Falcons plan to operate more from no-huddle offense

The Falcons are working on the pacing of the attack and have expanded their no-huddle operation from about 10-12 plays to about 30.

"We are going to do a lot more of it this year," wide receiver Roddy White said after Thursday's organized-team-activities practice. "So I have to get myself mentally prepared because that's where I hurt us last year, where I made some mistakes. That's probably my main focus. I'm just going to get in there and try to run that."

The Falcons have run the no-huddle more as a change of pace since quarterback Matt Ryan's rookie season. With Ryan more comfortable with what he's seeing from defenses and having a better grasp on how to attack, the expansion was predicable.

"Matt knows what he's doing," White said. "He's getting everybody on the same page. He's doing a good job out there coaching and showing that he understands it. He's making big steps."

The Falcons hope to hit teams with more big plays out of the no-huddle.

Intrasquad practice

Smith was reluctant to call the training-camp visits from Jacksonville and New England full-blown scrimmages.

"They are going to be combined practices," Smith said. "When I say combined practices, we are going to go through our normal practice schedule that we do. The only difference will be we'll have two skull [sessions] going on at one time, two 9-on-7s and two team [sessions]. So there will be two fields where we are working against each other."

Jacksonville will visit for practices Aug. 9 and Aug. 10. New England will visit for practice Aug. 17, two days before an exhibition game at the Georgia Dome.

Some highlights

Linebacker Stephen Nicholas had a nice pass breakup in coverage during one of the passing drills Thursday. Other highlights included:

  • Wide receiver Andy Strickland put a nice move on cornerback Brent Grimes to get open.
  • Right tackle Tyson Clabo and defensive end Kroy Biermann engaged in a little pushing-and-shoving match.
  • Ryan was particularly sharp.
  • Defensive end John Abraham and tight end Tony Gonzalez were the only players not in attendance.

Injury update

Defensive end Chauncey Davis (knee), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder) and wide receiver Kerry Meier (hamstring) returned to OTAs.

Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee), wide receiver Harry Douglas and cornerback Brian Williams (knee) did not practice and continued their rehabilitation.

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