Your Fast-Paced Falcons… On the Practice Field

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.– Tuesday begins “phase three” of the offseason program according to head coach Dan Quinn, with the first day of organized team workouts. The Falcons also had pretty much perfect attendance from rookies and veterans alike.

So far, the Falcons have worked the veterans and rookies separately on the practice field. Now, this is the first chance they’ve had to work together.

Quinn says the goal of the on-field work right now is to meet a specific goal for the team moving forward.

“We wanted to really learn how to really practice fast,” Quinn said. “Against each other, but doing it safely and when we become a really good practicing team that’s when it will carry over into the games.”

The Falcons practices now include many different periods of work, where players and coaches are both running from station to station. There are many different situations worked on and the team will have certified referees at all practices.

When you come to mini-camp practices later next month, you’ll also notice music playing throughout the entire workout. All of these things are geared to a specific purpose says Quinn.

“Really what we’re looking for is not a clean environment in which to practice at,” Quinn said. “Because that’s really not how you play, where everything just lines up just right. The noise, the energy, the situations that we put the guys in is intentional for that to make it more competitive. Where it would seem like chaos to a lot of other folks, but for us that’s how you play the game. That’s why we’re trying to create so many of those scenarios that we can.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan has only known one head coach during his time in the NFL and now he has to get used to a new system of practicing. He definitely notices the difference between a Quinn run practice and ones that he went through before this offseason.

“It’s non-stop,” Ryan said. “You get out here, you get going and you keep going. I like that.”

Ryan isn’t the only player that notices a huge difference in the way practices are being conducted. Unlike Ryan though, he is playing for his second head coach in his first two years in the league.

Freeman pointed to some of the experience that he gathered during his time at Florida State and would bring up those examples last year when the team was going through their offseason work. He did the same on Tuesday in reference to practice.

“I’ve been on winning teams, national championship teams, and championship teams a lot,” Freeman said. “I can tell (with) the pace we’re going and the competitiveness that coach Dan Quinn is trying to get out of us every day definitely looks like a Super Bowl run.”

Some could view Freeman’s last statement as a bit of a reach in Dan Quinn’s first season as a head coach in the NFL. That said, we do know that the practices are different in the new regime and the players are fans of the structure.

Falcons will finish up practice this week with two more days of work and then continue OTA’s next week.

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