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Five Things From Week 2 Of Otas

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Falcons running back Antone Smith returned to the field for the first time Tuesday since breaking his leg in a game during the 2015 season

Hageman progressing: Ra’Shede Hageman has dropped weight and seems to have gained plenty of confidence since the end of last year.

The defensive tackle looks ready to take on a bigger role in 2015 and, with the Falcons moving back to a 4-3 set, feels he’s in position to maximize his abilities. Head coach Dan Quinn noted Hageman’s initial quickness stands out and said, “We’re going to try to utilize it and feature it any way we can.”

“(The new defense) fits me perfectly,” Hageman said. “Just to disrupt everything — I’m really excited and looking forward to this season … I’m just hungry. I feel like I’m too big to be average.”

Tight ends competing: Historically, tight ends have been vital pieces to Kyle Shanahan’s offense. That won’t change here. Question is, who, if anyone, can separate himself from the pack?

Although it’s unclear what the Falcons’ TEs can accomplish as receivers, position coach Wade Harman thinks the personnel in place will help the running game immensely. He’s been happy with the zone blocking adjustments made so far and believes “we should have good matchups on the inside.”

Newcomer Tony Moeaki, previously with the Seahawks, considers Atlanta a great environment for tight ends and mentioned the internal competition is making everyone better.

“Great group of guys,” Moeaki said. “Pretty versatile guys. We just want to show the coaches that we can help the team, make plays, block and do everything they want us to do. That’s our main goal.”

Smith returns: Antone Smith, who suffered a broken leg in November, returned to action Tuesday and showed no signs of injury. The veteran running back didn’t miss a beat and moved well during agility drills. Quinn envisions Smith as a key asset moving forward — particularly on special teams.

“The speed I think is the first thing that jumps out,” Quinn said of Smith. “It’s been awesome getting him back in the mix this week.”

Tight-knit staff: The Falcons’ new staff is comprised of men who know each other well. QB coach Matt LaFleur, who’s worked with Kyle Shanahan (offensive coordinator), Bobby Turner (running backs) and Chris Morgan (offensive line) in the past, said the camaraderie amongst this staff is “unlike anything I’ve been a part of when first going into a job.”

Chester getting acclimated: Newly signed guard Chris Chester was on the field Tuesday and didn’t appear out of place. The 32-year-old has lots of experience in Shanahan’s system — both were in Washington from 2010-13 — and will contend for a starting job at left guard.

“For his first day, I thought he did a really good job,” Quinn said.


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I love to keep hearing such positive things about Hageman. I see Quinn commented on his quickness, wait until contact drills where Quinn can see that same quickness in concert with his phenomenal strength.

Once Hageman gets the quick jump on you, gets position on you, there is no way to recover because his beastly strength will overwhelm you. Just ask the 320 LB New Orleans OG he got the jump on on that gif that has been circulating around here lately.

Btw........also nice to see Hageman will be utilized in a way for him to flourish. Good coaching will do that.

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great to have Tone back....I was very suspicious he was taking so long to return from a broken leg...he must have had a complication/more complex injury pattern

A broken leg is, what, 6 months? We just hit June, gotta add in the time it takes to actually be able to do serious on field work on it. I'd say he wasn't too far off track for a guy that got hurt around November.
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Beasley and Hageman could be the bookends we haven't had in years. Throw in Jarrett, might be a really good Dline by the end of the year.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard much from Quinn on Beasley and how he's performing during OTAs. Anybody read or heard anything since voluntary workouts?

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Speaking of which, I haven't heard much from Quinn on Beasley and how he's performing during OTAs. Anybody read or heard anything since voluntary workouts?

He talked about him during the rookie mini camp a couple of weeks ago. Said he was impressed by his explosiveness and quickness.
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