As Russell Athletic Training Camp comes to a close and the Falcons shift their focus to the preseason, wide receiver Harry Douglas is not only feeling better physically than he ever has in his professional career, but is also striving to be as flexible of a player as possible.
During the offseason, Douglas put a major focus on strengthening his lower body while still maintaining his goal weight of around 185 pounds.
"This year is the first year that I'm stronger, faster, more in shape — but at the same time, I'm still 185, 186, throughout the whole camp," Douglas said Tuesday. "That's never happened since I've been in the league."
Being in the best physical shape possible is something that not only Douglas focused on, as he noted that what has stuck out to him the most during training camp is how in shape the entire team is.
Other things that have resonated to the 28-year-old in camp is how much the team is able to learn from their mistakes, how prepared they come to every practice and how hard they push every day.
With Julio Jones sitting out last Thursday's game against the Bengals, Douglas had to step up and perform, something he has prepared all training camp to do.
"Since I've been here, one thing that I've tried to do is know every position, just in case something like that happens," he said. "You never wish that on anybody, but if someone goes down, I'm ready to step in and not miss anything."
Although Douglas' 42-yard catch-and-run was one of the game's highlights, he knows there's always room for improvement for him and for the team. Because of this, the main focus after last week's 34-10 loss was making progress by taking part in tough practices throughout the week as the Falcons head into their second preseason game at Baltimore on Thursday.
Despite how much the team prepares or how hard they work at every practice to improve their game, it's never known when a player could go down with an injury. For Douglas, stepping up doesn't just mean being ready to play more at wide receiver, but to be equipped enough to play anywhere he's needed.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to help our team get to that next level and win games," he said. "It doesn't matter what they ask me to do — if it's blocking, punt returns, catching the ball. I just want to be a great teammate, that energy guy. I'm there to do it."