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Falcons Team Report


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Falcons Team Report

Yahoo! Sports - Jun 6, 1:40 am EDT

The Falcons' dynamic wide receiver duo of Julio Jones and Roddy White was back together for the second open OTA session.

White was a no-show for the voluntary OTAs last week.

White and Jones combined to catch 171 passes for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.

Jones was absolutely dazzling in the NFC Championship Game as he caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. He broke the franchise record for playoff receiving yards in a game, set by Alfred Jenkins in the 1980 season (155 yards), and tied White's team record for receptions in a playoff game.

Falcons coach Mike Smith believes the two players can improve on last season.

"I think they can continue to get better," Smith said. "The guy that's distributing the ball is going to be better. Julio is going to be a more polished player. Harry (Douglas) continues to mature and of course what Roddy has done, he has a long track record.

"They haven't reached their ceiling and I think it gives us an opportunity to distribute the ball to a number of different players," Smith said.

Jones believes it's possible that they could improve on the stellar 2012 campaign.

"We are always trying to get better," Jones said. "Every day when we practice we are competing against each other."

Jones believes that the wide receivers can also help the defense improve.

"We have young cornerbacks and we have to just keep going out there and playing our ball and make them come up to our level," Jones said. "That will make us an overall better team."

Jones, who's set to enter his third season, can relate with the young defensive backs.

"It's all about it becoming second nature to them," Jones said. "Just keep working on it and don't get down on yourself."

Smith was pleased that White was on hand.

"It was great to have Roddy here," Smith said. "We all know what Roddy means to this football team. He's a playmaker. He's a mentor to a lot of these young guys, so it's good to have Roddy here."

Notes, Quotes

  • Rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant and tight end Levine Toilolo were not present because their schools, Washington and Stanford, have not graduated.
    Veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez and cornerback Asante Samuel did not attend the voluntary session.
  • Much has been made of the size of the offensive linemen the Falcons have signed over the offseason. The personnel department notes that they don't have a linemen under 300 pounds on the roster.
    "I don't know if that means a lot," offensive line coach Paul Dunn said. "I know that there are a lot of under 300-pound guys that are sitting in Canton, Ohio, right now. Maybe this is the way the game is going. I don't necessarily know that you need to be a certain size or framework or body makeup, but they are bigger guys."
  • The Falcons are at the halfway point of their 10 OTAs. They will conclude on Friday, June 14.
    "I really like the way that the guys have been working," Smith said. "It's been very competitive through the first half of the OTAs. There are some positions that are more competitive than others. With the offensive line, I really like the competition that we have there. There are some young guys that really have learned our scheme that we feel like are going to be able to contribute and help us. Those are probably the two biggest highlights."
  • Falcons coach Mike Smith doesn't believe the league rule to place cameras in the locker room during pregame will be too intrusive.
    "I don't know that anybody would want to see what really goes on in our locker room before the game, but I know that we are, as the home team, I believe it's a league policy that we're going to have to make it available and we will," Smith said. "We'll follow the guidelines that the league has in place."

Quote To Note:

"Both of those guys have considerable playing experience. Peter (Konz) has 10 starts under his belt. Joe (Hawley) has quite a few starts under his belt. Both have considerable starts, but they don't have as many starts as (Jeff) Van Note and (Todd) McClure did. When you look at that, that combines for maybe three-fourths of the franchise history. Now, if one of those guys will develop into another Van Note or a McClure, then the franchise will be in pretty good hands for the next 17 or 18 years."

—Offensive line coach Paul Dunn on the battle for the starting center position.

Strategy and Personell

Phillipkeith Manley was one of the surprise stories of last season as he made the 53-man roster.

He was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo and impressed the coaches with his physical brand of smash-mouth blocking once they put on the pads.

But instead of competing for the starting right guard spot, Manley, who returned to the offseason program overweight, is in a fight with himself to retain a spot on the roster.

Manley, who wouldn't reveal his weight, is listed at 6-5 and 309 pounds. He clearly weighs at least 30 pounds more than his listed weight.

