BUFORD – Here are five things we learned at minicamp practice on Tuesday.
1. Free safety Thomas DeCoud is a fan of X-Men: DeCoud, who was sporting a blue X-Men t-shirt, was working out at C.E.S. with Chip Smith. Also, a member of the Saints was working there. When the Saints player left, DeCoud knew it was time for the Falcons to start getting together, too.
2. Quarterback Matt Ryan is a married man: “It’s been great,” Ryan said. “It’s been a month now. The first month has been awesome. Everything you could hope for. We’ll just leave it at that.”
3. Ryan and backup QB John Parker Wilson have been drilling Julio Jones: While Jones wasn’t at the first practice, he has been meeting with the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Also, Wilson said that Jones is a fast learner and will not have any problem picking up the offense.
Ryan is not sure how the Falcons plan to integrate Jones into the offense.
“It will be interesting to see,” Ryan said. “He’s a big physical guy. I think he can do a lot of things for us. I think he’ll play a big part. He’s really good at blocking in the run game. That’s important for our offense.
“I think he can bring some unique things. I’ll be interested to finally get to work with him and see the skills sets he has in terms of route running. Once we kind of find out about that, I think we’ll know more about how we are going to use him.”
Julio, go deep!
4. Linebacker Mike Peterson is a good role model: Peterson is leading the drills and trying to make sure the Falcons stay out of trouble.
“A lot of the young guys will tell you, I’ve been checking up on them,” Peterson said. “I’m just trying to make sure that they are working out. We took down notes last year during the season. ‘Check on your notes. Stick you head in the playbook. Stay out of trouble. Keep your nose out of the news.’ As a veteran guy, sometimes I have to play that Daddy role or that Uncle Pete role. But I think the younger guys accept it and probably expect it.”
5. Wide receiver Michael Jenkins was not upset with the drafting of Julio Jones: Jenkins was not taking aback by the selection of Julio Jones in the NFL draft.
“It was a big move,” Jenkins said. “They obviously felt that he could come in and add to our offense. We are looking forward to seeing him out there making plays, the same way he did at Alabama. I know that everybody is excited to see him get out there.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog