Atlanta Falcons

Dirty Bird Chit Chat

Atlanta Falcons helmet resting during a game at Mercedes Benz Stadium #NFL, #dirtybirds, #falcons, #inbrotherhood, #atlantafalcons, #ATL, #ASN #nfc, #nfcsouth,

On players missing from practice today:

“Some guys are just sore. After the game, with Mike Hughes’ soft tissue, it’s going to be maybe a week or so. It’s the same thing with Cornell Armstrong who wasn’t down there and then Frank Darby same thing. Those guys and there’s some other guys that are really short term are just really kind of nicked up and we have a pretty heavy week ahead of us, there are some guys that obviously didn’t play in the game- those are the guys we went heavy with today. We’re going to turn around and practice pretty heavy in the morning so when we came out here, we needed the speed, especially the guys that didn’t play, we needed the work so that’s all we were trying to do today. There are some guys we held in that will be out at practice tomorrow. [Drew] Dalman is in that group. He should be fine in the morning, we’ll take it in the morning, maybe it’s another day, but nothing we’re concerned about.”

On LB Frank Ginda:

“There will be a corresponding move we’ll have to put in by four o’clock.”

On whether RB Cordarrelle Patterson is resting today:

“No, CP he’s got a soft tissue. We’ll just take it; we’ll be smart with it. Nothing to be concerned about long term.”

On CB Clark Phillips III making a return to practice today:

“Yeah, absolutely, it’s training camp. We chart everything. There are some guys we held out down in Miami, that wasn’t some veteran thing or status thing, we just look at the reps and you’re looking to play the long game. You got three games and how do you want to divvy those reps up. We used it for Logan [Woodside] to get an evaluation and our starters, with the exception of some guys that are injured. Everybody is going to play unless they’ve got something that medically we’re going to need to keep them out, so at some point. Give or take, you’ve got 180 reps hopefully O and D, just rounding, and how do you want to divvy those out to ramp them up. Our starters, the ones that are healthy and ready to go, they’ll play Friday night.

On DL Albert Huggins performance in the Miami game:

“You could even feel in the first quarter that guys haven’t played football in a while. The practices were great, even in the first quarter, you could almost feel for both teams, regardless of who is out there, you can just tell that people hadn’t played in a while. Then the game settles in and you could see guys and Huggins did a nice job. Him and Timmy [Timothy] Horne I thought flashed the other night up front. Huggins is coming off a knee injury and so it was good to see him, you could see his confidence growing so hopefully he can continue that. It’s a great way to see them, it’s the closest thing you have to a regular season game. You’re tackling, everything’s live, so it’s good to see some guys show up.”

On whether LB Mykal Walker is injured:

“There’s a lot of guys we kept in today. There’s a couple things that we may have make that may affect some other guys and we just got to let it play out. The thing that you have to do in training camp as you’re going through 90 guys is if we’re working guys out, if there’s guys who are going to be out the rest of camp, you got to make decisions on. There’s a lot of things going on.”

On DL Timmy Horne’s training camp:

“Just a guy in there trying to make the team and contribute. Timmy played some for us last year. There’s a good competition. We feel like we have a lot of depth on the d-line, and somebody’s going to emerge that’s going to be in that rotation that’s going to help us. Certainly, he’s had a good camp so far.”

On whether having players that started games last year compete for roster spots this year speaks to the depth of the roster:

“Well, it’s every year. That’s the hardest thing to do is year after year – I don’t think people realize how hard it is, not only to get to the NFL, to have some kind of success, but really to maintain it. Every year, you’re watching your own guys. You certainly have guys that you invest in and you’re expecting them, but you got to be objective. So, as you’re putting the pieces together, you’re evaluating everybody. It’s the hardest thing to do. That level of pressure of performance, day after day, can you improve? That’s why I have a lot of faith in Tim. He came back this year, and we’ll see how it goes.”

On the value of having linebackers be able to play both inside and outside:

“We have a lot of guys playing at a lot of spots. We’ve cross-trained DeAngelo [Malone] and AK [Arnold Ebiketie] – guys that train inside that play a base d end, that can go outside and play a stand-up-and-rush situation. We have a lot of guys that are cross-training. Same with guys at safety. There are guys like Micah Abernathy who can play safety, can play big nickel, it’s everybody – versatility. Unless you’re just about an every-down starter, you need to have versatility. That goes to fourth down or kicking game. We have a lot of guys that are doing that, and that’s our job to cross-train them. Sometimes it’s not just next guy has to go. Same thing with the offensive line. Tackle goes down, what’s the best? Is it moving somebody out? Is it moving somebody across? Those are things we’re always working on – contingency plans.”

