Snelling eager for increased opportunities

Vivlamore reporting from Falcons training camp.

Flowery Branch – The Falcons have made it known you can expect two differences in their offense this season – less carries for Michael Turner and more screen passes.

Both are just fine with Jason Snelling.

Turner had more than 300 carries in three of his four seasons with the Falcons. The lone exception came in 2009 when he played in only 11 games due to injury. Coach Mike Smith has said it’s unlikely his final total will begin with the number three. Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers will get more carries.

“I know that the amount of carries that Michael has had under his belt the last few years,” Snelling said following Friday’s training camp practice. “I know that, as a running back, it wears on you. I feel like we have a good group of backs who can handle the job, whether it’s me or [Rodgers]. If my number is called, I’m going to be ready.”

Snelling, who signed a three-year, $4 million contract in March, rushed for 151 yards on 44 carries last season, a 3.4 yards per carry average.

Snelling also had 26 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown last season Snelling has been the leading receiver among running backs each of the past three seasons (100 totals receptions).

A commitment to the screen pass promises even more touches.

“I feel great about it,” Snelling said. “Me being a player that has the versatility out of the backfield it gives me an opportunity to get the ball in space and I’m loving that.”

Reynolds facing competition

Garrett Reynolds is back with the first-team offensive line, practicing at the right guard position where he started the Falcons’ first seven games last season.

However, Reynolds struggled and was replaced.

“Yeah of course that is going to be difficult but it’s something that you can overcome,” Reynolds said. “If you are not playing great, it’s their call. All you can do is help the team any way you can when you are not in there.”

Reynolds (6-foot-7, 310 pounds) said he spent his offseason working on technique and fundamentals. With a new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter and offensive line coach in Pat Hill, Reynolds has a clean slate. Management has made it clear that there is open competition along the offensive line for the best five players to protect quarterback Matt Ryan and successfully use the team’s offensive weapons.

To that end, the Falcons used their first two draft picks on offensive lineman this year in Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes. Reynolds knows he is being challenged.

“Competition is good for you,” Reynolds said. “It helps you grow. You take it as an opportunity to get better. And also you help those guys along because that is the business we’re in. You keep on working. All you can worry about is yourself, what you do and make yourself a better player and carry guys with you instead of worrying about if you are going to be here or not. Keep your head down. Keep on working. Help the team out while you are here.”

Pads but little contact

The Falcons will practice in pads for the first time on Saturday, but don’t expect much hitting.

According to Smith the next few practices will be similar to the initial non-contact drills of camp, allowing players to get acclimated to the pads.

“You don’t want to come out and be taking guys to the ground [right away],” Smith said.

The first full-speed contact will be during the team scrimmage Friday at Peachtree Ridge High School, according to Smith. The coach also indicated that meaningful contact, although not full speed, will be part of the combined practice with the Titans at Coahulla Creek High School on Aug. 6.

Overheard

Asante Samuel is rarely at a loss for words. Here are two instances from the vocal cornerback from Thursday’s practice.

* Directed toward general manager Thomas Dimitroff: “Mr. Dimitroff, I’m going to have to spend my own money to hire some referees to come out here because these guys are pushing off.”

* Directed toward Koetter: “The [receiver] spacing was all wrong on that route.” Koetter’s response: “My bad.”

Sculpture in New Orleans

The rebirth of the Saints after Hurricane Katrina began against the Falcons. Now the moment is memorialized by a sculpture outside the Superdome in New Orleans. The artwork, entitled “Rebirth,” depicts the Saints’ Steve Gleason blocking a punt of former Falcon Michael Keonen in the Sept. 25, 2006 game. It was unveiled at a ceremony Friday.

It was the first game at the dome and came 13 months after Katrina ravaged the region. The blocked punt was recovered in the end zone by Curtis DeLoach for a touchdown, 90 seconds into the game, and sent the Saints to a 23-3 victory on Monday Night Football.

