Posted June 20, 2012 on AP on Fox
Rookies are not the only Falcons players going through their first minicamp this week. This also is the first offseason program for such second-year players as receiver Julio Jones and running back Jacquizz Rodgers who had no minicamp or organized team activities last year due to the NFL lockout. Jones, Rodgers and other second-year players are making up for lost time with the valuable intense lessons with their position coaches that began with OTAs in May. Falcons coach Mike Smith says he's expecting ''real quick'' maturation for the 2011 draft picks. Some played key roles in 2011 despite missing the normal summer preparation. Rodgers was the team's second-leading rusher in 2011 but says he wasn't confident he knew all the plays until the fifth or sixth week of the season.

John Abraham happy he's back with Falcons

For much of the offseason, it appeared John Abraham was a player the Falcons could not afford to re-sign. As it turned out, Abraham was a player the team could not afford to lose. He says Atlanta was the place he never wanted to leave. After proving he remains productive by leading the team with 9 1/2 sacks in 2011, he signed a three-year, $16.72 million contract in March. There...

Experience gives Falcons vets a leg up

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons have a new offensive coordinator and a new defensive coordinator installing relatively new systems and two of the team's most veteran players on either side of the ball are a bit behind the learning curve because of their absences during the offseason. Defensive end John Abraham skipped the voluntary offseason team activities...

Top story lines heading into Falcons' camp

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. On the final day of mini-camp on Thursday the Falcons announced that training camp will start on July 26 and so with exactly 35 days until then, it's time to look forward to what some of the top story lines will be. Asked the question, head coach Mike Smith sees it as being the battles along the offensive and defensive lines. It's worth noting that that...

Falcons’ Abraham scuffles with rookie after low block

Perhaps a little too pent up after skipping voluntary workouts, Falcons defensive end John Abraham released some aggression during the team’s mandatory minicamp. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Abraham “got into a scuffle” with Adam Nissley, yanking off the rookie tight end’s helmet after he went too low on a block. “What the [expletive] is wrong with you...

Tatupu relishing his career revival with Falcons

Lofa Tatupu says he started to believe his career was over as he spent the 2011 season away football. Following his release from the Seattle Seahawks, Tatupu says his only chances with other teams were as an outside linebacker. He was a three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker with Seattle. When he realized he wasn't going to play last season he finally stopped working out. He...

Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader Kat Majester Trying To Make Olympic Pole Vault Team

The U.S. Olympic Track & Field Olympic Trials begin Thursday in Eugene, Oregon. It just happens that Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Kat Majester is already in town getting for her chance to become one of the biggest names in U.S. pole vaulting history. Has an NFL cheerleader ever made an Olympic team? According to our freelance researchers, it hasn’t happened. How can’t you...

Ray Edwards Seems Pretty Optimistic About Ray Edwards

For a guy who was pretty quiet both on field last season, Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards has been pretty talkative.  Edwards said the new defense is "a lot better."  Specifically, there is plenty of "attacking, attacking, attacking and not dropping back into coverage."  Sounds like he may be able to attack, which  I suppose that means Edwards may have...

Falcons Roundtable: Which Position Battles Will We Be Watching?

The first Falcons mini-camp is under-way and we are still a bit away from the first pre-season game. It's the perfect time to convey at the Grits Blitz roundtable so pull up a chair and listen to what we have to say and feel free to chime in with your answers as well. The first point of discussion is position battles. The Falcons are a veteran team so many spots are locked down...

Tatupu out to prove himself with the Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Last year Lofa Tatupu was only 28 years old and four years removed from an All-Pro season as a middle linebacker. Yet after undergoing surgery on the lateral meniscus in both knees following the 2010 season, he ended up having no takers when Seattle cut him a few days into training camp. He received a couple of invitations to work out. One, he said, appeared...

Tweets Heard Around Falcons Mini-Camp

The Falcons started their three day mini-camp today with two practices. There was a walk-thru this morning that was closed to the public and a practice this afternoon that was open to the public. We were not able to attend but here are some tweets around the Falcons twitter-sphere...   First pass of Minicamp was a screen. Second was a 15-yard dart to Julio. #atlminicamp ...
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