Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons coach Dan Quinn addressed Lance Moore's retirement and gave an injury update after practice on Monday.

Here's what he had to say to the media:

Opening Statement:

“It was a good session today. We worked a bunch down in the red zone again and some two-minute at the end. We’re just trying to create some of those competitive situations. We split the team up into two and had some chances to go and battle against each other, so that part of our game is something our players and coaches enjoy. Unscripted and different scenarios come up so those are some good ones. From an injury standpoint we held a couple of guys out today. We held out [Keanu] Neal, [Terron] Ward, and [Levine] Toilolo. They will be back in various degrees shortly. It was good to get back [Desmond] Trufant into the groove today, so it was nice to see him back in. Other than that we are doing good and healthy as we’re heading into preparation for the game Thursday.”

On if Keanu Neal is going to play on Thursday:

“I’m not going to say if he will play yet. I don’t know. He just saw the doctor today. He had a trunk injury and we’ll determine that later in the week. Honestly I don’t have enough information to tell you if he will or won’t. I think it could go 50-50 either way. I’ll let you know during the week.”

On what injuries Terron Ward and Levine Toilolo are dealing with:

“Toilolo had a hand and we’re going to get another opinion to find out if he’ll play. Ward had a lower ankle injury and we’ll figure out a timeframe on him because I don’t have one to report for you yet. I would say that all of them don’t look like long term things, so it’s more short term in that.”

On the playing time that the backup quarterbacks will see in the preseason:

“We haven’t got all the way into that – believe it or not. It’s the quarters that you’re really looking for to get the meaningful reps like the two-minute to half and the two-minute to game. Honestly it is something that we’re going to look at as a staff not just at quarterback, but the whole team. Which young players need more? What’s the right amount for certain players? It won’t be just as a unit because some players just play more and some will play less based on their experience and their readiness heading into these. It’ll be a good topic for our staff over the next few days.”

On Lance Moore retiring:

“One, I have a lot of respect for him as a man and I thought his approach was really admirable. What a pro to say if my hearts not in it I don’t want to take an opportunity away from somebody else. I thought – man, what a classy guy. For me, my impression of him was ‘what a pro.’ I wish him the best and with a guy like that you know that he’s going to be very successful past football. He’s had a terrific career.”

On his thoughts regarding the cancelled Hall of Fame game:

“We were talking about that and I’m not sure when the last time that happened where the game was cancelled. I remember way back when during one of my first years in the league a Philadelphia-Baltimore one year, way back at the Vet, but I can’t think of one in recent memory that took place like that. They made the right decision if you are going to err on the side of player safety. It’s definitely a bummer for both teams who had a chance to come in early to get a little bit of extra work, especially the young guys. That’s really who you’d like to feature when you get an extra chance at an extra exhibition game. I’m sure they are bummed about not getting a chance to get an extra-long look and more quarters for their young players. As a participant in that game before, there is a lot of fun that goes with it. Going back there to that stadium and that spot. For the players I’m sure it was a disappointment, but from the player safety standpoint I can certainly see why. I didn’t see the field, but it’s certainly for a reason.”

On cross-training receivers:

“It’s really valuable for guys to know multiple positions offensively, defensively, and honestly a lot of times it’s about a matchup. How can we create one based on a scheme or player offensively and defensively against a player? How do we matchup against this guy or use this scheme? Training camp and OTAs is absolutely what that’s used for, and we put a lot of pressure on the coaches to get them in and see what they can do. We love it when players can do more because then we know he adds more value to the team.”

On reps in the first preseason game:

“It will really be by position as opposed to unit. Some guys need more looks and exposures to have more and when I know other guys are game ready then we’ll move on from them. The young players, I’m certainly excited for them to play in the first preseason game. It’s always an exciting time for them as their career is starting to take off into the first preseason game. They quickly come back, it’s still ball, and it’s still competing and doing the stuff that they do. It’s kind of an exciting time for all the players, but especially the first year players.”

On De’Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones working together in the first game:

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily together, but I want to get them a lot of work. I know that there’s a lot to gain from these preseason games. New looks, new stuff, and in new environments, so yeah, we want to test them for sure.”

On tablets on the sidelines:

“Some games you’ll have it and some games you won’t. We are one of the test teams so we will have it at times this preseason and I’m a proponent of it. I would support it to go all the way. We have the technology to do it and the players really enjoy it too. It gives them a very good look of what happened as opposed to the pictures. I hope we get to it one day.”

On Sean Weatherspoon:

“Really it is the versatility. We had talked earlier about players that can play more than one spot. For him, we played him at both our MIKE and WILL spots. For a player to have proficiency and really good technical play at two spots you can imagine the value that a person like that can have. Past that, he has the toughness, the passion, and the competitiveness that we’re looking for. Although I didn’t have a chance to coach him last year I’m excited that he’s a part of it this year.”

On Courtney Upshaw:

“We’re trying to add some quickness down into the front. He’s a big guy and he’s strong enough to play inside. We’ve done it before where we’ve moved players from outside to inside. It’s a new spot for him, but one that we’re looking forward to creating more of the speed and juice inside, so we’ve played him at defensive end and also nickel defensive tackle. We know he can move outside. He’s had plenty of reps at that.”



8- Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

9 - Tuesday, public practice, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

10 - Wednesday -- Walk through -- closed to public

11 – Thursday vs. Washington 7 p.m. (Georgia Dome).

12 – Friday, closed practice.

13 - Saturday, players off.

14 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

15 – Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

16 – Tuesday, public practice: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.



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Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive line

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.