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8 Takeaways From OTA’s


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8 takeaways from the final open day of Falcons 2019 OTAs

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thefalconswire.usatoday.com/2019/06/06/falcons-takeaways-final-2019-otas-open/amp/

 

The Atlanta Falcons just finished their final OTAs practice of 2019 that was open to reporters. It was a rainy day that forced the players inside.

Here’s eight takeaways from the team and the media.

1. Keanu Neal took the next step

First, the good news. Star defensive back Keanu Neal has taken the next step forward in his progress in recovering from the torn ACL that held him out for all but one game of last season. Today, Neal was in a helmet and gloves for the first time since his injury.

Neal was also not wearing a knee brace.

When he’s healthy, Neal is the best defensive back on the team.

2. Hooper, Ridley and Trufant did not practice

And now the bad: there were a few unexpected and notable absences from today’s practice. Tight end Austin Hooper sat out and is dealing with an ankle issue, according to ESPN.

Meanwhile, second-year wide receiver Calvin Ridley was held out with a sore foot, per the Athletic.

It’s not clear what’s going on with cornerback Desmond Trufant, but Quinn says he was excused along with Hooper.

 

3. Chris Lindstrom got more work with starters

First-rounders Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary have mostly been working with the second-string offensive line unit so far this spring. They have gotten some reps with the starters, though.

Lindstrom opened today’s practice with the ones.

Center Alex Mack came away impressed with Lindstrom’s work.

Lindstrom played right guard at Boston College and that’s where he will play in 2019. He may eventually replace Mack at center, though.

4. Marcus Green saw work on punt returns

Perhaps the most versatile weapon the Falcons got in this year’s draft class was sixth-round pick Marcus Green. On offense, he’s an effective dual threat receiver or running back.

Green is also a dynamic kickoff and punt returner, which is what he worked on for a portion of today’s practice.

Green will have to earn it, but he projects as the team’s new return specialist.

 

5. Mohamed Sanu says OC transition going smooth

The Falcons face two major offensive questions this offseason. The first is if they can effectively rebuild their offensive line. So far they’ve done that, at least on paper. The other is how the unit will transition to new leadership under a different offensive coordinator.

Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu says it’s gone pretty smooth so far under on again, off again OC Dirk Koetter.

Koetter previously served as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator from 2012-2014.

6. No Julio Jones or Grady Jarrett, and that’s fine

Sanu also gave an update on the team’s greatest athlete. While he hasn’t been around at practice, Sanu says he spoke with Julio Jones recently and he’s doing pretty great.

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has not attended (voluntary) OTAs, either. Coach Dan Quinn said he has a great relationship with him, though.

Jones and Jarrett are both negotiating long-term deals with the team.

 

7. Ra’Shede Hageman draws praise

One of the more interesting stories of this offseason is defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who was re-signed after being released two years ago. Hageman has been saying all the right things and apparently has caught the eye of his coaches. Quinn says Hageman is off to a good start.

 

The Falcons were reported to be meeting with Allen Bailey yesterday, so the team probably isn’t done adding defensive linemen. For now, Hageman stands a decent shot to make the 53-man roster given his experience and their relative lack of depth up front defensively.

8. Next up: mandatory minicamp

The next phase of Atlanta’s offseason program begins next Tuesday with mandatory minicamp. As the name implies, players are expected to be there. While Quinn recently said he does not know for sure if Jarrett will show up, he does expect everyone there.

Players can be fined escalating amounts for each day they do not attend.

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6 minutes ago, Atl Falcon said:

Hageman could turn into a special come back player story. I’ve got a gut feeling this is going to be good....late maturity and finally realizing what he could be. 

man we can certainly HOPE!  he had some powerful games for us, if he could turn that into consistency man alive

 

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11 hours ago, Falconsin2012 said:

Calling me out again, gazoo...lol.  Still think he isn’t a lock, especially if Bailey is signed

I got flamed for that Hageman thread I started showing him destroying QBs and busting through double teams making plays behind the line.

I think he has a very good chance at being a pivotal playmaking DL for us this year and making comeback player of the year (for Falcons players) with no close second.

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Hey man. What’s up brother! I saw some weird hate coming your way. I love you dude. Know that. I look forward to my fam  spending time with you in Bonita. We call it Bonita. Seriously brother.  Not made up. We’re down.  We love it there. I can’t wait to see you and your loved one. We’re good. Money brother. Seriously’ New Years Eve watching the sun go down on that beautiful beach.  Then party later man  on your turf.  That’s what’s up!  Seriously not playing.  Let’s do this.  

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1 hour ago, gazoo said:

I got flamed for that Hageman thread I started showing him destroying QBs and busting through double teams making plays behind the line.

I think he has a very good chance at being a pivotal playmaking DL for us this year and making comeback player of the year with no close second.

I feel he is capable of doing this..... However I'm not sure if he'll get the chance like he used to. Due to the DT we have. 

Therefore when we see him we will be happy. And it'll take a couple years until we see him being played a lot where he can be valued as that comeback player of the year. 

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7 minutes ago, mashburn*Fibonacci said:

People really say that? 

Yep. I was shocked at how apathetic many were about the signing, suggesting he had little chance of even making the roster. The term “camp body” was also applied.

This dude was CRUSHING IT in mid 2016 straight through the playoffs and Super Bowl. Then, in 2017 DQ said Hageman was having his “best camp”  before the issue.

Once we signed him, I even stated we were going to go OL with our first pick, maybe even 2  OL with our first 3 picks.  

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7 minutes ago, mashburn*Fibonacci said:

I feel he is capable of doing this..... However I'm not sure if he'll get the chance like he used to. Due to the DT we have. 

Therefore when we see him we will be happy. And it'll take a couple years until we see him being played a lot where he can be valued as that comeback player of the year. 

Here’s the thing. Hageman can play DE or DT, he can move around. This makes him valuable to DQ who likes to use his guys as chess pieces. 

If he plays like he did starting middle of his 3rd season and into the playoffs and Super Bowl I don’t see how he wouldn’t win comeback player ( for the Falcons, not the entire NFL)

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It will be some kind of positive if Hageman can come back strong. We should be pulling for him instead of speaking of negatives. Just think if He and Grady go beastly. They could be ALL PRO. I just hope he is given a fair shot. I hope the  FO is not just messing with his head. If it works it is going to be great. Let's get behind him, have his back. We all make mistakes.

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