Atlanta Falcons: Passing attack was on point vs. Titans

DALTON: - In what many were describing as the best hit of the day, Falcons wide reciever Drew Davis trys to help up his head coach Mike Smith after leveling him while catching a pass against Titans cornerback Chris Hawkins during a combined practice with the Tennessee Titans at Coahulla Creek High School in Dalton on Monday, August 6, 2012. Smith appeared to be o.k. after taking the hit. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

DALTON: - In what many were describing as the best hit of the day, Falcons wide reciever Drew Davis trys to help up his head coach Mike Smith after leveling him while catching a pass against Titans cornerback Chris Hawkins during a combined practice with the Tennessee Titans at Coahulla Creek High School in Dalton on Monday, August 6, 2012. Smith appeared to be o.k. after taking the hit. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM


DALTON — The Falcons and Titans were on their best behavior in the combined practice at Coahulla High School on Monday.

There was a little extra pushing, but nothing escalated into a fight.

When the two teams last scrimmaged in 2004, there was a slew of fights and some downright nasty play.

Falcons coach Mike Smith took about the hardest hit of the day, when he got knocked over by Falcons wide receiver Drew Davis while watching another drill.

“You might want to check Andrew Davis and see how he’s feeling,” Smith quipped.

After his spill, Smith popped right back up, adjusted his white cap and continued to watch practice.

“You don’t ever want to stay down, that’s for darn sure,” said Smith, who was a linebacker in college. “You don’t want to take an eight count. We were just on one field with a lot of things going on. I ended up taking one in the back. It’s all good.”

The Falcons offense matched up well against the Titans.

The Falcons ran 50 plays during two periods and the passing was particularly sharp. Matt Ryan completed 16 of 17 passes. Chris Redman competed six of six. Dominique Davis completed four of four. John Parker Wilson completed one of four passes.

The Falcons ran a couple of nice screen plays, too. One was to running back Jacquizz Rodgers in the right flat and another was a wide receiver screen to Julio Jones.

“I really like the way that Matt operated with our wide receivers and tight ends,” Smith said.

Fourteen different receivers caught passes. Jacquizz Rodgers, Roddy White, Kevin Cone and Tony Gonzalez had three catches each.

“I think we got a lot accomplished,” Ryan said. “It was good for us to communicate against a different defense and see some different looks, to really make sure that we are on top of our assignments. It was really productive for us.”

The Falcons’ defense was without cornerbacks Brent Grimes (foot), Christopher Owens (hamstring) and Dunta Robinson (right ankle). Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed a long pass to Nate Washington over Asante Samuel on his first throw.

Samuel, who played left cornerback, rebounded with two interceptions. The Falcons rotated Dominique Franks, Darrin Walls and Robert McClain at right cornerback.

“They’ve got a big [defensive] line,” Hasselbeck said. “When I did my three-step drop, I was trying to find a lane to throw through those guys. They are very big up front.”

In the red-zone period, Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas made a nice stop in the backfield of Tennessee running back Chris Johnson.

“Stephen was limited all through the offseason with the procedure that he had during the offseason,” Smith said. “But he hasn’t missed a beat since camp started. We started him slow the first couple of days, but he looks very good so far through camp.”

A few plays later, McClain gave up a touchdown reception to Tennessee wide receiver Damian Williams.

In the only scuffle, Titans guard Leroy Harris and Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent were quickly separated.

“No one is going to make the team because they got into a fight,” Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said. “We can still compete at a high level without fighting, pushing and shoving. Otherwise it’s not worth doing these things.”

Hasselbeck had some kind words for the Falcons’ defense.

“From the start of it, I thought Atlanta’s defense was real professional with the way they handled everything,” Hasselbeck said. “Their coaches are real professional. It’s been my experience that the good teams know how to practice without pads, which means they usually know how to with pads. You can tell Atlanta is a good team. Their mindset is to have a good season and make it to the Super Bowl. They get it. They know how to practice and you could tell today.”

