Russell Gage Jr. had a breakout season with the Atlanta Falcons last season. He had 72 catches for 786 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, his third year in the league.
Last year he got a chance to go against rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell on a daily basis, and Gage likes what he sees from the second-year player in camp so far.
He was asked on Thursday what he had seen in Terrell that makes him better in year two.
"Oh man, just attention to detail," said Gage. "He does little things before practice, after practice; I can tell it translates over, I go against him in one on ones, his details are precise. He's really good; he's coming out of his breaks faster."
"He's going to be special."
Asked to elaborate on "special,'' Gage went into more detail, but acknowledged it was as much a feeling of the "it" factor than anything quantifiable.
"From press to off, to anything, he works hard each and every week,'' Gage said. "A.J. is one of those guys, he was great last year, you can tell he's going to be even better."
"It's broad, but that's really what it is. His details on everything, you can kind of just feel it when you're running routes against him."
Terrell was Atlanta's first-round pick, 16th overall, out of Clemson in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was one of the Falcons' few bright spots on defense in an otherwise dismal season. He started 14 games and had 74 tackles and an interception.
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Big things are expected of Terrell in 2021, and Gage is a believer.