FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Russell Gage has been a standout player for the Atlanta Falcons throughout training camp and in the preseason.
The former cornerback-converted-wide receiver was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and primarily used on special teams during his rookie season. He's one of the more physical players the Falcons have, and he fits exactly what this staff wants from their gunner.
Gage has made the most of his opportunity to join the Falcons' receiver room. As he gets ready for his second season, he's "much more comfortable in the offense."
His improved comfort level is obvious to not only Gage himself, but to those watching this preseason.
"When you're comfortable, you understand what's going on," Gage said of how he's improved. "You play a lot faster you react to more. I think that's showing in my game that I'm more efficient and faster."
In Atlanta's second preseason game against the Dolphins down in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Thursday night, Gage caught three passes for 33 yards. He's currently listed as the No. 4 wide receiver on the Falcons' depth chart behind Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley.
Veteran backup quarterback Matt Schaub has thrown a lot of passes Gage's way over the past year and he's also seen Gage continue to develop as a receiver.
"He's a guy that's really taken a big step from Year 1 to Year 2 and, especially for receivers, that's a time where you make a big jump in your progression as a football player," Schaub said.
When asked what area of his game he feels he's improved most, Gage said he really just focused on the fundamentals – he learned the importance of perfecting the small details from Jones and Sanu.
"Catching the ball," Gage said of what he's better at in Year 2. "I know that's pretty straightforward being that I'm a receiver, I did a lot of work with stuff like that in the offseason, shooting my hands, really being aggressive to the ball. I have great mentors with Mo and Julio."
Proving his elite talent and ability to catch the ball in his second year. Here are eight images of Falcons wideout Russell Gage.