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Good Read: ESPN artical on Falcons Rookie Camp


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https://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/36187/falcons-rookie-minicamp-proves-a-starting-point-for-arthur-smith-and-his-players

It wasn’t, in the moment, any different for Arthur Smith. The Atlanta Falcons' first-time head coach had seen other people go through this before, been on enough staffs to see what worked and what didn’t. He’d been working toward this for 15 years now since his playing career ended at North Carolina.

It’s not a game or a full practice with 90 guys running around. But this weekend was a milestone for Smith of sorts at Falcons rookie minicamp -- the first time he held the whistle as the one running the show.

On the field, it felt the same for him as it had with the Titans and Washington, when he was an assistant and then a coordinator. Only later did he really think about the difference.

“It’s usually at night when you’re going back, watching the film, watching the different individual drills, you take a moment,” Smith said. “And you’re like, all right, now I gotta be -- I’m responsible for the entire team, and it’s cool. It’s surreal. It’s what you wanted. It’s what you signed up for.”

COVID-19 protocols changed what this year’s rookie minicamp looked like. There were fewer tryout players and fewer players overall, altering what teams could do. One of Smith’s philosophies is “you may hate change, but you loathe extinction.” So he took what the NFL said they could do, adapted his plan to it and set out to practice.

Because so much of what rookie minicamp is ends up being an introduction. Atlanta didn’t go full speed much of Friday’s practice, but it became a starting point for rookies to get a sense of what they were getting into.

“I love getting on the green grass, being able to make calls and command a defense, things like that,” said safety Richie Grant, the team’s second-round pick. “Went a little fast, a little fast [Friday]. I think that was on purpose to see how we practice and how we react to situations like that.”

Saturday, defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham said, picked up a bit more. There were fewer mistakes, and the pace was a little bit faster -- a little bit cleaner. The "high intensity” stayed the same.

It also gave players a chance to see what Smith will be like as a coach. There were interactions during the pre-draft process and meetings and conversations since, but none of them had seen Smith on the field as a head coach before and just a handful.

Smith said he could tell. Players hadn’t been in a true practice environment for months. First-round pick Kyle Pitts said tempo and details were focal points, along with attitude and effort.

That makes sense since everyone, on some level, is still new to this.

“Everyone is kind of falling in line,” Pitts said. “And following the leader.”

Smith’s plan -- like many other teams around the league -- was to start slow as a building process. So while he might be intrigued by cornerback Avery Williams’ potential as a two-way player, Smith wants Williams to focus on defense and special teams first. It's why they are working offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield inside at guard even though he played tackle in college to get a sense of how he might adapt on the interior. They already know what he can do outside. Mayfield said it would be a “challenge” but he has changed positions before -- from left tackle to right tackle at Michigan.

It's all part of the start of their careers because while football is still football, everything about this is new -- for both the coach and the players -- including how everything is going to be structured.

“Try to educate yourself, what’s the best, you’re looking at things in sports science, you’re looking at numbers, you’re looking at, really, the different teaching methods,” Smith said. “You’re just looking around for anything you think can help your team and I’m not trying to be too concerned about what somebody else outside of here is doing but we’re constantly evaluating it.

“It’s the approach that we’ll have as long as I’m here.”


 

Kinda starting to get a feel of how the ship will be ran with Arthur Smith in charge.  It will be interesting to see how the vets take to it all. 

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51 minutes ago, KRUNKuno said:

https://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/36187/falcons-rookie-minicamp-proves-a-starting-point-for-arthur-smith-and-his-players

It wasn’t, in the moment, any different for Arthur Smith. The Atlanta Falcons' first-time head coach had seen other people go through this before, been on enough staffs to see what worked and what didn’t. He’d been working toward this for 15 years now since his playing career ended at North Carolina.

It’s not a game or a full practice with 90 guys running around. But this weekend was a milestone for Smith of sorts at Falcons rookie minicamp -- the first time he held the whistle as the one running the show.

On the field, it felt the same for him as it had with the Titans and Washington, when he was an assistant and then a coordinator. Only later did he really think about the difference.

“It’s usually at night when you’re going back, watching the film, watching the different individual drills, you take a moment,” Smith said. “And you’re like, all right, now I gotta be -- I’m responsible for the entire team, and it’s cool. It’s surreal. It’s what you wanted. It’s what you signed up for.”

COVID-19 protocols changed what this year’s rookie minicamp looked like. There were fewer tryout players and fewer players overall, altering what teams could do. One of Smith’s philosophies is “you may hate change, but you loathe extinction.” So he took what the NFL said they could do, adapted his plan to it and set out to practice.

Because so much of what rookie minicamp is ends up being an introduction. Atlanta didn’t go full speed much of Friday’s practice, but it became a starting point for rookies to get a sense of what they were getting into.

“I love getting on the green grass, being able to make calls and command a defense, things like that,” said safety Richie Grant, the team’s second-round pick. “Went a little fast, a little fast [Friday]. I think that was on purpose to see how we practice and how we react to situations like that.”

