Football was back on the practice fields in Flowery Branch on Friday as 59 players participated in Day 1 of rookie minicamp.
Here are notes from the day:
Takk McKinley injury update:
After undergoing shoulder surgery in March, Atlanta's first-round draft pick, Takk McKinley, was limited to strength and conditioning work at practice. Of course, McKinley's competitive nature has him itching to get to work with his teammates, but the pass-rusher understands the importance of taking the proper steps in his rehab process.
"It's very frustrating, I like to compete," McKinley said of his feelings of not being able to participate in drill work. "I like football. I don't like to be on the sideline just watching. I'd rather be out there with my brothers helping make plays. I understand it's a process, I have to get [my] shoulder right, and once it's right, I want to help the Atlanta Falcons any way I can to get wins."
McKinley says there's no timetable for his return right now and he's solely focused on getting better every day.
While the rest of the rookie class will begin participating in the Falcons' offseason workout program on Monday, McKinley will head back to UCLA and won't return to Atlanta until mandatory minicamp in June. NFL rules prohibit McKinley from being able to stay because UCLA's academic calendar is not complete.
Damontae Kazee featured at free safety:
After primarily playing cornerback at San Diego State, Damontae Kazee spent his first day in a Falcons uniform at free safety.
Dan Quinn challenged the defensive back to take his communication to another level as the middle of the field safety, and he impressed his head coach by doing so.
"That part of that job, he came through," Quinn said of Kazee's communication at practice. "I was really looking for that. I knew the speed would be there, the breaks on the ball. Playing free safety, could he help direct everything? He did a good job of that to start it off."
Sean Harlow's football IQ impressing Quinn:
Sean Harlow was featured at tackle for majority of his career at Oregon State, but he'll move inside and play guard for the Falcons. Quinn says the position move is a common one these days, and Harlow possesses the football savviness to be successful in his new role.
"He had very good questions, as far as football IQ goes," Quinn said of Harlow. "He was ready to go to the next level on some things last night and today that I was encouraged by. He was another one who came in with the intent of how hard he could go for it. I was very encouraged by him today."
Duke Riley ready to challenge Takk McKinley for 'best motor' title
After being drafted by the Falcons, Takk McKinley said Atlanta got the player with the "best motor" in the 2017 draft class.
And his new teammate, Duke Riley, is ready to challenge him for that title.