DALTON — The fans started to line up around noon, about two hours before the gates were set to open for the controlled practice between the Falcons and the Titans at Coahulla Creek High School.
The teams practiced in the football stadium and used a 55-yard field in the outfield of the baseball stadium. A crowd of 8,627 turned out for what both teams hope will become an annual event.
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“The people of Dalton were really nice,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. “It’s always fun to see fans from different areas. We had a great time today, we drove up and it’s beautiful up here. We are thankful that so many people showed up to cheer us on.”
The Titans’ buses arrived about 20 minutes before the Falcons pulled up in six chartered buses.
“We got here early and the people were already here,” Tennessee quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “You could hear the loud music. They were tailgating. The energy and the excitement the fans brought today helped make it not feel like a training camp practice.”