Falcons coach Mike Smith set to meet with the team tonight

Falcons coach Mike Smith needs the defense to step up on third downs. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Falcons coach Mike Smith was fired up about meeting with the team Thursday night. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Mike Smith was amped up on the eve of the team’s minicamp.

“Hey, let’s get taped up and strapped up and ready to go,” Smith said at end of our chat on Thursday.

The rookies were starting to arrive and he’s set to meet with the team later this evening.

He’s got a plan for the new players. He gave up a preview of his speech/information session.

“What we are going to try to accomplish in these first five practices, is overload our rookies to see how they handle it,”

Falcons coach Mike Smith (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Falcons coach Mike Smith (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Smith said. “Then we’ll comeback in nine days and go through a rookie mini-camp. We’ll go through camp with these guys twice.”

Smith will use his “whole, part, whole” theory in dispensing the information.

Give them everything, then break it down and then see how much they’ve retained.

“It’s going to be a good evaluation period for us,” Smith said. “We know that the young guys are going to make mistakes because they are not familiar with our scheme. But we really want to see how they react and respond to our system.”

Here are some more tidbits from Smith:

ANDERSON IN SAME ROLE: Defensive end/tackle Jamaal Anderson will continue in his hybrid role.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is stopped by Atlanta Falcons' Kroy Biermann, and Jamaal Anderson after rushing for a short gain in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is stopped by Atlanta Falcons' Kroy Biermann, and Jamaal Anderson after rushing for a short gain in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“You will see that Jamaal Anderson will play defensive end in our base package,” Smith said. “Then he will play defensive tackle in our sub in this mini-camp.”

UNDRAFTED PLAYERS TO WATCH: Smith didn’t want to single anyone out, but I told him that I was interested in seeing S.C. State safety Rafael Bush, UNLV wide receiver Ryan Wolfe and Clemson tight end Michael Palmer.

“At the end of the weekend there is going to be a couple of guys that will have made a very good impression on our coaching staff with their athletic ability and their work ethic,” Smith said.

“We think we’ve done a good job in college free agency. It’s part of the formula to put together a good strong roster.”

Palmer, of Parkview High, was impressive during the team’s local day workout prior to the draft.

“He’s been a very successful player at every level that he’s participated,” Smith said. “He was a successful high school player. He was successful in college player and usually that transfers over to the next level as well. We were impressed with his physical attributes when he was here for our local workout.”

ROOKIE RECALL: The rookies will return on May 16 for some extra coaching before the OTA’s start on May 25.

“All of our guys will be here, college draft picks and free agents will be here for the OTAs,” Smith said. “We don’t have any late graduations, which is good.”

SOPHOMORE STRUT: Second-year players like cornerback Christopher Owens, defensive end Lawrence Sidbury, defensive tackle Vance Walker, tackle Garrett Reynolds and linebacker Spencer Adkins,  will be expected to make some strides, too.

“We want to look at the advancement from year one to year two for some of our players that were rookies last year,” Smith said. “We hope to see some substantial advancement in terms of what they are able to retain.”

Minicamp schedule

(Saturday’s practices are open to the public)

Friday: Practice — 10:30 a.m. (closed to the public), practice — 4:15 p.m. (closed to the public).

Saturday: Practice — 10:30 a.m. (Practice is open to the public, gates open at 9:30 a.m.). Practice — 4:15 p.m. (Practice is open to the public, gates open at 3:15 p.m.)

Sunday: Practice — 10:30 a.m. (closed to the public).

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16 comments Add your comment

waynester

May 6th, 2010
5:37 pm

Work ‘em hard, Smitty!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2010
5:49 pm

waynester — Still checking on Babes for you!

The Real Falcon

May 6th, 2010
5:56 pm

Will be there this weekend. Paying for my season tickets as usual!

waynester

May 6th, 2010
6:19 pm

I didn’t realize until today that this is Mother’s day weekend, so no mini-camp for me–Dang! Counting on you guys for wall-to-wall coverage. Happy M-Day to all!
DLed
I noticed you updated the story to indicate that Bab’s boo-boo was a shoulder–thanks for the reportage….

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 6th, 2010
6:24 pm

waynester — no problem

Reid Adair

May 6th, 2010
6:48 pm

Big weekend for the Falcons, and I like Mike Smith’s idea of overloading the rookies to see how they handle it.

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waynester

May 6th, 2010
7:09 pm

DLed
Still would love a little more in-depth coverage on the new training staff/methods etc. Thanks, once more…

FalconsTransplant

May 6th, 2010
7:21 pm

DOL any idea how long practice will last?
I’m trying to get up there with my son for autographs, but have to attend football signups for this fall.

We’ll def be there for the afternoon practice, but we wanted to get some signatures from the D fense.

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waynester

May 6th, 2010
7:24 pm

Just gave Pat Y at espn aheads-up on your Moore article as he also had a story up about Moore’s return…gave all props to you of course….
Pat’s other offering was one of those “5 things” pieces that they do in which he opined that the coaching staff needed to cut Matt loose( to run the no-huddle) I assume…hope we do….

Unca' Bob

May 6th, 2010
7:54 pm

waynester,

We have been wondering for a while, why do we not employ the no-huddle more often? To date, it has no answer.

waynester

May 6th, 2010
8:12 pm

Gotta be Mularkey–can’t figure it any other way given the comments by MRyan about how much he loves running in that mode. Perhaps it’s a function of Ryan’s maturity and decision-making, but I’m guessing it’s Mularkey’s call….

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

May 6th, 2010
9:47 pm

D-Led – we appreciate the updates on the team….keep ‘em coming!!!!! PLEASE!!!!

Speaking of Mularkey….I was so hoping that he would have been offered a job with another team so that the offensive play calling this year would have provided the team with a better chance of winning games.

Has anyone else noticed how predictable the play calling is???? Why would anyone in their right mind try to continually run Norwood up the middle…??? No screen passes….No slants over the middle, even with Tony Gonzalez added last year they rarely threw over the middle on a slant pattern.

It appears to me that he doesn’t know how best to utilize the talent on the team….very few adjustments are ever made and if they are finally made, it is too late to impact the outcome of the game.

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith set to meet with team Thursday night [...]

[...] Falcons coach Mike Smith set to meet with team Thursday night [...]