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Training Camp 2015: Hardy & Beasely Shine - The Falcoholic


gazoo
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The Falcons were in pads for the first time today, and it was obvious that players were excited to actually hit someone. They weren't, however, doing full tackling today. It was mostly a catch-and-release situation. Still, being in pads gives players the opportunity to really start getting their bodies ready for actual football.

Many fans are questioning why certain players are getting first team reps over other players, and it's a good time to remind everyone that it really means very little at this point. The coaching staff is moving players around quite a bit to see what they're capable of, and the best way to get a sense of their ability is to give them some opportunities with the first team. For example, a wide receiver fighting for a roster spot would be better able to showcase his talents catching balls from Matt Ryan as opposed to only getting to work with T.J. Yates or Sean Renfree. The coaching staff is assessing talent at this point. We'll have a better idea of how the depth chart is shaking out when preseason begins.

Tackle Ryan Schraeder, who suffered a strain during Friday's practice, was limited in today's practice, but did participate. Linebacker Justin Durant had what Dan Quinn described as a scheduled day off, and Lamar Holmes obviously continues to be out with the broken foot that landed him on the PUP list.

Offense

Justin Hardy looked really good today. Matt Ryan connected with Hardy deep, and he also looked good on intermediate routes. Hardy has been praised consistently by his teammates for his intelligence and work ethic, and those qualities translate to him looking prepared on the field.

Jake Matthews' mechanics are really good. He has such an instinctive understanding of leverage and how to use it to his advantage. Despite missing the majority of OTA work as he continued to recover from Lisfranc repair, Matthews is settling into the new scheme nicely.

Both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman looked solid today, and this competition continues to be a lot of fun to watch. I'd give the edge to Freeman at this point, based on his experience and his vision and instincts, but I expect Coleman to really contribute regardless.

Defense

It's way too early to know for certain, but it definitely looks like this simplified defensive scheme is resulting in players taking better angles to the ball. Couple that with the emphasis Quinn is placing on tackling effectively and creating turnovers, and this defense really should be improved this season.

Vic Beasley is going to be something special. His first step is incredible. He was battling against Jake Matthews in one-on-one drills, and they were really evenly matched. It seems like the Falcons did well with their first round picks in 2014 and 2015.

Adrian Clayborn is playing inside and getting great push up the middle. For a guy his size, Clayborn is explosive off the line of scrimmage, and as long as he stays healthy, he should really be able to disrupt quarterbacks this season.

Jonathan Babineaux is also consistently getting good push up the middle and getting into the backfield.

Allen Bradford had a really solid day today, including a well-timed pass break up. Bradford was mentioned by name after practice by William Moore as one of the linebackers who should help this defense improve this season.

Special Teams

Both Matt Bryant and Matt Bosher were simulating kick offs during special teams drills. I don't think this means these two are competing for the role per se. These guys are each other's backup, so it makes sense that they would each get enough work in to be prepared to step up if necessary due to injury.

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I keep hearing about how good Clayborn is looking at DT. Our pass rush will go from non existant to feared if we can get interior penetration from Clayborn, Babs and Hageman, combined with Beasley coming off the edge and Schofield and company blitzing from time to time.

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I keep hearing about how good Clayborn is looking at DT. Our pass rush will go from non existant to feared if we can get interior penetration from Clayborn, Babs and Hageman, combined with Beasley coming off the edge and Schofield and company blitzing from time to time.

Exactly. People are going to be amazed when they see this defense in action. No way this group isn't going to create some major problems for QB's this year and going forward.

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Exactly. People are going to be amazed when they see this defense in action. No way this group isn't going to create some major problems for QB's this year and going forward.

Offensive Coordinators are not going to be able to double Beasely, Hageman, Clayborn and Babs all at the same time. Pick your poison now!
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They will double/chip Beasley. He and Matthews are two great uses of 1st rd picks as were Ryan, Trufant and Julio. That is five elite players right there. Moore, Hageman, and Coleman have the physical ability to be so as well. Roddy, Clayborn, Babinaux, Reed, Durant, Worrilow, Alford, Jackson, Soliai, Jarrett, Hankerson, Hardy, Freeman, Smith, Tamme, Moeaki, Schaeder, Asamoah, Hawley, Person/Chester, Biermann, and Schofield all have the potential to be solid contributors. I say that to show that amongst the starters and primary subs we dont have any guys like Toilolo, Bartu, Shembo, Goodman, Maponga, SJAX, or Umenyiora that we are relying on this year.

2014 vs 2015

RDE-Umenyiora vs Beasley (I think everyone expects Beasley to exceed Osi's 2.5 sacks, also Biermann could fare better here as LEO)

RDT-Babinaux vs Hageman&Babinaux (how far does Hageman progress in year two? does he start? either way still have both, both could be far better)

LDT-Soliai vs Soliai in Quinns scheme (Soliai like Bab/Hage could be better than his 2014 self)

LDE-Jackson vs Clayborn&Jackson (still have Jackson but could be better due to help from Clayborn, scheme, or both)

WLB-Bartu vs Durant (this is where it isn't even close)

MLB-Worrilow vs Worrilow (already looks better defending passes in new scheme, also as body change that should help same for Jackson)

SLB-Biermann vs Reed&Schofield (I like both. I think Biermann fares better as sub in addition to Reed and Schofields obvious upgrade in personnel)

RCB-Alford vs Alford (better pass rush makes better Alford)

FS-Lowery vs Allen (most of us liked Lowery but I read about a lot of blown coverages by our S's last year, maybe Ishmael? Allen is an unknown)

SS-Moore vs Moore (2015 Moore could be even better in Chancellor Role)

LCB-Trufant vs Trufant(equal to, Trufant was good last year.)

I dont know why we dont get more credit for being markedly improved on defense. Half the starters are new faces with Beasley, Reed, Allen, Clayborn, and Hageman in the event those two unseat Jackson and Babinaux.

Edited by Ryan_2.0_WCO
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Offensive Coordinators are not going to be able to double Beasely, Hageman, Clayborn and Babs all at the same time. Pick your poison now!

Are they running those guys as a unit? I ask because I assumed Clayborn, Hageman and Babs are all playing the same basic role. I figure we'll see something like Jackson, Soliai, Hageman and Beasley as the starting 4, with Reed and Schofield bringing occasional pressure from the SAM position. Maybe the line you mention would work as a sub package but I would think it rare that all 4 of them are on the field at once, even in sub packages.

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Any updates on Jallen Collins and Grady Jarrett? Who's our FS and how's he looking?

Why do I wanna know?

I wanna know how Collins is doing because we picked him over Gregory. He has to be doing well in order for it to make some sense.

Grady Jarrett is the guy I'm personally most excited about following from the last draft.

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