Robinson, Terrell return to Falcons’ offseason action

FLOWERY BRANCH – After a week off, the Falcons took to the practices fields for organized team activities on Monday.

Cornerback A.J. Terrell and running back Bijan Robinson returned after missing some work with ankle injuries. This will be the last week of OTAs before mandatory minicamp June 10-12.

“It was cool,” Falcons coach Raheem Morris said. “I kind of gave a state of the union today. It was kind of nice to have that week off in between. Which you have the option to do after you have those eight weeks straight.”

Doing the week off, the staff had time to evaluate some things.

“We are in the laying foundation process,” Morris said. “That’s where we are. We’ve laid down a bunch of our systems. Whether if it be offense, defense or special teams. I really feel good about where we are and it also gave me a chance to go back and reflect to see some people do some really good things.”

After minicamp, the Falcons will take a break before reporting for training camp in late July.

“That’s when you forge your team, once you get to training camp,” Morris said. “We are at a great spot of laying the foundation. Getting ready to go into camp after this week here coming up. The last of the OTAs days going right into our veteran minicamp, the mandatory one. That will give us a chance to forge our team in practice. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Morris and his staff evaluated the concepts that they have been teaching.

“It’s just the process of taking it from the classroom and taking it out to the grass,” Morris said. “Being able to go execute it. Seeing the adjustments. Seeing people react both offensively, defensively and special teams. Being able to teach certain concepts.”

With no tackling allowed, the defensive concepts are harder to evaluate.

“Full team concepts when it comes to chute awareness when it comes to tackling and how we are going to get people on the ground,” Morris said. “A little bit about finish and being able to talk about those things. Obviously, absent of the physicality.”

The tackling will come in training camp and in the exhibition games.

“Now, we can get to that part when we get back to training camp, where we will have a nice physical camp,” Morris said. “It should be a lot of fun for all of us to be able to watch, participate in and set those expectations and goals for ourselves.”

Morris has been pleased with the development of rookie quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

“I think it’s been fun to watch him learn from Kirk (Cousins),” Morris said. “I think the cool part is him being in the background. Being able to process. Watching Kirk go through his way of doing his deal and be his authentic self.”

Cousins likes to draw out the plays he’s learning and toss out a random joke to keep the players loose.

“When he calls the play, he’s able to interject his personality into the play-call with the guys when they come out of the huddle,” Morris said. “A lot of football. I like the way Mike has been able to take that from him. See how he relates it to his guys.”

Penix is also working through his progressions after he completes his passes.

“I’ve seen this guy, I was just talking about this morning, how he throws the football and gets his completion,” Morris said. “I watch him check the rest of the field. Going through the rest of his progressions…that’s really been special when you’re talking about a rookie growing and developing.”

Morris is fond of Cousins’ play-calling.

“He’ll call the play-call and he’ll have a nice joke right at the end of it,” Morris said. “He gives real good energy. A real authentic-ness about it. It’s fun to watch…He definitely injects his personality into every play call that’s out there.”

Terrell was glad to be back on the field.

“For me, I just go into every offseason attacking the whole position,” Terrell said. “Not really focusing in one thing, but everything. Everything can get touched up on.”

Robinson said the Falcons will continue running their wide-zone plays, but have added several other running schemes this offseason.

“We still run the wide zone, but there are so many other run-schemes that we have now, that I love and that I ran in college,” Robinson said. “That I can’t wait to run. We’re good on like coming off the wide zone and going to something else.”

Robinson likes his role in the offense.

“I’m going to be more of a runner that does everything else,” Robinson said. “...It’s like run first, like I did in college and then still have access to go to receiver. Still have access to do creative things out of the backfield. More so, like how they use Christian (McCaffrey) down there in San Francisco. Something like that. That is kind of what the plan is here.”

Robinson’s left ankle is fully recovered.

“I haven’t been out there with the guys,” Robinson said. “Some times it was kind of frustrating. For me, I know that everything is in God’s plan. …..Now, I’m back out there with the guys and feeling really good. It was a great feeling. I didn’t really hold (anything back). I was a full-go.”

The Bow Tie Chronicles