Q&A: Brent Grimes says the defense improved at Camp Exile

Brent Grimes checking in at the Pro Bowl.

Brent Grimes checking in at the Pro Bowl.

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

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud soars high for a pass at Tuesday's minicamp practice. Can X-Men fly? (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud soars high for a pass at Tuesday's minicamp practice. Can X-Men fly? (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

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

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66 comments Add your comment

Gritz Blitz

June 22nd, 2011
6:13 pm

The Grinch

June 22nd, 2011
6:54 pm

I think the worrying going on about the defense is unwarranted. They’re young, and even if we don’t add anyone in FA (and I think we will) they should be better than last year. Other than in the Green Bay game they weren’t THAT bad, and our offense should be way better. I’m looking forward to it.

IceColdATLien

June 22nd, 2011
6:59 pm

Gritz, I just gotta give you some love for not going all “FIRST!!!!!!!!”

That crap drives me nuts…

ATL_98

June 22nd, 2011
7:00 pm

Please let a deal get done, i am having withdrawls. But i have been hearing that if a new deal gets done, the falcons will be primed to get ray edwards or charles johnson. Have you heard anything about that DOL?

TLH

June 22nd, 2011
7:05 pm

Was Dunta Robinson at any practices? Didn’t hear his name mentioned much….

This Gets Old!

June 22nd, 2011
7:14 pm

That picture can’t be from Tuesday, we’ve seen it before.

Just saying

June 22nd, 2011
7:35 pm

With the Thrasher news of them leaving town (who cares?) and the same old Hawks failures of status quo, I am ready for some Falcons football! Bring it on..Go Falcons!

fanATicaL

June 22nd, 2011
8:17 pm

It would be nice to hear the attendance.Several names I have not heard attending camp exile.Any of the freshly drafted members other than Julio ? What about any of the free agents other than Grimes?With the advent of Roddy writing checks on national tv.It would be nice to know who is putting in the work.

Birdman

June 22nd, 2011
8:26 pm

Lofton, knee specialist? What gives?

M.D. Conner

June 22nd, 2011
8:36 pm

Birdman, he had surgery on both knees in the offseason, remember? Checkups are normal and necessary. Hate to see him overwork too soon and screw up his season.

Brain Trust

June 22nd, 2011
8:56 pm

Was there any other direction for them to go especially since they weren’t playing anybody this time ?

Falcons Chic

June 23rd, 2011
12:26 am

I don’t blame team for GB fiasco. I blame BVG for not taking the time to figure out a correction or at least attempting one. You can’t leave a 20 yd x 20 yd hole in the center of the field and expect A-Rod not to fill it, x after x.

RobbE33

June 23rd, 2011
7:16 am

Yeah, Lofton, a knee specialist? What’s up with that, DL?

joe white

June 23rd, 2011
8:31 am

brent love ya man but if yall still have number 21 owens at the slot we still have issues, until we can get someone to help with pressure to sack the qb, defense is in for another long year.

Falcon57

June 23rd, 2011
10:15 am

I’d like to hear about some of the other attendee’s or absentee’s. Was J. Norwood, J. Anderson or H. Douglas there. These are three that get playing time and really need to step it up!!! I was happy to see J. Jones show up even though I was surprised, considering he’s not under contract yet. Any of these draftee’s that show up and get hurt could be putting their career’s on the line. That being said, was there any other draftee’s there other than Jones?

Just some basic questions that I haven’t seen addressed as of yet…..

K-Sly

June 23rd, 2011
10:44 am

Thanks for the report D-Led. It sounds like a very confident group, and is one of the main aspects to becoming a championship caliber team. 7 on 7 drills are meant for the timing of the skilled players, so an average of 20 players is encouraging. I agree with Roddy when he stated that this can be the greatest show on turf part two, due to the many different ways we can beat a defense. I know that T.D. will address the defense in free agency, wether its at defensive end or Nnamdi.My only concern now besides the start of the season, is the offensive line. For years we had a offensive line that allowed the defense to flow into the back feild like water. The past two or three years our offensive line have developed a mean streak and allowed very few sacks compared to the league, allowed Mike Turner to rush for more than 3,ooo yards, and allow Matt Ryan time in the pocket to win games. Under the salary cap or whatever it may be, do you think we will be able to resign at least two of our linemen along with help on the defense?

