The Falcons are back in the Georgia Dome for the first preseason game of the 2015 season against the Tennessee Titans. Check out these photos from gameday.
*Falcons Embrace Quinn's Style: *Since his introductory press conference, Dan Quinn has steadfastly preached the importance of playing a fast, physical, in-your-face brand of football. The Falcons certainly made their new coach happy on Friday, as every unit brought a tough, high-energy attitude to the Georgia Dome turf.
The defense in particular subscribed to Quinn's philosophy: Marcus Mariota's first two NFL possessions ended with turnovers—an interception to Justin Durant and a fumble picked up by Paul Worrilow, who took it to the house for six points. Durant's interception, which he returned for 21 yards, came as a result of the pressure from Vic Beasley, Jr.; DT Jonathan Babineaux helped create the fumble by disrupting Mariota deep in Tennessee's backfield.
Beasley Shows Out: Durant's interception wasn't the only time Beasley made his presence felt. The first-round pick started for Atlanta's defense and, an early offsides penalty notwithstanding, looked as good as advertised.
"I think it went pretty well," Beasley said of his professional debut. "I think we got off to a good start as a team. Just looking forward to getting started this week coming up."
The Clemson graduate played on both sides of the D-line and appeared especially active on the right, where he and Adrian Clayborn wreaked havoc during their brief appearances. Quinn said those two should continue to spend time next to each other during pass-rush situations.
"I think Coach Quinn has a great scheme set up here," said Beasley. "I'm just buying into it and looking forward to what he has planned. Quinn emphasizes getting the ball back, and I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight. We just want to do that every time we take the field."
First-Team Offense Gets It Done:The Falcons' offense wasted no time moving down the field. Matt Ryan went 6-6 for 86 yards on the opening drive, which ended with a 13-yard touchdown strike to Julio Jones. Seemingly impossible to defend, Jones, who's still working on a contract extension with Atlanta's front office, hauled in all four passes that came his way for 61 yards.
"Julio is such an amazing player," Ryan said. "Again (he) showcased how talented he is."
Rookies Rebound:While Beasley shined, fellow Rookie Club members Justin Hardy and Jalen Collins dealt with a bit of adversity. Hardy in the second quarter dropped a tough pass that led to a T.J. Yates interception; Collins got beat on several deep throws, including a 30-yard TD in the second quarter. But neither dwelled on his shortcomings: Hardy finished the night with three catches for 41 yards and Collins eventually broke up a deep pass from Zach Mettenberger, which allowed Robenson Therezie to pick it off and kill a promising drive.
"I think that's going to happen. There are going to be bad plays that are going to happen," Quinn said. "How fast can you get back in the present moment? We saw that with both those guys … You found out the competitors they are."
Extra Point: **Antone Smith pulled a hamstring during a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and didn't return. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman, two other running backs dealing with hamstring injuries of their own, didn't play. Devin Hester (toe), Cliff Matthews (ankle), Desmond Trufant (shoulder) and Brooks Reed (hip/groin) sat out, as well.