FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – After scoring a combined 30 points during Sunday's portion of their team scrimmage, the Falcons combined for only seven points on Monday.
We're nearing the end of AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, and the preseason games are quickly approaching. Atlanta's Red-White scrimmage was an opportunity for the coaches to evaluate the players in a controlled scrimmage environment, and the Red team cruised to a fairly easy 23-15 win.
Coach Dan Quinn attributed a portion of that difference to turnovers. The Red team jumped out to a 23-7 lead on Sunday thanks to interceptions by Ricardo Allen and Desmond Trufant, and the White team never managed to close that gap.
"In the secondary, obviously making two big takeaways yesterday (was huge)," Quinn said. "When that doesn't happen, obviously that's one of the reasons their team was so ahead … So, creating takeaways, why are they ahead 23-7 at the half, that was a big part of it."
Quinn, who is also taking over as the Falcons' defensive coordinator this season, preaches the importance of securing the ball on offense and taking the ball away on defense perhaps more than anything else. He wants his defense to have a "ball-hawk mentality," and after watching the first half of the scrimmage on Sunday and the second half of the scrimmage on Monday, it's clear why.
- Mohamed Sanu scored the only touchdown of the Monday's portion of the scrimmage. It was the second touchdown pass for Matt Ryan in the scrimmage; he also tossed two interceptions.
- Giorgio Tavecchio will handle kickoff duties for the Falcons in 2019. Punter Matt Bosher had previously handled the role while Matt Bryant was on the roster, but the Falcons believe Tavecchio can do that job well.
- Calvin Ridley was back on the sidelines and suited up, but he went through stretches with the team before heading off to the side for rehab work with Julio and Deion Jones. Still, seeing Ridley, who is coming off a tight hamstring, back on the field is a good sign.
- Luke Stocker brings a nasty edge to this Falcons offense. He made his impact felt after catching a pass on Monday, lowering his shoulder pads a couple of times and delivering some hits.
- The White team had a chance to chip away at the Red team's lead after moving the ball to the 15-yard line. Matt Ryan threw three catchable balls to Kenjon Barner, Russell Gage and Justin Hardy, in that order, that were dropped and resulted in a turnover on downs.
- Atlanta's starting defensive line continued to play well on Monday; Grady Jarrett, Adrian Clayborn and Allen Bailey were three who especially stood out at times.