Live from Falcons’ camp: Early morning at the Branch

Because few things say "NFL football" like an inflatable. (Photo by M. Bradley)

Because few things say "big-time NFL football" like an inflatable. (Photo by Mark Bradley)

Flowery Branch – Here with the Dawn Patrol at Falcons HQ, where the first session of Training Camp 2010 has just commenced. I’d love to tell you this is going to be one of our live chats, but it isn’t. Falcons decree: Can’t have a laptop on the field.

So here’s what I’ll do: I’ll run out, watch a bit and check back. Hope that’s OK with y’all.

9:10 a.m. update: A key development has been unearthed. Mike Smith is sporting a shorter, sleeker haircut. Moving from one field to the other, he stopped to shake hands, and I noted this tonsorial alteration. (Even though Smitty was sporting his pith helmet, his new ‘do was noticeable.)

“A training-camp haircut?” I asked.

“A training-camp haircut,” Smith said, laughing.

“Kind the opposite of a playoff beard,” I said.

“Playoff beards are a lot more fun than training-camp haircuts,” he said, and then he was off.

9:30 a.m. update: Getting a bit more interesting. Offense and defense are going against one another, kind of. Sean Weatherspoon looks sleek. Michael Turner looks a bit sleeker than he did last summer, though my eyes might well deceive. Dunta Robinson, as esteemed colleague D-Led notes, is being moved from side to side.

9:45 a.m. update: The Falcons have bowed to the heat. They took a little break and went in the cooling areas — there’s a chilly mist in there — and are now practicing without helmets.

I have to say: You don’t often see a football team work without helmets. Kind of neat, actually.

10:10 a.m. update: The helmets are back on, and the two lines were going at it. Kroy Biermann and Jonathan Babineaux made some nice pass-rush moves.

In other news, esteemed colleague Jennifer Brett reports that Biermann is dating one of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

10:40 a.m. update: Practice ended a few minutes early. Mike Smith said, “There was great energy through practice the entire day.”

It must be noted that there will be another practice this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. It will be hotter then, and the energy might dissipate accordingly. But Smith had an answer when asked why the Falcons have so many two-a-days.

“Some of those two-a-days are really only one-a-days,” he said. “Every fifth practice is for special teams. If guys aren’t on special teams, they’re not out here … And 20 to 25 minutes of every practice are without helmets. That’s from the Bill Wash and Denny Green school, and that’s the way we did it in Baltimore.”

Talked to Tony Gonzalez. He’s excited. Talked to John Abraham. He’s enthusiastic. There’s a real feeling that this team is close to doing really big things. And yes, I know every team says the same after the first practice, but my feeling is that these Falcons have the wherewithal to back it up.

80 comments Add your comment

randallsdad

July 30th, 2010
8:53 am

nickz

July 30th, 2010
8:56 am

not first…but second!

Hank Jr.

July 30th, 2010
9:01 am

Flowery Branch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thebighairybeast

July 30th, 2010
9:03 am

Just use your Iphone to send updates!

Kane337

July 30th, 2010
9:04 am

I bet it’s hot out there.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, ajc sports editor, LaTonya Story, Front Office Blogs, Lindsay Miller and others. Lindsay Miller said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Chatting live, kind of, from the opening of #Falcons camp. http://bit.ly/cXg5FV [...]

oldbird

July 30th, 2010
9:05 am

Just don’t let anybody get hurt.

Bat Masterson

July 30th, 2010
9:07 am

I’m very concerned about the future of our society. Very ……….

BugKiller

July 30th, 2010
9:08 am

Mark,

Have fun outside in the plus-100 Heat Index!

Haha.

Seriously though, I’d love (and I’m sure others would, too) if you could get some candid (REAL) thoughts from Jamaal Anderson about if he actually realizes this is his last of many chances, what he would have done differently the last few years (more film-room study, more practicing his technique, extra work with veterans to learn and perfect new moves to shed blockers, etc).

Also, maybe it would be good to ask Rich McKay and Arthur Blank if they regret not re-signing Patrick Kerney, when they essentially traded an equal salary for the disappointing Anderson. I don’t think anyone has put it to them that way. If they had just resigned Kerney and spent the money on a proven DE, they would have been a better team and saved in the long run.

Have fun today (for real). Get us some good info!

Mark Bradley

July 30th, 2010
9:08 am

Cell phones are likewise banned on the field, I’m afraid.

nola falcon fan

July 30th, 2010
9:13 am

while you are in The Branch, can you see about finding an outfielder not named Jason that has slugging % about 300.

oh, and how does H. Douglas look to your esteemed trained eye?

atl die heart

July 30th, 2010
9:14 am

it should be a good year

TheManMike

July 30th, 2010
9:21 am

Mark,

Looking forward to checking out all your updates – BRING IT! And you know, we want to know about all the usual suspects….

