Sunday, July 27, 2014
Falcons Camp Report: Day 3
By Vaughn McClure
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Atlanta Falcons training camp:
- Julio Jones saw his most extensive practice action since undergoing right foot surgery and looked like the Jones of old after sitting out one day. His explosion was evident with every step, and he blew past Desmond Trufant on a play during one-on-one drills. "He's looking good, man," Trufant said of Jones. "To come back like he did ... he didn't do any of the (organized team activities). He was just doing rehab. He didn't miss a beat. That's exactly what we want to see. And he's going to definitely have a comeback season this year." Trufant joked that he got the best of Jones, 2 to 1, during the day. Regardless, Jones was spectacular and in sync with Matt Ryan. Despite how he looked Sunday, the Falcons won't change the game plan with Jones just yet. He'll be off again Monday.
- Speaking of Trufant, he was at left cornerback Sunday after lining up at right cornerback at the start of camp. He was primarily the right cornerback last season. "Just wherever they play me, that's where I'm at," Trufant said. "Whatever they want me to do, that's what I'm willing to do." Both Trufant and fellow cornerback Robert Alford got plenty of work going up against a healthy Jones and Roddy White. "That's what a team is about: It's about giving each other a look," Trufant said. "And getting a look like that, I can't ask for anything better, Roddy and Harry (Douglas) included. We've got a good group of receivers. We've got a good secondary. Whoever we face, we're going to be ready."
- Two rookie linebackers really showed up throughout Sunday's practice. Fourth-round draft pick Prince Shembo continued to make the adjustment from outside linebacker to inside and tipped away a T.J. Yates pass in coverage. His play was singled out by coach Mike Smith. "I'm just learning," Shembo said. "When I'm in there, take advantage of my opportunities. That's what I'm trying to do." Although Shembo continues to work with the second team, he has a shot to crack the starting lineup ahead of Joplo Bartu. Undrafted outside linebacker Jacques Smith also looked strong all around and tipped a pass as well.
- The Falcons will have their first padded practice on Monday afternoon, giving the coaches a chance to get a better evaluation of what progress the players have made. "Well, we're getting as close as you can get to play real football tomorrow," Smith said. "We won't completely play real football because we're not going to cut block in practice. It's going to be a great evaluation, especially for the interior players on both sides of the line. We will get true evaluation starting tomorrow." Rookie Ra'Shede Hageman, Malliciah Goodman and Jonathan Massaquoi will be some players to watch.
- First-team free safety Dwight Lowery had an interception, as did third-teamer Sean Baker. ... Safety William Moore wore a compression sock on his left leg at the start of practice but eventually took it off. ... Cornerback Josh Wilson received some medical treatment late in practice for what might have been related to cramping or a hamstring issue, but he continued. ... Devin Hester again made some impressive catches. ... Outside linebacker Kroy Biermann (Achilles) sat out, as scheduled, with Stansly Maponga running with the first team in place of Biermann.