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Five Things We Learned: Aug. 20

1. Bradie's Back: It's been a tough go of things for second-year fullback Bradie Ewing. After missing all of last season with an injury, he was back and ready to go, hopefully blocking for Steven Jackson in the run game and catching a few passes as well this season. Shortly after training camp began, Ewing was injured again and after missing the first two games of the preseason, he returned to the field on Tuesday. Head coach Mike Smith said he was limited in his first day back, but if everything goes smoothly, he will return fully on Wednesday. Ewing said he felt a little rusty, but was glad to be back and past the frustrations of multiple injuries: "It was frustrating, but at the end of the day, I think that's part of football. Obviousl, I had the setback early last year. I battled back and was feeling great at the beginning of training camp, but I just had a minor setback. It's nothing huge and I just want to keep working, get back in the flow of things and be ready to go come Week 1."

2. Douglas Continues Strong Preseason: Harry Douglas came to the Falcons in the same class that brought them Matt Ryan, and while Douglas has not reached a Pro Bowl level, he's been a viable contributor. Although the offense is loaded with talent, there may still be an opportunity for Douglas to become an even greater part of the scoring machine. He's quietly had a solid training camp and preseason and when he's filled in while Julio Jones or Roddy White have missed time, he's been outstanding. With White out of practice Tuesday, Douglas got some more looks from Ryan and he answered the call, catching at least four passes that were contested each time, showing sure hands and athleticism. Douglas will be in line for a lot of snaps against the Titans this week and he's showing that the offense shouldn't miss too much of a beat if Jones or White miss extended time during the regular season.

3. Side Game Of Catch: Rookie tight end Levine Toilolo hasn't spent a lot of time with , but in the short time the future Hall-of-Famer has been back with the team, Toilolo has made sure to play catch up with him, as well as play a game of catch. During practice on Tuesday, the rookie spent time catching passes with Gonzalez off to the side when they weren't on the practice field taking reps. Catching passes during free moments is a practice Gonzalez has followed for much of his career and it's rubbed off on many of his teammates. While Toilolo and Gonzalez played their game of catch, Drew Davis, Douglas and Jones were on another part of the field doing the same thing.

4. Manufactured Noise: The Falcons are in game-planning mode this week and Tuesday's practice was a typical Wednesday-style practice if it were the regular season. With game planning and scheme installation comes scout team work providing anticipated looks from the upcoming opponent. Along with all of that is getting used to road environments during the week of preparation and the Falcons spent Tuesday doing that. Crowd noise was piped in during 11-on-11 sessions at practice so the offense can work on communicating through the noise of an away game.

5. Special Teams Seeking Improvement: After giving up a punt return for a touchdown in each of the last two games, special teams is a focus during the next two games. Smith said the rotation that we've seen in the first two weeks will remain the same with the starting group of special teamers going in the first half and the second unit playing the second half. The second unit has been on the field for both of the touchdown returns and Smith said those guys will be needed this year: "We've got to get better. Some of those guys on the second unit, we're counting on them to help us win some ball games, so they need to get out there and get some work."

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