Tuesday, July 29, 2008.
The summer vacation is over for the Atlanta Falcons and now, training camp is here. For this team, getting back on the field is a good feeling.
"I'm feeling good so far," said WR Joe Horn. "Playing a little catch up but just going out there and getting loose."
For the returning players, they come into this training camp with a bad taste in their mouth from last year's 4-win season.
"It was a long year last year but now we have new coaches," said 3-year veteran and former Georgia QB D.J. Shockley. "It's a new atmosphere and I think everybody's just ready to move on"
From the Michael Vick saga to having 3 coaches in 3 years, there's no wonder this team is just looking to stabilize this franchise, and it starts right here at training camp.
"Everybody is very upbeat," said rookie and former Bulldog RB Thomas Brown. "Coach (Mike) Smith is trying to rewrite all the negative things written about us so now it's up to ourselves"
New additions will help the Falcons. QB Matt Ryan and RB Michael Turner bring more talent to the team while K Jason Elam and Horn provide some mroe veteran experience for the young guys.
"They pay attention to detail and they listen to veterans and that's what you need to do to be good in this league," said Horn.
After two days of practice in the pads, new head coach Mike Smith is pleased with the progress.
"They've responded well so far to the rigors of practice," said Smith. "We've had them take off their helmets during some coaching time. We have to be smart in this heat and take every precaution. We also had a competition in the end to have some fun and I think they repsonded well"