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Five Takes From Practice: Aug. 19

Posted Aug 19, 2014

Rookie linebacker Prince Shembo has been getting longer looks at practice this week and teammate Paul Worrilow has taken notice of his work ethic

1. Shembo Progressing Well: Rookie linebacker Prince Shembo could be getting a longer look as the Falcons head into the all-important third preseason game and he's shining in his extra reps with the first-team defense. Playing alongside Paul Worrilow, Shembo has made great strides to fit in with the starting defense both on the field and off: "We do a lot, and we talk ball a lot," Worrilow said Tuesday. "It's really all we talk about when we're together, walking down the hallway. What we saw out there or what we see coming up in our game plan, so that's something we've been able to click on."

2. More Work Coming for Recovering Players: There will be more snaps on the way for players like Kroy Biermann, who has been working to return from an injury last year. Head coach Mike Smith said Tuesday that he expects the practice routines of some players will change in the upcoming days: "It's important to have all of our guys ready to go that are going to have to go out and play 60 snaps," Smith said. "That's not possible if you're not practicing every day." Julio Jones and Biermann have most notably been held back with off days spread throughout training camp and the preseason. Roddy White has also had a limited number of practice days off.

3. Peters Finding Groove Slowly: Smith said Monday that defensive tackle Corey Peters would be brought back into the fold slowly as he now has two practices under his belt after recovering from Achilles surgery in the offseason, but if it was up to Peters, he said he would have come back sooner. Hindsight being 20/20, Peters is glad he waited to make his return to the field because he said he feels stronger. During his recovery, he targeted Week 1 of the regular season for his game return and he said Tuesday he sees no reason that should change. There were some dark days as he made his way back, but he's seeing a lot of light at the end of the tunnel these days.

"Everything has gone well," Peters said. "I haven't had any major setbacks. It's just a long, slow process. You can't really rush that thing. ... I feel strong. All of my numbers have gone up. My legs are stronger, so I'm not really worried about the Achilles itself. Now, it's just about knocking the rust off and just getting back into football-playing mode."

4. Hester Meshing Well with New Teammates: Wide receiver Devin Hester has become acclimated with the Falcons' offense, scoring a preseason touchdown in last week's loss. He's been working to build relationships off the field with White, Jones and Harry Douglas and he sees big potential for the Falcons' offense in 2014: "Once you build that relationship off the field, on the field just comes along with it," Hester said. "I can't be happier to play with these type of guys on this team, and I think we're going to do a lot of damage this year."

5. Injury/Absence Update: Tight end Mickey Shuler has not practiced this week as he is in the league's concussion protocol. Wide receiver Courtney Roby was excused from practice to travel to Indianapolis as he and his wife are expecting a new addition to the family.


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