The Atlanta Falcons practiced Tuesday morning as 2015 XFINITY Atlanta Falcons Training Camp stretched into its tenth day. Check out these photos from the day.
Offense Improving:The offense has struggled of late, as a glut of turnovers, miscommunication and general sloppiness have frustrated Kyle Shanahan's group. That changed on Tuesday. Everyone on the first-team appeared to be in sync; the receivers were sure-handed; and the first-team offensive line, now featuring Stone and Chris Chester, remained cohesive throughout practice. It was arguably the unit's best day of XFINITY® Training Camp.
"It felt that way on the field," said Dan Quinn. "It felt like there was real discipline at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes you can feel the guys come out of the huddle."
Stone Moving Up the Depth Chart:In a surprising turn of events, James Stone has worked his way into a starting job for Friday's preseason contest against Tennessee. The former undrafted free agent saw time at center last year and, with a new offensive system in place, has adapted well to an unfamiliar role at left guard.
"It feels good that they want me working with those guys," Stone said. "I've been wanting to get better at guard. I played mostly center since I got here, so getting good guard work just to be able to get more versatile and be able to help this team however I can."
Ryan Looking Sharp:The Falcons spent a lot of time working on quarterback rollouts, and Matt Ryan—who's more mobile than he's given credit for—continued to excel in this facet of the game. He connected on just about every throw he made on the run and looked comfortable moving to both sides of the field.
"That's certainly something to talk about for (Ryan)," said Quinn. "I thought he's looked good coming out of the edge. He can throw well on the run. Now it's just another advantage for us on the zone scheme and the keepers coming back off it."
Ward Putting in the Work:Rookie running back Terron Ward, an undrafted free agent signing out of Oregon State, has impressed with his strong play in the last week. A solid pass-catcher who fits Atlanta's scheme and is more powerful than his height may suggest, Ward, 23, could provide a lot of value down the road. With Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman temporarily sidelined, he has an opportunity to make his presence felt this week when the preseason schedule begins.
"I've got lots I need to work on, but it's been fun," Ward said. "It's a day-to-day thing. (This job) is rented. Payment is due every day. So every day I have to come out here and work my butt off. That becomes who I am. Consistency is the key."
Injury Update: Brooks Reed (hip/groin), Cliff Matthews (ankle), Tevin Coleman (hamstring) and Devonta Freeman (hamstring) worked out on one of the side fields in shorts. Devin Hester (toe) returned to practice and looked healthy.