Yesterday, the Atlanta Falcons opened their pre-season camp and that means that actual games are just around the corner. The waiting is almost over! Let's take a look around the web at some news and notes from camp:
I think we have a special group of guys. I am a firm believer that you win in the locker room first. You’ve got to have a team that likes to be around each other, and that loves playing the game of football. I think when you have that you have a chance to go out each and every week and be successful. The guys that we have in our locker room, the leaders that we have on our team show the leadership you need to have to be successful in this League. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing we have done in the past is going to have a bearing on what happens this season, but I like the locker room that we have. We’ve got some good men in that locker room.
Coach Smith likes his players
The biggest part of news for the day though is that Corey Peters will miss a further three weeks with a foot injury. He missed minicamp, and now will miss a lot of raining camp while he is on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP). That means that Peria Jerry, the third defensive tackle behind Corey Peters and Jonathan Babineaux. Jerry has his one final season in which to become an impactful player in this Falcons defense. I have no doubt Peters will be ready and healthy by the time the season starts and for the last couple weeks of training camp, and can be a important for the Falcons. I sincerely hope, however, that Jerry really steps up.
An overlooked pair, linebackers Robert James and Spencer Adkins saw their fair share of action Thursday, working in with a variety of personnel combinations. Adkins, of course, saw the field a good amount at the end of the 2011 season filling in for an injured Stephen Nicholas, but James has been a bit of a question mark as he’s lingered on the practice squad. With the road much more open these days, could a spot on the 53-man roster be in the cards for him?
Getting stronger will have a two-fold effect on Ryan. First—and Smith eluded to this—is arm strength. Smith said Ryan looks stronger throwing the ball. During minicamp several receivers mentioned that Ryan’s passes had more zip to them. The extra zip on Ryan’s passes could go a long way towards fixing a deficiency from last season.