The Falcons have completed camp, but they were back on the practice fields Tuesday afternoon to continue to prepare for Saturday's game against the Titans.
If we opened the polls to see which of the NFL's four preseason games is found to be the most-intriguing to watch, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise if Week 3 was the winner; after all, it's the matchup that allows you to see your favorite team play its starters the longest, often times through at least the first half of the game. Sometimes, coaches opt for their first-team guys to get extra playing time in the third exhibition, while at other times, that's not quite the case.
"It's not going to change a whole lot," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said of the amount of playing time for his starters this week. "We're going to want to take starters through the first half of the game and we'll make a determination whether they come back out and play in the second half for a series by the number of snaps."
Essentially, this entire week is a practice run — a dress rehearsal, if you will — that is intended to most closely resemble a regular work week for the team.
"It's definitely what it is," Falcons LB Paul Worrilow said. "We're kind of game planning, putting in everything as we would during the regular season; so, it's a good time to get your routine down and what you're going to do that's going to carry you through the weeks ahead."
According to Smith, regular season mode has officially kicked in for the Falcons, who approached Tuesday's practice like it was Wednesday, during a game week, including the following schedule:
Morning Schedule: Weights, special teams meeting, offensive and defensive meetings and a walkthrough
Break for Lunch:Refuel, ensuring plenty of extra liquids for proper hydration
Afternoon Schedule: Practice and more meetings
So, between the weights, meetings, walkthroughs and more, Falcons coaches and players will continue to prepare for Saturday's matchup against the Tennessee Titans, knowing full well that the team's novel-sized playbook won't completely be opened.
"Yes, you're game planning, but there are lots of things that you're holding back across this league that you want to show in the first game of the season or after," Smith said.
Exhibition game or not, the goal always remains the same.
"They'll handle the game planning stuff," Worrilow said of the Falcons coaches. "Our job is to go out there the best way we can and be as prepared as we can be and execute whatever is called."