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Camp Report: 5 Things To Know From Day 14


FentayeJones
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The Falcons on Tuesday enjoyed a successful day of practice at Flowery Branch, where preparations for Friday’s game against the New York Jets continued.

Toilolo Moving in Right Direction: Levine Toilolo has noticeably improved since last year, as evident on Friday during the preseason opener. Despite being on the field for only 12 passing plays, he hauled in three receptions for 36 yards—including a 21-yarder from T.J. Yates. The 6-foot-8 tight end believes Dan Quinn’s high-energy, low-stress atmosphere has helped him get better, and it’s easy to see why: Toilolo appears a lot more comfortable on the field than he did in 2014 and doesn’t seem afraid to make mistakes during practice.

“I think the attitude that Coach Quinn definitely brings in—being about the team—he definitely tries to make it an environment where it’s not stressful and you’re just out here competing with the guys and just pushing each other to get better,” he said. “I think that’s definitely something that’s allowed me to relax and just play football.”

RBs Healing: Running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman, each dealing with a hamstring injury, looked good in practice and are on track for quick recoveries. Although its unlikely they suit up for Friday’s exhibition contest in New York, Quinn has yet to rule out either.

“We’re just going to keep working them through and see where we go to the game,” the head coach said. “We’re not going to put them out there unless they’re totally ready. This is part of the process—blitz pickup, running the tracks on offense, one gap at a time, making sure they’re getting their reps and their turns.”

O-Line Progressing: Installing the outside zone blocking scheme is no easy task, and if history is any indication, there’s bound to be a steep learning curve for the Falcons’ offensive linemen. But, according to O-line coach Chris Morgan, the players have done a great job adjusting to Atlanta’s new system.

“I think they’re on pace,” Morgan said. “Every day we just try to get better. That’s all we look for out here is to compete every day. The guys are buying in, they’re learning the style of play we’re trying to develop, the tough mindset. So we’re putting it together. Guys are learning to communicate together, fit together in combinations, all of it.”

Brooks Reed Back in Action: For the first time since Aug. 3, outside linebacker Brooks Reed—who’s been dealing with groin and hip injuries—partook in an entire camp practice. He lined up with the first-team defense and, if he can remain healthy throughout the preseason, is likely to do the same throughout 2015.

“I was really pleased to see that,” Quinn said of Reed’s participation. “I saw the effort and the energy coming off the edge in the one-on-one drills and he got into some team stuff. It was good first start for him getting back. Yesterday he did some individual (drills). Today he did some more. I’m real encouraged with what we saw.”

Captains to be Named Soon: Quinn announced during his presser that the Falcons will name team captains when XFINITY Training Camp draws to an end, The coaching staff will elect yearlong captains for offense, defense and special teams, each of whom will serve in that capacity for all of 2015.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/blog/article-1/Camp-Report-5-Things-to-Know-From-Day-14/7243cf70-6cb3-4a8b-bf83-93d99775ef76

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The 6-foot-8 tight end believes Dan Quinn’s high-energy, low-stress atmosphere has helped him get better, and it’s easy to see why: Toilolo appears a lot more comfortable on the field than he did in 2014 and doesn’t seem afraid to make mistakes during practice.

“I think the attitude that Coach Quinn definitely brings in—being about the team—he definitely tries to make it an environment where it’s not stressful and you’re just out here competing with the guys and just pushing each other to get better,” he said. “I think that’s definitely something that’s allowed me to relax and just play football.”

-Smith'ed

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The 6-foot-8 tight end believes Dan Quinn’s high-energy, low-stress atmosphere has helped him get better, and it’s easy to see why: Toilolo appears a lot more comfortable on the field than he did in 2014 and doesn’t seem afraid to make mistakes during practice.

“I think the attitude that Coach Quinn definitely brings in—being about the team—he definitely tries to make it an environment where it’s not stressful and you’re just out here competing with the guys and just pushing each other to get better,” he said. “I think that’s definitely something that’s allowed me to relax and just play football.”

-Smith'ed

I see what you did there… but I wish that I hadn't.
Edited by MoundBred
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The 6-foot-8 tight end believes Dan Quinn’s high-energy, low-stress atmosphere has helped him get better, and it’s easy to see why: Toilolo appears a lot more comfortable on the field than he did in 2014 and doesn’t seem afraid to make mistakes during practice.

“I think the attitude that Coach Quinn definitely brings in—being about the team—he definitely tries to make it an environment where it’s not stressful and you’re just out here competing with the guys and just pushing each other to get better,” he said. “I think that’s definitely something that’s allowed me to relax and just play football.”

