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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

Dungy believes Falcons can make a quick turnaround

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Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy talks to inmates at Broad River Road Correctional Complex in South Carolina back in 2010. He does a lot of charity work for All Pro Dads, the fatherhood program of Family First, a national nonprofit organization based in Tampa. (Associated Press).

Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy talks to inmates at Broad River Road Correctional Complex in South Carolina back in 2010. He does a lot of charity work for All Pro Dads, the fatherhood program of Family First, a national nonprofit organization based in Tampa. (Associated Press).

FLOWERY BRANCH – Former NFL coach and current television analyst Tony Dungy believes the Falcons can quickly bounce back from last season’s 4-12 debacle.

“It really can be (a quick turnaround), this day in age,” Dungy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently. “They had a one-year dip. They were playing excellent for a couple of years.”

He attributed their downfall from 13-3 to 4-12 to injuries and the lack of a rushing attack. The Falcons were last in the league, averaging 77.9 yards rushing per game.

“I thought they got out of balance last year and didn’t have the running game that they’d had in the past,” Dungy said. “To me, that is going to be the key, kind of revamping or returning that running game to where it was.”

He believes the Falcons can rebound by getting healthy, improving the offensive line play and getting the rushing attack unleashed.

“I think you’re going to see that Julio Jones is going to be back,” Dungy said. “Roddy White is going to be back and they are going to be able to throw the ball with Matt Ryan.

“I don’t even worry about that part of it. But if they make sure that offensive line is solid and that they can run the ball, if they do that, they are going to be right back to 11-, 12-win team.”

 PHASE THREE OF OFFSEASON PROGRAM

–Tuesday – OTA No. 2.

–Thursday – OTA No. 3.

–Friday – Strength and Conditioning plus a rookie practice

–Monday– OTA No. 4.

–Tuesday, June 3 – OTA No. 5.

–Wednesday, June 4 – OTA No. 6.

–Thursday, June 5 – Rookie Practice.

–Monday, June 9 – Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament. Defending champs – Team Scelfo.

–Tuesday, June 10 – OTA No. 7.

–Wednesday, June 11 – OTA No. 8.

–Thursday, June 12 – OTA No. 9.

–Friday, June 13 – OTA No. 10.

–Monday, June 16 – Physicals.

–Tuesday, June 17 — Day One: Mandatory minicamp (5 practices over three days)

–Wednesday, June 18 – Day Two: Mandatory minicamp.

–Thursday, June 19 – Day Three: Mandatory minicamp. (Offseason program ends for veterans).

TBA – Rookie Symposium

TBA – (Late July) – Report to Training camp.

 DRAFT CLASS STORIES

Jake Matthews brings strength of family to the Falcons

Ra’Shede Hageman could turn into defensive force for Falcons

Dezmen Southward ready to compete for playing time

Warrick Dunn likes the pick of FSU’s Devonta Freeman

Falcons signed 20 undrafted rookie free agents, 5 from SEC 

Falcons invite 24 players in for tryouts

NFL Draft 2014: ESPN’s Todd McShay on the Falcons’ draft class

VIDEO: Reaction to the Atlanta Falcons’ 2014 draft class

THE ATLANTA FALCONS 2014 DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 / 6 — Jake Matthews, RT, 6-5, 308, Texas A&M

Round 2/37 – Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, 6-6, Minnesota

Round 3/68 – Dezmen Southward, FS, 6-0, 211, Wisconsin

Round 4/103 – Devonta Freeman, RB, 5-8, 206, Florida State

Round 4/139 – Prince Shembo, LB, 6-1, 253 Notre Dame

Round 5/147 – Ricardo Allen, CB, 5-9, 187, Purdue

Round 5/168 – Marquis Spruill, LB, 6-1, 231, Syracuse

Round 7/253 – Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-2, 246, Connecticut

Round 7/255 – Tyler Starr, LB, 6-4, 250, South Dakota

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