The Atlanta Falcons' first workout in full pads brought a sense of relief to veteran linebacker Mike Peterson.
With the NFL's year-old collective bargaining agreement limiting how many times teams can hit in practice, Peterson liked the spirit he saw from his teammates.
Until Sunday, Peterson, a 13-year veteran, felt as if training camp had yet to start.
''It's been a cakewalk, man,'' he said. ''You have to get your extra work in the film room or studying a little more, but as far as the physical part of it, it's been a cakewalk.''
The Falcons are trying to gauge their nasty factor six months after losing 24-2 to the New York Giants and dropping to 0-3 in the playoffs under coach Mike Smith.
A first day in pads was traditionally one of training camp's toughest, but the new CBA eliminated two-a-day practices and lessened the number of times players will collide in pads.
Such changes mean that players and coaches must carefully balance the tempo of practice.
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