Both sides considered the controlled practice a success.

“I will be in touch with Mike to see if we can do this in the future,” Smith said.

Munchak said, “We’d love it. It serves both of our purposes. … we’d love to try to keep continuing to find a way to get together during training camp.”

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–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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46 comments Add your comment

Esquire

August 6th, 2012
9:07 pm

Got me lickin’ my chops for some regular season!

Surg

August 6th, 2012
9:09 pm

Surg

August 6th, 2012
9:10 pm

Surg

August 6th, 2012
9:14 pm

DOL did Matt Ryan have some extra zip in his throws? Asante Samuel has ball skills out of this world I’m always hearing about him getting ints. How did P.Jerry look out there?

Rick

August 6th, 2012
9:16 pm

D led sounds like the o line held up….any feed back on the lines performance? Can’t wait to seem up live thursdsy

hiramsaint

August 6th, 2012
9:21 pm

passing attack???? so thats what you’re calling it now ?

Mo

August 6th, 2012
9:22 pm

Great we got Falcon’s fans first on this page! Good going team!

Another Rick

August 6th, 2012
9:23 pm

Dline BIG up front? I like that! Sounds very intimidating! How did they play!?

hiramsaint

August 6th, 2012
9:28 pm

too bad the whole season isn’t a controlled practice- matty melt might actually amount to something !

falconfever

August 6th, 2012
9:57 pm

D Led I was there today and as a falcons fan I was very impressed by how professional and fan friendly the Titans players were. I would even say that some of our guys seemed a little stuck up… But I met Duata Robinson and Peria Jerry and both were very nice guys… The combined practice was incredible. I stayed on the baseball field and watched the short yardage and two minute drills… Both Ryan and Redman looked spot on with their passes… Roddy and Julio both made some incredible catches… kevin cone is very impressive … and Pick Six is awesome. I saw both INTs {even though I heard some Titan Fans behind me say they thought he did some extra pushing against their reciever but I didnt see it…)… All in all We had a blast and this was a great way for both teams to cultivate fans in this area….

mike

August 6th, 2012
10:02 pm

DLed,

How did John Abraham look out there?

Surg

August 6th, 2012
10:12 pm

Can’t wait to rip the Aints defense to shreds…

to real

August 6th, 2012
10:19 pm

Its funny how dem anits fans stay on our blog talking trash but its cool they will get da issue when we cross paths in tha season good to hear matt ryan doin his thing tha NFL should beware of our team thus year its tha best we have had both from players and coaches stand ponit

SirReal

August 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

Thanks for the observation falconfever. I saw them at the Branch last week and enjoyed what I saw. Glad to hear it all. Seems like it could be one of those things that gives our guys a lot of confidence moving forward. All we have to do is stay healthy and we’re good.

Blake

August 6th, 2012
10:44 pm

@hiramsaint…our coach can jump right up after He gets knocked down….Your coach can’t get up for a whole season after He got knocked down but He did show His face In your first practice…he he he….

Blake

August 6th, 2012
10:48 pm

And about our passing attack?….you sound scared to me….

Grimey

August 6th, 2012
11:13 pm

How did Peria Jerry do? I hope he steps up him and james rodgers

Loyalfalconfrmthemississippi

August 7th, 2012
1:24 am

Love how all the aints fans enjoy supporting our team with their presence to our blog “ahhh aints fans always classy” sarcasm

SeenThisBFalcon

August 7th, 2012
7:58 am

TIME TO RISE UP!!!!!!

Slim Junction Pedalmaster

August 7th, 2012
8:07 am

Can I bring a cooler in to the Dome for the game Thursday?

