OTAs: Falcons focusing on making more big plays

100509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons running back # 33 Michael Turner confers with qaurterback # 2 Matt Ryan perhaps talking about Matt's 25th birtday party. Where's the afterparty?   (Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com)

100509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons running back # 33 Michael Turner confers with qaurterback # 2 Matt Ryan. (Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons went through their organized team activities in just over two hours on Thursday at Flowery Branch.

“We are a little further than halfway through,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We’ve got seven more to complete over the next two weeks. I think the guys are continuing to work hard. Their attitudes have been great.”

Smith addressed the questions that some of you submitted:

EXPLOSIVE PLAYS: One of the teams’ focus in OTAs’ is cut down the number of explosive plays on defense and increase the number on offense. (An explosive play is 20-yard gain).

“We gave up way too many explosive plays,” Smith said. “Any time you give up one on defense, you’re going to give up points. It’s going to be a field goal on that drive or a touchdown. Offensively, we want to be more explosive so that we can turn the field position around and go in a score.”

Roddy White is working on the team's expanding no-huddle operation.

Roddy White is working on the team's expanding no-huddle operation.

INTRASQUAD SCRIMMAGES WITH NEW ENGLAND AND JACKSONVILLE: “They are really not intrasquad scrimmages. They are going to be combined practices. When I say combined practices, we are going to go through our normal practice schedule. The only difference will be we’ll have two skull (sessions) going at one time and two 9-on-7s and two team (sessions). So there will be two fields where we are working against each other. It will be the same sequencing of practice that we normally do, but instead of going against guys wearing black helmets, there will be a different color jersey that we are not accustomed to seeing out here in Flowery Branch.”

(DIDN’T GET THE KICKING GAME QUESTIONS IN. We can handle that one next week.)

Some highlights from this week’s open OTA session:

  • Wide receiver Roddy White said the Falcons were working on expanding their no-huddle attack.
  • Linebacker Stephen Nicholas had a nice pass breakup in coverage.
  • Wide receiver Tony Strickland put a nice move on cornerback Brent Grimes to get open.
  • Right tackle Tyson Clabo and defensive end Kroy Biermann got tangled up in a little pushing and shoving match.
  • Quarterback Matt Ryan was particularly sharp in the passing game.
  • Defensive end John Abraham and tight end Tony Gonzalez were the only players not in attendance.
  • Defensive end Chauncey Davis (knee), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder) and wide receiver Kerry Meier (hamstring) returned to organized team activities. Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee), wide receiver Harry Douglas and cornerback Brian Williams (knee) did not practice and continued their rehabilitation.

15 comments Add your comment


June 3rd, 2010
2:31 pm

Dare I say FIRST !?!


June 3rd, 2010
2:34 pm

Thanks for the info D-Led!


June 3rd, 2010
2:35 pm

good going PAPOOH!I’ll take second.


June 3rd, 2010
2:36 pm

Good stuff DOL. Thanks sooooo much for these appetizers. I’m amped about the season. Barring injuries, I think we’ve got a legit shot at going pretty deep into the playoffs this year. I think our success hinges on Jerry more than we realize. He gets back & progresses, we’ve got a push up the middle that frees Abraham & allows the secondary to make some plays. If he can’t get healthy, I honestly think the defense won’t look much different than last season. Of course I can’t discredit the potential of Weatherspoon & Robinson making our defense better on paper. I just think the bulk of the unit’s overall success hinges on Jerry’s knee. Here’s hoping for his full recovery.

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Nick Mike-Mayer

June 3rd, 2010
3:06 pm

Is Peria Jerry ever going to practice again? We may never get another snap out of him. At least Kerry Meier is back at OTAs


June 3rd, 2010
3:55 pm

I like the no huddle expansion and the sharpness of Ice. Thanks DOL!


June 3rd, 2010
4:18 pm

Good job DOL! keep it coming. I fell like a crack addict this time of year when there is just a little info.

I think if jerry happens to miss some time we will be ok. I think on passing downs we will see an improved JA98. The kid is young so if he works hard he may suprise at tackle on passing situations, Even if he only pushes the pocket that will go a long way.

Trey lewis was on his way to being a plesant suprise as a rookie he will be two years out from his surgery. The full offseason and another year maybe some of that potential will return. I fully understand that when healthy Jerry is our man but I don’t think the wheels will fall off in he is delayed. I would much rather have him come back 100% than try to rush back for the town criers and we lose him for longer.

Get healthy Jerry!

Man up Jamal we need you!


June 3rd, 2010
4:25 pm

Thanks D-Led!

I really like the idea of the intrasquad practices just to expose our guys to different players and their skill sets.

It seems like the no-huddle could be a great way to get some more explosive plays by exploiting favorable matchups and a more tired defense. Hopefully the secondary can step up the coverage and their angles/tackling. A few more INTs would be nice too!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 3rd, 2010
5:52 pm

Welcome to you all! I think Jerry won’t be back until close to the start of the season. He could miss most of training camp.


June 3rd, 2010
6:17 pm

No mention of Mike Turner or the running game.


June 4th, 2010
5:54 am

Did you ask about the LB blitzs?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 4th, 2010
8:03 am

FalconsTransplant — I did last week. Asked LB coach Glenn Pires.


Some of you all have asked if the Falcons plan to blitz the linebackers more often.

“I think that’s all a part of who we are playing against,” Pires said. “There are going to be some weeks where that’s going to be a big part (of the package). There are going to be some weeks when it’s not going to be a big part. That’s a true week-to-week thing. When we feel it’s going to be to our advantage we’ll do it. We’re just going to see how that goes.”

[...] OTAs: Falcons focusing on making more big plays [...]

Falcon chic

June 6th, 2010
5:32 am

What about 2010 draft pick Corey Peters? If you remember the reporting, Jerry said he didn’t work out for anyone but the Falcons. (I realize he may be omitting contacts@ Pro Bowl and Combine.) Didn’t the Browns going to take him, however many draft slots before they got another QB?. We did, and they went with the third or fourth QB in the Draft.