FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – As Desmond Trufant enters his sixth season, he's back to his normal offseason routine. This time last year, Trufant was recovering from season-ending pectoral surgery and needed to alter his routine.
Now, he's feeling as good as he ever has.
"Yeah, I mean definitely going through an injury, having surgery that's a total different offseason," Trufant said. "You know now this season I was able to do my normal routine. I was able to work out throughout our whole off-time. I feel good, I feel fast, I feel strong, so yeah I'm good."
His head coach, Dan Quinn, has noticed that as well.
"He has certainly put in a lot of work. He's really fit, he really looks strong," Quinn said.
Trufant finished the 2017 season with 41 tackles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one sack.
As for what he's focusing on for 2018, it's his technique.
"Having good eyes and just being discipline every play," Trufant said. "I just have to get back to the basics."
The Falcons defense evolved into top-10 unit last season and the group is poised to have another big season with their core leaders all returning, including Trufant.
The focus for the unit as a whole to take that next step is on creating more turnovers, an area they feel they lacked in last season. The Falcons forced 16 takeaways after generating 22 in 2016.
"We have guys at every level," Trufant said of the Falcons' defense. "That's what I'm impressed with. Defensive line, linebackers, and a secondary. We have guys that can change the game, so we just have to focus on the ball more. I think once we start generating turnovers that's going to change the game even more for us. That's our focus really."