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3 Observations from Day 2 of Falcons Minicamp

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3 Observations from Day 2 of Falcons Minicamp

Andrew Hirsh


Atlanta Falcons Minicamp Built by the Home Depot rolled on Wednesday. Here are three things to know from the second to last practice before training camp begins next month.

Worrilow Helping Rookies Along: Paul Worrilow understands that when the Falcons drafted Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell this April, the battle for a starting linebacker role would intensify. The competition doesn’t scare the veteran leader. In fact, Worrilow has gone out of his way to make sure his new teammates get up to speed as fast as possible. “Worrilow was really big (for us) when we first got here,” said Campbell. “He was here with me and Deion (Jones) every morning, writing up plays on the board, just teaching us different formations and going through it all.”

Allen Growing into Leadership Role: Last June, Ricardo Allen was focused on earning a roster spot while learning a brand new position. Now that he’s grown comfortable as a free safety, the 24 year-old has evolved as a leader, one who can take young players under his wing and orchestrate Atlanta’s secondary.

“It was a brand new position for him," coach Quinn said about Allen’s move to free safety in 2015. "He was really trying to get his own world in order. Now that he’s got some guys that he can direct, he’s shown and proven that he’s capable for the job. I think you have to have some of those pelts on the wall so to speak to say, ‘I can get the job done. You can count on me.’ So now that he’s gone through that and he’s earned (his teammates’) trust, now he’s able to lead a little more.”

Someone who can benefit from Allen’s guidance is C.J. Goodwin: another intriguing prospect who’s shifting to a new position. The wide receiver-turned-cornerback has raised a lot of eyebrows by tallying an interception in each of the last two practices—the latter of which was returned for a touchdown. He can certainly gain a lot of insight from Allen, who went through a position change last offseason.

“He’s smart, and he’s not afraid to compete with anybody,” Allen said of Goodwin. “As a wide receiver, coming from the (offensive) side of the ball, he attacks the ball really well. He also sees routes early. So he comes with a lot of knowledge from being on the offense. Him transitioning, and him coming out of his breaks—he’s been doing well.

“If you don’t know anything, the only thing you can do is learn. So if he keeps learning from the coaches, the coaches aren’t going to give you any bad techniques. So you really don’t have any bad techniques. He played good.”

Shelby Getting Comfortable: After a productive 2015, Derrick Shelby has come to Atlanta with a chance to become an integral piece of the Falcons’ defense. The ex-Dolphin said he enjoys his new surroundings—especially the focused atmosphere. Although his role has yet to be solidified, Quinn has liked what he’s seen thus far at various spots along the defensive front.

“Honestly we’re just trying to find out as much you can about all the players,” Quinn said. “Derrick being a new player, we know he can play inside in nickel. We know he’s played lots of defensive end. So we’re working him on the right side; we’re working him outside.

“So all those things now, we’re trying to challenge (him). That way, when he leaves here tomorrow, (he can say), ‘These are a couple things I can take home with me so when I get to camp, I’ve got these little three or four things I want to get better at.'



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Not for nothing, but I think Worrilow will make a great coach whenever his playing days are done. Just about every player that's come in has commended him on his ability to bring them in & teach. 

Also, I hope it's not just offseason fodder, but I think we may have something with Goodwin. 

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Worrilow helping the young guys along is huge.  Because one of them is likely to replace him, but he's still a team player and willing to help.  That will help him on his next contract, and if we move on it will help him land with another team, IMHO.  Teams value guys who are willing to work to better the entire unit.

It also indicates he isn't worried about losing his starting job, which tells me something about his character.  Kind of like Free when we drafted Coleman last season.  Everyone (me included) just knew Coleman was going to be the starter.  Everyone except Freeman, who went out and took the job.  If Worrilow can do the same, that bodes well.  If he can't, that's even better because it means the best guy got on the field and Worrilow helped improve the entire team.

I'd wager they split duties, but unless Worrilow can improve his run defense, that won't last long either.  He's a textbook example of a lunchpail guy who lacks the tools, but has all the work ethic.  That's a good guy to have on the team, even if he isn't starting.

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