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Falcons Team Report/Inside Slant


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Atlanta Falcons

  Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire

  Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan turned in a strong showing and was sharp and crisp with his passes in the team's second exhibition game.

Ryan was 0-for-4 in the exhibition opener and had just two three-and-outs.

The offense fluently moved the ball against the Cleveland Browns and Ryan spread passes around to his top weapons, including the newly acquired wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.

Ryan was particularly fond of the team's touchdown on their opening drive.

"I thought it was good," Ryan said. "It was obviously a good drive for us on that first one. We had some opportunities on the second and third drives, too to come up with some points, but we feel a little bit short.

"But I thought it was good. We ran the ball really well all night which is encouraging to see. I thought we made some plays in the pass game. I thought we were a little bit more sharp than we were the first week."

Ryan was pleased with the play of Sanu, who ran with power after his catches.

"I thought he did a nice job of making plays after the ball was in his hands," Ryan said. "He was fighting for every yard that he could get. There was one on a little short route to the right that he caught and battled for another 5 or 6 yards after contact. Obviously, he had the long one up the middle. I think he's a talented guy. I think he's a strong guy and he did a nice job for us tonight."

In addition to getting Sanu involved, running back Devonta Freeman added a red-zone touchdown run.

"That's what Devonta brings to the table," Ryan said. "He did that all last year for us. He's elusive after he gets the ball in his hands. It's tough for those first guys to bring him down because he's so smooth with the ball in his hands. He did a nice job. I thought our offensive line did a great job the entire night. Those were the guys who really got it going for us."

Jones was also pleased with the offensive attack.

"It was good," Jones said. "The hard work and preparation is paying off. Like I said before, we are not game-planning, but we can go out here execute, score touchdowns without game-planning for people and going after their weaknesses, it shows a lot."

Jones is looking forward to playing more in the third exhibition game against Miami in Orlando on Thursday.

"We have to keep building," Jones said. "We have to take from this game. We have some corrections that we have to clean up. But other that than, we just have to keep moving forward. Just working off each other and feeding off of each other."

Ryan plans to keep the offense in high gear against the Dolphins in the all-important third exhibition game.

"The third week is usually your dress rehearsal for what the season is going to be like," Ryan said. "We'll have an opportunity to practice during the week the way that we will during the regular season. We'll game plan for the first time this year. It will be a good dry run."

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was not worried about Ryan coming around in the second year of running Kyle Shanahan's offense.

"I thought he really looked sharp and came out and performed," Quinn said. "Just getting some of the connections going right off the bat. Any time we get the run game and the play action, that goes with it, it's a handful."


Notes, Quotes


 The Falcons are hoping that defensive end Dwight Freeney is able to show second-year linebacker/defensive end Vic Beasley some pass-rushing tricks of the trade.

"I think Vic is a tremendous talent," Freeney said. "He has a lot to learn. The upside is absolutely amazing for him. I'm going to try to help him out as much as I can.

"I'm going to navigate him through all of the troubled waters and all of the things that he's going to run into that he hasn't experienced yet. I'll try to catch him up to speed as much as possible."

Freeney is aware that Beasley has studied film of his play and said that makes him feel "old."

But film study is part of the game.

"I can't watch Reggie White," Freeney said. "There is no way that I'm humping (moving) anybody or flipping somebody over. But I might watch a guy like Derrick Thomas or Lawrence Taylor."

With the injury to strong safety Kemal Ishmael, undrafted rookie Damian Parms will get an opportunity to shine when the Falcons face the Cleveland Browns.

Parms is listed as the third strong safety behind Keanu Neal and Ishmael. He played 13 snaps against Washington and tied for the team lead with five tackles and had a forced fumble. Ishmael and rookie linebacker Deion Jones also had five tackles. Parms played 10 plays on special teams and made one tackle.

"I'm going to get my opportunity for sure, like everybody will," Parms said. "When I get in there, I'm just going to capitalize on every opportunity that I get."

Nose tackle Chris Mayes, an undrafted rookie from Georgia, suffered a foot injury early in practice on Monday and was waived injured on Tuesday.

On Monday, Mayes was escorted from the field by the training staff. Mayes was listed as the fourth-string nose tackle on the team's depth chart. He played seven snaps against Washington and was considered a longshot to make the team. Backup center Jake Reed (foot) was also not at practice.

The Falcons were awarded offensive guard Jordan Walsh on waivers Tuesday, and they released tackle Shahbaz Ahmed, according to the league's transaction wire.

Walsh, 6-foot-2 and 292 pounds, played at Iowa. Ahmed played at Temple.

Walsh was waived by the Saints on Saturday to make room for veteran safety Cortland Finnegan.

Ahmed was listed as the third right tackle behind Ryan Schraeder and Bryce Harris.



Strategy & Personell


  P Matt Bosher left Thursday's exhibition game with a chest injury. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said the team sent the NFL video of the questionable hit that knocked Bosher out of the game at Cleveland. He was hit by Cleveland linebacker Tank Carder.

LB/DE Vic Beasley did not play against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday with a shoulder injury. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the injury was not related to the torn labrum in his right shoulder that he played with in 2015.

RB Terron Ward (ankle) did not play against Cleveland on Thursday.

SS Kemal Ishmael (shoulder) did not play against Cleveland on Thursday.

C Jake Reed (foot) reached an injury settlement with the Falcons.

PK Matt Bryant (tightness) did not play against Cleveland on Thursday. Nick Rose missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.

DE Dwight Freeney made his debut with the Falcons. "It's hard to get that rust off," Freeney said. "I got about six to eight plays. I definitely felt a little rusty, but that's what the (exhibition) season is for." Freeney has 119.5 career sacks.

WR Mohamed Sanu had three catches for 45 yards against the Browns. "I think we did phenomenal," Sanu said. "We came out, we played hard, competed and played physical. We went out there and executed the best that we could."

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31 minutes ago, quickzero said:

The Falcons are ready to compete.

Good, because it's not gonna get any easier in the NFCS. Cam is still trending upward (he's getting better at throwing the short and intermediate routes), Winston will get better, and we all know what Brees can do. This is shaping up to be most competitive division in football. Can't wait for the season to start.

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4 minutes ago, JerseyNo12 said:

Good, because it's not gonna get any easier in the NFCS. Cam is still trending upward (he's getting better at throwing the short and intermediate routes), Winston will get better, and we all know what Brees can do. This is shaping up to be most competitive division in football. Can't wait for the season to start.

Yea, our division is tough, but the Saints defense is still suspect in my opinion. 

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