Love this time of year…..

Sutton's Fro

July 30th, 2010
9:25 am

I’d love to know how our big linemen (OL and DL) look in the early workouts. Are they crumbling in the heat? Are Jerry, Dahl, and Baker fully recovered from their injuries?

PMC

July 30th, 2010
9:32 am

IPAD’s don’t make noise, are they banned?

Mark Bradley

July 30th, 2010
9:33 am

Everybody looks OK so far. But it’s early yet.

The Jama

July 30th, 2010
9:36 am

Nice opening volley Mark, its the details that count and it all starts w/ Smitty!!! Perhaps Arthur trimmed the stache? Got a real good feeling about this team and our upcoming season

Jake

July 30th, 2010
9:41 am

Tell me Jenks is finally looking to emerge amidst this high powered offense!?

Barry

July 30th, 2010
9:42 am

HEY Y’ALL:

I HEAR A THUMP!! UH,OH!! IT’S GETTING LOUDER!! THUMP!THUMP!!THUMP!! THUMP!!!. “THEY” ARE HERE!! “THEY” ARE “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” AND “THEY” ARE “US”. “WE” ARE THE OWNERS, THE COACHES, THE PLAYERS, THE FANS, THE COMMUNITY, AND THE MEDIA. “WE” ARE “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” AND “TOGETHER”, THE “PROCESS” CONTINUES FOR OUR FALCONS, OUR METRO ATLANTA AREA, OUR GREAT STATE OF GEORGIA, AND OR FANS TO BRING THE SUPER BOWL TO GEORGIA. IT’S ON. OUR KNITY,GRITTY, NASTY FIGHTIN, QUICK FOOTED, “IN YOH FACE” FALCONS ARE READY TO TAKE ON THE OPPOSITION. WE OWE THEM. FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS THEY GOT BY. BUT THIS YEAR, THEY ARE IN FOR A “WUPPIN.” THEY ARE GOING TO GET THAT “WUPPIN” IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!” WE TAKE NO PRISONERS. ARTHUR BLANK, COACH SMITH, THE COACHES, THE PLAYERS, AND OF COURSE, US FANS, ARE STANDING UP LOUD AND CLEAR FOR EVERYONE TO TAKE NOTICE: IT’S “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!’ TIME IN ATLANTA. EVERY PLAY; IN ONE HEARTBEAT!! EVERY HIT, IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” EVERY RUN, IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” EVERY CATCH, IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” EVERY TOUCHDOWN, IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” EVERY WIN, IN “ONE HEARBEAT!!!” THE SUPER BOWL, IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” THE “PROCESS” CONTINUES, IN
“ONE HEARTBEAT!!!!” AND IT IS A DETERMINED AND FOCUS SITE. THE OWNERS ARE READY. THE COACHES ARE READY. THE PLAYERS ARE READY. THE FANS AND THE COMMUNITY ARE READY. THE MEDIAS ARE READY. NOW ARE YOU READY???? ARE YOU READY TO DO THIS IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!??” IT’SON AND IT WON’T BE PRETTY!!!!

I HEAR SOMETHING???? THUMP!! IT’S GETTING LOUDER!!THUMP!!!THUMP!!!THUMP!! I AM ABOUT TO HAVE A “HEART ATTACK”…THUMP!!! THUMP!!! THUMP!!! LET THE SEASON BEGIN. LET IT BEGIN IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!”

I LOVE THIS GAME. I LOVE ATLANTA. NOW ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!?????

GO FALCONS!!!!!!! LETS PLAY, HIT, AND MOVE IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” “WE ARE BEHIND YOU IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!”

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THIS IS A SECRET FROM A “FALCON FAN”. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!

……………………”ONE HEARTBEAT,BABY”…………..

bob

July 30th, 2010
9:44 am

Tell Smitty to use the tight-end screen pass to Gonzalez like the old Colts used to throw to Mackey.
Imagine Gonzalez with a couple of blockers in front of him.

Resign or Resign?

July 30th, 2010
9:46 am

@BUGKILLER;

I was a big Kerney fan; but what did he do for Seattle after he left Atl.? The Seahawks put him down as one of their biggests “busts” as a FA. Not that I would ever defend Petrino ans McKay’s selection of JA; just saying that resigning Kerney wouldn’t have produced any better results.

Excited about this team; if everyone comes back healthy and stays healthy I look for 12-14 wins. GO BIRDS!!

SirReal

July 30th, 2010
9:49 am

MAN, I missed Barry. Good to have you back. :) Now I know the season is getting close.

Mark Bradley

July 30th, 2010
9:50 am

Bobby Jenks? I thought he played baseball.

