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Five Things We Learned In Camp: Day 2

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Each day of Russell Athletic Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, AtlantaFalcons.com's Daniel Cox will share five observations from his day watching and listening to all the happenings around camp.

1. Receiving Running Backs: The Falcons spent the offseason discussing Steven Jackson and frequently that conversation involved less about his running ability and more about his receiving skills. Already recognized as one of the top receiving backs in the league, Jackson was expected to come to Atlanta and add that pass-catching threat out of the backfield that was missing last season. On Friday, we learned that wasn't lip service. Jackson spent one receiving session lining out wide with the wide receivers. Jackson's fully-healed backfield mate, fullback Bradie Ewing, was out there with him.

2. More Receiving News: While stacked at the top, the Falcons wide receiver depth positions could experience some change this year, but it's unlikely with two young guys in Kevin Cone and Drew Davis back to hold down those final two spots again this year. Drew Davis is off to a fast start in training camp, catching a lot of passes and showing some flexibility and athleticism in traffic to make tough catches. He looks like he's improved during last season and if he or another receiver comes on strong, the Falcons could be looking at an embarrassment of riches. Davis said he's just putting what he's learned over the last year to good work and he's entered camp feeling good. 

"I feel a lot better," Davis said about this year versus last. "A lot of it is doing what (wide receivers) coach (Terry) Robiskie wants from us in practice, working hard and putting my full effort into things. Also, watching those three guys in front of me, they're all great receivers. Anything they do on the practice field is real good. I just continue to watch them, get better day after day and that's all I can ask for."

PHOTOS: See Images From Day 2 Of Camp

3. Trufant's Redemption: When Smith said he was going to put his young corners to the test in camp, he wasn't joking. The past two days have seen rookies Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford on the field a lot, often with other starters. They're getting a lot of reps and because of that, there are plenty of times when they're not shutting down the field like some fans would prefer to see. They're still young so the growing pains are to be expected, but both young men have shown a physical play and a desire to play tough. It's hard not to hang your head if you're getting beat deep by some of the best in the league, but both players handled it well and kept coming back for more. Trufant found himself on the wrong end of a few passes and sought out secondary coach Tim Lewis for some words of advice. Trufant came back later in the day and grabbed an interception on a bad throw and knocked away a pass in full team drills.

4. Multi-purpose Biermann: If there's a player on the Falcons defense that is somewhat of a secret weapon this season, it's Kroy Biermann. Last year he was used in a variety of ways and with another year of marinating in Mike Nolan's scheme, Biermann could be ready to surprise. He worked as a defensive end and linebacker last season and two days into camp that hasn't changed much. Most notably, Biermann was working on coverage in passing drills on Friday with other linebackers.

5. Still More Receiving News: One of the biggest stories in the offseason was the performance of Chase Coffman at tight end in the absence of Tony Gonzalez. If there's a player that has anything to gain from Gonzalez's missing some training camp time this year, it's Coffman. Coffman stepped in last season and ended up as a valuable depth piece at tight end late in the season and carried that positivity into the offseason. He's in camp picking up right where he left off. While he may not be the best blocker, he can make up for that with his receiving and he's doing a lot of that so far. He continues to show strong hands and an ability to use his large frame to create a comfortable target for his quarterback.