Falcons Offense Trying To Grow Towards The Season


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.- – Wednesday was not a great day for the Falcons in training camp practice number five. The offense put the ball on the ground at least three times during a red zone 11-on-11 drill.

You can factor in many different things with the unit. Maybe it’s learning a new offense, new players, or just still shaking off rust. That said, the offense is still trying to grow towards the season.

Head coach Dan Quinn isn’t that concerned about the mishandling the football in practice. Rest assured, that will be a topic of conversation in today’s offensive meetings.

“That’s one of the things from an error standpoint that we can totally control,” Quinn said. “So, we own that. It wasn’t necessarily where a defensive player made a play on that. They were going for it, the defensive guy was. But yeah, the ones that are on the ground? Certainly something we can control. So, yeah definitely got to sure that part up.”

Part of that growth is starting upfront with the offensive line, as they try to find their best group of players to go into the season. Over the past couple of years, the Falcons have dealt with a lack of depth and at times inexperience on that line.

Last season, center Joe Hawley was one of a few linemen that missed much of the season with a torn ACL. He’s not only trying to bounce back from the injury, but he’s also trying to learn the new zone-blocking scheme for the linemen in coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s system.

He along with the rest of the position group are just trying to adjust to the changes.

“We’ve improved a lot since the spring,” Hawley said. “When we first started, it was a little new with the outside zone and trying to get to the perimeter. We’ve adjusted well and it’s such a group effort as an O-Line. We’re just going to continue to work on it.”

The offensive line isn’t the only group that is trying to make improvements to their game. The running back’s group is trying to do the same thing.

Rookie running back Tevin Coleman missed Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring issue and that meant that second year back DeVonta Freeman and others got more work. That’s fine with Freeman, because he wants to factor in all categories of the offense.

“Not being selfish or anything but I wish I could have the ball on every play,” Freeman said. “That’s just my mentality. I want to help, fight, win and put the team on my back. That’s what I want to do out here. There’s a lot more people on our team with that mentality too and that’s only going to bring out the best in us.”

Freeman added that the offense does have some work to do, in order to be where they would like at the start of the regular season.

Freeman talked about his competitive nature on the field and you know that Quinn is a fan of this attitude.

“That doesn’t surprise me with the type of competitor he is,” Quinn said. “I don’t think he wants to leave the field for practice, walkthroughs, the game or wants to come in at the half. He just likes to battle and compete. That’s one of the things I love most about him. But as we’re going through it, it will take the whole group and that’s when we’ll be at our best.”

The Falcons are still nine days away from their first preseason game of 2015, when the Tennessee Titans come to the Georgia Dome. Even with that test, we still won’t know just where this offense is in terms of progression. That chance will likely come in the third preseason game, when the starters play the most time.

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