BUFORD – The mood was light on the final day of the Falcons’ players-only workout, which has become known as “Camp Exile” during the NFL’s player lockout.
All-Pro wide receiver Roddy White shifted over to defense and played a little cornerback. However, he didn’t appear ready to become the franchise’s next two-way player.
He got beat on a couple of routes up the sideline and across the middle.
“It’s was very fun,” wide receiver Julio Jones said. “Roddy White is a great athlete. He came out and played a little corner and receiver. I got him one time in the end zone.”
We had Matt Ryan wrap up the camp from the offense’s perspective yesterday. The plan was to get middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to talk about the defense today. But Lofton, who’d been the “coach” for the defense, had to see a knee specialist in Cleveland, Ohio and missed the last session.
So instead of Lofton, we got Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes to address the defense. He’s what he had to say when he spoke to The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Q: Can you give an assessment of the seven-on-seven drills from the defensive side of the ball?
A: It was good to get out here and do some football drills. We got to work on some different defenses. We had the linebackers making some calls. We got used to hearing the calls again. For the most part, we were learning what to do on the calls. I think this was a success and we had a good time with it.
Q: How did Coach Curtis do with helping the defense get set and so forth?
A: Curtis was like the coach. He was making all of the calls. He did a good job with it. He had a little play sheet. He’d listen to the down and distance that the offense called out and he would call the defense that we usually would call on that down and distance.
Q: What was the best part of the drills for the defense?
A: It’s always good work any time that you can come out and do football stuff. If you haven’t back pedaled in awhile, if you haven’t broke on a pass, if you haven’t done a lot of football related movements in awhile, this is always good. It is all muscle memory stuff. Once your start doing it, it becomes second nature to you. That aspect was good, too.
Q: A lot has been made of the youth of the defense, did you all grow up some during these workouts?
A: Everybody agrees that it was great work. Everybody tried to make time to get out here. If they couldn’t make it all the time, we understood. We just told them that when they can get out here, get out here. We got in some good work. We all had a good time and I feel like we got better with this.
Q: Did the secondary improve from the extra work?
A: Yes. You get out of it what you put into it. I know that we came out here and put some work in. We feel like we got better.
Q: What’s your take on the lockout news?
A: I don’t really keep up with it like that. I follow it on twitter really. I had some people tell me that it sounds like they are about to fix the lockout or figure something out. That’s always good news if it seems like they are going in the right direction. I’m just waiting. It will come up on the screen when they figure it out. I’m not really keeping up with it.
Q: Do you just figure that by the end of July, you’ll have to report to training camp?
A: That’s how I’m thinking. I’m in shape because I’ve been working out the whole time. I’m just treating it like it’s any other season and I’m staying in shape. Whenever they say we are going to go, I’ll be ready to go.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog