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9 observations from Falcons’ Sunday practice


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The Falcons worked on their low and high red zone offensive attack and special teams on Sunday.
 

 

Here are some observations and notes from the practice:

 

--Defensive end Takk McKinley was limited in practice. He took part in the individual drills, but did not take part in the 11-on-11 part of practice. He’s coming back from offseason shoulder surgery .

 

--Offensive guard Jamon Brown, who was in the concussion protocol, was on the field and is in the final stages of working his way back.

--Running back Qadree Ollison did not practice.

 

 

--Rookie Matt Hennessy lined up at left guard with the starting unit.

--With McKinley out, Allen Bailey and Dante Fowler were the first-team defensive ends. Charles Harris and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner were the second-team defensive ends. John Cominsky and Deadrin Senat were the second team defensive tackles.

--Rookie Marlon Davidson (knee strain) did not practice and is expected to miss “a few more days,” according to coach Dan Quinn.

--In half-speed 11-on-11, tight end Jaeden Graham had a big catch in zone coverage.

--Running back Ito Smith flashed in 11-on-11 with a big run up the middle and a couple of nice catches along the sideline that he turned upfield.

--Wide receivers Brandon Powell and Chris Rowland were back deep as the kickoff returners. It was interesting that rookie linebacker Mykal Walker was on the unit. “Full speed drops, no big collisions,” one coach yelled. Rowland caught the ball cleanly and flashed his speed.
 

A few notes:

Trench battles. The Falcons are counting on the defensive line to get the offensive line together.

Fowler, who had a great game against the Falcons and right tackle Kaleb McGary, is getting him ready for the season. Left tackle Jake Matthews and McKinley have had some major battles.

Over the offseason, the Falcons discussed the practice battles of future Hall of Famer’s, Rams tackle Jackie Slater and defensive end Kevin Greene.

“That’s kind of the secret sauce beneath it all because the more you work, the more you get after it – we had just a great meeting over the spring where Kevin Greene was talking about the work that he and Jackie Slater did together,” Quinn said. “There’s two Hall of Fame players, but just that attitude, that effort of going against one another, of course it made you stronger.”

Gono at tackle: Offensive lineman Matt Gono, who opened training camp at left guard, is getting more work at tackle.

“We’re not sure where we’re going to go,” Quinn said. “Last block, we hit a little bit more tackle. We’ll do a little bit more of that. Nothing is decided for us in terms of where he will play yet, so having that versatility, can he play two spots?”

“I think as we’re going through the roster, it’s one of the questions, what else can the player do? I can be a guard and a tackle. I can be a nickel and an outside corner. I can be a halfback or a fullback. Those are some of the questions that are coming up. So, it was good to see Matt Gono in specific answer some of those.”

The Right moves: McKinley has marveled at Fowler’s moves.

“That dude is amazing,” McKinley said. “He’s always got a plan on why he (does) things as far as his rushes. Even if he (does) go bull (rush), it’s to set them up for a chop, club and rip moves. I never really had that approach sometimes. I’m going bull just to see. Then I’m going bull again. I’m just bulling to bull, you feel me. He’s bulling, but now he’s going to counter off of it.”

So, McKinley is to work some counter moves into his rushers.

“Taking in his different approaches has been helpful for me,” McKinley said. “It’s likes chess out there or it’s like baseball. You give them fast ball, fast ball, fast ball and then your change up. Just listening to him talk. When he talks, I’m listening. The 11 sacks or however many he had last year wasn’t a fluke, you feel me.”

McKinley said that Fowler has encouraged him after a bad play. He tells him to move on to the next play.

“We want to go out and show that we can be the best ends in the NFL,” McKinley said. “It’s easy to talk about it, but we have to be about it.”

Depth at defensive end. The battle for depth at defensive end will be fierce. Adrian Clayborn, who was not re-signed. played 439 snaps (42%) last season.

“(Steven) Means was one that had a good scrimmage as well,” Quinn said. “How do you mix up those snaps. Adrian had a little bit on inside and outside flex which Means does as well.”

Means, Harris and Tuioti-Mariner are battling to get those snaps.

“All of those guys are getting reps as we are rolling through,” Quinn said. “I think this block, the next one and the next one, will tell a lot about the backup defensive end spot and who can be a part of that rotation and get significant reps.”
 

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Great artical! Except for the part where Quinn is expounding on the virtues of Gono being able to play guard and tackle. I for one have seen enough of this "jack of all trades, master of none" bs to l

The Falcons worked on their low and high red zone offensive attack and special teams on Sunday.     Here are some observations and notes from the practice:   --

Yes. That was supposed to be Beasley. Part of my thinking of takk coming along slower than he should’ve is his OG was VB. Had it been Fowler from the jump Takk would’ve had a dawg to look up to. I’ve

Great artical! Except for the part where Quinn is expounding on the virtues of Gono being able to play guard and tackle. I for one have seen enough of this "jack of all trades, master of none" bs to last me a lifetime. Put players where they play best then leave them the **** alone.

/rant

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6 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

The fact Takk is marveling at Fowler for having a plan of attack each snap is telling...I mean, it makes it sound like we haven’t had a POA since 2016 on the DL...lol

(And yes, this is partly me just joking around so don’t get upset for me bringing it up)

giphy.gif

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11 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Great artical! Except for the part where Quinn is expounding on the virtues of Gono being able to play guard and tackle. I for one have seen enough of this "jack of all trades, master of none" bs to last me a lifetime. Put players where they play best then leave them the **** alone.

/rant

Yep! that part irked the **** out of me too.

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31 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Great artical! Except for the part where Quinn is expounding on the virtues of Gono being able to play guard and tackle. I for one have seen enough of this "jack of all trades, master of none" bs to last me a lifetime. Put players where they play best then leave them the **** alone.

/rant

All coaches do it, even the great billy b. 

It worked well for the saints OL, and our DL with Clayborn. 

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4 minutes ago, Osiruz said:

All coaches do it, even the great billy b. 

It worked well for the saints OL, and our DL with Clayborn. 

Sorry, but any idea in the world can work well if you have the right players and the right coaches to make it work. Judging from what we've seen on D since Quinn began preaching this, I'm not seeing this as a one-size-fits all concept, Clayborn's play notwithstanding. 

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I want to know why our coaches haven't thought to teach Takk counter moves until he sees a vet doing it. Is it possible our coaches suck and the reason beasley had a good year is he actually had a teacher in Freeney to fill gaps where the coaching was inadequate?

Hope Fowler can do the same for Takk but this seems like a potentially big reason why we dont develop pass rushers? How could he possibly go into year 4 not knowing counter moves should be a thing...

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Hennessey drafted to be the future at C or G?  Hadn't Gono already answered those questions over last couple years?  Confused ...... is it potential $ afraid of?  Trying to pay cheaply and hide Gono?  I have to think he would be a very good guard.  Do they truly think he is a great T, but have too much invested in those positions right now to justify a switch to an undrafted player.

Edited by Gonobeast
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1 hour ago, PokerSteve said:

Great artical! Except for the part where Quinn is expounding on the virtues of Gono being able to play guard and tackle. I for one have seen enough of this "jack of all trades, master of none" bs to last me a lifetime. Put players where they play best then leave them the **** alone.

/rant

it's really starting to piss me off. ok we drafted Hennessy great but let him learn from the best and get Gono in LG and quit wasting valuable gelling time. geez

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58 minutes ago, ATLFalcon36 said:

I want to know why our coaches haven't thought to teach Takk counter moves until he sees a vet doing it. Is it possible our coaches suck and the reason beasley had a good year is he actually had a teacher in Freeney to fill gaps where the coaching was inadequate?

Hope Fowler can do the same for Takk but this seems like a potentially big reason why we dont develop pass rushers? How could he possibly go into year 4 not knowing counter moves should be a thing...

A better question is how does this happen under a supposed defensive line guru in Quinn?

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1 hour ago, ATLFalcon36 said:

I want to know why our coaches haven't thought to teach Takk counter moves until he sees a vet doing it. Is it possible our coaches suck and the reason beasley had a good year is he actually had a teacher in Freeney to fill gaps where the coaching was inadequate?

Hope Fowler can do the same for Takk but this seems like a potentially big reason why we dont develop pass rushers? How could he possibly go into year 4 not knowing counter moves should be a thing...

