The Atlanta Falcons are two days away from their first preseason game of the 2015 season. The team was not in full pads, but practiced hard Wednesday morning during 2015 XFINITY Atlanta Falcons Training Camp.
Allen Ready to Roll:One year after being cut, Ricardo Allen is on track to earn a starting job as Atlanta's free safety. The former cornerback has adjusted well to his new position and, after a lot of practicing, is eager to be tested in a game situation.
"I'm feeling good," he said. "Been preparing for this the whole offseason. Been preparing for this the whole training camp. So you just have to take what the coaching give you and go with it.
"I'm just ready to hit another color. That's the thing. You have to protect our team. Rule No. 1 is protect the team. So we're allowed to hit each other, but it's never to take someone to the ground. You just want to put it in—put all the training into another team and go hit someone else."
Moore Changing Mindset:William Moore is one of the NFL's toughest defensive backs, but after several stints on the IR, he's decided to dial back on the bone-crushing hits. While he still plans on laying down the wood when necessary, the veteran safety knows how important it is to stay on the gridiron.
"Speeding my mind up, slowing my feet down," Moore said of his adjustment. "That's one thing the coaches are preaching about: being disciplined and knowing the correct tackle. Knowing your approach on your tackle, your angle. Going seven years into it, I'm approaching the game at a different aspect just slowing everything down. I know I can be physical in there, but I have to know my approach."
'It's All About Us':All eyes on Friday will be on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is scheduled to make his NFL debut at the Georgia Dome. The second-overall pick should challenge Atlanta's defense, but, with September fast approaching, the Falcons aren't going to worry about anyone's performance but their own.
"It's all about us," said Moore. "We focus on us and what we're going to go out there and do. We know he's a great quarterback; he wouldn't have been drafted that high if he weren't. We look forward to going out there and getting a good look at him."
Jarrett Excited for Preseason Opener: Georgia native Grady Jarrett will play in his first NFL contest on Friday and should receive lots of playing time. Quinn mentioned he wants the young players to gain experience, and Jarrett—a skilled defensive tackle with a high ceiling—is certainly in that group.
"Feeling good, man. Really excited about it," Jarrett said about the upcoming matchup against Tennessee. "Worked really hard in training camp and really, really eager to see how I do, and looking forward to using this preseason to get ready for the regular season and get ready for the NFL life."
Injury Update:Devonta Freeman (groin), Tevin Coleman (groin), Brooks Reed (hip/groin) and Cliff Matthews (ankle) were held out of practice and did some light work on one of the side fields.