Ed

June 23rd, 2011
11:14 am

I like the fact that the Falcons are just going about their business at Camp Exile while the NFL owners and players sort things out. I think its going to pay off when we finally get down to actually playing football this fall.

Gritz Blitz's annoying cousin

June 23rd, 2011
11:51 am

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
11:53 am

ed- do you think any other teams are getting together to practice? could it be possible that some teams are maybe even trying to torpedo the failcans by getting together more than twice a week?

OldeFan

June 23rd, 2011
1:20 pm

Great report. I like the optimism of the players and the effort they are putting forth. Thanks DOL for keeping us updated. I caught the Dec game replay with the Bucs on the NFL channel the other day, and was reminded of how good our team really is. Getting football fever !!!

D man

June 23rd, 2011
2:02 pm

We are going to win our division again this season and be the top team for years to come. Mr. Blank will see to that by keeping key players and acquiring new top players to fill needs. That is what he has done in the past and I don’t see anything that tells me different. Can’t wait till the season starts. Go Falcons!!!

D man

June 23rd, 2011
2:05 pm

Hiramsaint is really an undercover Falcon fan. He just hasn’t realized it yet. ;)

Kane337

June 23rd, 2011
2:15 pm

After the season Curtis Lofton had surgery on both knees. I’m assuming that is why he’s visiting the knee specialist.

eM

June 23rd, 2011
2:18 pm

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
11:53 am
ed- do you think any other teams are getting together to practice? could it be possible that some teams are maybe even trying to torpedo the failcans by getting together more than twice a week?

Himey….we don’t care what other teams are doing. You should try that every once in a while.

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
2:18 pm

yeah d-man- i just love a team that can’t even win one single playoff game with a 72 million $ choke artist and a 57 million $ cb whose name should be dunno. i’m really a fan of a team whose fans bail out of a home playoff game at halftime and a team where the coaches and players have to beg for the fans to get to the games on time. i really am a fan of a team whose only celebration can be from having a winning season. i truly am a fan of a team where the coach takes a swing at an opposing player then hides behind his own players. i’m a fan of a team where the qb flips off his own fans. i am a fan of a team who hasn’t had a whiff of a championship in 13 years and when they did they were , as usual , embarassed by an over the hill qb. i am a fan of a team of pot smokers , wife /girlfriend beaters , dog killers and a coach who peroxides hi hair. thats right d- man , you have me all figured out!

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
2:20 pm

@em- afraid of an honest question or afraid of the answer?

eM

June 23rd, 2011
2:22 pm

D man

June 23rd, 2011
2:05 pm
Hiramsaint is really an undercover Falcon fan. He just hasn’t realized it yet.

D man you give him to much credit..lol. He’s actually a dip SH** who wishes he could be a Falcon fan but he knows we will not except him. After this season though he’ll jump aint ship and try to come on the Falcon cruise liner, only to get thrown over board.

eM

June 23rd, 2011
2:26 pm

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
2:20 pm
@em- afraid of an honest question or afraid of the answer?

I just figured, you believing the aints are all that didn’t need to practice to beat the lowly Falcons. I mean after all, the aints put up a good fight against the 7-9 Seahawks in the playoffs.

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
2:35 pm

@ em -you are right. everyone will get thrown overboard when matty melt chokes again in post season if they even get there this year. i see you also resort to name calling when you have no valid argument. are you a democrat too? if you have a minute though , check out the saints practice schedule thus far. it follows what truly committed teams have been doing which is far more than the failcans can claim. you are also right about the saints putting up a good fight against the seahawks which is also more than the failcans can claim since they threw out the white flag in the 2nd qtr against the packers. truly shameful em ,truly shameful.

Keith Mercer

June 23rd, 2011
2:58 pm

All this talk is cheap, let’s see what happens during the season if there is one. D.Robinson is not participating in the workouts because he can not recover from when that white receiver from Green Bay faked him out and scored on that touchdown pass. Shameless.

Kane337

June 23rd, 2011
2:58 pm

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
3:09 pm

that was funny kane337- thanks

Aints

June 23rd, 2011
3:27 pm

“check out the saints practice schedule thus far.”
No one cares about the aints. They won’t be in contention again this year. No better than 3rd in the division.

Gritz Blitz

June 23rd, 2011
3:33 pm

Cuz, I’ve always taught you to take the Barry Sanders approach. Act like you’ve been there before.

