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'I want to go out there and make a stand for myself': Drake London on getting the bad taste out of his mouth heading into third season

Wide receiver Drake London talks working with quarterback Kirk Cousins and leading a rebuilt position room. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London has a bad taste in his mouth and is ready to get back on the field to make it better.

London didn't elaborate further as to why exactly. Perhaps last season's 7-10 record contributed. Regardless, London feels he has something prove heading into his third season.

"I want to go out there and make a stand for myself," London said. "I know what I can do. I know what type of player I am."

With 905 yards receiving, London accounted for more than half the Falcons' 2023 total yards in his position group, which was the lowest output in 17 years.

The Falcons have since ushered in a new era of change. Atlanta signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to pair with offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. London was the only receiver in the room at the start of the new league year, but Atlanta quickly added weapons Darnell Mooney, Rondale Moore and Ray-Ray McCloud through free agency, drafted Casey Washington and brought back KhaDarel Hodge.

"We got a lot of guys out here who can really, really ball," London said. "They got speed and they can go. (I'm) just very, very excited to play with them and learn from them as well."

That's a diverse group of targets for Cousins to work with, starting with London.

When the quarterback got to Atlanta, he talked about intentionally studying his new receivers' tendencies and building a shared history without ever playing a down of football altogether. That included taking the Falcons pass-catchers on a day trip to Tampa, Florida, to break down film with former longtime NFL coach Jon Gruden.

"It was eye-opening," London said. "I think it broke down a barrier between all of us that was needed."

Now, an early bond is beginning to translate onto the field.

Mooney said it shows up most in Cousins' timing with the receivers just a couple practices into Phase 3 of organized team activities.

"They're connection is already there just on where Drake likes the ball," Mooney said. "... He's been on time with everybody. So, there's no lack of rhythm at all."

That's a healthy sign when not just newcomers like Cousins and the freshly filled out wide receivers room have to learn the system, but everyone does.

London described acclimating to the new offense as relearning multiplication. At this point, though, he said he's really excited about where the new-look offense is at as offseason practices continue.

"I think we all have the same goal at the end of the day," London said, "and that fires me up."

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