.com/x-1778-Atlanta-Fal...Atlanta-Falcons

thanks bra H yea i love this post good read

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Who the **** is Daniel Cox and why do you always point out that he's the one who wrote the article?

"Daniel Cox is an Atlanta-based freelance sports writer. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Daniel provides an independent look at the Atlanta Falcons."

Since I'm posting articles on this message board written by someone else and not myself, I give credit where credit is due. Daniel Cox has become one of my favorite writers concerning Atlanta Falcons football. His articles are well researched, well written, and provide valuable insights not found elsewhere.

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theProf Posted Today, 02:18 PM

"Daniel Cox is an Atlanta-based freelance sports writer. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Daniel provides an independent look at the Atlanta Falcons."

Since I'm posting articles on this message board written by someone else and not myself, I give credit where credit is due. Daniel Cox has become one of my favorite writers concerning Atlanta Falcons football. His articles are well researched, well written, and provide valuable insights not found elsewhere.

Here, here, I have posted several of his articles and find him to be the most insightful writer among the guys who cover the Falcons.

Of course I really don't know why I would explain this to someone who has a sig(see David TTU) which states that the US Army is so easy that a "cave man" could do it. As a veteran of the US Army and a few conflicts I take offense to this sig and I hope that upon the outset of the next one that the Army drafts your behind and puts you on the front line so you can be up close and personal and see how **** easy it is.

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"Daniel Cox is an Atlanta-based freelance sports writer. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Daniel provides an independent look at the Atlanta Falcons."

Since I'm posting articles on this message board written by someone else and not myself, I give credit where credit is due. Daniel Cox has become one of my favorite writers concerning Atlanta Falcons football. His articles are well researched, well written, and provide valuable insights not found elsewhere.

X2. Thanks for posting...

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Here, here, I have posted several of his articles and find him to be the most insightful writer among the guys who cover the Falcons.

Of course I really don't know why I would explain this to someone who has a sig(see David TTU) which states that the US Army is so easy that a "cave man" could do it. As a veteran of the US Army and a few conflicts I take offense to this sig and I hope that upon the outset of the next one that the Army drafts your behind and puts you on the front line so you can be up close and personal and see how **** easy it is.

First I commend anyone who has served in our country's armed services. Individuals who risk their lives for our freedoms and liberty need to be honored, rather than ridiculed. Therefore, I understand why you took offense at the particular poster's sig. Perhaps that poster will reconsider how demeaning his sig actually is, and will remove or change it.

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theProf Posted Today, 06:47 PM

First I commend anyone who has served in our country's armed services. Individuals who risk their lives for our freedoms and liberty need to be honored, rather than ridiculed. Therefore, I understand why you took offense at the particular poster's sig. Perhaps that poster will reconsider how demeaning his sig actually is, and will remove or change it.

Thanks Prof, I always enjoy your post, like me you generally post articles regarding the Falcons instead of getting into infantile debates of if Matt Ryan should negotiate Roddy Whites contract or not. :wacko: But when I see something like that and probably from someone who lives with his Mommy, it just burns me up because I have seen great men fight and die in the service of this country protecting the rights of people like him.

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Here, here, I have posted several of his articles and find him to be the most insightful writer among the guys who cover the Falcons.

Of course I really don't know why I would explain this to someone who has a sig(see David TTU) which states that the US Army is so easy that a "cave man" could do it. As a veteran of the US Army and a few conflicts I take offense to this sig and I hope that upon the outset of the next one that the Army drafts your behind and puts you on the front line so you can be up close and personal and see how **** easy it is.

An 18 year old 100 lb girl with absolutely no training whatsoever could join the Army tomorrow. Therefore, it's easy. Thank you, come again. Considering that most of the people in the Army are in the bottom quarter of their high school classes, I can't imagine that what they are doing is that hard to learn.

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Thanks Prof, I always enjoy your post, like me you generally post articles regarding the Falcons instead of getting into infantile debates of if Matt Ryan should negotiate Roddy Whites contract or not. :wacko: But when I see something like that and probably from someone who lives with his Mommy, it just burns me up because I have seen great men fight and die in the service of this country protecting the rights of people like him.

I don't live with my "Mommy". I live in Austin, TX, one of the most educated and well-to-do cities in the country with my fiance. You live in one of the least educated cities in the country (Valdosta, GA). My best friend just got back from his third stint in Iraq and he gets a laugh at the sig. In fact, he said "the **** is easy, everyone over there is a ******* redneck, nothing we do is hard, they just have to find people like us willing to do it. I bet it was someone in the Army who came up with that pic anyway."

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Thanks Prof, I always enjoy your post, like me you generally post articles regarding the Falcons instead of getting into infantile debates of if Matt Ryan should negotiate Roddy Whites contract or not. :wacko: But when I see something like that and probably from someone who lives with his Mommy, it just burns me up because I have seen great men fight and die in the service of this country protecting the rights of people like him.

And no one in the Army right now is protecting "my rights", as no one has declared war on us. We are over there on the offensive, not the defensive, therefore nothing of mine is being protected, something that belongs to someone else is being taken away. Big difference.

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