FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons secondary had to face New England quarterback Tom Brady without their top two corners backs in the first practice on Tuesday morning.
Dunta Robinson, who signed a six-year $57 million free agent contract, has been out with a hamstring injury. Brent Grimes, who’s been working with the first team defense at left cornerback, did not practice because of a groin injury.
Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss connected for two touchdowns. He caught one that appeared to be over Christopher Owens. He caught another and then went behind the Falcons players on the sidelines and told them “that’s two today.”
Falcons coach Mike Smith spent the morning watching his defense.
“I thought it went well,” Smith said. “The guys did what we asked them to do. They stayed on their feet when they were in shells like that. That’s the thing you want to have happen. I thought the guys worked extremely hard.”
The Falcons finished 28th against the pass last season and are seeking to improve in that area. It must be noted that there is no pass rush in the 7-on-7 passing drills and the defensive backs have to stay in coverage longer.
“They are a talented offense,” Smith said. “They have a great quarterback and a great wide receiver. I saw our guys out there competing and that’s what we have to do.”
Moss later dazzled the crowd with a one-handed grab with Brian Williams in coverage.
“Yeah, I saw his one-handed grab there,” Smith said. “He had a nice catch. I thought it was a spirited practice.”
Grimes, who is battling for a starting spot, suffered an untimely injury.
“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to go with us today,” Smith said. “We’ve got to get our guys healthy.”
The Falcons did strike back offensively.
Matt Ryan connected with Troy Bergeron on a touchdown pass and backup quarterback Chris Redman tossed a nice touchdown pass to Harry Douglas, who will play on Thursday night.
“Harry is really progressing well,” Smith said.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 18 — Practice 10:15 – 11:35 a.m. (closed to public).
Thursday, August 19 — Preseason Week 2 vs. New England 8 p.m.
Friday, August 20 — No Practice.
Saturday, August 21 — 9:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. (closed to the public); 3:45 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. (closed to the public).
Sunday, August 22 — 9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (closed to the public)