Falcons’ early hits: Weatherspoon, BVG, Roddy White’s socks

That's Roddy White making the early fashion statement of training camp. (Ugh.)

That's Roddy White making the early fashion statement of training camp. (Ugh.)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Made my first trip to Falcons training camp Monday and I’m already inured. I feel like Jerious Norwood.

Actually, my ailment was just temporary blindness. I was caught looking at Roddy White’s socks.

With red and black stripes stretching from the tops of White’s shoes up to his knees, I thought maybe the Falcons had moved their training camp to “Whoville.”

“I call them my swagger socks,” White said after the morning practice. “I can’t get wear them in a game or I’d get fined. Actually, I think this might be my last day wearing them in practice because I did terrible today. Dropped a couple of passes. Coach [Terry] Robiskie was on me about my socks all morning.”

White said the socks came in the mail from a fan.

“I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to try to these out.’ But not any more. I’m retiring the socks.”

“He’s blaming the socks?” coach Mike Smith said later, smiling. “I’m glad to know that. Those might be the ugliest socks I’ve ever seen.”

Here comes The ‘Spoon Express

OK, enough with the fashion news. It was an impressive morning practice for the sounds. It was the Falcons’ first full-pad workout of training camp and no player seemed to relish that more than first-round pick Sean Weatherspoon. The linebacker practically took off running back Antone Smith’s head in a drill, exciting the fans and defensive teammates. Everybody else, notsomuch. Smith had a different viewpoint.

“We’ve got to make sure we don’t hit somebody when they’re in a defenseless position,” the coach said. “Sean’s a passionate player. … He didn’t know — when he made that hit we were in a ‘thud’ situation.”

Thud situation?

“We’re thudding him up, giving a little pop, but we’re not taking him down to the ground,” Smith said.

What do you call it when you’re taking guys down?

“Full speed — i.e., football.”

Smith said Weatherspoon quickly was apprised of the “rules” by coaches “and the guys in the other color jerseys.”

Hint: Defense wears white, offense wears red.

Do you have to shout? (Well, yes)

Another early observation: Brian VanGorder is quite loud. I know BVG loves to exercise his tonsils in practice but the defensive coordinator was absolutely killing some players in practice, notably cornerback Chris Owens. Part of that can be attributed to VanGorder’s personality. I’ll speculate another reason is something Smith told me last May: “One thing I’m personally trying to avoid is the sense of complacency because we’ve been here for two years now. If you think you have all the answers, you don’t. We can’t stay status quo. We have to make some changes. … I’m not going to change the way I’ve done my job in the first two years. I’ll demand more simply because we’re in the third year and I expect more.”

That attitude from the head coach filters down to his assistants.

Smith said VanGorder might’ve been particularly loud this morning because the Falcons were working on third-down defense. “That was one of our Achilles heels last year,” he said. “That migut have been one of the reasons he was [screaming] that segment.”

That’s slim in the backfield

It’s hard to tell much from one practice but running back Michael Turner seems to be moving better than a year ago, when he struggled with weight and injury problems.

“At this point I do feel quicker, faster, stronger,” he said. “It’s tough to say right now, but I feel like I’m in it for the long haul now. Conditioning wise, health wise, I feel good. … I’ve been missing out on [wearing full] pads since November, early December. It felt good to put the pads on again.”

So there’s my early report. I’ll let you know if the socks make another appearance.

You don’t need no stinkin’ DVR: Last 4 posts

Braves, Wren send right message with deadline trades

Dwight Howard opens up on LeBron, Shaq and Josh’s wedding (sssh)

Roy Oswalt going to Phillies, and Braves need to respond

♦  Blank says Falcons are playoff team again (and maybe more)

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

68 comments Add your comment

db

August 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Greenville Dawg

August 2nd, 2010
12:36 pm

Greenville Dawg

August 2nd, 2010
12:38 pm

Congrats db. Fo Falcons!

Greenville Dawg

August 2nd, 2010
12:39 pm

That should be a “G”. Go Falcons…

dagnabit

August 2nd, 2010
12:45 pm

It will be good to see the season get started

Bo

August 2nd, 2010
12:49 pm

Looks like Roddy learned his pose from Magic City.

NRBQ

August 2nd, 2010
12:50 pm

Is Roddy still wearing his M. Vick tee-shirt?

Cmon Dunta and MGT.

August 2nd, 2010
12:50 pm

Was at Saturday PM practice. The newcomer Dunta seemed to be the only one that was going through the motions. BVG will be in that backside before long.

Falcons gave us a VIP tour for season ticketholders. We got to see the indoor practice barn and blocking dummies on the sidline. Glad we came out to practice two hours early in the 100 degree heat for that behind the sceens insight. Rich McKay and Aurthur running around the practice field in his short shorts was the most exciting part. Cmon Falcons. I know you want people fired up for the season, but dont tells us we get a tour of the complex and you only let us walk on the sidlines.

Singletary

August 2nd, 2010
12:55 pm

Complacency? Defense better not be anything but *substantially better* because we were in the bottom 10…

balismith

August 2nd, 2010
1:01 pm

those were some ugly socks

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

August 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Roddy looks like a girl in that photo.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 2nd, 2010
1:05 pm

like witherspoon’s enthuiasm. sounds like he’s fired up and ready to start hitting some folks. how does abraham look JS?

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

August 2nd, 2010
1:08 pm

Not a pretty girl, though. One like your sister or your mom.

Sage of Bluesland

August 2nd, 2010
1:12 pm

I hope “Spoon” is more than a training-camp terror–as we witnessed over a decade of that with the predecessor #56 (the vaunted Hometown Hero, Keith Brooking, who never saw a pair of ankles eight-yards downfield that he didn’t love)…

I’ve had enough of that type of propaganda from the organization to last a lifetime. Talk about insulting to the intelligence!

(but, then, seeing all of the ’sheep’ wearing ol’ Brook’s number in the stands gave me pause, too)

The Grinch

August 2nd, 2010
1:14 pm

Good news about Spoon; glad to hear he’s aggressive. Everyone acted like he was a reach in the 1st round; hope he proves them wrong.

Those socks of Roddy’s look like they belong in a Pat Benatar video.

Jamaaliver

August 2nd, 2010
1:14 pm

That picture seems highly inappropriate for a family paper.

Poppa Falcon

August 2nd, 2010
1:16 pm

Roddy outta apologize for those funky socks!!

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

August 2nd, 2010
1:17 pm

Not your sister or mom, the other guy’s.

Paddy

August 2nd, 2010
1:17 pm

Roddy…..I thought the Cheerleader squad had already been chosen? But I guess practice squad positions are still available! 1-2-3 KICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dreski

August 2nd, 2010
1:23 pm

That was very funny Sage of bluesland, Brooking did love some ankles!

Cmon Dunta and MGT. - Sage good call

August 2nd, 2010
1:25 pm

Good call Sage.

It was great watching the Cowboys game with Brooking as their emotional leader. You could see his teamates kind of laughing at him acting like an idiot. NFL films has some great clips of the Vikings making fun of him during the playoff game too. I am giving away my tickets to the game they raise that dudes jersey/picture in the Dome.

Cmon Dunta and MGT. - Sage good call

August 2nd, 2010
1:28 pm

Remember the glory years of the Mora era. Brooking, the leader of that stone-wall defence. Then you had Vick leading the areial assault. Who were we fooling, besides ourselves??

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Kane337

August 2nd, 2010
1:38 pm

Does he have red panties too?

TXDawg

August 2nd, 2010
1:42 pm

Hey Schultz, if I’m not mistaking, those socks are part of one of the Falcons “throwback” uniforms.

Wo Fat

August 2nd, 2010
1:44 pm

Kane337….Thats a question most of us would never think of, much less ask.

Born2Buzz

August 2nd, 2010
1:56 pm

The best thing the Falcons have going for them is consistency in the coaching staff. To have the same coordinators for the 3rd straight year will help since all of the schemes should be very familiar to the guys that have been here. Keeping the same scheme year after year is why the Steelers and Eagles have been consistent winners.

I’m not going to defend Brooking too much for you haters, but the guy was an All-Pro for many seasons. I’m sure there are similar haters in Chicago for Urlacher.

MR

August 2nd, 2010
1:57 pm

Wow…idiots always have to bring up the past. Brooking is no with the team..and neither is Vick….Brooking played out of position for the last 7 years and you still can’t get over it…he was not and never will be a middle linebacker…his position was outside…weakside at that.

Wo Fat

August 2nd, 2010
2:04 pm

Those socks would look good on Brookings…the jerk!

Coach Cool

August 2nd, 2010
2:07 pm

Greenville Dawg: DORK!!!!!

