MINICAMPVILLE – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan gathered up more than 30 players to start the second week of seven-on-seven passing drills on Tuesday.
The players went through a brisk practice that lasted for a little over an hour.
Coy Wire, the team’s player representative, presided over the workout, while Ryan prepared the script. Linebacker Curtis Lofton, who was animated while dialing up some blitz packages, called the signals for the defense.
Before the workout, Ryan, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, chatted with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He shared his thoughts on attendance, the lockout ruling and how the sessions were progressing.
Q: How’s the attendance been?
A: It’s been good. It depends on who’s in town. We are fortunate that a lot of guys are here during the offseason. But at certain times people have to go do some family stuff at this time of the year and we understand that they are not going to be here. But I think the turn out has been very good.
Q: What is the general tenor of things after yesterday’s ruling as you interpret it?
A: I haven’t talked to a lot of people. But I think everybody kind of just wants to get it done. I do on my end and I think it’d be good for everybody to get it done. But you have to understand that this is how it plays out sometimes. You can’t be frustrated with it. You just have to kind of continue to let the process take its course. I’ve got good faith in both sides. I think that we’ll be able to come to an agreement and play football this year.
Q: Do you think the ruling will affect how often you all get together? Is there any less urgency?
A: I think our urgency is the same. Our sense of timing is that we’re going to be playing at the beginning of September. Whether if we are doing our preparation at Flowery Branch or not, as players we need to prepare ourselves to get ready to go. We are not going to change that approach. We’ll continue to do the same thing. We’ve got three and a half months until games roll around. I think everybody is of the belief that three and half months is enough time to come to an agreement.
Q: Is this a hybrid minicamp/OTA session?
A: It’s just an opportunity for us — we don’t have the offensive line out – to run through some things. It’s an opportunity for us to get some of our rhythm back. We’re just going over our plays and some of the things that after last season we want to improve upon. The stuff during the OTAs and minicamp, those are the things that we focus on out here. I think we’ve done a good job with it so far.
Q: How fortunate are you that your guys can make it? (I saw where Aaron Rodgers was saying how difficult it was for him to get his guys together.)
A: It’s tough for a lot of people. We are fortunate that a lot of people are here and that Atlanta is such a great city and people choose to live here during the offseason.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog