Falcons go through motions (but it’s better than no motion)

The Falcons run their faux-camp offense, while little leaguers watch through a fence.

The Falcons run their faux camp offense, while little leaguers watch through a fence.

BUFORD – Given the general absence of structure, discipline and an agitated man with white hair blowing a whistle, it could’ve been worse. It’s not like two dozen Falcons players showed up again on Tuesday to practice (sort of) at a public park and started complaining that somebody forgot to bring the blender and the pina colada mix.

But the fact is, the most emotion anybody showed probably came after rookie Julio Jones made a spectacular leaping catch on a pass from Chris Redman in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown, and at least three players on defense screamed, “We called time out!” and another yelled, “Out of bounds!”

Sorry guys, no officials.

Also no replay.

Also . . . really?

Welcome to make-shift practices, a byproduct of the NFL lockout.

This is what I don’t understand. NFL players complain all the time about the league mandating mini camps and offseason practices (which the NFL wonderfully refers to as “organized team activities” because it sounds more like a fun outing to the dinosaur museum than sweating your 320-pound butt off in 90-percent humidity). And yet, during the lockout, when players are forbidden from having contact with coaches, they decide to organize practices.

John Parker Wilson arrives with his Falcons gear and golf clubs.

John Parker Wilson arrives with his Falcons gear and golf clubs.

“Yeah, it’s a little bit of a contradiction,” wide receiver Michael Jenkins said. “You do get tired of the year-long process. But you want to do some stuff to stay in a football mode. It doesn’t have to be three mini camps and 15 OTA practices. What we’re doing now is pretty good.”

What they’re doing is north of a lounge chair and south of the real thing. They’re not being drilled by coaches or taught in meetings.  It’s debatable how

Those heavy pads at the other end of the field weren't touched during practice.

There wasn't a need for those heavy pads at the other end of the field.

much these workouts are accomplishing. But any motion is better than no motion, even if it lacks emotion.

Falcons players, up to 30 at a time, have been meeting twice a week for about four weeks now. Many of them lift weights together at a gym first. (From backup quarterback John Parker Wilson, who arrived at a park with his equipment bag and his golf clubs in the back of his car: “Usually me, Matt [Ryan] and Finn [Brian Finneran] go to one gym, and the bigger guys go to another. They’re doing their meathead workout.”) Then they all get together on a practice field and run passing drills for an hour.

“We even have this script of 30 plays we made up,” said Wilson, holding out the sheet.

No pads. No hitting. But at least nobody was holding a Pabst.

“The only thing we’re not doing that I wish we were doing is hitting,” safety William Moore said. “Maybe we can at least start playing flag [football]. Or may just take them down to the ground a little bit. You know. Just a tap.”

The other thing they’re missing: seclusion.

On Tuesday, their practice was adjacent to tennis courts where lessons were being given. A youth soccer game was across the parking lot. Shortly after the workout started, a little league baseball team lined the outside of a fence, watching Chris Redman throw a football. None, as far as anybody could tell, carried a video camera or wore a Patriots T-shirt.

The workouts were organized by Coy Wire and Matt Ryan, although the team’s starting quarterback missed Tuesday’s practice. His excuse: He had to give a speech.

“He had a speaking engagement  but you’re not supposed to miss practices,” said Finneran, who could be objective about this, since he’s technically not a Falcon any more. “Our fine committee will come up with something. Usually it’s like $10 a minute. He missed the whole thing so we’re probably talking about $500. That should cover dinner.”

If nothing else, at least there’s something to be said for camaraderie. A number of veterans have taken part in the practices. Jenkins: “We even got Roddy [White] to show up once. He didn’t do anything though. He just watched.”

Wilson again: “You come out and you try to be as organized as you can. But you can’t simulate the practice setting. It’s not the same.”

Then again, it’s only June. And they’re probably getting more accomplished than anybody in an NFL board room right now.

By Jeff Schultz

Earlier: Countdown: Tressel’s fans, Tebow’s cuteness, Frenchy’s shorts

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

62 comments Add your comment

El Bravo

June 7th, 2011
4:25 pm

Better than nothing…

El Bravo

June 7th, 2011
4:27 pm

They don’t need to worry too much anyway. I doubt they’ll be playing football come September…

Peter

June 7th, 2011
4:29 pm

If anything, just to meet + greet with rookies and stay away from trouble is the upside

Chris

June 7th, 2011
4:34 pm

Pabst? I guess the AJC cut your salary Jeff since circulation has gone down. Do they serve Pabst on draft at Tj’s?

wxwax

June 7th, 2011
5:06 pm

At least some of them are trying to stay in shape.

Anyone want to bet on Albert Haynesworth’s participation in voluntary workouts? I bet he’s starting to resemble a tall stack at IHOP right about now.

WaSean Limbaugh

June 7th, 2011
5:22 pm

It’s amazing how many losers get their rocks off by trashing the authors. Pathetic losers

ATL_98

June 7th, 2011
5:27 pm

i heard they have a back up plan which consists of and 8-game season. as much as i want this team to win a superbowl, i dont think i would want one under such a make shift season. this is getting real rediculous. i think most of these players just want to play football now. i think demorrace smith is just trying to make a name for himself or he’s bitten off more than he can chew. its like starting a fight and now that is gotten serious and evryone is watching, he cant back out of it. but im glad julio jones is getting reps!

Larry

June 7th, 2011
5:35 pm

So Roddy shows up once and watches…now that’s a commitment to excellence and teamwork!

dean

June 7th, 2011
5:39 pm

I just heard the NFL is preparing for an 8 game season. Is that true? If so, I’ll pass.

Benjamin

June 7th, 2011
5:39 pm

I like reading this stuff, to be honest. Good to know the players seem to generally care about getting things back up and running, or at least being ready when they are.

Falconairre

June 7th, 2011
5:40 pm

Maybe a few of those plays they drew up w/o the coaches are explosive enough to put some points up. and the defense need to practice hitting and getting players down instead of practicing complaining

John

June 7th, 2011
5:40 pm

@Chris…come on man, Pabst is good stuff…
@wxwax…love it!

Rikus

June 7th, 2011
5:56 pm

I’m also a tad disappointed in Roddy… but then again, he did have a good year after holding out in training camp in ‘09…

El Bravo

June 7th, 2011
5:58 pm

Gonna put my a$$ in a lounge chair, my toes in the clay, not a worry in the world a PBR on the way, life is good today… Disliking Pabst is un-American…

robertussen

June 7th, 2011
6:00 pm

pbr is better than most domestic beers. id take it over a bud, miller, coors or any of that crap but i prefer a new castle

Puck Like A Porn Star

June 7th, 2011
6:01 pm

What’s the point of a Superbowl after 8 games??

They’d have to whip out the mother of all asterisks for that “champion.”

JB

June 7th, 2011
6:09 pm

Won’t be long before those 20K a month lifestyles start getting thin…..And the Union will ease off and cut a deal. I would guess only half of NFL players could sit out a year with no pay. Working landscaping at $12 an hour will get old quick.

Cheesehead

June 7th, 2011
6:14 pm

PBR Cold Longneck…Nuff Said! Cheers!

Alex

June 7th, 2011
6:19 pm

I could use some of these guys on my flag football team this fall

Keith in Macon

June 7th, 2011
6:20 pm

Where ESPN?? If this was the Saints they would have an entire film crew there with Mort and Schfet both on site with lips attached to Drew Brees’ butt.

DJ Sniper

June 7th, 2011
6:20 pm

5150 UOAD

June 7th, 2011
6:23 pm

What is this NFL thing of which you speak? Is it like that mythical thing called the NHL? I know they existed at one point in history. I have seen old TV footage of these now Mythical Creatures in their natural environment.

Bob

June 7th, 2011
6:27 pm

Anyone besides me thinks that the picture of Julio looks like the “Alien”? Maybe time for a new deau.

Bob

June 7th, 2011
6:27 pm

The pic on the front page…AJC.com/sports.

5150 UOAD

June 7th, 2011
6:30 pm

Bob what pic of Julio?
I thought the radio said Julio missed the practice because he had something very important to do.

waynester

June 7th, 2011
6:51 pm

Bob
Predator, maybe?
ps
Best cheap beer–Old Milwaukee……

Joe Tess Fish House

June 7th, 2011
7:00 pm

Bunch of loosers. They need 2 stop the strike and get back 2 work. They R screwing the fans.

Nate D

June 7th, 2011
7:01 pm

With Matt Ryan and julio jones getting chemistry will be beast as long as Beirmann plays good this year.

ted williams head

June 7th, 2011
7:04 pm

I drank Pabst for 20 years then discovered they made something else. That crap is rotgut but I hear its the new uppie beer.
Lake Lanier’s bottom is covered in that stuff – ever dive there. Thats why there a 2 headed fish

Hindu Elvis Pimp

June 7th, 2011
7:09 pm

El Bravo
June 7th, 2011
5:58 pm

Gonna put my a$$ in a lounge chair, my toes in the clay, not a worry in the world a PBR on the way, life is good today… Disliking Pabst is un-American…

Not liking mass produced swill is un-American? Really? I’m glad I am not in your Rush Limbaugh America.