Wo Fat

August 2nd, 2010
2:21 pm

Cmon Dunta and MGT. – I don’t think you’ll be giving away those tickets anytime soon, Brookings kinda made Mr Blank pissed…really doubt they’ll be hoisting his jersey anytime soon.

Falconaddict

August 2nd, 2010
2:40 pm

I think Roddy has a bullseye on his butt waiting for Mike Vick’s arrow to pierce it.

falconidiot

August 2nd, 2010
2:46 pm

I’m glad to hear Roddy is voluntarily putting the socks away. Looks like something Ochocinco would wear. The guys TD is bringing on this team seem to be humble, they talk about what they can do better not how great they are, their smart, they don’t bring attention to themselves, their team players, just look at the drop in off field issues, there are still one or two and those guys better be careful. Wr’s like to show boat but the true greats just play the game. Coach might want to ask Roddy who he wants to be like, again.

asheville dawg

August 2nd, 2010
3:00 pm

I don’t know, those socks would distract the defense, make them look away. Way away.

That’s it, getting on the rookie for being to aggressive. He’ll probably not hit anyone else for five years.

Matty Ice....Real Name No Gimmicks

August 2nd, 2010
3:02 pm

Falcons look so strong this year. Matty is going to really come into his own

Matty Ice....Real Name No Gimmicks

August 2nd, 2010
3:03 pm

Dan

August 2nd, 2010
3:17 pm

They were all set to hang Brookings jersey in the dome, but the couldn’t get the grass stains off the back

Timothy

August 2nd, 2010
3:17 pm

I like the socks- I think they should be part of the new uni!

Wildebeast

August 2nd, 2010
3:25 pm

Roddy looks like one of the Lollipop Kids in Wizard of Oz!

dNice

August 2nd, 2010
3:31 pm

If those socks keep him from dropping passes and he catches more balls, I’m all for it.

Mikey D

August 2nd, 2010
3:32 pm

brian vangoof loves to hear himself scream. Doesn’t mean he actually has anything to say. It’s a good thing that the head coach is a defensive guy himself and can help pick up the slack from this dead weight of a DC!

Falcon Jim

August 2nd, 2010
3:34 pm

I think the whole team should wear those socks in the first game. Make a real statement to the league!

Errrr, on second thought, maybe not………………………

gdg73

August 2nd, 2010
3:35 pm

Dan, that was a good one. Gotta love “Ole Highway 56″

Mike Turner

August 2nd, 2010
3:38 pm

do a before and after of mike turner from this year to last. id like to see how he actually slimmed down compared to last year than read about it.

Carl

August 2nd, 2010
3:38 pm

Who is Rod trying to impress, “come on” just go out and
play football. The team needs leaders not show offs!!!!!!!
It’s this kind of showboatsmanship that keeps the Falcons from being
true champions. This shows that Arthur Blank needs to get controll of His team. If you want to be a individual player go play golf but not like John Daly……

ctfalconsfan

August 2nd, 2010
3:47 pm

I love these socks. Maybe we should wear them during the season!

Norwood better get his $h!t together or he needs to be cut. I’m exhausted from reading about his injuries. I have no doubt he’s doing his best but if his body can’t hang, well then he’s got to go so we can get someone else in here who can play a 16 game season..

ctfalconsfan

August 2nd, 2010
3:54 pm

VanGorder also needs to show us something this year or he’s out!!

Giving up the second most Big Plays in the league last year – TERRIBLE!!!!

leland

August 2nd, 2010
3:55 pm

Look, Schultz, what I mean is what if I were to take up a collection from as many people as could contribute, what would you take not to write about any more of White’s attention-seeking antics this year, and not report on any more conversations you might have with him? Get my drift, what would you take?

james

August 2nd, 2010
3:58 pm

Judging from that photo, it makes you wonder if he’s ever donned a wig, applied globs of make-up and taken to the stage at the corner of 10th and Piedmont.

wildbill

August 2nd, 2010
4:02 pm

Cant wait for the season to start. I will agree about the “VIP TOUR” we got of the indoor practice facility…. LAME! I was expecting locker room, exec offices, player quarters, etc, but all we got to do was to see a big metal building where they go when it rains. They told us to get there an hour and 45 mins b4 practice started. I thought the tour would take at least an hour. took all of 15 mins. then we get to melt in the heat or go buy some merchandise for an hour and a half until they start practice. Then, a big storm comes and everyone must leave b4 practice officially ends. BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!