FLOWERY BRANCH – Here are five things to know about the Falcons this week as they finish Phase Two of the offseason training program and are set to host a press conference on the new stadium at 10 a.m. today:
1. Phase Two. This is the last week in Phase Two of the offseason training program which includes on-field workouts, individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
2. OTAs around the corner. Next week the Falcons will elevate to Phase Three of the offseason program and for four weeks, the will conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted. OTA Offseason workout dates include: May 23-24, May 26, May 31, June 1, June 3, June 6-9. The mandatory minicamp is sent for June 14-16.
3. Falcons to go 7-9. Football Outsiders editor/creator Aaron Schatz tabs the Falcons to go 7-9 and be the third-best team in their division (behind Carolina and New Orleans) and 10th-best in the NFC.
4. Bike to work with Dimitroff. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff will participate in National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20. Dimitroff will ride a loop beginning and ending at the Georgia Dome, covering approximately 12 miles through downtown Atlanta. Riders can register at http://www.atlantafalcons.com/community/bike-to-work.html
5. Super Bowl vote countdown. We can start the countdown to the Super Bowl vote. Falcons owner Arthur Blank is confident in landing a Super Bowl for Atlanta. Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s spoken to about 20 owners around the NFL during a break from doing community service on the West Side on Friday. Atlanta’s bid to host the Super Bowl in 2019, 2020 or 2021 will be voted on at the owner’s meeting May 23-25 in Charlotte.