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HomeNFLFalcons coaching camp 2023: Day 9 recap and notes

Falcons coaching camp 2023: Day 9 recap and notes


On the final weekend follow of coaching camp earlier than the crew departs for Miami and will get into preseason mode, we have been handled to a completely stifling efficiency from the protection, and the secondary particularly. The followers confirmed out, the climate didn’t relent and Flowery Department was the place to be because the franchise celebrated arguably their best crew ever. For extra protection and clips, I direct you to my Twitter (X?) feed right here.

Let’s dive proper into what I noticed on the follow discipline in what was a heavy day of scrimmage, on Day 9.


The protection permits some early pink zone success after which nothing else

Following some set up work and 7-on-7 motion, we obtained an opportunity to observe the primary, second and third crew offenses work from the 20 in a pink zone drill. All three of the offenses promptly took all of it 20 yards and every scored a landing — a Desmond Ridder to Bijan Robinson slant for the primary crew, a Carlos Washington Jr. rush for the second crew and a Logan Woodside to Tucker Fisk quick go for the third crew. It appeared like we’d be seeing a continuation from Friday.

After that (and earlier than that, however we’ll get to that in a second), the protection completely had sufficient. The protection was completely stout towards each crew and the defensive backs began accumulating go breakups like sweet — Tre Flowers, A.J. Terrell, Darren Corridor, Mike Hughes, Cliff Chattman, Breon Borders and Natrone Brooks all had at the very least one go defended all through the day. Even when receivers would seem like that they had a reception, the defensive strain would both pry the ball free or pressure an outright drop.

All three of the offenses discovered it to be extremely robust sledding when making an attempt to maneuver the ball, and all three of them failed to attain of their remaining 2-minute drill drives that every one needed to end off the follow. Total, it appeared like extra of what we noticed within the first three days of camp from the secondary, however with much more physicality now that the pads have been on.

Breon Borders, DeMarcco Hellams and Jessie Bates III all file interceptions

After a few consecutive days of follow the place we didn’t see any interceptions, the protection exploded and had three at present, which was a excessive for any single day to date on this 12 months’s coaching camp.

CB Breon Borders obtained the motion began early, within the preliminary 7-on-7 interval for the third crew earlier than we even obtained to pink zone work. He stepped in entrance of a Logan Woodside go close to the sideline (I didn’t see who the supposed recipient was) and undercut it for an interception. In an actual sport scenario it will have gone again all the way in which for a straightforward landing.

The subsequent two interceptions each occurred close to the top of follow, after the secondary had their means with the offense for many of the session. The primary crew’s remaining 2-minute drill drive was derailed after S Jessie Bates III snuffed out what appeared to be a slant sample for WR Drake London and stepped in entrance of it for a straightforward interception of Desmond Ridder to offer the protection an automated win.

The ultimate interception got here on the ultimate play of the day, when the third crew had the chance to go down the sector in their very own 2-minute drill. Woodside took his shot deep to Keilahn Harris in double protection and the deepest man, S DeMarcco Hellams, made a play on the ball and got here down with a pleasant interception. Hellams appeared like he landed laborious on his again and stayed down for a minute earlier than getting up and strolling off beneath his personal energy to some cheers from the followers.

Tough day for all the quarterbacks

Whereas the secondary was phenomenal, the opposite facet of that coin is that Atlanta’s sign callers all have been fairly unhealthy general.

I sound like a damaged file at this level, however I’m a bit involved about the truth that Desmond Ridder continues to be not finishing many deep passes in any respect. I recall seeing one completion of his which went for 10 yards or extra and a bunch of quick ones exterior of that. ESPN’s Michael Rothstein does a great job of monitoring the QB completions throughout every follow, and he had Ridder down as 8-16 general at present. The interception to Bates was fairly unhealthy because it was a straightforward step in and undercut for the Professional Bowl security, however the good is that Ridder did effectively within the pink zone and located Bijan for a rating there.

Logan Woodside had his roughest day of camp, throwing the 2 interceptions and never having the ability to get something going for essentially the most half in any other case. He racked up 5 incompletions on the ultimate 2-minute drive, and each of his interceptions have been ill-advised throws.

Taylor Heinicke is the one one within the group to not throw an interception however he did take two sacks, and he dropped the ball twice — as soon as on a snap and one other time within the pocket for what was dominated an incompletion. He missed three deep pictures on the day, the place he overshot his receiver each time, together with one the place WR Frank Darby had a step on Cornell Armstrong with the latter even falling down. His worst miss was on his remaining drive of follow the place he overshot an open Josh Ali behind the top zone which gave the protection the win.

I’ll give it to Heinicke, nevertheless, in that he had numerous good to go together with his unhealthy. He linked on a number of deep pictures, together with one to Darby the place he delivered an unbelievable ball to his huge receiver for an over-the-shoulder catch in double protection — simply the perfect go of the day. Of the three, I’ve discovered that Heinicke is the least afraid to take his likelihood and sling the ball down the sector. Rothstein had his completions at 9-13.

