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Wrapping Up Falcons' Report Day


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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons moved one step closer to Friday's opening day of training camp as the veterans reported Thursday.

. But at least center Joe Hawley pulled into the lot, fulfilling his promise when team mascot Freddie Falcon asked who was coming to camp this year.

The Falcons' media relations department said all the veterans reported, while all the rookies reported Tuesday. Here's a quick wrap-up of the few players that stopped to talk to the media.

  • Defensive tackle Corey Peters, who begins camp on the physically unable to perform list following last year's Achilles' tear, continues to target the season opener against New Orleans (Sept. 7) for his return. Peters isn't expected to do much in the preseason, even when cleared to practice. But he hopes not to start the regular season on the PUP list, which would sideline him for the first six weeks of the season. "I'm excited about it. I'm very optimistic about everything," Peters said. "Hopefully as the days move forward, we'll be closer to getting back on the field." Peters suffered the injury in a Dec. 23 loss at San Francisco last year. He did some light jogging toward the end of minicamp.
  • Wide receiver Drew Davis, also on the training camp PUP list after undergoing foot surgery, doesn't look like he'll be ready to start the season. His left foot was in a walking boot as he scooted his way into the training camp quarters. Davis was placed on the PUP list July 5 after having the procedure following some discomfort. Coach Mike Smith initially called it as six-week injury, which would have put Davis back on the field for at least the last two preseason games. But there is a concern about Davis' availability to start the season. He was not available to talk to reporters Thursday.
  • Defensive tackle Peria Jerry is entering a critical stretch. The former first-round pick hasn't played up to expectations and appears to be on the roster bubble, with players such as Paul Soliai, Tyson Jackson, and rookie Ra'Shede Hageman now in fold. Jerry suffered another setback last season with a knee sprain, but he seems to be beyond that injury. "I feel real good, real confident with myself," Jerry said. "You've got to go out each and every year and try to prove yourself. You know, we're just going to see what happens."
  • Newcomer Josh Wilson is ready to compete for the nickelback position against Robert McClain and Javier Arenas. "I think that every time we have a chance, everything is competitive out here," Wilson said. During minicamp, Wilson did a lot of playful jawing with receiver Harry Douglas, so we'll see if that continues with the cameras from HBO's "Hard Knocks" rolling throughout camp.
  • Running back/special-teamer Josh Vaughan and safety Kemal Ishmael were among the other veterans spotted on report day. ... Pass-rusher Stansly Maponga also was hanging around inside the building. ... Roddy White eventually showed up to sign his four-year contract extension. ... Rookie right tackle Jake Matthews made a cameo appearance on his way to sign autographs.

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Five questions for reporting Falcons vets

The Atlanta Falcons move closer to the start of Friday's training camp with the veterans set to report on Thursday. Media access to those players will take place from 1-2 p.m.

Here are five questions regarding the vets in preparation for camp:

1. How much does Steven Jackson have left in the tank? The veteran running back just turned 31 on Tuesday and enters his 11th NFL season. The Falcons would be happy to get one more good year out of him. Jackson averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry last season, but he suffered an early season hamstring injury and ran behind a pathetic offensive line. A revamped front five and a renewed emphasis on the run should help Jackson's cause. He never appears to be out of shape and has a little added motivation with rookie Devonta Freeman now in the mix.

2. How will Julio Jones react to his first real contact? Of course everyone is wondering how Jones will respond coming off a second surgery on his right foot. He looked ready to go this offseason while performing drills and running routes on a side field. Folks will breathe easier when Jones actually leaps into the air and lands on his foot without hesitation. The Falcons won't push him too hard at first, but you can bet Jones will try to push himself to the limit to show there are no lingering concerns.

3. Can Sam Baker's left knee hold up for an entire season? We will see. Baker didn't take any days off this offseason while returning from a major knee surgery. At first glance, he didn't seem to favor the knee. But apparently, he did experience just a tad bit of soreness when the team practiced indoors. If Baker remains healthy, the Falcons have full confidence in him being the left tackle he was during the 2012 season. If he doesn't, then we might see rookie Jake Matthews on the left side.

