theProf

Falcons 2019 training camp: 10 takeaways from the first 4 practices

30 posts in this topic

First 5 of the 10 takeaways as follows:

 

 

1. Julio Jones is getting closer to returning

Atlanta’s best player is expected to sign a long-term contract extension any day now that will appropriately make him the highest paid wide receiver in the league.

At the moment, Jones is taking it very easy at camp and is not participating in team drills at all. Today was the first time the media got to see him running an actual route and it was without pads on.

 

Julio catching some passes from Matt Ryan at the start of practice. #Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Julio will he eased back to practice, they’re looking at a 10 day window for Julio in terms of his progression.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that timeline is correct. Jones is expected to be a full participant in the next 10 days to two weeks.

 

2. Devonta Freeman is running like himself again

While Julio is still working his way back to 100 percent, another key Falcons play-maker looks to be back to his old self.

Starting running back Devonta Freeman has drawn good reviews for his work throughout the offseason program. He’s gotten back to his decisive and explosive style of running that made him a two-time Pro Bowler.

 

Devonta Freeman looks great so far out there. Really running hard with decisive cuts. #Falcons

When Freeman was healthy from 2015-2016, he was as productive as any running back in the league.

If he continues to play strong into the regular season, Atlanta’s running game should see a massive improvement.

 

3. The right guard job is Chris Lindstrom’s to lose

Rookies usually have to earn their playing time. Sometimes, they’re such a clear favorite at their position that it’s silly not to start them right away.

That appears to be the case for Atlanta’s first draft pick of 2019. Lindstrom has been getting all the first-team reps at right guard and the job appears to be his to lose.

 

Interested to watch O-line again today. So far Chris Lindstrom has taken every rep at RG with the starters through first three practices. Number of reps at LG between James Carpenter and Jamon Brown has been dead even so far. #Falcons

Unless Lindstrom suffers an injury between now and Week 1, he should be penciled in as the starter. If he does, either Jamon Brown or James Carpenter would likely replace him.

 

4. The left guard competition has no favorite yet

While right guard seems settled, the opposite is the case on the other side of Alex Mack. Brown and Carpenter are locked in a competition to see who starts at left guard and there doesn’t appear to be a favorite yet.

ESPN reports that they are rotating first-team reps day to day.

 

Probably a day by day rotation with James Carpenter and Jamon Brown going on at left guard

 
 

Carpenter has more experience in general and particularly in the zone blocking kind of scheme the Falcons run. Brown is four years younger and has more upside, though.

For what it’s worth, Brown ran with the starters today.

 

5. Mohamed Sanu is making plays

Every summer it seems Sanu is responsible for an inordinate number of highlight reel worthy plays.

Sanu has continued his streak of offseason dominance into 2019. So far, he’s made more big plays than anyone based on the clips coming out of practice. Here’s a few of his best, including a couple one-handed catches.

 

 

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Last 5 of the 10 Takeaways:

 

6. Calvin Ridley tweaked his hamstring

Even having the deepest receiver corps in the league can’t save you from injuries, though. Last year’s first-round pick suffered a minor injury at today’s practice, with Ridley tweaking his right hamstring, per the AJC.

 

#Falcons WR Calvin Ridley seems to have hurt his hamstring while running a route.

Ridley was later seen trying to run it off.

It does not appear to be serious. After practice, coach Dan Quinn told reporters that Ridley should be ready to go for the next block of practices, which begins Saturday.

Dan Quinn says he expects Calvin Ridley to be ready for the next four-day block, which starts Saturday. #Falcons

 

7. Defensive injuries are already piling up

While it wouldn’t be ideal, the Falcons can probably afford an injury or two on offense to anybody except Matt Ryan without much of a dropoff. The same isn’t true for the other side of the ball, though.Last year, serious injuries to several key defensive players effectively derailed Atlanta’s playoff hopes. This year, it looks like more of the same may be in the cards. A few important backups have already been injured this offseason.

Gradick Sports 

 

Two rough injuries for the #Falcons today. S JJ Wilcox has torn his ACL and is out for the season. #Falcons DL Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle and is out indefinitely.
Via: @RapSheet

So far, defensive tackle Michael Bennett has broken his ankle and is out indefinitely, safety J.J. Wilcox tore his ACL and is out for the season and so is defensive end Steven Means with an Achilles tear.

 

8. Kemal Ishmael’s value on display

One guy who will help keep the defense glued together no matter what happens is safety/linebacker Kemal Ishmael.With Wilcox done for the year, Ishmael’s been asked to resume his old role as a strong safety. He will likely serve as Keanu Neal’s primary backup at that spot.

 

Appears like Kemal Ishmael is getting a look at box safety with the second group with J.J. Wilcox out for the year. As y’all know, Ishmael came to Atlanta as a safety and then bulked up to linebacker. So he has familiarity there.

ESPN reports Ishmael will play safety 75 percent of the time and linebacker 25 percent.

Ishmael is also a critical special teams player. He led the Falcons in special teams snaps last year by a wide margin.

 

9. Two candidates emerge at punt returner

Speaking of special teams, the Falcons are in need of an upgrade at the returner positions.

Justin Hardy didn’t do much as a punt returner last season, posting just 147 yards on 20 attempts. This year, Hardy does not appear to be part of that competition. Instead, sixth-round pick Marcus Green and veteran running back/return specialist Kenjon Barner are mixing it up.

 

Still very early, but it looks like the #Falcons will have a new punt returner in 2019. Have yet to see Justin Hardy back to return kicks. Been mostly Marcus Green and Kenjon Barner.

Barner has plus athleticism and a lot of return experience, but it’s going to be hard for him to beat out Green, who was perhaps the best returner in college football the last couple of years.

