The Atlanta Falcons lost at the Miami Dolphins 37-17 on Saturday in their second preseason game. Rookie quarterback Feleipe Franks was called into action early after A.J. McCarron left the game early with an apparent leg injury.
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The Falcons plan for Franks was to have him start the second, half, but he found himself on the field in the first quarter.
He finished the game 3 of 6 passing for 43 yards. He added another 32 yards rushing on three attempts. He led the Falcons to their first touchdown drives of the preseason.
And he came away just a little more confident, maybe, than he was when he entered.
"I have full confidence in myself,'' said the rookie. "I feel like I'm starting to gain confidence, lead the group around me. Just continue to put my head down and work, that's all it's about.''
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Maybe the best thing about it: He entry was unplanned - a good test for what can happen in a real game.
"It was obviously an unexpected situation," said Franks. "I tried to take advantage of it. I'm grateful to get those extra reps. I just try to take it as a learning experience and keep growing, become the best quarterback I can become. I always need to be ready, especially in the backup position."
Asked how he assessed his overall play against the Dolphins, and Franks gave his best CoachSpeak answer.
"It's hard for me to sit back and think back on it right now. I've got to go back and look at the film,'' he said. "I thought offensively, collectively there were good plays. Obviously, I put us in a bad situation when I threw an interception. But there was bad plays, and really just learning from those. Learning from the good and the bad, and then just stacking them going into next week."
The work that Franks has gotten during the preseason has been valuable experience for him, and he feels ready to take over if called upon to play in the regular season.
The Falcons play the Cleveland Browns next Sunday, August 29 at 8 p.m.. McCarron's injury appears to be serious enough to keep him out longer than a few days, Franks will likely see another quarterback brought into camp to compete for the backup job behind starter Matt Ryan.
But Franks sounds ready to win the job.
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"Learning from your mistakes, kind of using everything as a learning experiment. That's pretty much my mindset on anything. I do,'' he said. "I do feel like I've got the capability to go do that."
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