Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.
Photo: Scott Cunningham, Getty Images
Photo: Scott Cunningham, Getty Images

Cover 9@9: Falcons not only NFL team to charge for practice

Good morning! Welcome to the Cover 9@9 blog. It’s our weekly list of nine things at 9 a.m. Wednesday that you need to know about the Atlanta Falcons. 

1. Paying for practice. The Falcons are not the only NFL team to charge its fan base to watch practice.

The Falcons will charge fans to view a single practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium later this month, the team announced Monday.

The team will charge $5 to attend the 12:30 p.m. practice Sunday, July 29, with the proceeds benefiting the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee's capital improvement project. Super Bowl 53 will played Feb. 3, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The team will hold a roof-opening ceremony before practice at noon.

The Falcons will report for training camp July 26 at the team’s facilities in Flowery Branch. They open the exhibition season against the New York Jets Aug. 10 at MetLife Stadium.

The Falcons will not have any open practices after they start the exhibition season, unlike the Saints, Chiefs, Ravens, Browns and Vikings, who have 10 or more practices open to the public. The Falcons only have seven open practices. 

The Minnesota Vikings will have 18 practices open to the public. Practices are capped at 5,000, with 4,000 general admission and 1,000 reserved tickets. Reserved seats are $20 and $25 each when the Vikings host the Jaguars for two joint practices.

The Baltimore Ravens will have 15 practices open to the public. The practices are free, but fans must register online for the 2,000 seats on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last year, the Carolina Panthers started charging $5 for their Fan Fest, with proceeds going to the team’s charitable foundation. 

The Tampa Bay Bucs have cut back their open practices from 13 to six this season.

The Kansas City Chiefs have 15 open practices. Fans must pay $5 for parking and $5 on Family Fun Day.

The New Orleans Saints will have 10 practices open to the public. 

The Cleveland Browns have 15 open practices. 

2. Fans don’t want to pay. Nearly 500 people voted at last check and 51 percent voted not to pay to watch practice, while 49 percent plans to pay to watch practice.


3. The Jarvis file. One of our interns, Tess DeMeyer, has been working on a story on Falcons rookie linebacker Richard “Dewey” Jarvis. The two were classmates at Brown.

CLICK HERE for her story.

4. 90-man roster analysis. Leading up to the opening of training camp, we’ll look at each of the position groups in a 10-part series. We started on Monday with the defensive lineman. 

5. Madden ratings are out. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has the highest rating (98) followed by cornerback Desmond Trufant (93), running back Devonta Freeman (91), linebacker Deion Jones (90), center Alex Mack (90), quarterback Matt Ryan (89), safety Keanu Neal (89), running back Tevin Coleman (86), defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (86), cornerback Robert Alford (85) and kicker Matt Bryant (85) round out the top 10. Click here for all of the Falcons’ ratings.

6. Davis graduates. Falcons wide receiver Reggie Davis earned his degree from the University of Georgia. Earlier this offseason, free safety Ricardo Allen earned his degree from Purdue. With the latest graduates, the Falcons have a 78 percent graduation rate, which is one of the best in the NFL.


7. Cam Newton’s Foundation Gala: The Cam Newton Foundation’s Hometown Gala is set for Saturday at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel.

The Cam Newton Foundation is the charitable arm of Atlanta native and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

The foundation is dedicated to providing strategic programs and events in the Atlanta and Charlotte communities, the foundation has donated more than $3.5 million through programming, financial contributions, and in-kind donations. All of the proceeds will benefit local youth through impactful community programs.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities CLICK HERE.

8. Training camp schedule. Here the rest of the open dates for practices. 

The Falcons will report for training camp on July 26. The first practice will be on July 27.

The camp will run through Aug. 4 with selected dates open to the public.

The team reports on Thursday, July 26. 

Practices are open to the public on Friday, July 27; Saturday, July 28; Monday, July 30; Wednesday, Aug. 1; Thursday, Aug. 2; Friday, Aug. 3; Saturday, Aug. 4.

Gates will open to the public at 8:20 a.m. for all of the open practices, with the practices set to start at 9:20 a.m. 

The Falcons open the exhibition season against the New York Jets on Aug. 10 at MetLife Stadium. 

9. Depth chart: Here’s a look at the projected depth chart heading into training camp:


WR 11 Julio Jones, 18, Calvin Ridley, 14 Justin Hardy, 13 Reggie Davis, 86 Lamar Jordan, 16 Taj Williams

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 68 Austin Pasztor, 76 Daniel Brunskill

LG 67 Andy Levitre, 63 Ben Garland, 64 Sean Harlow, 75 Jamil Douglas 

C 51 Alex Mack, 63 Ben Garland, 61 J.C. Hassenauer

RG 65 Brandon Fusco, 71 Wes Schweitzer, 62 Salesi Uhatafe

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 74 Ty Sambrailo, 77 Matt Gono

TE 81 Austin Hooper, 82 Logan Paulsen, 85 Eric Saubert, 89 Alex Gray, 80 Troy Mangen, 87 Jaeden Graham 

WR 12 Mohamed Sanu, 17 Marvin Hall, 83 Russell Gage, 15 Christian Blake, 19 Dontez Byrd, 7 Devin Gray

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub, 9 Grayson Garrett, 6 Kurt Benkert

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 25 Ito Smith, 41 Terrence Magee, 32 Justin Crawford, 35 Malik Williams

FB 40 Daniel Marx, 43 Luke McNitt, 30 Ricky Ortiz 


DE 98 Takk McKinley, 50 Brooks Reed, 79 Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, 96 Mackendy Cheridor

DT 99 Terrell McClain, 94 Deadrin Senat, 93 Garrison Smith, 

DT 97 Grady Jarrett, 95 Jack Crawford, 92 Justin Zimmer, 99 Jon Cunningham

DE 44 Vic Beasley, 90 Derrick Shelby, 55 J’Terius Jones 

WLB 42 Duke Riley, 54 Foyesade Oluokun

MLB 45 Deion Jones, 52 Emmanuel Ellerbe, 53 Emmanuel Smith 

SLB 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 56 Anthony Winbush, 49 Richard Jarvis

CB 23 Robert Alford, 20 Isaiah Oliver, 28 Justin Bethel, 33 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, 39 Deante Burton 

CB 21 Desmond Trufant, 34 Brian Poole, 35 Leon McFadden, 43 Chris Lammons

NB 34 Brian Poole, 27 Damontae Kazee, 42 Tyson Graham, 30 Joseph Putu 

FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Damontae Kazee, 38 Marcelis Branch, 41 Jason Hall

SS 22 Keanu Neal, Ron Parker, 35 Secdrick Cooper 


K 3 Matt Bryant, 1 David Marvin 

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 14 Justin Hardy, 17 Marvin Hall, 30 Ito Smith

PR 14 Justin Hardy, 16 Reggie Davis

LS 47 Josh Harris

H 5 Matt Bosher 


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.