He's spending extra time with the strength and conditioning trainers in the Falcons' athletic performance department and is consulting with a nutritionist in order to save his once promising career.

"He's really coming around as far as that aspect of it," offensive line coach Paul Dunn said. "He needs to get himself to where he's working not only in competition with some of the other players, but he's also working in competition with himself to get himself down to a good playing weight."

Manley knows that he has placed himself in a tough situation.

"I came in a little bit heavier than I did last year," Manley said. "I've already lost about 20 pounds or so. I'm still confident."

Franchise Player:

None.

Transition Player:

None.

Unrestricted Free Agents

(not tendered offers)

  • FB Mike Cox (not tendered as UFA).
  • S Chris Hope (not tendered as UFA).
  • LB Mike Peterson (not tendered as UFA).

Restricted Free Agents:

None.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents:

None.

Draft Choices Signed

  • DE Malliciah Goodman (4/127): $2.55M/4 yrs, $397,000 SB.
  • TE Levine Toilolo (4/133): $2.46M/4 yrs, $300,584 SB.
  • DE Stansly Maponga (5/153): $2.34M/4 yrs, $186,740 SB.
  • S Kemal Ishmael (7/243): $2.2M/4 yrs, $45,896 SB.
  • S Zeke Motta (7/244): $2.2M/4 yrs, $45,896 SB.

Players Re-signed

  • T Sam Baker: UFA; $41.5M/6 yrs, $18.25M guaranteed.
  • TE Tony Gonzalez: UFA; $14M/2 yrs, $3.5M SB.
  • S William Moore: Potential UFA; $29.512M/5 yrs, $8.25M SB/$14M guaranteed.
  • G Garrett Reynolds: Potential UFA; $2.58M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB/$700,000 guaranteed.
  • RB Antone Smith: Potential RFA; $1.425M/2 yrs, $65,000 SB.

Players Acquired

  • FB Patrick DiMarco: FA Chiefs; terms unknown.
  • RB Steven Jackson: UFA Rams; $12M/3 yrs, $3.5M SB/$4M guaranteed.
  • DE Osi Umenyiora: UFA Giants; $8.5M/3 yrs, $2.5M SB/$5M guaranteed.

Players Lost

  • DE John Abraham (released).
  • T Tyson Clabo (released/post-June 1 designation).
  • CB Brent Grimes: UFA Dolphins; $5M/1 yr, $2.25M SB/$3M guaranteed.
  • C Todd McClure (UFA; retired).
  • QB Luke McCown: UFA Saints; 1 yr, terms unknown.
  • WR Kerry Meier (released).
  • CB Christopher Owens: UFA Browns; $1M/1 yr.
  • TE Michael Palmer: Not tendered as RFA/Giants; terms unknown.
  • CB Dunta Robinson (released.
  • DE Lawrence Sidbury: UFA Colts; terms unknown.
  • OT Will Svitek: UFA Patriots; 1 yr, terms unknown.
  • RB Michael Turner (released/failed physical).
  • DT Vance Walker: UFA Raiders; $1.3M/1 yr.

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Such a dumb thing they added.

Falcons coach Mike Smith doesn't believe the league rule to place cameras in the locker room during pregame will be too intrusive.

"I don't know that anybody would want to see what really goes on in our locker room before the game, but I know that we are, as the home team, I believe it's a league policy that we're going to have to make it available and we will," Smith said. "We'll follow the guidelines that the league has in place."

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The scary thing for opposing teams is the fact that it usually "clicks" in the third year for wrs...... Julio is entering his 3rd year.

I mean the guy caught 10 tds passes as a second year player..........we could see 15 or 16 tds this year.

I want to see a lot more of these. More plays that utilize his speed. Just let him try and take it to the house.

jonestd.gif

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The scary thing for opposing teams is the fact that it usually "clicks" in the third year for wrs...... Julio is entering his 3rd year.

I mean the guy caught 10 tds passes as a second year player..........we could see 15 or 16 tds this year.

idk he will more than 12 and thats a push too many options on the team

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