The Falcons' 2016 roster is constantly evolving and we've amassed all the players in one gallery that will be updated throughout the year
1. The Quinn Factor: There's been a common theme among the new Falcons players who joined the team via free agency in 2015, each citing Falcons head coach Dan Quinn as a top factor; Falcons cornerback Phillip Adams is no exception. Entering his sixth NFL season, having played for five different clubs, Adams weighed his offseason options and later signed the deal with Atlanta for one primary reason.
"The biggest thing that attracted me was my relationship with Dan (Quinn)," Adams said. "I like his style and the energy that he brings to his squad; that's what really set me off in wanting to get to Atlanta to be around that again."
2. Let the Competition Begin: Another theme that permeates throughout the Falcons' team facility in Flowery Branch is endless competition. When practices begin, Adams will lace up the cleats and look across the line at some of the league's best receivers, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Devin Hester. Having the reality of such star-studded competition in practice every day, Adams expects to see his game improve that much more.
"Most definitely," Adams said. "Every day you want to go in there and compete against the best and on the opposing side, we have that on offense. The receivers, Roddy and Julio and those guys are great athletes. I look forward to going in there and competing with those guys and becoming great as a group every day."
3. Shanahan-Led Offense: Falcons wide receiver Leonard Hankerson addressed questions about his health Wednesday, stemming from a knee injury suffered while with Washington in 2013. Hankerson said he's been "100-percent healthy for a few months" before talking about playing with his former offensive coordinator in Washington, Kyle Shanahan.
"Kyle is a very good coach," Hankerson said. "He knows a whole lot of stuff and with the players that we have on the squad, I think we can go out there and get the job done and have a top 5 offense. It was a great opportunity to come to an offense that I'm very familiar with, playing with a great quarterback in Matt Ryan and a couple of other receivers that I can join and have fun and enjoy doing whatever it takes to win games and compete."
4. Clayborn's Hungry: Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn arrives in Atlanta after spending his first four years in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, drafted by Falcons assistant head coach and defensive passing game coordinator Raheem Morris. Not only excited to reunite with "the first head coach to believe in me and believe in my talents", Clayborn said his new team's defense is preparing to thrive in 2015.
"I want to come in and help the Falcons get back to playing good defense," Clayborn said. "I'm very hungry to get back at it. I think with the guys they have there already and with the help of the guys coming in, as long as we gel together as quickly as possible, play hard and get after the quarterback, we'll be fine, because we are good players."
5. Mr. Versatility: Quinn has preached versatility since Day 1 in Atlanta, but Falcons linebacker O'Brien Schofield has heard it for years. Epitomizing versatility for the Seahawks in 2014, Schofield rushed or played every position on the defensive line, from nose tackle to three-technique to defensive end, as well as time at the Leo and Sam positions. Entering his sixth season, Schofield is excited to reunite with Quinn to help improve Atlanta's defense by his play and leadership.
"I want to be a spark on this defense," Schofield said. "I want to show it with my work ethic, my effort on the field, making plays and earning the respect of my new teammates. Whatever I'm able to do to help them learn this defense and catch onto things pretty fast, I'm going to do that."