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Run game a bye-week focus for Falcons offense



CLIMBING THAT HILL:Falcons corner back Tye Hill, acquired from St. Louis just before the Falcons' final preseason game, has yet to be activated.

Smith had said the bye week would be a pivotal week for the team's evaluation of Hill.

Hill arrived with the Falcons at a point when much of the live hitting of training camp had come to an end, which complicates the coaching staff's evaluation process.

"It makes it more difficult, there's no doubt," Smith said. "We have seen Tye be able to change direction and he's showing the speed and the things we saw when we were preparing for him in the first preseason game" when the Falcons played St. Louis.

Smith did not tip his hand much as to when Hill will get his first opportunity on the field.

"I thought he performed well, "Smith said. "We have to be patient with Tye and Tye has to be patient with us."

But patience is difficult and Hill admitted he's getting "very antsy."

If Hill gets his chance on Sunday, he will bring with him an intimate knowledge of the 49ers' personnel.

"You know I do," he said. "That was my division [the NFC West] for three years. I know personnel-wise. I got to look at the offense. I don't think they're running the same offense. I believe it's a little more West Coast. I'm pretty familiar with their personnel, so that's a good confidence level."

Hill did not seem to take much satisfaction in seeing his former team, now 0-4, smacked down by the 49ers by 35-0 in Week 4.

"Maaaaan, I just feel bad for the guys who are there like O.J. Atogwe, [Ron] Bartell, those guys that were there when I was there," he said. "It's a hump that hopefully they'll get over... I know the team, I know [Coach Steve] Spagnuolo and he's going to have them working hard. He's a hard-nosed guy."

FRISCO AT THE BRANCH:Despite the overnight rain and the San Francisco-like 50-degree weather with mist falling on Monday afternoon, the Falcons practiced outdoors instead of inside the barn. The temperature was a similar 56 degrees in San Francisco on Monday, but Sunday's forecast is for a sunny 69 degrees.

Usually the players do not practice on Monday, so, with the bye week, the day was a bonus for the team and the coaching staff. Smith said the staff began introducing the team to what the 49ers do on Monday but will provide a heavy dose on Wednesday.

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