54 comments Add your comment

hbcuclassics

July 27th, 2012
8:14 pm

HBCU ClassicsTM
2012 Pre-Season
All-Americans

Offense

QB Kameron Smith, WSSU

QB Greg Jenkins, Alabama St

QB Antonio Henton, FVSU

QB Greg McGhee, Howard

QB Deaunte Mason, Alabama A&M

QB Damien Fleming, FAMU

RB Isaiah Crowell, Alabama St

RB Mike Mayhew, NC A&T

RB Daronte McNeil, ECSU

RB David Carter, Morehouse

RB Kaderius Lacey, Alabama A&M

RB Travis Richmond, FVSU

RB Dawrence Roberts, Grambling

WR Lennel Elmore, SC State

WR Rico Richardson, Jackson St.

WR Chris Slaughter, FVSU

WR Robert Holland, Chowan

WR Eric Poole, Bethune

WR Travis Tarpley, Delaware St.

WR Justin Wilson, Delaware St.

WR Xavier Boyce, Norfolk State

TE Joseph Hawkins, Norfolk State

OL Terren Jones, Alabama St

OL Sanford Banks, Grambling

OL Corey Gwinner, Howard

OL Chris Browne, Southern

OL Blake Matthews, Norfolk St

OL Vincent Harper, Hampton

OL Sam Hammond, SC State

OL Steven Robinson, FAMU

OL Marlon Jones, Morehouse

OL Monterio Taylor, Miles

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

JSS

July 27th, 2012
8:21 pm

Asante, don’t worry it won’t be the only time you see that problem….

HBCU, any good good left tackles on that list?

Dallas Falcon

July 27th, 2012
8:53 pm

I don’ t understand why they believe Reynolds can play guard. At 6′7″, he’s too tall and can’t get the leverage that a guard needs. There’s a reason you don’t see any 6′7″ guards in the NFL. I understand the cross training thing, but he’s a tackle not a guard.

Nique

July 27th, 2012
9:06 pm

Dallas Falcon

I agree, he’s a Tackle & should be in the running for the LT job & they should move Mike JOhnson over from behind Bloylok & throw him in the mix for this open spot! I mean hell we just spent a 3rd rounder on him, he was a 2x all american from the SEC, what more do we need to know about the guy, if he stays healthy, he should be smack dap in the middle of that competition!!!

Nique

July 27th, 2012
9:08 pm

Respect Ray

July 27th, 2012
9:18 pm

Da troll

July 27th, 2012
9:58 pm

Poor JSS.

Really, really, really craves attention. Shows up at every Falcons blog despite hating the team. Sad. Nobody told him about Craig’s List?

1danielbell

July 27th, 2012
10:15 pm

Copy edit needed.

JSS

July 27th, 2012
10:16 pm

“Sad. Nobody told him about Craig’s List?”

Who needs Craig List?” Oh you did… How’s the court case going by the way? You should have stayed off Craig’s List” like most rationale do cause they know what a sting is… Lights out on D-Block, save the energy…
http://duluth.patch.com/articles/transvestite-dressing-uga-professor-to-retire

J-Lo

July 27th, 2012
10:45 pm

Reynolds could not have given a better interview. Seriously. If he can play like he can talk, I’m sure we’ll find a spot for him somewhere on the line. Go Falcons!

Rick

July 27th, 2012
10:46 pm

See some of us still cant keep it about the birds, and still so much hating on the home team, jaded……geez! Anyway, as always JS will continue to show up big with all aspects of his game. Glad to see he is excited about less for Turner and more opportunities for him! Go birds.

CGD..

July 27th, 2012
10:51 pm

“Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan can take solace in the fact that his career is off to a fast start.

Ryan has an impressive 43-19 record as a starter, but is 0-3 in the playoffs.

After four seasons, Peyton Manning had a mediocre 32-32 record and also lost his first three playoff games. His playoff-breakthrough didn’t arrive until his sixth season when the Colts defeated the Denver Broncos 41-10.

There is a great deal of pressure on Ryan and the Falcons to maintain their status as a playoff team and then do some damage in the postseason. Ryan, who has passed for more than 200 yards in a playoff game, is not ducking the pressure.”

Sorry Snell its not about you, its about this overrated QB!

This stiff is 4-10 against the winners the past two years….Yawn…..

Mr. Blank better sell some more hammers for your next QB, cause this experiment is almost “ova”….

JSS

July 27th, 2012
10:52 pm

That Asante Samuels, darn him for telling the truth! Jaded!!!

