Training Camp Takeaways

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Takeaways: De’Vondre Campbell, Jack Crawford stand out during heated practice

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Although public practices have finished, AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp rolled on Monday morning with the players continuing to fight for spots on the roster.

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Competitive would be an apt descriptor for Monday’s practice, as there was plenty of trash talking and intriguing matchups in both one-on-one and team drills. During the team’s main 11-on-11 period, that competition reached its peak.

Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell looked sharp in coverage and essentially ran Austin Hooper’s route for him at one point, surging in front of the tight end’s out route to swat the ball away. Safety Sharrod Neasman dove in front of Christian Blake to prevent a pass on a well-thrown ball, and receiver Justin Hardy showed off his reliable hands to make a catch while lunging away from his defender and to the turf.

Along the line of scrimmage, Jack Crawford eased past rookie Chris Lindstrom after catching him leaning with a swim move. Lindstrom rebounded from that mistake, however, and looked clean for rest of the period. Jamon Brown took the first-team reps at right guard with James Carpenter sidelined with a hip flexor injury, but Brown, himself, went down near the end of practice and was tended to by a trainer. He went back to the sideline with a noticeable limp and was replaced by Wes Schweitzer.

Other observations

One of the more entertaining parts of practice was a one-on-one special teams drill meant to simulate blocking on punt and kickoff returns and chasing the ball-carrier on punt or kickoff coverage. One player would sprint 5 yards and turn around about 3 yards in front of a tackling dummy to fend off the second player who tried to evade the blocker and make the tackle.

During that drill rookie linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips had what one coach called a “perfect rep.” Phillips dipped around his blocker as an edge rusher would an offensive tackle and came away completely clean to make the tackle.

Receiver Olamide Zaccheaus won his rep against rookie cornerback Kendall Sheffield and knocked Sheffield back and into the turf. Following the rep, Sheffield had a minute-long conversation with coach Dan Quinn who was observing the drill.

Damontae Kazee won his rep at the very end of the drill against Devin Gray, and he continues to look solid in nearly every facet of the game so far in camp.

Linebacker Richie Brown was seen leaving the field with a trainer near the start of practice.

The Falcons ran a designed late-game lateral play on offense, but eventually a forward pass was called.

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