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Through Svitek's Eyes: Getting Rest 'Irregardless' of Camp


What's up, Falcons fans? We're almost a week into training camp. It's hard to believe.

The days are pretty jam packed. We're in the weight room or in meetings by 7:30 in the morning and we're done at 10 at night, but head coach Mike Smith is good about giving you a little time in between practices and meetings, so if you have 10 minutes here or there, you just lay down wherever you are and try to get off your feet.

As you can see, I caught some of the guys doing that this week. You just lay down, raise your legs and let gravity take over. If you have 10 or 15 minutes to kill, especially for the offensive linemen who are carrying around a little extra weight, we'll just get off our feet because any recovery during the day pays dividends in the long run.


Todd McClure, our center, pulled the ol' veteran move in the rest category. He bought a beanbag chair from a store for $25 and keeps it in his locker. He's the only one who has one.

I think it's well worth the $25 investment. If he's not around at times, we steal it. My locker is right next to his, so I steal it all the time, but as a 14-year veteran, it's not his first rodeo. The beanbag chair is a wise, wise move.

Me? I travel light when I come to camp. No beanbag chair (although that may change), no TV, not much of anything. The Falcons provide us with pretty much everything we'll need, but some guys come in with suitcases full of stuff.

Not me. I bring a suitcase with toiletries, maybe three pairs of clothes and that's about it. About the only other thing I'll bring is a fan to sleep with at night. I like the noise. It's soothing.

Speaking of clothes, I plan on changing mine Wednesday. It's going to be a big day. We're off from practice, so I figure that's a good day to change my clothes up. I'm excited for that. We'll see what kind of outfit I'll go with, but I can assure you it'll likely be a Nike T-shirt and some board shorts. Probably sandals, too. Even if it's snowing outside, I'd still wear sandals. It's gotta be a Southern California thing.

There's been no shortage of entertainment around camp the past few days, especially from our rookies. Now, we're nice to our rookies. We don't do any kind of crazy hazing on them. But we do make them stand up in front of the whole team and sing.

Coach Smith is big on team unity, so it helps the veterans get to know the rookies while also giving them a taste of initiation. Before the 8 p.m. meetings, we'll make one rookie get up and sing.

Most of the rookies are kind of timid and shy. They don't really show their personality, so it's kind of fun to get them out of their comfort zone and show who they are a little bit.

Some of them are really, really bad and it's almost uncomfortable to watch. You just put your head down because it's so awkward, but the last couple we've had have been really, really good.

Marcus Jackson, he's an undrafted rookie, he came out of the blue and sang "Don't Take the Girl" by Tim McGraw and it was excellent! It was probably the best one so far. He got a standing ovation from the offensive line.

Peter Konz is expected to sing Tuesday night. It's a big debut. He's supposed to sing "Call Me, Maybe." He's just supposed to sing, but it's a YouTube sensation, so he's gotta dance, right?

I'll update you on how that goes.

One of our assistant coaches insists on using the word "irregardless." We've called him out on it, but now every chance we get, we use the word "irregardless" in a sentence, like you're in elementary school and they try to get you to use vocabulary words in sentences.

Mainly, it'll just be when we're discussing football: "If the Sam lines up on the ball, irregardless we're still gonna block him this way." It's always good for a laugh, and it's a good teaching tool because I think everyone knows now that irregardless isn't a word.

That's all for now, but irregardless, I'll be back with more this week.

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