Do you even know who owns Pabst?

ATLtodolavida

June 7th, 2011
7:20 pm

So much for the 18 game grind.

Brian

June 7th, 2011
7:26 pm

It just shows that these guys are a close nit group, which is a good thing to have if you are a Falcons fan.

BiggdawgK

June 7th, 2011
7:33 pm

At least Schultz is covering something sports related. This is more than d o ledbetter has done in months and he is the Falcons beat reporter LOL Calling ledbetter a reporter always seems like the punchline to a joke doesn’t it?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 7th, 2011
7:41 pm

BiggDawgK — It’s D. Orlando Ledbetter for you!

bamaguy

June 7th, 2011
7:47 pm

I agree about the eight game season. I had rather skip it altogether. Winning the eight-game superbowl would be like kissing your sister. No thrill to it. (Yes that is a Bear Bryant quote, he said it about ties).

Robby better be careful or Julio will steal all his thunder.

Kane

June 7th, 2011
8:29 pm

@Joe Tess Fish House

June 7th, 2011
7:00 pm
Bunch of loosers. They need 2 stop the strike and get back 2 work. They R screwing the fans.

It’s not a strike, it’s a lockout they want to play the owners are the ones not allowing them…

El Bravo

June 7th, 2011
8:33 pm

Hindu Elvis Pimp
June 7th, 2011
7:09 pm

I believe the hindi word is “vyaMgya” meaning “sarcasm”. You may want to try it from time to time…

Hindu Elvis Pimp

June 7th, 2011
9:12 pm

I’m a pimp, I don’t need no Viagra….That’s what you said?

Hindu Elvis Pimp

June 7th, 2011
9:14 pm

Part II

I see a lot of jugheads at Twain’s in Decatur drink that swill straight from the can instead of drinking what is brewed there. Talking to them, they truly feel the PBR in a can is the best thing ever. My response was conditioned by these hillbillies.

Stevie B

June 7th, 2011
9:27 pm

LOL….Gettem DOL!!! Don’t listen to these guys. Even with nothing to report except “The judges postponed a ruling today…..”, you seem to find something to write about and keep us all coming back. Keep up the good work!!!

Stevie B

June 7th, 2011
9:33 pm

PS…DOL,
Not to take a shot at your employer (but I am going to anyway) , If wasn’t for you covering and writing about the Falcons, I wouldn’t visit the site much less read anything posted…..They should give you a raise for keeping people coming here and put the Falcons page on the main page so I don’t have navigate around worthless boring articles. The pop up ads on this site are more interesting

Joe Tess Fish House

June 7th, 2011
9:42 pm

If the palyers want 2 play how come they have not reported? They should be at Flowry Branch not some high schol praticing.

moe

June 7th, 2011
11:11 pm

ENOUGH OF THIS SOOK I WAANT SOME MOON FOCKING FOOTBALL ……………………………………. SO GET DONE

Chucktown38

June 8th, 2011
12:51 am

the owners are not scared to lock out the whole year of football because they know all the fans will still be there licking there chops when football continues. I am a huge fan but if they do not get back to football soon I will treat this the same way I did with Baseball, I have not watched a single pitch in the last 17 years. Looking more and more like I will watch alot of college ball this year. the owners are to blame for all of this anyway, paying all that money to have high profile players come to there team in FA, they need to reap what they sow.If no one pays the big bucks players can’t demand such high $$$. Seems simple to me.

Square Peg

June 8th, 2011
6:04 am

http://www.accessatlanta.com/celebrities-tv/stewart-cuts-wrist-during-970317.html?cxntlid=thbz_hm

That pervert and the 5 foot tall Democrat front man roomed together back in the day.

If the house does have hearings maybe they could call Stewart as a witness. He would know what the lewd and lascivious one looked like without the open raincoat.

JoeFan

June 8th, 2011
8:15 am

Cancel the season and lets get on with life. Will anyone really miss this circus?

the don of realism

June 8th, 2011
8:40 am

Morons drink Pabst.

1911A1

June 8th, 2011
9:11 am

+1 on your final sentence, Jeff.

SimpleDawg

June 8th, 2011
9:59 am

Ol’ Artie Blank didn’t stutter when he said that season tickets must be paid in full by June, even though he probably will not provide any product or service for the required payment.

The NFL owners may have finally effed up and killed the goose laying their Golden Eggs.

McBubba

June 8th, 2011
10:23 am

With the Rookies as an exception, I really don’t think missing an offseason is going to be such a huge deal; heck, it might even prolong some of these guys’ careers..