Having one preseason game already down, the Falcons are quickly moving into the start of the 2013 regular season. Wide receiver Roddy White, who has put in some serious work during Russell Athletic Training Camp, couldn't be more confident in this year's team.
White, who stresses the amount of talent the team has this year, said that the key to having success is as simple as everyone going out to field and playing good football as a team.
"Everybody just has to be who they are," White said. "We have a lot of special guys, a lot of guys who have made Pro Bowls and things like that. So if we can get everybody to play at a Pro Bowl level every Sunday, then we'll be just fine.
"We are flat out loaded, so we just have to go out there and perform at a higher level."
Despite the comfort the Falcons have in some players, White points out that the team was without Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez during the team's first preseason game on Thursday, which resulted in a 34-10 loss to the Bengals. Not having those star players could happen at any point during the season, so it's important for other players to step up.
"You felt like you had a gun but you couldn't shoot all your bullets, that's how we felt without those guys," he said. "But Harry (Douglas) did a good job. We may have games where one of those players may be out, so we have to pick up the slack."
This is the situation where rookies can show off their skills even more, and White said he's impressed with the amount of progress the young players have had.
"The young guys are doing a heck of a job," he said. "They come out here and they compete, which is great. I love those guys for what they do when they come out here. They get better every day. What we started out in camp, beating those guys, we can't do that any longer."
Translating these improved skills into actual games is important, especially during the preseason as every player is being evaluated — something that they're getting even from White.
"I evaluate everybody during preseason games," he said. "I'm trying to get the call before it goes in, and see things like that. I'm not picking and choosing, I'm not Thomas Dimitroff. But I do evaluate everybody out there because I like to see us have success."
As for having this success the entire year, White knows that the season's first game against the Saints on Sept. 8 is a crucial step, but his confidence remains.
"We're going to go down there and handle some business," he said.