Good News First
As DOL reported last night, Dimitroff & Co. signed our 1st round draft pick Peria Jerry. That makes it official in signing ALL 8 draft picks ready to go for training camp.
The Long Wait is Finally Over!
Ah, the dark clouds of no-football have finally lifted, and we’re finally ready for some FALCONS FOOTBALL! Training camp is here ladies and gentleman. The long, excruciating pain of waiting for a new football season has at last come to an end. The post draft buzz wore off quickly; leaving us football junkies only with the heat of summer and a few tidbits from mini-camp and OTA’s to fill our appetite. Mini-camp only lasted a couple of days and organized training activities were basically a roll call of who was present and who failed to show. Training camp is the unofficial start to football season, which is the best time of year for most of us. The anticipation of training camp gives us football fanatics a glimpse of what the Falcons have and makes the month of August the most exciting time of the year in terms of waiting. Other sports are enjoyable to watch, but can be time fillers for the real season to get underway for many of us.
Competition, Competition, Competition
Heading up to Flowery Branch can be a great way to get a first hand glimpse at some of the best training camp battles for the new season. Dimitroff, Coach Smith & Co. have set out to make this camp one of the most competitive in Falcons history. Dimitroff has stocked the pantry full with almost 75 players getting invited to camp in an attempt to create fierce battles (as DOL noted) up and down the roster. The competition looks to be intense at many positions, particularly on defense, backup spots, and special teams. Some key battles to look for:
Strong Safety – Thomas DeCoud #28 vs. William Moore #24
This is the big one. The battle for starting strong safety has been identified as the biggest battle of training camp, even noted as one of the top 10 competitions in the entire league by many in the NFL media, including Pat Kirwan from NFL.com. The battle for Milloy’s old job pits second year man DeCoud against rookie Moore. DeCoud may have the inside track being in the system for a year, but many think Moore was one of the biggest steals of the draft with huge upside.
Defensive Tackle – Peria Jerry #94 vs. Trey Lewis #67
Lauded as a great pick when Dimitroff selected Peria Jerry with the 24th overall pick, Jerry brings a toughness, ferocity, and motor that should be a slam dunk for a starting spot. Trey Lewis may have a few things to say about that. Lewis had an excellent start to his own rookie campaign before going down with a knee injury. He suffered another injury a year and half later in a freak accident. Even though Jerry likely has the inside track, Lewis finally looks to be healthy and add some fire to the battle. Jerry’s signed, locked, and loaded so let the battle begin!
6th OLB Spot – Robert James #51 vs. Spencer Adkins #59
It’s the battle of 2008’s fifth round draft pick LB versus 2009’s sixth round draft pick LB. James never got off the ground in training camp after suffering a concussion, was subsequently waived, and resigned. Known as “The Beast” for his intense and punishing style of hitting, James is considered a touch light at 219 lbs for an OLB. Adkins is an extremely raw talent, but has a serious skill set running a sub 4.5 40-time and being a touch taller and weighing 10 lbs heavier. This one might come down to who’s better on special teams. ((Update: Falcons reportedly signed Bronco LB Jamie Winborn on the eve of camp, so this certainly throws a wrench into the LB debate)).
3rd RB Spot – Jason Snelling #44 vs, Thomas Brown #27
Snelling vs Brown: The Sequel. By far one of the most heated and intense battles of training camp last year. Brown and Snelling went toe-to-toe until the very end, when Brown got a cheap-shot horse collar in the last pre-season game after a nice kickoff return. Snelling proved his worth making the most of a small amount of playing time with a few screens and nice runs. This may be a moot point since it’s fairly likely that Brown and Snelling may both make the roster: Brown as a return specialist and 3rd down back, and Snelling being more of a backup fullback and short-yardage back. A good idea to develop both since Norwood could likely hit the free agent market and be gone.
5th Wide Receiver Spot -
Aaron Kelly #15 vs. Eric Weems #14 vs. Troy Bergeron #11 vs. Brandon Godfrey #17 vs. Darren Mougey #16 vs Chandler Williams #18
Don’t let the low-level of the position fool you, this looks to be one of the best battles of August. The competition has everything, including rookies (Kelly, Mougey, Godfrey), former Arena League standouts (Bergeron), practice squad veterans (Williams), and a player who made it up to the active roster (Weems). Hometown talent Aaron Kelly (Walton High) looks to have the most upside after breaking records at Clemson, but needs to gain weight. Mougey offers great height at 6′6, 230 lbs. Weems may have the inside track after getting moved up to the active roster, and Williams knows what it takes to make practice squads. Bergeron had a great career for the Georgia Force and Godfrey was a late undrafted rookie free agent signee. Great competition for the 5th WR spot.
Time to Arrive
(Morning) 8:30 am to 10:10 am.
(Afternoon) 3:45 pm – 5:25 pm
(Morning) 9:35 am to 10:35 am.
(Afternoon) 3:45 pm – 5:50 pm
What to Bring:
Hats, jackets, rain gear, sunglasses, sunscreen, binoculars, blankets, umbrellas, lawn chairs, and strollers
Are Cameras Allowed?
Still cameras with under 12′ lenses and no flashes are permitted. No flash photography of any type, camcorders, or recorders are permitted at any time.
Are Coolers Allowed?
Coolers are permitted, but are subject to search at any time by Falcons security personnel. No alcoholic beverages of any kind or glass containers are permitted.
Are Bags Allowed?
Bags over 8.5 inches wide by 13 inches long by 5 inches deep are not permitted at training camp.
Any ATM’s on site?
No ATM’s are located on site, so grab cash before hand if you plan to purchase any merchandise or concessions
Training camp parking is available at the Hog Mountain Sports Complex and Flowery Branch High School across the street from the Falcons Training Complex. After Hall County Schools begin, parking will be available at the Hollis Transportation Lot located one mile from the Falcons Training Complex. A complimentary shuttle service will be provided from this location. Please follow the signs to this location. There is no general parking available at the Falcons training complex
A Kids Zone interactive area will be available for children one hour prior to each practice session.
The Falcons merchandise tent is located near the main fan field entrance of camp.
You can either bring your own merchandise or purchase it at Flowery Branch, but make sure to bring your own sharpie.
Complete Guide for Falcons Training Camp (PDF link at bottom of page)
See all Frequently Asked Questions here at Atlanta Falcons.com
Directions to Flowery Branch
Complete Training Camp Roster, sorted by number
Please come and share your Falcons training camp experiences throughout the weekend. Who stood out to you? Anyone have a fantastic day? A poor day?
How is/was the overall experience? Get some good autographs? Please share your thoughts and experiences here in the Bird Cage. This is a Falcons forum for fans, of fans, and by fans.
Send in any pics of training camp, you and your friends, or any part of the Camp experience if you would like them posted in The Bird Cage.
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