-Smith'ed

I was surprised that he's less stressed out with Quinn's atmosphere than Smith's. I wish we had Hard Knocks again this year. I think the NFL should do that every year with every team.

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The 6-foot-8 tight end believes Dan Quinn’s high-energy, low-stress atmosphere has helped him get better, and it’s easy to see why: Toilolo appears a lot more comfortable on the field than he did in 2014 and doesn’t seem afraid to make mistakes during practice.

“I think the attitude that Coach Quinn definitely brings in—being about the team—he definitely tries to make it an environment where it’s not stressful and you’re just out here competing with the guys and just pushing each other to get better,” he said. “I think that’s definitely something that’s allowed me to relax and just play football.”

-Smith'ed

He had 3 catches in the first preseason game. Pro bowl bound!

Let's 1.) wait and see if Toilolo can be a major contributor. I doubt he will, personally. 2.) Let Quinn match the accomplishments of Smith before annointing him Messiah.

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Several players have said that Smith atmosphere was tight and you saw it in games. The players played tight in high profile games. Even Asante played tight. He had a sure pick in the Seattle game and when I asked him why he didn't make the pick he said he just wanted to be safe but he knew he should've made the pick. Instead it was a big gain and Seattle eventually scored. These are some of the things I've pointed out over the years about the uptight atmosphere around the old regime and it transcended into the players where they'd be nervous to make mistakes and that would turn into overthinking and playing tight.

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We have a mid round draft pick that guys like FFS70 have been bludgeoning TD for having no success in middl rounds, that just credited Quinn for his elevated play this year. I'm sure if you asked Ricardo Allen about his ascension, Quinn would also be coming up in the conversation, as it would with Worrilow, TJax, Soliai, etc

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Love to hear Lolo continues to improve. I was never as low on him as others around here. H'es never going to be a vertical threat guy but he has more talent than people want to admit. Interesting that the atmosphere around camp had such a negative affect on him in years past.

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Love to hear Lolo continues to improve. I was never as low on him as others around here. H'es never going to be a vertical threat guy but he has more talent than people want to admit. Interesting that the atmosphere around camp had such a negative affect on him in years past.

maybe he was being punished cause he wasn't Tony G

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I am proud of him man. I have to admit. He's making a name for himself and working his azz off.

I never liked him personally but he's grown on me due to his work ethic and improvement.

My biggest complaint is that I want a TE who can really move down the seam with some speed and Tolo seems so slow. But I will hush my mouth now and see if we can find a way to use the man.

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Just pointing out that so many players are crediting Quinn for their development vs zero crediting Smith and crew!

What on earth was Smith doing? He was the first coach we fired at an almost appropriate time. He had zero fire, zero aggression. He was supposedly defensive minded and our defense just kept getting worse. I'd have fired TD too, don't get me wrong, but Smitty was going nowhere fast. Smitty and TD should have both been thrown out on their ***** for not addressing the defensive issues after Green Bay housed us.

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What on earth was Smith doing? He was the first coach we fired at an almost appropriate time. He had zero fire, zero aggression. He was supposedly defensive minded and our defense just kept getting worse. I'd have fired TD too, don't get me wrong, but Smitty was going nowhere fast. Smitty and TD should have both been thrown out on their ***** for not addressing the defensive issues after Green Bay housed us.

Smitty never developed talent. Just wasn't his MO because it was too risky and stressful. He seemed VERY risk averse and avoided stress as much as possible.

But his last two years were very different. Something had to have happened because it looked nothing like the first five years.

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maybe he was being punished cause he wasn't Tony G

I'm sure that's part of it. Going from TG to anybody was going to look rough. I remember his first year here he shadowed TG all over the place. Stayed after practice catching balls with him often too iirc. I never understood why it didn't translate to the field. Maybe he'll be one of the most helped by the scheme switch on this team.

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Smitty had his pen and pad write to down every negative thing any player did (unless they were one of his sacred cows). If you watched last year, Toilolo looked like he was over thinking things. Those easy drops weren't because he can't catch the ball, it looked like he was mentally psyching himself out. Imagine having a boss that rather than teaching/training you when you make a mistake, just chronicles it in his pad journal. Some of us do have bosses like that, and we hate them... Funny thing is most likely they don't get any results. Just look to replace said individual.

The NFL is a cut throat business, believe me i understand that, but on the job training and creating an atmosphere that is conducive to development actually can help destress and improve productivity. Toilolo is out there playing loose, which is what we want him to do. Leadership goes a long way in any occupation. Quinn is putting players in a position to get better, and I like it. A breath of fresh air. I hope Toilolo keeps improving. If anything from Tony G rubbed off on him, it's his work ethic.

