FLOWERY BRANCH – Today’s Early Bird Report includes a training camp power ranking in which the Falcons fare very well as well as the Saints adding to their wide receiver corps.
The Falcons have been one of the top contenders in the NFC over the past couple of seasons, and they look poised once again to make a run at the postseason. According to Nate Davis of USA Today, the Falcons are the third-best team in the NFL at this point in training camp.
“Your fresh reminder that no team came closer to KO'ing Eagles in playoffs,” Davis writes in his recent power rankings. “Atlanta looks sufficiently loaded to reach Super Bowl on home field.”
Atlanta was in fact the team that gave Philadelphia its toughest game in the postseason, losing 15-10 on the road after having an opportunity to take the lead late in the game. With a majority of their starters returning from last year and seemingly improved depth, can the Falcons make another run?
Here are some other articles for Falcons fans to check out today:
ESPN: Quinn on Ryan’s leadership: ‘He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing’
For those who have spent enough time around Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Dan Quinn’s comments should come as no surprise. The former NFL MVP is as competitive as they come, and he’s meticulous in a manner that only the best in their respective fields can match.
"Here's what I love about him: You wouldn't know because outside, nice image, clean, but he's a wolf in sheep's clothing," Quinn told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure of Ryan. "Out here, his presence and his command are really on point. You feel how important the practice is, the performance is for him. If it doesn't go right, he's going to rip your ass."
To read more of McClure’s piece about Ryan’s leadership, click here.
AJC: Ryan, Jones making up for lost time
Multiple times during Sunday’s practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones were seen talking with one another and motioning as though they were discussing specific football-related topics. With Jones now back in the fold for training camp and fully healthy, he and Ryan can begin to re-sharpen their timing and prepare for the season.
“Dialogue back and forth and being on the same page is key,” Ryan said, per D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It could be about anything: run plays, to pass plays, to body position. We talk about those things all the time.”
NFL.com: Michael Floyd signs with New Orleans Saints
According to a report by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Saints have signed former Vikings, Patriots and Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd.
Floyd appeared in 11 games with the Vikings last year, catching 10 passes for 78 yards. The most productive stretch of his career came during his five seasons in Arizona, where he caught 242 passes for 3,739 yards and 23 touchdowns.