 

10. John Cominsky could see real playing time

Finally, Atlanta’s defense could get a significant boost from one of its promising young rookies. Fourth-round pick John Cominsky is our favorite sleeper of this draft class and he appears to be living up to the hype so far.

Comsinky has gotten some reps with the defensive line starters and has flashed a couple of times.

 

Pads on! Intensity is up. Dline whipping Oline early in practice. Here #Falcons rookie DT John Cominsky beats left guard Jamon Brown.

The Falcons will likely use Cominsky the same way as Jack Crawford and Allen Bailey, lining him up inside and outside depending on the situation.

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Right after the draft I said,, My favorite picks were Cominsky and Green, I knew they had the best chance to start out of all our draft picks. I'm excited to see what they can do... Good feeling about these two and as far as that goes,, We had a solid draft. To get players like this in the middle of the draft and then get two starting quality OL with our first two picks also.. It's just a great thing to look forward to this season.

papachaz, Chaz and vafalconfan like this

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1 hour ago, Draftnut57 said:

Right after the draft I said,, My favorite picks were Cominsky and Green, I knew they had the best chance to start out of all our draft picks. I'm excited to see what they can do... Good feeling about these two and as far as that goes,, We had a solid draft. To get players like this in the middle of the draft and then get two starting quality OL with our first two picks also.. It's just a great thing to look forward to this season.

First, I agree with your overall impression that 2019 might be one of the Falcons best off-seasons ever. There are a good number of new players, from both free agency and the draft, who should make significant contributions during the upcoming season.  I think that Green should beat out Barner for Punt and Kick-off Returner., and would thus be a significant contributor this year.

However, I don't think that Cominsky will contribute that much this season. Although Cominsky has very good athletic potential, he is too inexperienced and went-up against lesser competition.  He will probably need at least a year to gain necessary experience against pro players in the preseason and at practices before he can contribute.  Also the Defensive Line is pretty stacked right now with Grady, Takk, Crawford, Clayborn, Bailey, Beasley, Senat, Davison, and Hageman. With Cominsky, that makes 10 Defensive Linemen who should make the final 53-man roster. Not more than 9 will be active on game day, which I think would necessitate Cominsky being Inactive on game days, unless there is an injury to one of the aforementioned.

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5 hours ago, theProf said:

Ishmael’s been asked to resume his old role as a strong safety. He will likely serve as Keanu Neal’s primary backup at that spot.

No longer a player who may inserted in certain situations as a LB?

I think not. They will find a way to play him some.

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1 hour ago, Tim Mazetti said:

No longer a player who may inserted in certain situations as a LB?

I think not. They will find a way to play him some.

Does he still have any speed to chase downfield tho? Pretty sure he would be attacked

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I’d be playing Cominsky Miller and Sheffield McGary Green & Lindstrom lots in those pre-season hitouts.Just to see if the potential seen at OTAs & TC is legit or not.

TheFatboi likes this

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5 hours ago, Draftnut57 said:

Right after the draft I said,, My favorite picks were Cominsky and Green, I knew they had the best chance to start out of all our draft picks. I'm excited to see what they can do... Good feeling about these two and as far as that goes,, We had a solid draft. To get players like this in the middle of the draft and then get two starting quality OL with our first two picks also.. It's just a great thing to look forward to this season.

Could have swore a few days back you said Scheffield was your favorite pick in the draft...or am I wrong?

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51 minutes ago, ButSkiuup said:

11. Trufant has been getting roasted by every receiver we have 

 

 

Kevin Knight says you’re a liar (pg 6 of the TC thread)

”secondary was balling today. Oliver and Trufant both had great reps.”

 

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I think when the offense is sputtering you can bring in a Green or Ollison as a change of pace. It's going to be hard not to let these two guys  help win games for the Falcons.

 

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1 hour ago, ButSkiuup said:

11. Trufant has been getting roasted by every receiver we have 

 

 

HAHA, hot take there...

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1 hour ago, 1989Fan said:

Kevin Knight says you’re a liar (pg 6 of the TC thread)

”secondary was balling today. Oliver and Trufant both had great reps.”

 

Noooo that guy don’t lie.

Dropping one liners with zero substance lol.

Another joker trying to be a shock jock to get a reaction.Yawn.

TheFatboi likes this

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I have to admit, while I loved the Cominsky pick as a 4th rounder, I pretty much expected him to ride the pine his rookie season. He came to college at 220lbs, played Division II and I expected him to have to adapt to being 280lbs although I know his senior year he was basically that.

I am pleasantly surprised to see him get reps with first team, and to me this could signify this kids upside is crazy high. Not too many players could come out of his situation and jump right into first team reps his rookie training camp.

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4 hours ago, ButSkiuup said:

11. Trufant has been getting roasted by every receiver we have 

 

 

LOL, your brain is roasted me thinks.

 

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12 hours ago, 1989Fan said:

Could have swore a few days back you said Scheffield was your favorite pick in the draft...or am I wrong?

Your right,, I did and I meant to put his name,, thanks for correcting me. I would put the two you mentions as my top three . I am looking forward to see Green can do as a return man. We need somebody to step up in that area. WE don't have many weaknesses , but that was a weakness last year.. I do believe that we have around 3 players that might can fill that need.. 

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13 hours ago, ButSkiuup said:

11. Trufant has been getting roasted by every receiver we have 

 

 

When were you in Flowery Branch?

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13 hours ago, 1989Fan said:

Could have swore a few days back you said Scheffield was your favorite pick in the draft...or am I wrong?

He has to call everyone his favorite so whoever does best he can say he called it.

rugger8 likes this

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