The Falcons emphasized the run game and the special teams Monday in their second scrimmage of training camp.
Punter Sterling Hofrichter, a seventh-round pick from Syracuse, put on a clinic, while kicker Younghoe Koo, was 2-of-3 on his field-goal attempts.
The offense, which had big runs from Todd Gurley, Ito Smith and Brian Hill, continued to struggle with timing in the passing game. Backup quarterback Matt Schaub was intercepted in the end zone by cornerback Delrick Abrams, an undrafted rookie from Colorado.
Also, cornerback Isaiah Oliver dropped a potential interception.
Later, in the two-minute drill, a Schaub pass was thrown behind the receiver and was intercepted by cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
Hofrichter, who was drafted after the Falcons elected to move on from long-time punter Matt Bosher, had four (of five) very solid punts, with good hang-time and directional placement.
He had hang-times of 3.32, 4.31, 4.27 and 3.91 seconds on his second, third, fourth and fifth punts. Bosher, while punting most of his games indoors, averaged 4.8 seconds on his punts in 2015.
For outdoors, Hofrichter’s numbers – hand-held iPhone times -- are very good.
On the fifth punt he was going for distance and boomed a 50-yarder.
“I thought he’s off to a good start,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Sunday before the scrimmage. “He’s got a quick get-off, and he can directional (punt) well.”
The Falcons were looking forward to seeing Hofrichter in a live situation.
“We just need, over the three weeks, different moments – different times, backed up, pooch punting – all of the different scenarios that come into that, but so far he’s certainly passed all of the tests for us,” Quinn said.
The Falcons discussed Hofrichter’s ability to get the ball off quickly. He got his punts off in 1.71 seconds (second punt), 1.8 (third punt) and 1.75 (fifth punt). Any time under 2.1 seconds is considered spectacular.
Practice: Guard Jamon Brown was back at practice after clearing the concussion protocol. Running back Qadree Ollison did not practice for the second practice in a row.
Running backs: Gurley ran the hills after practice, and Smith, Hill and Ollison all are vying to back up Gurley.
“I definitely think we are going to play with more than two backs,” Hill said.
Returners: In addition to wide receiver Brandon Powell and Chris Rowland, the Falcons also are considering Olamide Zaccheaus and Smith, Quinn said.
Walker getting a good look: Rookie linebacker Mykal Walker, who was drafted in the fourth round of the draft, received some snaps with the first-team defense during the scrimmage. He replaced Deion Jones and later went in for Foye Oluokun.
“It’s been great,” Walker said. “I got these guys out here Debo (Jones) and Foye, even the vets, you bring in LaRoy Reynolds who’s been around the block a couple of years with different teams, they have so much wisdom out there for me, it’s been really cool to be out there running around.
“Running with the ones was a dream come true. It’s been really good for me.”
Big hitters: Defensive end Steven Means and safety Keanu Neal had big stops in the run game.
Means made a nice stop in the backfield, and Neal set the edge on an attempted outside run and appeared quick and powerful.
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