4. Will Lamar Holmes step up his game? He has to, or he might find himself on the outside looking in. Holmes did not impress this offseason as he moved to a backup role. He started 15 games last season on an offensive line that struggled miserably. Still, the Falcons believed in his potential. He might be running out of chances, however. In all fairness, Holmes did deal with a death in the family this offseason, so you never know how that affected him. He has to regain his focus and show himself capable of contributing, possibly as the swing tackle, although Ryan Schraeder looks like a better candidate for that job.

5. Will Jonathan Massaquoi establish himself as the team's go-to pass-rusher? It would be nice if he did. He has been touted as the guy who will emerge as the best of the bunch, but the most noise we heard from Massaquoi this offseason related to his skirmishes with Baker. The Falcons won't find a quality pass-rusher on the street at this stage, even after cuts. So it is up to Massaquoi to show he can get to the quarterback consistently. The exhibitions and joint practices against the Texans and Titans should reveal more about what to expect from Massaquoi

.

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5. Will Jonathan Massaquoi establish himself as the team's go-to pass-rusher? It would be nice if he did. He has been touted as the guy who will emerge as the best of the bunch, but the most noise we heard from Massaquoi this offseason related to his skirmishes with Baker. The Falcons won't find a quality pass-rusher on the street at this stage, even after cuts. So it is up to Massaquoi to show he can get to the quarterback consistently. The exhibitions and joint practices against the Texans and Titans should reveal more about what to expect from Massaquoi

.

Fingers crossed!

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I felt it when it was reported Davis wouldn't be ready by the start of the season. Hope these rookies are as good as has been said

If our run game is 08 level we can trot out Roddy, HD, and Hester and I know Ryan will eat off play action...just pound that **** rock

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I just don't think Holmes makes it out of camp :{

Kinda starting to get that feeling too. Really thought he would've upped his game after being thrown in the negative spotlight after last season. The writer seems unimpressed. I'll wait for preseason to start passing judgement though.

Edited by dawgsfan426
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Man, what a ****** situation for Corey Peters. The kid has turned into a quality player and then suffers a major injury in Week 16 of a lost season right before he became an unrestricted free agent.

Heres to hoping he makes it all the way back sooner rather than later

He's on a one-year make-good. It will work out well for someone - maybe Peters, maybe the Falcons, hopefully both.

.

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Why is Lamar Holmes still under contract?

Doesn't sound like he will be much longer. Tice ain't playing. Last year he would of been gifted the swing tackle, well last year he was gifted the swing tackle position. This year he isn't getting any slack cut to him. I love hearing this stuff. Means they're actually looking for the best player not the guy who is supposed to play.

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Think so?

That would be nice to see but I doubt he even gets much of a shot. lol

Sadly, you may be right. He's got an uphill battle, but this guy showed up in a major way last preseason. Yes, it was preseason, but the coaches liked him enough to keep him on the roster. I hope he gets a chance. Sucks that he's a bit older.

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2014 ATLANTA FALCONS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

Friday, July 25: 3:30-5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, July 26: 3:30-5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, July 27: 3:30-6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, July 28: 3:30-6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Tuesday, July 29: 3:30-6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Wednesday, July 30: Players' day off, no practice

Thursday, July 31: 3:30-6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Friday, August 1: KIA Motors "Friday Night Lights" at Archer High School in Lawrenceville, GA, 6:45-9:10 p.m.

Saturday, August 2: 3:30-5:30 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, August 3: 3:30-6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, August 4: 3-5:30 p.m. (Combined practice with Tennessee Titans, open to the public)

Tuesday, August 5: Players' day off, no practice

Wednesday, August 6: 3:30-6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Thursday, August 7: Practice closed to the public

Friday, August 8: Falcons vs. Dolphins, 7 p.m., Georgia Dome

Saturday, August 9: 4:30-5:45 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, August 10: Players' day off, no practice

Monday, August 11: 3:30-5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Tuesday, August 12: 10 a.m.-12:35 p.m. (open to the public)

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