Posted: 9:06 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
FLOWERY BRANCH – After taking a mandatory day off, the Falcons return to the field with a 10 a.m. walk-through and a full practice that is open to the public at 3:30 p.m. today.
Here are five observations from the first five days of training camp as the Falcons are trying to rebound from a 4-12 season. It should be noted that owner Arthur Blank was at practice on Monday and Tuesday.
That’s normal. He regularly comes to practice, but he was watching the practices as intensely as I’ve seen over the years. It was clear that he wanted to see if the adjustments and all the money he spent in free agency is going to help turn around the franchise. (Here’s our “Falcons spent $80 million in free agency to buy some toughness” story from back in March.)
After the walk-through today, linebackers coach Glenn Pires, who has one of the most important units this season, and defensive backs coach Joe Danna, will be available to the media. Wide receiver Julio Jones is also set to address the media for the first time since training camp started.
The Friday Night Lights event is set for 6:45 p.m. Friday at Archer High in Lawrenceville.
It’s going to be a big weekend for the franchise as defensive end Claude Humphrey will become the first Falcons player who played most of his career here to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Also, Falcons president Rich McKay has his second draft pick, Derrick Brooks, going in to the Hall of Fame. His first pick as a general manager for the Tampa Bay Bucs, Warren Sapp, went in last season.
I’m off to Canton in the A.M. and will cover Humphrey’s induction. Mike Cunningham, Chris Vivlamore, Erica Hernandez and Tanya Sichynsky will cover the Falcons over the weeked for Team AJC. (My posse is deep!!!)
After the busy weekend, the Tennessee Titans come in for practice on Monday and the first airing of Hard Knocks is at 10 p.m. next Tuesday.
Check back later for notes, stories and videos from today’s practice.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Date Practice Times (public availability)
Thursday, July 31 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)
Friday, August 1 “Friday Night Lights” at Archer High School (Lawrenceville)
6:45 – 9:10 p.m. (open to the public)
Saturday, August 2 Practice 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)
Sunday, August 3 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)
Monday, August 4 Combined Practice w/Tennessee 3-5:30 p.m. (open to the public)
Tuesday, August 5 Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)
Wednesday, August 6 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)
Thursday, August 7 Pregame Walkthrough (No Media Availability)
Friday, August 8 Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins
7:00 p.m. ET – CW69
Saturday, August 9 Practice 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. (open to the public)
Sunday, August 10 Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)
Monday, August 11 Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)
Tuesday, August 12 Practice 10:00 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (open to the public)
Wednesday, August 13 Combined Practice w/ Houston Texans (Houston, TX)
Thursday, August 14 Combined Practice w/ Houston Texans (Houston, TX)
Friday, August 15 Pregame Walkthrough (No Media Availability)
Saturday, August 16 Falcons at Houston Texans
8:00 p.m. ET – CW69
Sunday, August 17 Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)
Monday, August 18 Practice 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (closed to the public)