Falcons coach Arthur Smith pleased with Day 1 of training camp

Falcons coach Arthur Smith watches during the team's training camp Wednesday in Flowery Branch. (Jason Getz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

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Falcons coach Arthur Smith watches during the team's training camp Wednesday in Flowery Branch. (Jason Getz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Arthur Smith, who was 7-10 last season, his first season at the helm, was pleased with the first day of training camp Wednesday.

“You’re excited,” Smith said after practice. “We’re in the ramp-up period. You’re limited with the time, which is a good thing. I’m not saying that to complain, just kind of letting you know what’s going on out there. It was a competitive first day. I’m trying to build these guys up so that we can be full swing into camp.”

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The Falcons have some keys to training camp, before they put on the pads.

“You come out here, and you want to improve,” Smith said. “You want to fundamentally get better. You want to eliminate things that get you beat pre-snap. There’s healthy competition. We’ve got good competition at about every spot.”

Smith didn’t want to compare this year’s opening day of camp with last year’s.

“It’s a completely different team,” Smith said. “I do feel like there is better competition. Probably more depth. That’s one thing that’s pretty apparent to me right now.”

The Falcons have picked up the tempo of practice from the offseason, when they often went half- to three-quarters speed.

“Coming out here you don’t want to have a lot of mental errors,” Smith said. “You can operate. You can function. There is always something. That’s why you practice. It’s never going to be perfect, but you are trying to eliminate things that get you beat and you’re in control of them.

“Especially, there is a huge emphasis on pre-snap. Some of it is obvious when you’re watching practice. Some of it is not like the communication.”

Overall, he felt that things went well for the first day.

“It was a pretty good day,” Smith said. “There is always stuff that we’ve got to coach and improve.”

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