Postcard from camp: Falcons
This is one of the few totally self-contained training camps in the NFL. If a player so choses, he wouldn't have to get in a vehicle from the time he walked into camp on Wednesday, July 28, until leaving for the first preseason game on Friday, Aug. 13. In fact, he would never have to walk more than a couple hundred yards to anything -- the dining hall inside the facility, meeting rooms inside the facility, the small dorm complexes a hundred yards from the practice fields, or to the autograph lines by the bleachers near the practice field. Might be a little claustrophobic, but it's a great design for a totally self-contained, year-'round complex. I took in two practices -- outside in the humidity in the morning, inside Atlanta's practice bubble during a thunderstorm in the afternoon.
1. Not that No. 3 quarterback
2. This team's in trouble if
3. Might be the end of the line for
In an ideal world, the Falcons would have four players getting pressure on the quarterback from different spots: Weatherspoon, along with ends
3. I like Blank's approach to the CBA talks. Each place I visit on this tour, I try to take the temperature on what the owners or significant club voices think about the owners-players negotiations, and I've heard some dire stuff. Blank has been in his share of negotiations in the business, knows it's often darkest before the dawn, and thinks the football business is too lucrative for both sides for there to be a work stoppage, or at least for there to be much of a work stoppage.
4. Two best practice-field complexes (including condition of the grass) I've seen on my first seven camp visits: Atlanta and Carolina. I'm convinced you could putt on the Falcons' practice field better than on most municipal golf courses.
5. The more I watch the game, the more I think how valuable good assistant coaches like Atlanta receivers coach