Atlanta defensive end Chuck Smith (90) assists teammates Dan Owens (93) and Travis Hall (98) in bringing down Saints quarterback Danny Wuerffel during the Falcons 23-17 win at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Sunday Oct. 12, 1997.
Photo: ANDREW J. COHOON/AP
Photo: ANDREW J. COHOON/AP

Former Falcons Kerney and Smith offer helping hand at training camp

Two former Falcons, Chuck Smith and Patrick Kerney, visited training camp to offer a helping hand throughout the day.

Donning a white long sleeve shirt and a slimmed-down figure, Patrick Kerney wasn’t there to shuck training dummies or work on his hand usage, as he did for the Falcons for eight seasons. Kerney was there for the day to offer the younger guys a few pointers.

Kerney played eight seasons with the team, racking up 58 sacks during his time in Atlanta. He was a stalwart on the defensive line for nearly a decade.

Defensive end Vic Beasley, among others, was receptive to the help.

“(Kerney) just taught us a couple moves,” Beasley said. “I gained a lot from it today. I’m going to try to pick his brain over the next couple days and see what I can learn.

“Being an Atlanta Falcons fan, watching (1998) Falcons from home, at times growing up, I definitely saw him make a lot of plays.”

Smith was invited by Quinn to participate in a two-day coaching internship with the team. Also a defensive end, Smith became an All-Pro during the 1997 season on a team that made the Super Bowl the next season.

Defensive line coach Bryant Young was enthused by the impact the two had on his unit. 

“I think it’s cool that Dan creates that environment where he welcomes guys back to be a part of it and impart wisdom and share their knowledge and experience in the game with the guys that are here,” Young said. “I’m just trying not to screw them up. Anything that I could offer them and give it back to them, I’m going to do that to the best of my ability.”

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