The Falcons touched down in London and headed straight to Bushey Meads School to get local kids excited about football during a Play 60 event.
The Falcons abide by what head coach Mike Smith calls the 24-hour rule; that is, win or lose, the team has 24 hours to either celebrate or mourn before turning their focus to the next game. This week, that rule shortened up quite a bit.
About four hours after Sunday's 29-7 loss to Baltimore, the Falcons boarded a plane and headed overseas to begin their preparations for this week's International Series matchup against the Detroit Lions at London's Wembley Stadium.
After a seven-hour flight, the Falcons arrived in London around 9 a.m. local time and bused more than an hour to the Bushey Meadows Elementary School, where players participated in American football drills with students there. The long trip seemed to be wiped away by the enthusiasm of the students getting an up-close look at NFL players.
"The kids have a lot of energy," running back Steven Jackson said. "They're doing a really good job of grasping an understanding of the American football game."
The entire active roster along with the Falcons practice squad took part in coaching students through drills. At one station, kids could catch a pass from Matt Ryan or get instruction on how to make a perfect catch from Julio Jones.
On the other end of the field, the offensive and defensive linemen ran drills near each other that focused on agility, speed and power — and more importantly, fun.
"I think it's good to get out here. We always enjoy giving back to the community, but these kids are a little different," defensive tackle Corey Peters said. "They don't get to see as much football, so they seem to be a lot more into it, a lot more excited about it. We're having a good time right now."