On what he likes about where the team is at:

“I think when you look at it, it’s preseason – take it with a grain of salt. Some people overreact. You certainly see that every year around the league, but I think it’s a good measuring stick to see where you’re at in your program, your depth. Especially, if it’s a game where a lot of your veterans or guys that play a lot of snaps aren’t playing. I thought that intent, the style we wanted to play, was it perfect? No. It’s never going to be perfect, but no matter who was in there, I thought those guys were competing and there was a lot of passion. Those defensive backs, they were flying around. I thought the o-line played physical. That was good to see. We had a big play in the kicking game. It was a hell of an opportunity back there that I thought Dee took advantage of. So, pleased in that regard, but there’s a lot of things that we need to clean up.”

On whether DB Dee Alford’s punt return touchdown put them closer to making a decision on that job moving forward:

“It’s never permanent. Avery was unique. We had a lot of faith in Avery. That was his number one job, but sometimes you get in a game, if you have multiple guys that can do it – certainly if there’s a guy that you think is a weapon back there that’s, ‘hold your breath’ because this guy can take it to the house – it was good to see Dee do that, but sometimes a guy may be worn out, and you’re saying, ‘Hey, he’s playing full time,’ whatever the gameplan is. If you’ve got another guy who can go in there that you trust that you think is capable – it helps to have depth, but if somebody earns it that’s a weapon, that’s certainly a step in the right direction when you can make a play like that.”

On how a player with an established role winning the punt return job would change the machination of the 53-man roster:

“A lot, because it gives you a lot more roster flexibility.”

On how he would evaluate QB Logan Woodside’s performance throughout the game:

“I thought Logan–I’ve been fortunate to be with Logan at a couple of different stages in his career. I thought he played really well, poised, you can just tell by the body language in the pocket, I thought we had given him ample time for the most part, I thought his decision making was pretty good and he was pretty damn accurate. A lot of times, too, when you get in those games whether things don’t go exactly how you want, a lot of times what happens too, is can you let a bad play go? I thought he did a nice job of that, there’s a negative play coming back and getting us back on track, it wasn’t perfect, but I thought he played pretty well.”

On whether QB Logan Woodside’s performance makes him take keeping three quarterbacks into consideration:

“It’s a big part of the evaluation but we still have a couple of weeks to go. There are so many things that can happen. Certainly, it was a positive night for Logan, but like a lot of these guys, we’ve got a long way to go.”

On whether he expects OL Matt Hennessy to return to practice this week:

“He did work on the side field last week, he went down in Miami, we didn’t hold him back here, so that’s encouraging. It’s just one of those things, it’s day-to-day and again, everybody’s body is different. I know Matt’s a tough guy and he wants to be out there, it’s just something he’s dealing with, and we’ll just have to see. We’re ramping up day by day and it was good that he came out there last week, he worked on the side field, so we’ll just have to see.”

On the plan to prepare for Friday night’s game against Cincinnati:

“It’s still training camp, it’s a fine line, that’s the old metric when people used to go to the third preseason, ‘oh, it’s a game plan week,’ and they kind of threw it. We just need a lot of work in training camp, and we’ll get to a little bit of Cinncy stuff at the end of the week, but it’s not going to be preparing for a playoff game or anything like that. We need to continue to work on training camp.”

On whether a number of soft tissue injuries amongst players in a short span of time concerning:

“No, you’ve got to put it into perspective. You’ve got 90 guys, I’m not the smartest with math, but when you’ve got 85 guys healthy it’s unfortunate and we feel pretty good about it, it’s just perspective. Again, I don’t know what 85 out of 90 is, this is where I need [Anthony] Firkser. I’m not being in vain, but it’s funny how people’s language and you get all hysterical and you say a number and we take everything seriously. Nothing’s more important than the health and safety of the players on our team, but you’ve got to look at the big picture. Now, if we had 20 guys dropping, I’d say what are we doing? But a guy goes into a game, and it happens early on in a game—I wouldn’t put it as concerning yet. I don’t know the color code with the weather, so I think we’ll be alright, hopefully. I won’t jinx myself, but I think we’ll be alright.”

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