Since OTAs began in the spring, Dan Quinn and his staff have garnered rave reviews from their players. That continued on Monday night when Devonta Freeman, who helped the Falcons to victory with 47 total yards, explained why the coaches' message resonates so well.
"Honesty, telling the truth, and just giving it to you real," he said. "(Quinn) told us he's not going to give us nothing. He's not going to give handouts. We're going to have to work, compete, play hard to find our role on this team. The trust, the honesty—it'll take you a long way.
"These coaches, man. They bring so much energy to this program. That's one thing we feed off of. When you're a coach, and you have players that believe in you, it takes it beyond coaches. It's like family. That's my uncle; that's my granddaddy."
Quinn, now preparing for the New York Giants, believes having these candid relationships is important to building a successful program.
"I think it's the respect back and forth between the players and the coaches," he said. "Knowing that we trust them to do it and they trust us in terms of getting them ready. It definitely goes both ways in the regard that we show them. We know that we're in it together, and it's our job to keep pushing them and finding ways to improve. On their end, they take that coaching and go for it."