Falcons kickoff 2013 training camp


The Falcons’ road to the Super Bowl began on Thursday as training camp took place at the team’s headquarters in Flowery Branch. Falcons head coach Mike Smith thinks that this day of the year is second to none.

“As I’ve said before this is my favorite day of the year,” Smith said. “It’s the official start of the football season, and I’m excited about that.”

The players were also excited about the start of practice because every player that was in attendance, including all the draft picks as first round pick Desmond Trufant signed right before the start of camp. And with all the players in attendance, Smith was pleased with their work on the first day.

“I thought it was a very good practice,” Smith said. “We got a lot of work done in the classroom this morning. We had a nice walkthrough and I thought we came out here and did what we needed to get done.”

One of the players that had a chance of not showing up is Tony Gonzalez. Earlier in the year Gonzalez talked with Smith and said that he would be in-and-out of camp to be with his family. But Smith knew he would be here for the start of camp.

“There will be some times that he will be here in training camp, and there will be some times where he won’t,” Smith said. “Those decisions were made prior to whether he was going to play again. That’s really between Tony and I.”

Gonzalez echoed what Smith said, but he also assured that he would not put the team in difficult spot when it comes to him leaving and coming back.

“I’ll join the team early,” Gonzalez said. “I’m not going to show up a week before the game. I’ll be here earlier than that. But I’ll be ready to go. You can bet the house on that.”

Gonzalez will have to be ready to keep up with the rest of the talent on the roster. And just like last year, he thinks this team is good enough to be back in the hunt for the Super Bowl.

“We are surrounded by talent,” Gonzalez said. “We added talent with Osi [Umenyiora] and Steven Jackson in the backfield. The sky’s the limit on what we can do. But we understand that on paper it doesn’t mean anything.”

Two of the players that are looking to help the Falcons reach their goals for the season are rookie cornerbacks Trufant and Robert Alford. Both players have been working out with the team since the spring and Smith likes the way they have worked up to this point.

“They are going to have a tough day every day because they are going against in my mind two of the best receivers in the National Football League,” Smith said talking about the corners having to go up against Julio Jones and Roddy White. “It’s good for us. We got to get these guys ready and there is no two better to out there and work against.”

Smith has always stated that the ultimate goal for the Falcons is to win the Super Bowl. But with this being the start of training camp, he is not thinking about that at the moment because his team has a lot of work to do between now and the end of the season.

“This is a marathon,” Smith said talking about the season. “We got a lot of things we got to get accomplished in training camp. What we do in training camp is going to set us up for the season.”

The Falcons will practice through the rest of the week until next Wednesday when they have a day off. They will practice again that following Thursday and will then take part in the Friday Night Lights event in Gainesville. The first preseason game will be on Aug. 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome.

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2 Responses to “Falcons kickoff 2013 training camp”

  1. Jim Robinson
    July 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Good article

  2. Brian Jones
    July 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Thanks Jim. We really appreciate it.

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