K-Sly

June 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

It’s mighty funny how hiramsaint know a awful lot about a team he claim to hate. His knowledge of the Falcons spread close to a decade, impressive. How about you speak some knowledge of the Aints, for example like Bobby Hebert and Morten Anderson jumping that voo doo riden ship and coming to the Falcons like you are trying to do. You better hop on before its to late, Drew Brees is the piece that keep you from going under.

ccccc80

June 23rd, 2011
4:58 pm

Didnt the Saints get blown out by Seattle??? What a bunch of losers

eM

June 23rd, 2011
5:13 pm

Himey…..like I said before, I don’t give a crap what the aints are doing. I’m sorry if I hurt your little feelings over “name calling.” You should be grateful it wasn’t worse….wimp. Just don’t expect to be treated like “somebody special” when you come on our blog. Come on man….how stupid can you be. If I were to go on a aints blog and spew the way you do, you better believe I would be highly ridiculed, and I should expect it. Man up wussy or stop coming by. We are all laughing at you!!!! BWAA HA HA HA!!

eM

June 23rd, 2011
5:19 pm

I know we got are BUTTS handed to us by Green Bay, but to come in here and talk like your team is the best thing going in the NFL because of their practice schedule after losing to the first 7-9 playoff team is just flat out funny. Come back from your dream world Himey before you wet the bed dreaming of Brees.

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
6:41 pm

a 5 point loss can hardly be considered a blowout . lets see… a blowout is when….the packers came to the ga. tent and made y’all surrender at halftime-now thats a blowout!!!. ridicule me if you can but calling me a wimp or wuss aint gonna do it. @k-sly -go back a bit further and see who drew first blood in our rivalry if you want to bring up hebert and andersen…@ aints -again??? did you even watch football last year. em – the saints are definately the best thing going in the nfc south and arguably the entire nfl , it just dpends on your view. speaking of depends,isn’t it time for you to head to the can for a change out?

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
6:45 pm

as a side note , i want to thank all of you for at least putting out the effort to respond to my comments. your responses are weak and futile when no argument is available but i salute your effort and understand when name calling is the best you can do. argumentative discussion is usually not mastered untill after puberty or when one becomes a conservative republican .

SeenThisB4

June 23rd, 2011
8:38 pm

LOL! Yeah Hiramsaint! I’m going to enjoy watching the Saints take apart that so called “improved” falcan’t defense AGAIN!

PlanB

June 23rd, 2011
9:37 pm

Hiramsaint , you’re fans might be a little late occasionally too but are afraid of getting mugged if they are outside the stadium and in small numbers. You must be proud of your city. Have your welfare cases left the Atlanta hotels since Katrina?

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
9:47 pm

i don’t think so on all accounts. you’ve probably never been to the superdome as ignorance likes to stay with ignorance inside of 285.

ccccc80

June 23rd, 2011
10:00 pm

You cant talk smack after losing to Seattle!!!!! You lost to a horrible team, your banned from talking smack

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
10:37 pm

well i just did. maybe it’s because we only lost and weren’t embarassed in our own house like some other team i know of.

eM

June 23rd, 2011
11:15 pm

eM

June 23rd, 2011
5:19 pm
I know we got are BUTTS handed to us by Green Bay, but to come in here and talk like your team is the best thing going in the NFL because of their practice schedule after losing to the first 7-9 playoff team is just flat out funny. Come back from your dream world Himey before you wet the bed dreaming of Brees.

I ditto my original post. Give it up himey, your smack talk is truly laughable. So is your lovers, SeenThis(dumba**)B4. We’ll just call you two the “Loser Lovers.” Bwaa Ha Ha Ha!!!

eM

June 23rd, 2011
11:27 pm

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
11:27 pm

nothing original huh- typical failcan style

eM

June 23rd, 2011
11:29 pm

Getting beat is one thing, but getting beat by a 7-9 team……….LOL!! Imagine 30 years from now someone is reading a sports alminac…….wow the Saints won a superbowl in 2009. Let’s see what they did in 2010……WHAT!!! 7-9….7-9….BWAA HA HA HA!!!!!

eM

June 23rd, 2011
11:32 pm

hiramsaint

June 23rd, 2011
11:27 pm
nothing original huh- typical failcan style

Man…….that’s calling the kettle black. So when did “failcan” become original. If you want orginal go to KFC because here it’s just pure style and class……well til you showed up.