FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A daily review of the hot topics from Atlanta Falcons training camp:
Coach Mike Smith moved the final open practice of camp to the morning so the Falcons could get used to the schedule they'll have in Houston the next few days during joint practices with the Texans. "We wanted to get some timing today in terms of our practice, in terms of doing it in the morning, so we got the guys up early this morning," Smith said. "The next two days, we're going to switching our emphasis to morning practice and doing our walkthrough in the afternoon."
Rookie running back Devonta Freeman was back as a full participant after leaving practice on Monday. "Devonta was just dehydrated from practice," Smith said, "and we wanted to be very precautionary and take him off the field. We got him re-hydrated and he's ready to go." Freeman should get plenty of touches in the exhibition against the Texans with Steven Jackson slowly working his way back from a left hamstring injury. Antone Smith should get more looks as well.
The heat might be an issue an issue in Houston, with temperatures in the 90s. Falcons quarterback T.J. Yates, who was traded from Texans, warned that it's a different type of hot in Houston. "I thought (Monday) was probably the closes that we're going to get to the weather that we're probably going to have in Houston," Smith said. "It's going to be muggy. It's going to be humid. We've got to do a good job of hydrating when we get on the plane. We've got to make sure that we drink 20 ounces of fluid per hour on the flight, and that's one of the things that our guys will be reminded to do. And it's going to be important that we pre-hydrate and then stay hydrated down there because it's going to be competitive. Houston has got a good football team. They've got some very good athletes. I'm looking forward to watching some of our offensive linemen go against their pass-rushers."
Big nose tackle Paul Soliai got his 300-plus body up in the air and nearly picked off a Matt Ryan pass over the middle during Tuesday's practice. He looked like a defensive back dropping into coverage. "It was a good drop (move)," Soliai said. "I’m not really a dropper; I was just doing my job and fortunately I was there at the right moment and should have made a play." When a big guy can move like that, you understand why the Falcons are so high on Soliai and the impact he'll have up front this season.
Extra points: The Falcons did their share of red zone and goal line work on Tuesday -- areas Smith said needed to improve from the exhibition. ... Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi and linebacker Tim Dobbins remained out of practice coming off ankle injuries. ... Wide receiver Julio Jones did not practice but did participate in the walkthrough session ... Rookie receiver Bernard Reedy got some looks with the first-team offense. ... Both Desmond Trufant and Dwight Lowery came up with interceptions. Lowery corralled a pass tipped by Josh Wilson. ... Linebacker Paul Worrilow made a nice play to break up a pass in goal-line situation.