GT GRAD

July 27th, 2012
11:02 pm

CGD is ignorant and sounds like a biased hater.

Matt Ryan is a keeper.

CGD..

July 27th, 2012
11:09 pm

GT GRAD get over your self Genius! This experiment is almost over….Thankfully….

Get off your lazy azz, peel back the onion and maybe you’ll learn something new buster…

CGD..

July 27th, 2012
11:16 pm

The only thing Matt Ryan “will keep” is the Fal-cons [from] participating in a Superbowl…

You can handle the truth GRASSHOPPER [GT GRAD]…..

JSS

July 27th, 2012
11:21 pm

Chandler GD…
Let ‘em crow and talk, remember IJonathan and his trio of predictions? Remember all of those folks who kept calling everyone “else” trolls while they were wallowing in the pigs sty in how they talked about folks? Then all of their little worlds crashed on the field in New Jersey… Epic!!!

CGD..

July 27th, 2012
11:48 pm

JSS, IJonathan is a legend in his own mind! LMFAO!

Those [ICE MELT] [jock sniffers] ate dog poop that day after the [Epic] collapse in New Jersey…Wow!!!!

To be continued……

JSS

July 27th, 2012
11:58 pm

I use to feel bad for them, like after the Packers took their manhood… I didn’t come on the blog that night…. I went to dinner with old college friends… When I got home, I turned my Droid on and just shook my head as I heard the Pack fans chanting “Go Pack, Go!” Then to make it complete, I finally saw that Pick 6, SMDH!!!

JSS

July 28th, 2012
12:04 am

And you think they would have learned! But Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! The same chatter boxe ran their mouths (well most went over to the D3 blog like it is some Adriatic Monastery!

They grab for any crumb of hope, but they never really try to change their team… It is always a scapegoat here, a scapegoat there… Just sad, but hey, let ‘em dangle!!!

the truff

July 28th, 2012
1:47 am

yeah,, JSS is pretty lame ,, lol,, just humor him,, he thinks he’s real smart.. LOL

the truff

July 28th, 2012
1:53 am

HEY JSS, MAYBE YOUSHOULD CHANGE YOUR NAME TO iAMA AHOLE,, lHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,, YOUR A IDIOT,, GET A LIFE DUDE,, JUST SAYIN,, YOUR REALLY GETTING OLD hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

give me a PbR,,

July 28th, 2012
1:54 am

here here, Jss, is a ahole,,

give me a PbR,,

July 28th, 2012
1:55 am

let smoke some meth

July 28th, 2012
1:59 am

JSS,, you are lame dude, let me hit that, LOL

Michael M.

July 28th, 2012
7:31 am

anyone that sit up half the night talking crap to theirselves on a blog instead of going to bed has no life ………….so beat it trolls.

jerry

July 28th, 2012
7:55 am

The beat writer keeps speaking of the screen pass as if the Falcons just invented the foward pass. Enough.

JSS

July 28th, 2012
8:02 am

Michael M…
They (user name multiple personality disorder suffer) had to have something to do while they waited for the mechanized cart pushers to charge… Prepaid minutes are unlimited that time of the night…

To the rest
Have fun trying to get under my skin… I’m going to a concert crawl tonight, so I’m to enjoy seeing some old friends play!

JSS

July 28th, 2012
8:06 am

D man

July 28th, 2012
8:11 am

I’m looking forward to seeing the new offense this season with the screens and Julio’s second season. Should be fun to watch.

Paddy

July 28th, 2012
8:13 am

Just because you put the screen pass in your playbook, does not mean it will be a good play for you. Until I see their execution, I am skeptical about how effective it will be for us this year. Remember we have not run a screen pass play in 3 years. Just an observation! Hope I am wrong.

Mikey

July 28th, 2012
9:02 am

It will be fun watching Snelling this season. He is a great backup and may even force Koetter to insert some two back formations into the offense. He can carry the rock and he can run a mighty fine screen. I hope we don’t just see them trot him out just when it is screen pass time. I give this coaching staff a lot of credit though and expect them to keep their word of adjusting the offense to take advantage of player strengths. Snelling has lots of strengths so it should be fairly easy. Go Snelling! GO FALCONS!

