- Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer
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HOUSTON -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Atlanta Falcons training camp:
The Falcons had their second of two joint practices against the Houston Texans in preparation for Saturday's exhibition. The day involved a lot of situational work, including more red zone and two-minute drill, plus a series with the Falcons backed up deep near their own end zone. Coach Mike Smith was pleased, overall. "I thought it was a good work," Smith said. "We worked on a lot of situations. ... I thought it was very good work. We had some guys that we held out that we have on their normal routine. I think that sometimes gives other guys opportunities to play and grow."
Speaking of getting opportunities, rookie receivers Bernard Reedy and Geraldo Boldewijn got more chances with both Julio Jones and Roddy White resting, as scheduled. Boldewijn actually caught a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan during the red-zone period. "I thought some young guys got a chance to compete at a different level than they've been competing," Smith said. "(Boldewijn) did a nice job. And Reedy got an opportunity to get more reps. (Jeremy) Ebert got an opportunity to get more reps. That's what these practices are really about: the evaluation process."
The defensive line and pass-rushers found it a tough go, at times, against the Texans offensive line. But the Falcons had their moments. Nose tackle Paul Soliai pushed an opponent back what seemed to be 10 yards during one-on-one drills, while Jonathan Babineaux was simply consistent during the same session. Veteran Osi Umenyiora showed off a nice spin move later in practice. And Kroy Biermann went at it hard with former Falcons teammate Tyson Clabo early in practice. Several defensive linemen and linebackers got a little irked with Texans offensive lineman Mike Farrell, who seemed to take the field looking for a fight. Cliff Matthews came the closest to coming to blows with Farrell.
Speaking of fights, there was a little tension between Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant and Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins after Trufant broke up a pass during a drill. The two glared at each other. Then Hopkins and Falcons cornerback Josh Wilson got into it, with Wilson throwing a punch at Hopkins. But Hopkins might have instigated with a push. "It was even with me, really," Trufant said of the squabble. "(Hopkins) and I, we were just battling all day and just competing. It's a full-contact sport. Tempers are going to flare. But we're just competing."
Extra points: Trufant was getting medical treatment on the side near the end of practice but said it was just cramps. ... Rookie outside linebacker Jacques Smith saw more second-team reps running alongside Stansly Maponga behind starters Biermann and Jonathan Massaquoi. ... Ryan got picked off a couple times during drills. ... There was a little trash talk between Falcons safety William Moore and a member of the Texans coaching staff after Paul Worrilow appeared to stop the runner in the end zone for a safety. Moore started yelling, "All day. All day." The person going back and forth with Moore appeared to be Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. ... Running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) and offensive lineman Gabe Carimi (ankle) remained sidelined.
Next up: The Falcons have Friday off.