FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The second block of AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp began on Saturday, and a notable training camp battle continues to heat up.
Upon reviewing the first four days of camp, coach Dan Quinn was pleased with what he saw from first-round pick Kaleb McGary at right tackle. While Chris Lindstrom has been working with the starting offense throughout all of camp, McGary has been mostly getting snaps with the second-team unit at right tackle behind starter Ty Sambrailo.
This is a battle many had pegged as one of the most noteworthy, and it seems McGary is intent on making it a real competition after the first four practices.
“I thought (he is) really pushing Ty in a close fight and a close battle,” Quinn said of McGary. “All of the things that go on in the first install he was able to handle very well, and that’s a testament to the work he put in over the summer to get right and get ready … I’m encouraged where he’s at, and I think he’s gaining momentum and trust in what he’s doing.”
Atlanta traded back up into the first round to select McGary with the No. 31 pick in this year’s draft, showing an aggressive approach to fixing one of its largest issues from the 2018 season. Sambrailo started the final four games of the season for the Falcons, earning himself a three-year contract extension this offseason.
While McGary is fighting for a starting role with this offense, Lindstrom, the team’s first pick of the draft, looks comfortable out there with the starters. Like with any rookie, Lindstrom will have his first-year moments, but he has looked poised and smooth thus far in camp.
“I think the urgency that he plays with just always seems to be the thing that jumps out to me,” Quinn said. “Any time you can go against somebody and you have a good fight against Grady (Jarrett) or somebody, yeah, it can build and breed some confidence.”
- Rookie receiver CJ Worton joined the group of players returning punts at the beginning of practice. In addition to Worton, the Falcons have had Kenjon Barner, Marcus Green and Olamide Zaccheaus returning kicks.
- Lindstrom squared off against Grady Jarrett twice in one-on-one drills Saturday. Jarrett schooled the rookie on the first rep, but Lindstrom did a much better job his second time around.
- During that same drill, Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Matthews had a great rep against Adrian Clayborn, suffocating the defensive end’s bull rush.
- McGary had a rep against fellow rookie John Cominsky, and the two looked fairly evenly matched.
- On the first play of the first 11-on-11 period, the Falcons defense came out in a 5-2-4 look. On the defensive front was Vic Beasley, John Cominsky, Tyeler Davison, Grady Jarrett and Austin Larkin. The Falcons had Foye Oluokun and De’Vondre Campbell in at linebacker and Desmond Trufant, Isaiah Oliver, Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal in the secondary.
- Devonta Freeman had a nice run to the right side during the 11-on-11 period.
- Damontae Kazee came away with yet another interception on Saturday, and Vic Beasley did a good job creating pressure on that same play.
- Ito Smith had a pretty big workload in practice, and James Carpenter played all 16 of the first-team snaps at left guard. He and Jamon Brown have been rotating at that position throughout all of camp.
Friday marked the first day off for players during 2019 AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp. Let's take a look back at the best images from the first week of camp before getting back to work Saturday.