Atlanta Falcons: Training camp notes – fans have plenty to look forward to
The Atlanta Falcons have given fans plenty to look forward to in regards to the upcoming season.
Whether it has been the ongoing discussion of whether Calvin Ridley can take that next step, if Hayden Hurst can replace Austin Hooper, if the defense looks improved, or Keanu Neal can come back after the back-to-back season-ending injuries, there’s no doubt that the Atlanta Falcons training camp has been exciting to watch and follow, and it will only get better as the season draws closer.
Starting with Calvin Ridley, the answer to the question above is obvious, yes. There is no doubt that Calvin Ridley will take that next step and become an elite level talent alongside Julio Jones. He has put in the necessary work and will almost surely reap the benefits of his hard work.
As for Hayden Hurst, it seems as though he is getting along quite nicely with Matt Ryan and very well could be just as good as Hooper was. Hurst is a guy that is hungry and ready to prove that he was worth his high draft status and, so far, it seems like that determination is helping him create a connection with Matt Ryan.
Reports also recently came out from training camp that Keanu Neal has slimmed down to 212 pounds. This is exciting news because it shows that he is taking care of his body and is looking to get his speed and agility back after losing basically two years of his career.
As Blogging Dirty contributor Joe Beasley said in one of his latest articles, Neal is the most valuable player on the Atlanta Falcons defense and the team needs him to be 100 percent if they want to be able to get back to the playoffs.
Another defensive back that is turning heads is rookie A.J. Terrell. Reports say that he has been very impressive thus far, which is obviously great news considering the Atlanta Falcons drafted him in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Fellow rookie Marlon Davidson has also caught the attention of fans and media alike, as it seems he is primed to be a legitimate threat alongside Grady Jarrett. Both of these rookies look like they will make an immediate impact on the defense, making them a much-improved unit in the process.
Lastly, it was reported by Atlanta Falcons reporter William McFadden that the defense dominated the first scrimmage of training camp. It is great to read that the defense is showing grit and tenacity because this unit is what will propel the team to the playoffs this season.
The guys on defense are forcing turnovers, making plays, and getting off the field during camp and this needs to carry over into the season.
Overall, training camp has given the Atlanta Falcons and the fans a lot to be excited about coming into the season. This is an important season for many reasons and the players are practicing and training like it. This team very well could be the surprise of the NFL in 2020.