Friday July 25, 2008
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons checked in for
training camp today, eager for a fresh start after a 2007 season
that never had a chance. With a new general manager, a new coach and a new quarterback, the Falcons are looking forward to a camp with few distractions, even as they face a massive rebuilding job.
A year ago, quarterback Michael Vick's status was still in doubt
when the Falcons reported for camp and were greeted by animal
rights protesters. With Vick now in federal prison on charges stemming from his dogfighting operation, the Falcons have slipped off the radar
Matt Ryan is the new face of this franchise. The rookie from
Boston College was the third pick overall and will get a chance to
claim the starting quarterback job against a field of contenders
that includes Chris Redman and Joey Harrington.
The Falcons took care of some last-minute business by signing
linebacker Curtis Lofton, a second-round selection out of Oklahoma.
The only draft pick still lacking a contract is offensive tackle
Sam Baker, the second of the team's first rounders and a strong
candidate to start, assuming he doesn't miss too much time in camp. The first practice is bright and early Saturday morning.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)