With 2014 XFINITY Atlanta Falcons Training Camp kicking off Friday, the Falcons arrived at the Branch on Thursday to check in and give a brief preview to the media.
Injuries that occur during the final quarter of any season tend to have an impact on the upcoming campaign, and that's something defensive tackle Corey Peters has learned this offseason.
In a Week 16 matchup with San Francisco, Peters left the game with what was determined to be an Achilles injury that would require surgery, and just like that, the veteran defensive lineman was surrounded by question marks for 2014.
Peters re-signed on a one-year deal during the offseason as a sort of chance to prove that he can return healthy and able to contribute, and as he reported to XFINITY® Atlanta Falcons Training Camp on Thursday, he was positive about his recovery and the road ahead.
"I'm very optimistic about everything," said Peters, who will start camp on the physically unable to perform list. "Hopefully, as days move forward, we'll be closer to getting back on the field. ... (Recovery has) been tough at first. It's been a long process but I'm happy to be at the end, seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. I feel great. I've still got a little bit of work to do but I feel very good."
Peters has been a key cog in the defensive line rotation since being drafted by the Falcons in 2010. As the team added bigger defensive linemen during the offseason, Peters has been relying on mental snaps to maintain his edge.
That comes with working closely with defensive line coach Bryan Cox this offseason and learning his tendencies from a scheme and teaching standpoint, so that when Peters does return to the field, the transition will be smooth.
"We're going to do a lot of different things on the defensive line and, hopefully, there's a lot of similarity, but it's always difficult when you can't be out there," Peters said. "I have to do a great job of staying in tune, especially in the meeting room and whenever I have an opportunity out on the field. It's a big deal."