Keep busting your tail Toilolo, I'm rooting for ya.

Edited by gHost83
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Several players have said that Smith atmosphere was tight and you saw it in games. The players played tight in high profile games. Even Asante played tight. He had a sure pick in the Seattle game and when I asked him why he didn't make the pick he said he just wanted to be safe but he knew he should've made the pick. Instead it was a big gain and Seattle eventually scored. These are some of the things I've pointed out over the years about the uptight atmosphere around the old regime and it transcended into the players where they'd be nervous to make mistakes and that would turn into overthinking and playing tight.

Great insight. Every player handles stress in a different way, and every player responds to coaching differently. I'm glad to see that Toilolo has a staff that he is responding to now. We'll never know who and how much certain players might have been negatively affected by an uptight coaching staff. But this is still good insight and something to think about. These are the types of topics of discussion that the Madden generation just doesn't think about when trying to plug and play free agents and draft picks into a team.

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Great insight. Every player handles stress in a different way, and every player responds to coaching differently. I'm glad to see that Toilolo has a staff that he is responding to now. We'll never know who and how much certain players might have been negatively affected by an uptight coaching staff. But this is still good insight and something to think about. These are the types of topics of discussion that the Madden generation just doesn't think about when trying to plug and play free agents and draft picks into a team.

Absolutely. They forget that these are humans with different emotions, ego's and personalities. Some guys can handle it, some can't. What I do know is EVERYBODY likes to be around a fun environment and not so tight.
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Absolutely. They forget that these are humans with different emotions, ego's and personalities. Some guys can handle it, some can't. What I do know is EVERYBODY likes to be around a fun environment and not so tight.

Another good point, in that I don't think any coach has the intention of making an environment not-fun. It just usually turns out not everybody is good at balancing fun with getting the right amount of focus and work that needs to be accomplished. This is one of the reason's I'm so high on Quinn, even if it turns out down the road that some of his X's and O's stuff isn't as good as someone else's. Quinn seems to have that uncanny ability to really get people to run through a wall for him, while also having a great time doing it.

People nowdays look back on Jim Mora Jr and bash him, but that was one of the same traits that Mora had when he first got here and why he had initial success. People seem to forget that Mora was off to a great start, but then got derailed and lost the team when he lost sight of the big picture and started playing favorites on the roster - which caused him to lose the respect of the rest of the team. If there is one big concern I have for Quinn's future, it's hoping he avoids a similar path. Quinn had a good role model in Carroll to watch walk that line successfully, so hopefully he'll have better success than Mora Jr in that department.

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Another good point, in that I don't think any coach has the intention of making an environment not-fun. It just usually turns out not everybody is good at balancing fun with getting the right amount of focus and work that needs to be accomplished. This is one of the reason's I'm so high on Quinn, even if it turns out down the road that some of his X's and O's stuff isn't as good as someone else's. Quinn seems to have that uncanny ability to really get people to run through a wall for him, while also having a great time doing it.

People nowdays look back on Jim Mora Jr and bash him, but that was one of the same traits that Mora had when he first got here and why he had initial success. People seem to forget that Mora was off to a great start, but then got derailed and lost the team when he lost sight of the big picture and started playing favorites on the roster - which caused him to lose the respect of the rest of the team. If there is one big concern I have for Quinn's future, it's hoping he avoids a similar path. Quinn had a good role model in Carroll to watch walk that line successfully, so hopefully he'll have better success than Mora Jr in that department.

Right. And when you get a collection of men that will run thru a wall for you great things can happen. And Mora absolutely had that same vibe with him coming in. I tho j he especially lost the team when Vick knew he was bigger than Mora and could no longer control him. It spiraled downhill from there.
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I honestly believe Toilolo has Pro Bowl potential... Followed him in college and I loved his skill set, the more comfortable he is the more confidence he will have. The more confident he is the more he will let his true skills show. Dude was a top high school receiver recruit. He can play this game. One of few players I was hoping we would get before that draft and it's cool that TD sees the same thing in him that I saw.

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People nowdays look back on Jim Mora Jr and bash him, but that was one of the same traits that Mora had when he first got here and why he had initial success. People seem to forget that Mora was off to a great start, but then got derailed and lost the team when he lost sight of the big picture and started playing favorites on the roster - which caused him to lose the respect of the rest of the team. If there is one big concern I have for Quinn's future, it's hoping he avoids a similar path. Quinn had a good role model in Carroll to watch walk that line successfully, so hopefully he'll have better success than Mora Jr in that department.

Mora is a bad comparison...Dude was a horrible teacher!

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