Falcons hold ‘normal training-camp practice’ at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Falcons coach Arthur Smith was upbeat before holding a training camp practice before fans Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“It’s a little bit different scenario,” Smith said. “Normally, you have these about a week before your (first exhibition) season game. It actually times up pretty well for us. It will be a normal training-camp practice.

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“We just played (an exhibition) season game a couple nights ago. There’s not really a need for a mock game. We’ve got training camp work to do. Anytime that we come out here, our goal is to get better.”

Smith didn’t have an update about linebacker Deion Jones, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

“He’s here every day working,” Smith said. “I don’t give predictions, and I’m not a doctor. He’s in there every day working (with the trainers).”

Wide receiver Bryan Edwards was excused from the practice. “Him and his fiancée had a baby,” Smith said. “He’ll be back tomorrow.”

Smith was hoping the stadium setting would help the practice tempo.

“Part of your job every day is to get into the right mindset and come to work,” Smith said. “I think this helps. You get into a rhythm the first couple weeks of camp, then it kind of breaks going into the first (exhibition) season game.”

The Falcons are prepping for joint practices with the Jets on Friday and Saturday before playing their second exhibition game next Monday night at MetLife Stadium.

“So, it’s a change of time of practice in a different environment,” Smith said. “Hopefully, that gives you a little different energy. But the focus has to be intentional every time you go out there. Purposefully.”

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The Falcons will come back with a 1 p.m. practice Tuesday because they have a lot of 1 p.m. kickoffs this season.

Here’s what Smith had to say on other pre-practice topics:

Smith on A.J. Terrell’s improvement: “I think his awareness. You can get into a lot of different stats. Certain coverages that you play you can almost dictate the ball is not going to go there. I think he’s showing that he can play in different types of coverages that we are asking him to do. Sometimes we may ask him to match up on a certain player. I think his awareness and the more he plays, he’s more familiar within our scheme.”

On rookie outside linebacker DeAngelo Malone: “Like a lot of the rookies, I appreciate the way he brings it every day. He has (a) lot of room to grow. I’m pleased with DeAngelo. Some of the jobs that we are asking him to do are foreign to him. (That’s) why I don’t make snap judgments. I have a lot of faith in DeAngelo.”

On Mykal Walker calling defensive signals: “He’s playing with more confidence in that position. You hear him out at practice, and it’s not just noise. What he’s saying makes sense. We’re going to continue to push that, and hopefully he’ll grow into this important leadership role.”

On possibly facing veteran QB Joe Flacco vs. the Jets: “Every quarterback that you face, there are different challenges. We’ll see what they throw at us when we go up there and practice against them. It doesn’t matter. It could change on the first snap of the game.”

On the outside rushers: “A big part of sports, especially professional sports, is can you handle failure because it’s going to come at you? I’m very pleased with the effort of a lot of those young outside linebackers or rush players. I thought Jalen Dalton did a nice job. AK (Arnold Ebiketie). DeAngelo, Quinton (Bell), TQ (Ta’Quon Graham). We’re just going to continue to try to improve these guys and continue to work. I’m pleased with what AK did.”

On playing a relatively clean game vs. Detroit: “It was good ... we didn’t have a million penalties.”

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