SeenThis B4

July 28th, 2012
9:08 am

Sculpture in New Orleans

The rebirth of the Saints after Hurricane Katrina began against the Falcons. Now the moment is memorialized by a sculpture outside the Superdome in New Orleans. The artwork, entitled “Rebirth,” depicts the Saints’ Steve Gleason blocking a punt of former Falcon Michael Keonen in the Sept. 25, 2006 game. It was unveiled at a ceremony Friday.

It was the first game at the dome and came 13 months after Katrina ravaged the region. The blocked punt was recovered in the end zone by Curtis DeLoach for a touchdown, 90 seconds into the game, and sent the Saints to a 23-3 victory on Monday Night Football.

Esquire

July 28th, 2012
9:11 am

Snelling can bring it………….has always been an explosive runner. Can’t wait to see these guys with a screen package……….it’s been so long missing.

Esquire

July 28th, 2012
9:15 am

I think our sculpture will be dedicated to winning the “big dance”, not some fluke play.

Esquire

July 28th, 2012
9:17 am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The blocked punt that etched Steve Gleason into Saints lore and became symbolic of New Orleans’ resilience in the face of disaster is now immortalized in a nine-foot statue outside the Superdome.

“That statue is not about football,” Gleason, straining to speak because of the effects of ALS, said moments before the formal unveiling on a rain-soaked Friday afternoon. “It’s a symbol of the commitment and perseverance that this community took on before that game.

When Koenen, who is also fully depicted in the sculpture, heard about Friday’s event, he tweeted: “Awesome day for an inspirational man … God bless you in your fight partner!! Half of me likes your statue (smiling face emoticon).”

In early 2011, Gleason, a former Washington State defensive back who retired from the NFL in 2008, was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The terminal condition causes gradual paralysis. Gleason, once a fearless special teams standout who never shied away from bone-rattling collisions with players much bigger than him, now gets around on a motorized wheel chair.

With the help of family, friends and benefactors, he has maintained an active and busy life, and has started the Team Gleason Foundation, which seeks to improve the quality of life for those living with ALS through means such as technology.

lowdownjj

July 28th, 2012
9:35 am

Wow. I used to enjoy reading the comments of fellow Falcons fans…

Falcons 62 - Saints 7

July 28th, 2012
9:38 am

The Falcons need a new sculpture outside the Georgia Dome

which depicts the

62-7 BEATING of the Saints on September 16, 1973.

Esquire

July 28th, 2012
9:45 am

Certainly the Falcons will not go 16-0 in the regular season. But they will go 4-0 for November!!!

Falcons 62 - Saints 7

July 28th, 2012
9:46 am

Atlanta (AP) – The Atlanta Falcons edged the New Orleans Saints
by fifty-five points.

SeenThis B4

July 28th, 2012
9:59 am

@Esquire: Your team will lose twice to the same opponent in November, and you know it.

Statues R' Us

July 28th, 2012
10:09 am

How much bounty money did Steve Gleason recieve for blocking that punt?

Esquire

July 28th, 2012
10:32 am

SeenThis B4

July 28th, 2012
9:59 am
______________________________________

“And you know it”………..is that kinda like saying “FACT”…….ROFLMAO!!

We’ll just have to play ‘em Gaienne. But mark it down right now…….Carolina is gonna beat you twice too.

Good read Chris

unbiased committee

July 28th, 2012
10:40 am

Tear that statue down or we will.

Michael M.

July 28th, 2012
10:50 am

@ Seenthisb4…………………It will never happen in 2012 Son !

Delbert D.

July 28th, 2012
10:58 am

Jason Snelling is one of the best bargains in the NFL.

Esquire

July 28th, 2012
11:06 am

http://tinyurl.com/c53h4qe

Lol, who is the punter in that statue, it isn’t the Falcons…….!!!

unbiased committee

July 28th, 2012
11:33 am

That statue is an insult to Atlanta Falcons fans.

Instead of rebuilding the city in a real way,
New Orleans has wasted money on a statue insulting another team.

Statues R' Us

July 28th, 2012
11:36 am

Call 1-800 statuesr’us.com

unbiased committee

July 28th, 2012
11:41 am

From BountyGate to StatueGate.