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Five Things We Learned In Camp: Day 6

Posted Jul 30, 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.The Sky's The Limit: Players generally don't like to share their personal goals when the season begins, but many will let you know they have some that fit in with the team goals. The Falcons' all-everything receiver Julio takes a different approach and it shows how special he is. When asked about personal goals this season after his first Pro Bowl season last year, Jones said he had no goals this year and whatever he wants is what the team wants. And then he added a statement that will make the league shake in their shoes when the season begins about his personal goal setting: "I don't want to sell myself short."

2. Rookie Retention: When asked what he's been most impressed by this year from the rookies, head coach Mike Smith said the retention of his players has stood out. According to Smith, 85 percent of the offense has been installed and while it's far from mastered, he's extremely pleased with the progression. The young players returned to camp understanding what it means to be a pro and armed with the proper knowledge to begin camp successfully.

PHOTOS: See Images From Day 6 Of Camp

3. Injury Update: The Falcons have been fortunate to avoid any serious injuries so far in camp. On Tuesday two players were missing from practice, running back Antone Smith and fullback Bradie Ewing. Smith is not required to disclose the nature if the injuries during training camp but said it would be between five and 10 days before either player returned.

4. Tony's Tips: Chase Coffman isn't happy to have Tony Gonzalez gone from camp but he recognizes the extra reps he's able to get in Gonzalez' absence. Coffman's used his time wisely with the future Hall of Famer last season and has picked up one of Gonzalez' most notable traits. Gonzalez is known for catching dozens of passes during a typical practice, before, during and after and has done so for much of his career. Coffman has added that to his practice routine as well and spent Tuesday after practice catching passes with rookie Levine Toilolo. Coffman said Tony told them to make sure they were doing that while he was gone: "When Tony was here for the first couple of days he told us to make sure we are getting our catches in when he leaves and get in the extra work we need."

5. The Good Fight: In the short time Brian Banks has been with the Falcons, he's demonstrated the kind of attitude that helped him secure the opportunity he currently has. On Monday, linebacker Glenn Pires said Banks is progressing well and he thinks the linebacker is right where he needs to be in terms of the knowledge and understanding he has compared to other rookies. On Tuesday, Smith said it's now Banks' third time learning the defense and he continues to retain more and more. Smith is proud of what Banks is doing and gave the linebacker quite a compliment on his fight to defy the odds: "He's a very resilient guy. If anybody can do it and hang in there, I think Brian's the guy to do it."


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