BugKiller

July 30th, 2010
9:50 am

@resign

I think playing in Atlanta, for Smitty and BVG, would have been MUCH better for Kerney than playing in Seattle, where Little Jimmy Mora was a defensive coach (worst secondary in the league under his watch, big effing surprise) then head coach.

You can’t say that playing at home, with a comfort level, that Kerney wouldn’t have performed even MARGINALLY better than Anderson, which is what I’m saying.

Also, in Seattle, Kerney never had a partner like Abraham.

the beerman

July 30th, 2010
9:50 am

hows the beerman doing

Paddy

July 30th, 2010
9:51 am

Yes Barry we are all ready for some football. This is soooo different than the Rankin Smith years. It is hard to believe that this is how football was meant to be played, administered and coached. Guess we didn’t know what was good back in thoses years? Now we know how an organization is supposed to be run. I, for one, am very grateful and happy for the deserving fans in Atlanta. And thank God we didn’t sign TO.

the beerman

July 30th, 2010
9:52 am

think he means micheal jenkins

Jake

July 30th, 2010
9:55 am

Def Mike Jenkins.. You know.. The first round pick. With the ideal WR frame.. From a top ranked school.. Who has resulted in countless disapointment…

Bull Schmitt

July 30th, 2010
9:57 am

I bet you can hear ol’ VanGorder barking orders about now. Have fun for all us folks that are unable to attend today.

Tim Tebow's Tears

July 30th, 2010
9:59 am

YEA BABY. THE REAL SPORT IN ATL IS FINALLY HERE!!! LET’S GO FALCONS!

the beerman

July 30th, 2010
10:02 am

any fights yet

ToccoaBird

July 30th, 2010
10:06 am

is D-Led sleeping in on the first day of training camp?

F-105 Thunderchief

July 30th, 2010
10:07 am

Your esteemed colleague (has this now become Bradley blog jargon?) Rodney Ho is reporting that Kim Z from Real Housewives of Atlanta is dating Kroy Biermann. Any obvious signs of fatigue or disease on our Biermann?

Mark Bradley

July 30th, 2010
10:09 am

D-Led’s here. I believe he’s Tweeting.

William Andrews

July 30th, 2010
10:12 am

4th and short – call me. Kinda got my own version of “the surge”.

UA Alum92

July 30th, 2010
10:26 am

Any admiration I may have had for Kroy Biermann just went ppppfffttt!

Grady Jackson Barber Shop

July 30th, 2010
10:28 am

Grady’s staff does a great job with “Training-Camp” haircuts.

ToccoaBird

July 30th, 2010
10:31 am

Hey BEER MAN !!!!!!!

Desperate Ex-Housewife

July 30th, 2010
10:32 am

That girl will teach Kroy a few things.

Athens, Georgia

July 30th, 2010
10:34 am

————————–
Nesbitt for Heisman
————————–

mountain_jim

July 30th, 2010
10:36 am

Tell Mularkey to put some screen plays in to slow the rush this year!

extremus

July 30th, 2010
10:37 am

One thing I’m wondering is whether Harry Douglas will be back at full speed after last year’s leg injury (which occurred during camp). Any observations, Mr. Bradley, or is he even out there yet?

Mister Teacher Man

July 30th, 2010
10:39 am

The fellas and I will be there first thing in the morning!!!!

F-105 Thunderchief

July 30th, 2010
10:44 am

Oops, my apologies to your esteemed colleague Jennifer Brett.

D. Bell

July 30th, 2010
10:49 am

@Resign, about the Pat Kerny talk: Have you checked out his stats? His first year with the Seahawks he had 14.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl. The following year he missed more than half the season on IR, and last year played hurt most of the season but still had better numbers than John Abraham. Not re-signing Kerney was a money move, not a personnel move.

Gut Check

July 30th, 2010
10:50 am

What’s the matter Bradley?! No comments on the Braves since your “8 Reasons” article jinxed them?!! Way to go douche!! They’ve lost two strait series since then and watched their division lead erode to 2 games. You don’t celebrate until something is won, not two months before!!!!

[...] Here’s a sample: 9:30 a.m. update: Getting a bit more interesting. Offense and defense are going against one another, kind of. Sean Weatherspoon looks sleek. Michael Turner looks a bit sleeker than he did last summer, though my eyes might well deceive. Dunta Robinson, as esteemed colleague D-Led notes, is being moved from side to side. ~Mark Bradley [...]

GTFan

July 30th, 2010
10:55 am

iPhone sucks! Droid is the way to go! Anyways, I can’t wait till football starts.

Luther

July 30th, 2010
11:05 am

I am heading out there in the A.M tomorrow. Its on!!! I need a Trey Lewis and a Peria Jerry update.

TheManMike

July 30th, 2010
11:09 am

Pretty sub-par “Live from:…” blog today – What happened to the updates Mark?