Saturday, defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham said, picked up a bit more. There were fewer mistakes, and the pace was a little bit faster -- a little bit cleaner. The "high intensity” stayed the same.

It also gave players a chance to see what Smith will be like as a coach. There were interactions during the pre-draft process and meetings and conversations since, but none of them had seen Smith on the field as a head coach before and just a handful.

Smith said he could tell. Players hadn’t been in a true practice environment for months. First-round pick Kyle Pitts said tempo and details were focal points, along with attitude and effort.

That makes sense since everyone, on some level, is still new to this.

“Everyone is kind of falling in line,” Pitts said. “And following the leader.”

Smith’s plan -- like many other teams around the league -- was to start slow as a building process. So while he might be intrigued by cornerback Avery Williams’ potential as a two-way player, Smith wants Williams to focus on defense and special teams first. It's why they are working offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield inside at guard even though he played tackle in college to get a sense of how he might adapt on the interior. They already know what he can do outside. Mayfield said it would be a “challenge” but he has changed positions before -- from left tackle to right tackle at Michigan.

It's all part of the start of their careers because while football is still football, everything about this is new -- for both the coach and the players -- including how everything is going to be structured.

“Try to educate yourself, what’s the best, you’re looking at things in sports science, you’re looking at numbers, you’re looking at, really, the different teaching methods,” Smith said. “You’re just looking around for anything you think can help your team and I’m not trying to be too concerned about what somebody else outside of here is doing but we’re constantly evaluating it.

“It’s the approach that we’ll have as long as I’m here.”


 

Kinda starting to get a feel of how the ship will be ran with Arthur Smith in charge.  It will be interesting to see how the vets take to it all. 

If we are to be successful this year it will be on the back of the rookies more so than the vets. We know what are vets can deliver but its the rookies ability to hit the ground running and limit mistakes that will lift us into playoffs. We will likely start more newbies than most teams and our coaches ability to train them up will be critical 

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3 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

 

It's a running joke here.  Like "he's a breast" or "he got love for the streets but no love for the gane," or "Keith Brookings and Brian Finnerman," or "move Duckett to FB."

Ive waited an eternity to be able to add to an "artical" thread. Yes its a running gag.

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38 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

 

It's a running joke here.  Like "he's a breast" or "he got love for the streets but no love for the gane," or "Keith Brookings and Brian Finnerman," or "move Duckett to FB."

I know I'm guilty of this with several word combinations. If you make this mistake, I'll notice 100% of the time. If I make it, there is no chance on this planet that I will notice at the time. When I do catch them is when I get quoted! Chance, Change; red, read; the, they; there, their; and it, if, is are my worst combinations. I know the difference, but as I get older there is a muscle memory/auto correct feature to my typing that gets me into a lot of trouble. My brain knows the word I was thinking and substitutes it for the word I typed subconsciously. Makes it darn hard to proof read my own work. Best of all, its getting worse with age!

My point: When you see me do this, assume its a mistake and that I'm not in on the joke.

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Posted (edited)

This article artical makes me more hopeful than anything that has happened in recent history.  Yes, more than the draft. 

You may have noticed me preaching for a long time about how the players can do what they can do, and cannot do what they cannot do.  It is the coaches that have to adapt.  It requires player analysis, experimentation, coaching, strategizing, development, and planning.  It has been missing for a long time.  And, I have been cautious about assuming it is here now.  It is here.  This is how football is supposed to work. 

I am ready for the season now.

Don't get after me for the spelling.  I did see the mistake later and, as you can see, korrected it.

Edited by NorthGaBoy
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10 hours ago, KRUNKuno said:

It's why they are working offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield inside at guard even though he played tackle in college to get a sense of how he might adapt on the interior. They already know what he can do outside. Mayfield said it would be a “challenge”

Ewww, Im liking this selection less and less.

I would have thought this was a home run move for his playing on the interior.

 

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6 minutes ago, OrthoPTSD said:

Ewww, Im liking this selection less and less.

I would have thought this was a home run move for his playing on the interior.

 

Mayfield when drafted: "I'm just ready to contribute wherever they want me to play."

Mayfield after 1st practice: "Tackle? Yeah, this is going to be a challenge!"

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2 hours ago, JDaveG said:

 

It's a running joke here.  Like "he's a breast" or "he got love for the streets but no love for the gane," or "Keith Brookings and Brian Finnerman," or "move Duckett to FB."

I know lol I just HAD to reference it. It’s probably number 2 to “Hive Sop Dap” as far as hilarity.

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3 hours ago, vafalconfan said:

This might be the most interesting first year we've ever witnessed. There are a lot of fascinating subplots to this team and how they embrace Arthur Smith and his staff.

No might be ! I know this is the most interesting first year we've ever witnessed ,,  Because of NEW Coach and total makeover ... Not just saying this , but I truly believe this will be our best  Turn around This Falcon team has ever experienced. And I actually think it has already started,,  IMO ,, the best hire's for the new staff.. The best Draft I personally believe we have ever had.. We'll have to judge that after the season.. But I think all of us fans will agree with this post by the end of this season.  I Do !!  :golfclap:

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