FLOWERY BRANCH – The pace has been moderate at the outset of training camp, but things will pick up Monday as the Falcons moved into padded practices for the week.
Over the first three days and six practices here are five observations:
1. RUNNING BACK MICHAEL TURNER IS MUCH LIGHTER THAN 244 POUNDS: Turner is still listed as weighing 244 pounds on the roster.
“He wanted to come in a little trimmer,” running backs coach Gerald Brown said. “He’s done that. The work that he did in the offseason is paying off for him.”
He’s also done a pretty good job catching passes.
“I know that’s one thing that he has been working on,” Brown said. “We spend as much time as we can catching the ball. He’s made some really good catches in camp.”
2. NOT SO SURE JERRY IS READY TO PLAY A GAME: Defensive tackle Peria Jerry proclaimed that he could play a game right now.
“I’m back now. I’m on the field,” Jerry said. “They would have to tell me that I can’t play.”
He was medically cleared by Dr. James Andrews last Monday, but is only taking part in the individual portions of practice.
The Falcons will bring Jerry along slowly and hope that he can get some action in third or fourth exhibition game.
3. DEFENSIVE END JOHN ABRAHAM MAY BE IN FOR A BIG YEAR: While he didn’t spend a lot of time at the team’s complex over the offseason, Abraham appeared to be in excellent shape.
He trained down in south Florida with Pete Bommarito.
“I did more training this year,” Abraham said. “I wanted to work out with some other high caliber players.”
Abraham also took defensive end Lawrence Sidbury and offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka to train with Bommarito, who designed some power and strength endurance workouts for Abraham.
“We also had him do a lot of base athletic motions like pass rush,” Bommarito said.
While some of the Falcons were taking mixed martial arts training, Abraham was learning how to wrestle.
“The name of the game with linemen is that we train them like wrestlers,” Bommarito said. “They do so much grappling and so much hand work, with contact and leverage at the point of attack that you can train those guys. I think he caught on very well to it.”
4. WILLIAM MOORE IS FINALLY HEALTHY: Safety William Moore is looking forward to putting his injury-marred rookie season behind him.
“William is doing a nice job,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He has improved on his communication and that is the thing that our safeties have to do.”
Moore, who has a reputation for being a big-hitter, will get a lot of attention when the Falcons have their first padded practice on
“I think he will look better once we get him in pads and out of shorts,” Smith said.
5. ROOKIE DOMINIQUE FRANKS IS A KEEPER: Franks lasted until the fifth round in the draft because of questions about his cover skills.
In the defensive back drills, he doesn’t look out of place and is moving just as fluidly as the other cornerbacks.
He’s getting his hands on a lot of balls. He dropped interceptions on Saturday and Sunday. After his drop on Sunday, he dropped down on the field and did eight push ups at the behest of linebacker and fellow Oklahoma product Curtis Lofton.
“It’s been impressive,” Smith said. “He’s come a long way in understanding our scheme from the OTAs and the minicamp in May and June.”
Monday, August 2 — Practice 8:30 – 10:40 a.m. (open to the public); practice 3:45 – 5:25 p.m. (closed to the public).
Tuesday, August 3 — Practice 8:30 – 10:40 a.m. (open to the public); practice 3:45 – 4:40 p.m. (closed to the public).
Wednesday, August 4 — Practice 1:30 – 3:40 p.m. (open to the public).
Thursday, August 5 — Practice 8:30 – 10:40 a.m. (open to the public); practice 3:45 – 5:25 p.m. (closed to the public).
Friday, August 6 — Practice 10:15 – 11:55 a.m. (open to the public)
Team Scrimmage at North Gwinnett High School – 7:30 p.m. (open to the public)
Saturday, August 7 — Mock Game at Flowery Branch – 12:00 p.m. (open to the public)
Sunday, August 8 — No Practice.