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Peter King: Training Camp Postcard - Falcons

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Training-camp postcard: Falcons Posted: Monday July 31, 2006 1:35PM; Updated: Monday July 31, 2006 4:14PM At the Atlanta Falcons' training complex in Flowery Branch, Ga., 40 minutes north of Atlanta. This is more than a training facility. It's a carnival. ...

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Old 07-31-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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Peter King: Training Camp Postcard - Falcons

Training-camp postcard: Falcons

Posted: Monday July 31, 2006 1:35PM; Updated: Monday July 31, 2006 4:14PM




At the Atlanta Falcons' training complex in Flowery Branch, Ga., 40 minutes north of Atlanta. This is more than a training facility. It's a carnival.

Tonight, after the evening practice, the club set up a huge video screen on one of the practice fields and invited fans to stay for a big-screen showing of the movie Rudy. (Not the most current of fare, obviously, but the team did try to get Will Ferrell's NASCAR movie and got turned down. The Falcons think it's because it's not a video yet.) They had family fireworks night the other night. Somewhere, Jerry Jones is thinking, "Why didn't I think of those things?''



Five Things I Think I Think

1. I think backup quarterback Matt Schaub's not going anywhere, because the Falcons know Michael Vick tends to get hurt and they need a quality backup. I talked to GM Rich McKay at practice this morning. Schaub can be had for a filthy-rich deal, but who's giving two first-round picks for him? And even that might be good enough.

2. I think that with Brian Finneran, the ultra-valuable security blanket for Vick, going down (probably for the season) with a knee injury, the Falcons will look to Jerome Pathon first to try to fill his spot. But what made Finneran so good for Vick were his tremendous hands and 6-foot-5 frame. Pathon has OK hands and is 6-feet. Uh-oh.

3. I think, judging from the look of an evening scrimmage session I saw, the combination of Patrick Kerney at left end and John Abraham on the right side will be as lethal as predicted. Abraham was in the backfield all night.

4. I think these are the best-groomed practice fields I see annually. Three full fields, all of which have a surface akin to a good municipal course's putting green. "That's my goal,'' groundskeeper Jim Hewitt acknowledged. "I want these fields to be like putting greens.'' Soft, too.

5. I think this is the lineup defenses will see at running back for the Falcons: Warrick Dunn to start, T.J. Duckett as the hard-charging relief pitcher and rookie Jerious Norwood, the fastest running back at the combine, to spell them when offensive coordinator Greg Knapp thinks it's time for a changeup. This team should lead the league in rushing again.



On the menu

When in the South, do like the Southerners do: Eat barbeque. I was able to do that at the Falcons' training table.

Entrée: Cole slaw, a half-ear of Georgia corn, salad with light balsamic vinaigrette and a combo of smoked and shredded pork/chicken barbeque with a medium-hot sauce. You don't do better than first-class barbeque, particularly barbeque with absolutely no fat. Grade: A.

Drink: Dasani water, which no one can screw up. And a cup of some old coffee with a smidgen of nearly curdled half-and-half. The only black mark on the best meal I've had all week.

Overall grade: A-



Story continues....
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...falcons/1.html

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