Slim Junction Pedalmaster

August 7th, 2012
8:10 am

Looking at the photo, coach Smith looks drunk!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
8:16 am

mike — Abe looked good and is having a fine camp.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
8:17 am

falconfever – Glad you had a good time. It was a good change of pace for the players.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
8:20 am

Rick – They did ok. They give up two pressures on the 31 pass attempts I charted. They didn’t pick up one stunt. The run game is hard to evaluate when they are just thudding up.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
8:21 am

Surg — Didn’t notice any extra zip on Ryan’s balls. Jerry is moving well and getting some penetration.

Slim Junction Pedalmaster

August 7th, 2012
8:21 am

Mr Ledbetter,

Who are your camp surprises so far? Specifically, who is standing out that surprises you and who has been a disappointment?

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

August 7th, 2012
8:39 am

B 4 U all get 2 wroked up over this just remeber it is practic and not a reel game. Some of U sound like they just won the Superbowel.

DR. FALCON

August 7th, 2012
10:01 am

MATT RYAN, WILL PUT UP MVP NUMBERS, UNDER DIRK KOETTER! IT’S TIME! RYAN’S 5TH YEAR WILL BE SPECIAL! GOD KNOWS, WE HAVE THE WEAPONS! GOODNESS! DREW BEES, WATCH OUT!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
10:58 am

Slim Junction – I would have to say that Lawrence Sidbury, Michael Calvin and James Rodgers are having good camps thus far. Not sure if they are surprises. Garrett Reynolds is having a good camp, too. No real disappointments. They all handle practice well. We’ll see how the games go.

[...] Matt Ryan completed 16 of 17 passes in a combined scrimmage with the Tennessee Titans on Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

[...] Matt Ryan completed 16 of 17 passes in a combined scrimmage with the Tennessee Titans on Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

What's Important

August 7th, 2012
1:07 pm

I heard Dave Archer say Matt Ryan “room serviced” a 50 yarder to Julio Jones. If he was correct, doesn’t that constitute “zip.”

HGN

August 7th, 2012
1:16 pm

D-Led, any rookies show good in Titans scrimmage.??

Ky Adco

August 7th, 2012
2:00 pm

Davis IN Wilson OUT

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
3:26 pm

HGN — Bradie Ewing caught a pass out of the backfield and Jonathan Massaquoi has a couple of nice rushes.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 7th, 2012
3:27 pm

What’s important – I head Arch on my drive up. It was a nice throw. But it wasn’t hotter than the deep out he threw to Roddy at Seattle last year.

hiramsaint

August 7th, 2012
3:46 pm

@ blake= passing attack ??? hehehehehehe- should be passing apathy . i watched your last playoff game !

Justin

August 7th, 2012
5:01 pm

@hiramsaint – You said it yourself…You saw our LAST playoff game. This is a whole ‘nother season my ‘friend’. I use that term loosely

Michael M.

August 7th, 2012
5:25 pm

Justin, they don’t have nothing else to do but worry about this years Atlanta Falcons and that’s why they on here all the time with the stupid remarks.

hiramsaint

August 7th, 2012
5:58 pm

yeah mikey , the same talk every year with the same results

hiramsaint

August 7th, 2012
5:59 pm

justin- FALCONS = Fans Always Left Counting On Next Season- you said it -’nother season

Bounty or Die

August 8th, 2012
2:40 pm

hiramsaint- Saints = Bounty Paper Towel mascots. Trying having an honorable non-cheating season before worrying about the Falcons. Go play Xbox with Payton. He has plenty of free time.

Mike Franklin

August 8th, 2012
2:48 pm

Bounty or Die: Well said.

[...] that should help him avoid sacks and get the ball out quicker to the playmakers around him. After completing 16 of 17 passes against the Titans in a joint scrimmage, those improvements are already [...]

Eddog 45

August 9th, 2012
10:57 am

D-Led, what are the chances of T Robertson making the team ? My big concern about the falcons, are the third down defense.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 9th, 2012
11:42 am

Eddog 45 – He’s got a shot at the roster. Most likely a practice squader. He didn’t make a lot of plays at South Carolina, but was stout.