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,”
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.
“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.”
(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).