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Five Things We Learned In Camp: Day 9

1. Scouting Falcons: The Falcons had scouts from two CFL teams on hand at practice on Sunday. They're scouting players from the Falcons that may not end up on the final roster. CFL rules don't allow American-born players in their draft but teams can put together a list of American players they're interested in. After NFL camps, CFL teams have 10 days to negotiate with a player from their list to come to Canada. One team scout said the Falcons had a number of players that interested them. They spent a lot of time during practice watching defensive and offensive lines.
2. Trufant Growing: The hottest story in camp after the first few days was the progress of first-round corner Desmond Trufant. He was getting tested early and often against the Falcons wide receivers, a tough draw for anyone, especially a rookie. Trufant has shown progression over that time and head coach Mike Smith said he liked what he saw from Trufant at Friday Night Lights as the rookie continues to try to earn the starting job opposite Asante Samuel. After watching the tape of the practice and scrimmage Smith said Trufant had a "strong showing" on Friday.

3. Scrappy Rookies: Trufant's progression has accompanied more of his playing personality showing through. During the last week as he's continued to make plays during practices, he's become more vocal with reactions after a positive play. He continues to take coaching and compete, something that Roddy White likes seeing. He said on Sunday that Trufant, as well as Robert Alford, continue to get better and go hard on every snap. He also said both young players have stepped up their game both physically and verbally: "They talk every day. That's the thing I love about those guys. They're ultra-competitive. They come out there and they push and shove you and do things like that. They rally around each other. It's good to see.

4. Mike & Marvin: Starting Monday, the Falcons will host the Bengals for two practices in advance of Thursday's preseason game between the two teams. Traveling along with the Bengals will be the HBO documentary program Hard Knocks, chronicling a team making its way through training camp and the preseason. Smith said the Bengals are the featured team on the show and that's why the cameras will be with the team starting on Monday. The head coach also said the Falcons wouldn't be mic'd during the practices and it would only be a combined practice, not a scrimmage. Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis is a long-time friend of Smith's, dating back to their days on the staff together in Baltimore: "Marvin's a mentor to me. We speak regularly during the season unless we're playing one another during the season and we communicate during the offseason. Marvin is one of my closest friends in this business."

5. No Plan This Week: The first preseason game is about self-evaluation and gauging where you're at in the preseason process. Smith said this week's first preseason game would feature no planning for the opponent. There will be no game plan or film study on the Bengals this week and Smith said the only week they'll game plan like the regular season will be in Week 3, the week that starters traditionally play over a half of football in the final warm up for the season.

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