Frank Darby and Slade Bolden present out

Essentially the most spectacular receivers at present for me have been Frank Darby and Slade Bolden. Let’s begin with Darby. He not solely had the good over-the-shoulder catch from Heinicke that I simply talked about, however he additionally had a deep reception on a dig route in entrance of the protection on the play proper after that one. He would have had a landing as effectively had Heinicke been extra correct on his first deep shot to him, early within the day.

Darby has been an absolute standout because the pads first got here on on Monday, and I’d peg him as the present favourite in that WR5 battle as of this second.

Slade Bolden, in the meantime, had the catch of the day on a Woodside throw on a seam route the place he went up for it together with defender Andre Smith and got here down with a specular seize. From there, Bolden appeared to catch all the pieces that got here his means from each Heinicke and Woodside to place collectively arguably his finest efficiency of camp.

Excellent news on damage updates concerning Jeff Okudah, Matt Hennessy and Jonnu Smith

The Falcons haven’t been with out their justifiable share of accidents throughout camp, and arguably essentially the most impactful one might have come yesterday after CB Jeff Okudah went down with an ankle damage on a one on one drill the place hypothesis and concern have been that he could be out for an extended whereas.

We obtained a little bit of relieving information within the post-practice press convention when Arthur Smith opened it by letting us know that Okudah’s MRI got here again with good outcomes and that they count on him again someday very early within the season. He did say perhaps not Week 1, however he additionally didn’t outright rule that timeframe out, both.

G Matt Hennessy and TE Jonnu Smith are the opposite guys who didn’t take part in follow. That is now Smith’s fourth straight missed follow with a “flare up” whereas Hennessy has not been seen on the sector since getting damage within the early walkthrough on Day 3. Each have been on the market as spectators at present and Arthur Smith stated that they each are getting nearer to returning.

Followers present out, because the franchise celebrates its 1998 NFC Champion crew

The followers sense one thing particular with this crew. That was clear once we noticed the largest turnout for a coaching camp follow since 2017, final Saturday, and so they confirmed up in droves once more at present. I seen it on my drive as much as the power at 8:30 a.m. seeing simply how giant the road to get in was. This can be a full hour earlier than the scheduled begin time.

With out a lot of a doubt after that, the hill ended up getting packed, as lots of of Falcons followers confirmed as much as watch their beloved Birds maintain a padded follow, even if it was 90 levels on a Saturday morning with humidity hitting you proper within the face.

The followers who confirmed up weren’t solely handled to a scrimmage heavy follow, however in addition they obtained to honor some members of the 1998 crew, which went a franchise finest 14-2 and received the NFC Championship Recreation.

Among the many gamers from that crew who confirmed up have been Terrance Mathis, Ray Buchanan, Tim Dwight, O.J. Santiago, Bob Whitfield and naturally the Soiled Fowl himself — Jamal Anderson, who obliged the gang together with his well-known landing dance which gave that crew its nickname (sure, we all know that Santiago popularized the dance first).

Different notes:

  • Carlos Washington Jr. and Godwin Igwebuike each had some robust runs within the early portion of follow at present, together with Washington’s landing for the second crew within the pink zone drill. This on the heels of a really lengthy Igwebuike landing run in yesterday’s follow. That is quietly changing into a really intense battle for that RB4 spot on the roster.
  • The Falcons rotated DT Albert Huggins and DT LaCale London into the primary crew within the early portion walkthrough. Each are guys to control all through the preseason.
  • CB Natrone Brooks has had some good performs in camp general, however at present he had among the finest sequences I’ve seen out of any secondary participant all camp. It got here in the course of the third crew’s remaining 2-minute drill. I discussed how QB Logan Woodside had 5 incompletions in that interval. Effectively, 4 of them have been with Brooks as the first man in protection, and all 4 occurred within the span of 5 performs — two quick passes to WR Penny Hart, two lengthy passes to WR Zay Malone, all incomplete, all coated by Brooks.
  • Another accidents at present to notice. DE Joe Gaziano went down within the late portion of follow and S DeMarcco Hellams was down for a bit following his interception on the final play of the day. Each ended up strolling off beneath their very own energy.
  • Coaching camp working interception counter after the three we noticed at present (scrimmages and pink zone solely): Jaylinn Hawkins (2), Micah Abernathy, Clark Phillips III, Richie Grant, Breon Borders, Jessie Bates III, DeMarcco Hellams
  • Quarterback interception totals from camp up to now (scrimmages and pink zone solely): Desmond Ridder – 4; Logan Woodside – 3; Taylor Heinicke – 1

This now indicators the top of The Falcoholic’s coaching camp protection for 2023, as tomorrow is an off day and we is not going to have anybody on the market on Monday, earlier than the crew departs for Miami for his or her joint follow after that.

Due to all who adopted alongside and skim our coaching camp notes every day. That is just the start, nevertheless, as we now transfer into our preseason protection. Earlier than you already know it, Week 1 will likely be upon us and The Falcoholic will likely be there each step of the way in which all through what we hope will likely be a really particular 12 months.



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