The fourth day of the Atlanta Falcons Boot Camp began with a bit of caution, with the sky seeing the possibility of thunderstorms. However, fans were not alarmed and showed up in droves – especially once the sun was partly out through training.
Saturday featured a quick podium address from Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot to fans, who both thanked profusely for coming out to support the team. Probably because there were so many ardent fans, today’s workouts were the most intense and exciting so far. Let’s go to it.
The attack begins on the fourth day
After two solid days of defense, the attack hit back on Saturday. Early on, it looked as if the defensive dominance would continue: Marcus Mariota And the Desmond Reader Combined for a 0-4 start in the first 11 against 11 period, the defense stuffed the race well. After that, it was mostly offensive showing – sprinkled with some nice defensive plays. Dean Pease noticed after training that the defense installed a whole new set of coverings today, and that led to some errors at the back end. So this could have played a role as well.
For fans looking for fireworks, get them today. Mariota was sharp (more on that below) and he and Rider got together for a very productive day in the red. I felt that every wide receiver found its way into the final zone at some point during training, whether it was teamwork or one-on-one. You can tell that he started getting into defense quite late in training, as the intensity was high and the players were playing at almost full speed without contact. Speaking of density…
The competition was fierce and nerves ignited
The coaches gradually ramped up the speed and intensity of their workouts throughout the day, culminating in a full set of “game simulations” of 11 on 11 drills for the red zone. Atlanta’s attack and defense moved back and forth throughout the session. The defense had some nice plays, including a sack of veteran Quinton Bell And throwing forced pressure from the ascendant Arnold Ipeketty.
In the attack, both Mariota and Reader repeatedly found the end zone of the scrolling game. Mariota added a first-class scramble to keep the lead alive, and will score later on a quick touchdown. The rush attack was around 50-50 a day, with a mix of good play from offense and defense.
Late in the session, nerves began to flare. I started a fight between DT Galen Dalton And the OT German Evidie, as Dalton ran from across the field to reach Ifedi. UDFA DT Derek Tangelo He had a TFL in the last play of practice, which ended in sparking another brawl. Arthur Smith called it afterwards, because the practice had exceeded the specified completion time.
In some ways, it’s good to see the intensity. Our Will McFadden covered this aspect of the practice, and some quotes from the coaching staff, in a separate article today. This quote, in particular, stood out to me:
#hawks Arthur Smith is in bootcamp fighting today: You have to play with discipline. But I’d rather have a man I have to back off from, than a man I have to push forward. This team has a chip on its shoulder.
– Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) 30 July 2022
Darren Hall bounces back and Richie Grant continues to admire,
After two difficult days in a row where he was very close To do some big plays, Buck’s Corner for Year Two Darren Hall He finally saw that those plays were going in his favour. He had a number of great PBUs today, providing tight coverage in both team sessions and individual trainings. I was really happy to see things turn for him, and he looked sharp playing mostly outside today.
Here’s a rep with a throttle cover WR Frank Darby.
There were a lot of high school senior players – including the usual suspects like A.J. Terrell And the Casey Hayward—But day four was another exercise where Ritchie Grant had a great day. He’s been excellent in coverage and always seems to be one of the first there as a defender and running support, although it’s hard to fully assess these aspects without wearing pads.
In fact, both Grant and fellow apprentice Jaylene Hawkins They looked good in their four days as the best duo. The future looks bright for Atlanta’s new secondary look.
Dominates Kyle Bates and Drake London
was again Kyle Bates And the Drake London They appear, with both players entering the final zone on multiple occasions. Bates seemed unstoppable at times, and showed his ridiculous radius in this low pass from Mariota.
Pitts also shows flashes prevalent in 1-on-1s, like this actor where he fights with pretty awful commentary from DB T’s Tabor. His motor skills and body control are ridiculous for a player of his size.
Can’t be outdone, rookie! Drake London Caught the most touchdown for any player today. He looked dominant in a 1v1 game, swinging in the back corner D Alford for a deep landing.
He was very effective in the red zone period as well, pulling a lot of goals from both Mariota and Ryder. London was able to get a step into the back corner Darren Hall He scores directly on the goal line.
So far, Bates and London seem like a dynamic duo for the Falcons. Let’s hope this continues once we start practicing full contact on Monday.
Marcus Mariota has his best day yet
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Mariota defies all expectations so far. He was sharp, accurate, and capable of committing a crime. I find it hard to come up with different ways of saying it, because it was a consistent theme. You’ve already seen some of his impressive throws above, but today you showed just how dangerous Mariota is as a red-zone runner.
On multiple occasions, the coverage was good and the pressure was on – but Mariota managed to get away and turn it into a positive play. Take this, for example, as Mariota is able to use his legs to capture a crucial third play to keep the attack alive in a 7 on 7. He throws a touchdown pass to Oden Tate In the next play.
Later, on 11-on-11 – which I unfortunately can’t picture – Mariota had a similar play. The Falcons offense was about two yards away, and the previous rush play was stuffed with minimal profit. Mariota briefly cleared the field before hitting the rim defender for a touchdown. Crowd cheers erupted, and Mariota ran to the edge of the field and threw the ball into the crowd.
Mariota continues to look better than any of us thought. The big question now is whether or not it will translate into pre-season, and then into the regular season after that. Everything looks positive now, and I hope the momentum continues.
Other notes from the fourth day
- Update on the offensive starting line: There was again some confusion with the first team. The change came in the center, where she returned to Matt Hennessy. This represents an even split between Hennessy and Drew Dalman, who was with the starters on the first and third day. Then Galen Mayfield I started on the first day, he was a veteran Elijah Wilkinson every day since then. Right treatment remained Caleb McGarry every four days.
- With all the sweeter compliments on Mariota, don’t forget it Desmond Reader. Ridder is a step lower than Mariota at the moment – it’s not quite accurate and you can tell it’s just tick Slower to process things. But for the novice on the fourth day of his training camp, this is quite understandable. Ridder is progressing well, but fans need to be patient.
- There are three first three that are clearly visible in the receiving wire: Drake London, Brian Edwards, And the Olamide Zaccheaus. All three have been involved heavily and exclusively with the newbies. Edwards Practice left during the last team session with what appears to be a hand/arm or shoulder injury. That will be worth watching in the future.
- Damier Bird, Khedral Hodge, Auden Tate, And the Jeronimo Allison They appear to be the four players in contention for the remaining 2-3 roster spots in WR. This will be a fierce battle for observation throughout pre-season.
- In terms of other receivers vying for spots, I’d say UDFA Stanley Berryhill Jr. He was the most consistently impressive to date, with fellow UDFA/Lacrosse star Jared Bernhardt directly behind him. The Falcons kept three receivers in the coaching staff for most of the 2021 season, and I would say those two are early favorites for a few of those positions.
- This was the best day on earth so far to attack, with Cordaryl Patterson and Damien Williams And the tyler lime All success. However, I would call the “successful” split around 50/50 with the defense, which was again gritty against running in general.
That’s it for today’s bootcamp notes. Sunday is a day off, which AJ Terrell said he would use to get his mind and body right. I will do something similar. Adnan and I will see you again, bright and early, on Monday at Flowery Branch for the fifth day!
As a quick addition, I’d like to thank everyone for the emphatic comments. It really means a lot. Thank you for your support of myself and the site as a whole. Also, I really enjoyed meeting all those who came out to camp and said hi!