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Finishing What He Started


One of the six players that is at the Falcons' rookie minicamp that isn't a rookie is Kevin Cone.

In fact, his story is unique because he's the only player in the building this weekend that spent time on the active roster last year.

With injuries threatening multiple positions near the end of the year, Cone was promoted to the 53-man roster from the practice squad for the final game of the season. He saw time on special teams.

Cone thinks his experience last season gives him some advantages as he begins 2012, even though the offense is under a new coordinator.

"Just doing this rookie camp, it's a great opportunity for me, coming in with some knowledge of the offense and I can increase my knowledge of the offense," he said. "Last year, I was pretty dependent on one position. Now, I feel like I can move around. I'm starting to become more familiar with the offense. I just know it better."

Head coach Mike Smith and other members of the coaching staff have said the final two wide receiver positions will be critical to special teams. Any player assuming those roles will need to be a contributor on special teams. Cone said he knows that's the main key to him getting on the field and wants to fill any roles needed on special teams.

The idea that there's a roster spot up for grabs isn't something he fights with much, but he admits he considers it.

"I think about it, but at the same time it's available for everyone," he said. "All these rookies, everyone out there. I feel like if I become more familiar with the offense, there's more opportunity for me to get on the field. I'm just trying to get better."

Cone isn't approaching this year with grand ideas about becoming the next college-free-agent-turned-success-story like Victor Cruz of the Giants did last season. Sure, it'd be great, but his plan is to just contribute to wins any way he can. No matter what he's doing, if he's helping the Falcons win, he's good with that.

But the taste of the 53-man roster late last  year, although brief, has him motivated to make 2012 feature a longer stay on the active roster.

"It was unreal," he said. "It was such an honor and a privilege. It really lit a fire under me. It showed me that I've got to make the most of my opportunities. I want to turn it up even more."

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