Real Action Awaits on Friday vs. Dolphins
So this is what we’ve all been waiting for………..an inside glimpse into the window of this Atlanta Falcons organization and how it’s run. Specifically, the interaction of Mike Smith, Thomas Dimitroff, and Arthur Blank. Even though it will be heavily edited for the “wow factor” and TV ratings, it still should offer some insight into the inner workings at Flowery Branch. We’ve all had our guesses and there won’t likely be any “smoking gun” or lightning bolt moments, but it will still be nice to see. Here we go………….
Joe Hawley’s Definitely Got a Chip on his Shoulder
Well, we really didn’t need Hard Knocks to tell us that, but he talked about a rookie “calling him out.” Gotta love the confidence from undrafted rookie Jacques Smith not being afraid to take anyone on the team, including Hawley and got into it with Ryan Schrader.
Less than Inspirational
This won’t be a “bag on Mike Smith” article, but if you’re looking for someone to speak with purpose, passion, and intensity, Smith is not your guy. This is not to say that all coaches have to be great speakers, but in the first meeting with his coaching staff, you might as well be listening to a robot. “I don’t believe we’re not a tough football team, because anyone who plays in the NFL is tough.” Wow. Talk about setting that high expectation bar………….just getting into the league makes you tough. “Tough, Smart Football Team” is the mantra. Let’s see………..
Bear Pascoe on the Ranch. Steven Jackson making Art. Tyler Starr working hard. Harry Douglas packing pags with his wife, and of course…………Kroy and Kim Biermann watching their own damn reality show. “Who’s John Elway?” Oh no………. this could be bad.
Talking to the rookies, Smitty asks about the rookies, their families, and tells Devonta Freeman, “well shit son, you gotta go to work.” Good stuff. And then asks Tyler Starr, “where’d you get that damn hat?” Funny.
First Team Meeting
If players are waiting on Coach Smith to get pumped and inspired from their team meetings, that just ain’t gonna happen. Mono-tone and just very “going through the motions” feel to it.
And the Roddy White Show…………
Some pretty funny banter between White and William Moore. Biermann and Jake Matthews getting into it, but honestly #71 was getting his ass whipped by the first round draft pick. And for chrissake, can we please not make this the “Kim and Kroy” show. First 20 minutes we’ve seen her all over and in the camera. This isn’t the Real Housewives of Flowery Branch.
Before and After
Coach Smith had before and after pics of when season ended and training camp begins. Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu are beasts and Peter Konz………looked about the same, as is evident by him getting beaten like a drum in training camp. Look at Mike Smith rocking the ‘stache!. Wow. A few funny pics with Matt Bryant and Joe Hawley. Coach Smith then goes to show the difference between 2008 and 2013 training camp and how poor the quality had dropped. Shows good analytical skills and is objective about his shortcomings. Takes complete responsibility for last year’s collapse.
Mike Tice and Bryan Cox
Obviously brought in for their toughness and Tice makes a major dig at how there was spider webs growing on the offensive line sleds. It was nice to see some old school “Oklahoma” drills with one on one pure football. Bet it’s been a few years since they did those drills. Several fights blow up and Ryan Schraeder just unloads on Smith after he got in Hawley’s face. The attitude definitely seems to be where it needs to be.
Steven Jackson Gets Hurt
Coach Smith is talking with RB coach Gerald Brown about Steven Jackson getting hurt and they seem surprised. C’mon now. What are you expecting from a 31 year old running back who has over 10,000 yards on his tires. But immediately, it goes to rookie Devonta Freeman immediately heading to top of depth chart. No Antone Smith? I know you’re shocked………about the Jackson injury and the “competition.”
It came as a shock to everyone and even his teammates, but you could almost see it in his eyes that he was done. He was done and that certainly his choice and prerogative, but it was odd how seemingly detached he was from the team and how little of an impact it seemed to make.