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Friday Night Lights Recap


What happened: The evening was intended to be split into two parts. The first portion was a normal practice session, not unlike what is seen during training camp at the Falcons' Flowery Branch facility. The practice began with a special teams session that featured a lot of punting work from sixth-round draft pick Matt Bosher and undrafted free agent Ken Parrish.

After stretching, the team moved into a nine-on-seven drill at one side of the field working on running plays and defense and at the other end were one-on-one drills with receivers against cornerbacks. Harry Douglas made one of the highlights of that session, catching a touchdown pass

Once that concluded, the team moved into a full-team session focused on situations such as openers and third-down opportunities. There was a lot of featuring of the running backs and Gartrell Johnson and Jacquizz Rodgers in particular stood out. Johnson had a run of 15 yards through the middle of the line.

After a halftime break, the players returned to field. Threatening weather caused the remainder of the night to be cancelled. Instead of returning to the field, the players went to the fences by the stadium's bleachers and signed autographs for 15 minutes as fireworks went off overhead.

Play of the night: Though the practice was controlled, there were still opportunities for the players to shine. Rodgers and Johnson's moments stood out and the Douglas touchdown catch was impressive. Perhaps the best play of the evening came from a player fighting for a roster spot. Wide receiver Andy Strickland, during one-on-one drills, ran a route against cornerback Brent Grimes. About 15 yards into the route Strickland made a double-juke move on Grimes, leaving the corner behind. Strickland caught the pass in stride from Matt Ryan for an easy touchdown.

Quote of the night: Speaking with Wes Durham just before halftime, Ryan singled out rookies Julio Jones and Rodgers for having impressive camps. He gave some thoughts on the upcoming season as well:

"We had a great regular season last year, but fell short in the playoffs. Our focus is to get back in that same position and go on a run in the playoffs."

Stat of the night:The official crowd total for Friday Night Lights was 13,500, the largest crowd in the event's four-year history.

Tweet of the night:The opportunity to impress the coaches on the field under the lights wasn't lost on one rookie linebacker Akeem Dent (@Akeem_Dent51). Moments before the bus pulled into the high school he shared this tweet:

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