Could be Takk is all consumed with Takk and didn’t listen to the coaches. I mean he’s been here four yrs I hope it’s not the first time he thought about it. It’s time Takk got his asz in gear .....no more excuses and BS

Edited by Atl Falcon
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1 hour ago, PokerSteve said:

Great artical! Except for the part where Quinn is expounding on the virtues of Gono being able to play guard and tackle. I for one have seen enough of this "jack of all trades, master of none" bs to last me a lifetime. Put players where they play best then leave them the **** alone.

/rant

Yeah man sometimes you just have to trust your depth, and one thing have this year is depth.

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2 minutes ago, Beast-N-Da-Sheetz said:

Yeah man sometimes you just have to trust your depth, and one thing have this year is depth.

Agree. This is stupid logic. You have player A who is very good at guard. Then you have player B who is half-asz at guard, but he's also half-asz at tackle, so you cut player A because he's not versatile enough and keep player B. This is the epitome of ignorance.

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2 hours ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

The fact Takk is marveling at Fowler for having a plan of attack each snap is telling...I mean, it makes it sound like we haven’t had a POA since 2016 on the DL...lol

(And yes, this is partly me just joking around so don’t get upset for me bringing it up)

I thought the same thing. Like what pass rusher doesn't know to use moves to set up other moves? I mean sure you may not be as good at it but the concept shouldn't be foreign. Someone has failed Takk and these dudes. 

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2 minutes ago, Dem Birds said:

I thought the same thing. Like what pass rusher doesn't know to use moves to set up other moves? I mean sure you may not be as good at it but the concept shouldn't be foreign. Someone has failed Takk and these dudes. 

He was failed by multiple people thanks to the infamous NFL Good Old Boy coaching tree which keeps mediocre/failed coaches circulating and drawing paychecks.

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38 minutes ago, raysnill1 said:

it's really starting to piss me off. ok we drafted Hennessy great but let him learn from the best and get Gono in LG and quit wasting valuable gelling time. geez

I wasn’t too happy about it initially either but Hennessy wouldn’t have an opportunity to play until Mack got hurt or retired. I would rather have him battle tested at Guard. Also get a bird’s eye view of one of the greatest to ever do it by playing right next to Mack. 

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5 minutes ago, SipDirtyBird84 said:

I wasn’t too happy about it initially either but Hennessy wouldn’t have an opportunity to play until Mack got hurt or retired. I would rather have him battle tested at Guard. Also get a bird’s eye view of one of the greatest to ever do it by playing right next to Mack. 

he's already a really good center and long term. Gono starts at LG gets a year experience, Hennessy learns for a year. then next season instead of doing this same song over again, we'll have 4 positions solidified with a center taking over that learned from the best.

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2 hours ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

The fact Takk is marveling at Fowler for having a plan of attack each snap is telling...I mean, it makes it sound like we haven’t had a POA since 2016 on the DL...lol

(And yes, this is partly me just joking around so don’t get upset for me bringing it up)

Yes. That was supposed to be Beasley. Part of my thinking of takk coming along slower than he should’ve is his OG was VB. Had it been Fowler from the jump Takk would’ve had a dawg to look up to. I’ve stressed this so many times till I’m blue in the face. Young players coming in many times are as good as the leader of the room. For instance Roddy being the leader of the wr room. Made a difference for Julio. Carter being the leader of the vikes wr room made a difference to moss. I thought was it too soon to turn it over to VB. He should’ve had one more year of tutoring. Same with tru and Alf with Asante. Asante even told me that. 

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I understand the versatility thing.  In this case, it opens a roster spot up for another position bc one player fills (2) spots.  But in this case the ol has been a sore spot.  So going with the best first makes the ol better.  What happens if the LG (say Hennessey) goes down and an older Mack.  Trouble.  I think it really comes down to a couple things.  Gono is really good and they need him at T b/c the rookie drafted last year at LT is still in a watch and hope mode.  And Gono is lightly paid, so if he starts and plays well the entire NFL will want him and an organization would pay big $ for his services (versatile too).  Not sure Atlanta wants to be in a bidding war.  Instead they could sign him with a nice pay raise but comfortable for the cap.  I thought last year, Falcons should have started him. Now tape is out and they could pay or trade.

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