When Falcons head coach Mike Smith spoke with the media after Thursday's practice, the first of the team's training camp, he described it as competitive from all sides of the ball, and also noted that the weather was on their side as well.
More notably, Smith spoke on Akeem Dent taking over the middle linebacker position. On Thursday, the Falcons just worked on their base defense, and third down and medium yardage. Smith sounds confident and even emphatic when it comes to the rookie
These quotes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
"For a young guy that's played a lot of football, but not in the NFL and scrimmage snaps, we feel like he's ready to go. That's why we drafted him. We drafted him to be our middle linebacker."
Here's some of what Smith had to say about the players having a role in making sure the changes in coordinators go smoothly:
"Mike (Nolan) and Dirk (Koetter) have done a very good job meshing their system that they have run in the past to what we've done here, especially with the verbage. I think that's very important as a staff. You can't come in as a coordinator and throw your book down and tell your team, ‘Hey this is my systems, this is what we're going to run.' We've got to build this system as a staff and as a team. Believe me, the players have had some input into it as well. The older players, and the mentors in terms of how we're going to call things, the quarterback on the offensive side, a couple of experienced guys on the defense side have been a part of putting this package together verbage wise."