FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons wide receiver group was not pleased with the showing by assistant coach Terry Robiskie at the fishing outing with the military veterans at Lake Lanier on Tuesday.
Robiskie went overboard when his boat was returning to the dock.
“He threw himself in,” wide receiver Brian Finneran said. “When you are a non-athlete like that, you start showing your age. He embarrassed the receiving corps and himself for that matter. It was unfortunate.”
The trip with the veterans was a break in the action this week as the team emphasized the passing attack at the organized team activities.
In February, Finneran signed a one-year contract to return to the Falcons. He caught 11 passes last season and battled
through knee injuries before being place on injured reserve on Dec. 15.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Finneran said. “My knees are holding up nicely. I’m trying to get them strong enough to hold up through the season and we’ll re-evaluate it after that.”
Finneran, a weapon on third down and a solid special teams player, is using the passing camp week to fine tune his game.
“I’m just trying to get that feel back,” Finneran said. “Get my routes down a little bit more solid. I’m just trying to get
back to where I know I’m 100 percent and get ready for training camp.
“This is the time to go over the plays, get them right in your mind. Get the mental stuff corrected and when you get to training camp, the physical part of it takes over.”
Finneran knows he’s facing a challenge to reach his 10th year in the league.
Of the players on the roster, he’s second behind Todd McClure for the longest tenure with the team. He’s seen some of old-timers systematically purged from the roster over the last three years.
“It’s seems to be the position around here every year where somebody is on the losing end unfortunately,” Finneran said. “We’ve got some talent whether if it’s Andy Strickland or Troy Bergeron trying to make the squad or our young draft pick Kerry Meier. He’s looking solid.
“You’ve got Harry Douglas coming back and you’ve got our three top guys Roddy (White), (Michael) Jenkins, myself and Eric Weems. There are a lot of guys out here for about five spots. So it will interesting to see what happens.”
Finneran was an undrafted rookie free agent who climbed up the rough side of the NFL mountain. He’s not going down without a major fight.
“Those last couple of spots come down to guys who can help on special teams and make an impact,” Finneran said. “Eric Weems did a lot of that for us last year and we’ll see if anybody else tries to step up.”
Finneran has been impressed with Meier, who was selected in the fifth round (165th overall).
“He works hard,” Finneran said. “He’s one of those rookies that you like having around because he’s just taking in the knowledge and trying to get a feel for the game.”
The Falcons finished 14th in the league in passing and want to revved up the attack.
“It’s just a matter of repetition,” Finneran said. “This will be the third year in the offense. So now we are just kind of tweaking some things and a getting some stuff down pat. When we get to training camp we don’t want to think a whole lot.”
The Falcons have spent some time working on their deep passing attack, while fine-tuning their short and intermediate range routes and packages.
“If you’re talking about stocks and bonds, those are the riskier plays and probably not completed as much as teams would like,” Finneran said of the deep passes. “The risk and reward for the deep ball is huge. . . With Roddy and Jenkins and Harry coming back, we’ll be just fine in that category.”
Now, if they can just keep Robiskie from jumping into the lake whenever he gets over heated, they might be onto something special.