2014 XFINITY Atlanta Falcons Training Camp practice 2 began with Falcon Walk, where fans had an opportunity to high-five some of their favorite players as they walked onto the field as part of Youth Weekend.
1. Biermann Handling Schedule Well: It took a bit of a sell job, but head coach Mike Smith said Saturday that he was able to get returning defensive end Kroy Biermann to accept a bit of a scaled back approach to his return to the field. In Week 2 of the 2013 season, Biermann went down with an Achilles injury that shelved him for the remainder of the campaign. While Biermann says he's feeling great through two days of camp, he understands that working his way back slowly will be better in the long run.
"They know the best plan and they know what's best for my specific situation," Biermann said after Saturday's XFINITY Atlanta Falcons Training Camp session. "Our main goal is to get everybody to the season opener as healthy as possible and, as much as I want to be out there with my guys and getting better with them, getting the right looks and getting things done, they've got my best interests at heart."
Biermann will be on a two-days-on, one-day-off schedule until further notice in training camp, which means he'll be on the sideline for Sunday's session as the Falcons hit the field for Day 3.
2. Padded Practice Update: Smith told the media on opening day that the Falcons will be in pads Sunday, but he said Saturday that the team won't be in full pads until Monday. He said the Falcons will do between 11 and 13 padded practices throughout camp, but thinks that the team can get as much done in shells — that is, helmets and shoulder pads only — as it can in full pads, so be on the lookout for those types of sessions.
3. Reedy Showing Progression: The question heading into training camp about undrafted wide receiver Bernard Reedy was whether he was just a flash-in-the-pan for veteran minicamp or if he can sustain his awe-inspiring practice sessions through training camp. So far, so good for the rookie. Said Smith: "He's got elite speed. He ran by some guys (Friday). He's got a better understanding of what we're trying to do, so I think he's definitely one of those guys that's going to be in the mix for a roster spot."
4. Nickel Update: Smith called the nickelback spot "a competitive situation" after watching it for two days of camp so far. Smith expects to give three players — Robert McClain, Javier Arenas and Josh Wilson — the same amount of reps at the spot, but then plans to take a few looks at an unnamed fourth player there, too. "It's tough because 65, 67 percent (of the snaps) are going to be your sub and your other 35, 33 are going to be your base (defense), so those guys are going to have to show what they can do in a little different situation," Smith said. "It's not like they're going out there and getting all 1,255 snaps that we're going to run in our training camp."
5. Julio Takes His Medicine: Julio Jones' only equipment Saturday was a white bucket hat as he continued his one-day-on, one-day-off schedule for camp. Smith said Friday that the team has a prescription for him as they slowly bring him back into getting ready for Week 1.