FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Arnold Ebiketie's first day of training camp was a "fun" one.
After an extended break between the offseason program and Wednesday's start of Falcons camp, rookie was happy to finally be back out on the field doing what he does best. For Ebiketie, making those first mistakes was something that he wants to get out the way early and put in the rearview.
"Go back and watch film to see some of the things you did correct, so I'm in a good spot physically and, I think the more I go, the better I will become over time," the second-round NFL Draft pick said.
The chemistry amongst the edge rushers has been forming well since the group got together in minicamp. Learning from guys like Lorenzo Carter and Adetokunbo Ogundeji, who have been in Ebiketie's spot, has helped prepare him for training camp.
In what ways have they been a resource?
"In terms of footsteps and the different blocking schemes, because college and the NFL is different in blocking schemes, so asking [about] some of the things that they've seen before and how I should attack these different blocking schemes," Ebiketie told me.
With the pass rush being of importance this year for the Falcons, Ebiketie could play a huge role in helping to redefine it after the Falcons only had 18 sacks last season. Truthfully, that number should improve with the newly added pieces to this core.
Ebiketie, however, isn't at all worried nor focused on what happened last season.
"I want to go out there and get better every single day. I'm not going to pinpoint on last year and anything that happened prior," Ebiketie said. "We want to go out there and compete and we want to be the best version of ourselves that we possibly can be and going into the season getting ready to dominate every week."
During Ebiketie's senior season at Penn State, the Nittany Lions' defense played in a 4-3 defensive scheme compared to Atlanta's hybrid 3-4. With Ebiketie still being a stand-up defensive end and linebacker for the Falcons, this transition was seamless. There haven't been any indications on how the Falcons will use him this season, but he's not focused on that.
Getting better in training camp is the main priority. When asked about how we wanted his first season to go, dominating day in and day out is all that he's thinking about.