FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes some recent comments about Falcons rookie receiver Calvin Ridley as well as Adam Vinatieri's thoughts on retirement.
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ESPN: Falcons rookie Calvin Ridley has veteran presence about him
Although the Falcons have yet to even begin training camp, rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley has already gained the attention and respect of some of his new teammates.
On the field, Ridley's speed and precise route-running were apparent in OTAs and minicamp. Off the field, his humility and desire to learn from those around him have stuck with Falcons players. Speaking with ESPN's Vaughn McClure, a number of Falcons players praised the team's first-round draft pick.
"One thing me and the veteran DBs already talked about and one of the things I'm already excited to see is him in Year 4 and Year 5," Falcons safety Ricardo Allen told McClure. "I know that's kind of jumping ahead early, but because he's such a disciplined route runner and because he already kind of moves like a veteran, I just want to see when he becomes a veteran how much better a player he's going to be.
"He's the real deal. And he's a good person. He's not walking around like he thinks he's hot s---. He's walking around like a really good dude."
Ridley was considered by some to be the top receiver prospect in this year's draft class, and he was consistently among the best college receivers during his three years at Alabama. With the Crimson Tide, Ridley caught 224 passes for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns.
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NFL.com: Adam Vinatieri not looking to retire anytime soon
Tom Brady has hinted that he'd like to continue playing football until he's 45, but his former teammate, Adam Vinatieri, has already accomplished that goal and it doesn't look like he plans on slowing down anytime soon.
According to an NFL.com report, Vinatieri recently explained as much to Colts.com writer Andrew Walker.
"I love it as much today as I had when I started 23 years ago," Vinatieri told Walker. "I'm not looking to hang them up anytime soon, unless something happens that needs to be that way."
Vinatieri has played 22 seasons in the NFL and his four Super Bowl victories are the most ever by a kicker. He's notably played a role in each of those victories and kicked game-winning field goals in the 2002 and 2004 title games for the Patriots.
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