atljbo Posted May 13, 2015 Share Posted May 13, 2015 http://www.myajc.com/news/sports/football/5-things-to-look-for-when-ota-practices-start/nmFKw/#9374ee1d.3143515.735730 5 things to look for when OTA practices startFLOWERY BRANCH —With the draft and two minicamps completed, the Falcons get a break from pure football matters before starting their OTA practices the week of May 25.Here are five things that we learned at the rookie minicamp with an eye toward the start of OTAs:Getting healthy: The Falcons have several players recovering from offseason surgeries.Left tackle Jake Matthews (foot), guard/tackle Sam Baker (knee), center/guard Joe Hawley (knee), center/guard Peter Konz (knee), safety William Moore (shoulder), running back Antone Smith (broken leg) and cornerback Jalen Collins (foot) are recovering.Cornerback Robert Alford (left wrist) and offensive tackle Lamar Holmes (foot/toe) were back at work during the veteran minicamp.“A number of the guys may be able to participate in some individual work,” Quinn said. “They may not be able to any team work, but what a good sign it is to see some of the guys be able to participate in some fashion.”Holmes, who’ll be in a battle to retain his roster spot, was in great shape. Collins, who didn’t work in the rookie camp, is close to returning, too.Rookie minicamp review: Even though the media wasn’t allowed to watch the actual practices, several onlookers and players said the pace was fast and furious. Quinn and his staff were trying to get the rookies used to a pro-styled practice.The play was shoddy on the first day, with a lot of fumbles. Even the center snaps were an adventure. Things improved from there. “The guys worked really hard,” Quinn said.Jonathon Mincy, who played at Auburn and Southwest DeKalb High, Mark Huffer, an offensive tackle from South Dakota, and defensive end Sam Meredith, of San Diego State, were impressive enough to get signed after receiving tryouts. The Falcons waived defensive tackle Chris Brown (Tarleton State), cornerback Jordan Ozerities (Central Florida) and wide receiver Joshua Stangby (Ottawa).Possible contributors: Rookie running back Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Justin Hardy looked as if they may be able to contribute immediately.Coleman ran hard and fast. Reports that he’s a perfect fit for the outside-zone running system were not exaggerated. “You really felt his speed,” Quinn said.Seventh-round pick Akeem King is versatile and said he believes he can play corner, nickel or safety. Here’s his take on the defensive scheme: “It’s pretty basic,” King said. “Just don’t get beat deep. Cover-3 and man.”No contract issues: After Coleman signed Tuesday, the Falcons have signed six of their seven picks, and first-round pick Vic Beasley is expected to sign soon.The deals are getting done more quickly because under the current collective bargaining agreement there is nothing much to negotiate because the players are slotted by the draft and get paid accordingly.“Basically the only thing you’re dealing with is how much of the signing bonus is going to be deferred,” said Joel Corry, CBS Sports’ NFL business analyst. “That’s a team-by-team policy.”Quinn’s challenge: In his first meeting with the team, Quinn issued a challenge to every player to have the best offseason of their careers.Some of the players have taken the message to heart. Holmes and Ra’Shede Hagemen have lost 20 and 15 pounds, respectively. Quinn also cited linebacker Paul Worrilow, the team’s leading tackler the past two seasons.“Paul Worrilow at inside linebacker is having a terrific offseason,” Quinn said. “I challenged the guys to have the best offseason that they’ve ever had. He is literally having that. I’d be hard-pressed to find a guy who’s going for it harder than Paul.” Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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