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Tight Falcons Locker Room Contributes to Success


If the head coach and some of the longest-tenured players on the roster are saying something, it's usually true.

On Friday, Tony Gonzalez called this year's team the best Falcons team he's been around. Just a few minutes before, Todd McClure said he's as excited about this team as he's been about any in his career.

"I think we have a really good team," McClure said. "It all boils down to how we come together here in camp. I think we've got some unbelievably talented guys. We've got the guys that can make plays on defense. We've got big plays on offense. It's going to be a matter of staying healthy and jelling, but I'm real excited about this team."

One of the things that makes this year's team unique is the mix of quality veterans and young players with playing time under their belt. Beyond the talent on the field, the locker room is filled with guys that see the solidarity that takes place behind the locker room's closed doors is as important as anything that happens in the huddle.

Head coach Mike Smith thinks that kind of mentality is the most critical in building a team.

"I think we have a special group of guys," he said on Thursday. "I am a firm believer that you win in the locker room first. You've got to have a team that likes to be around each other, and that loves playing the game of football. I think when you have that you have a chance to go out each and every week and be successful. … I like the locker room that we have. We've got some good men in that locker room."

Inside the Falcons locker room, you'll find, according to McClure, a group that has seen a ton in the NFL and are sharing everything they can with every player to their right and left. It's the only way to win in the league.

"We've got a ton of experience in the locker room, guys that have bled and sweat a lot out on the field," McClure said. "We've got a lot of guys that can bring some of these young guys along and help them contribute to this team this year."

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