Quinn pleased with start to training camp

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after practice on Sunday:

Opening Statement:

“One of our best sessions we’ve had for the 2016 year, from our OTAs, minicamp, and now here in training camp. Just in terms of the intensity that we’re looking for at practice, the different combinations that we went for, the one-on-ones, the teamwork at the end. We went two minute at the end of the half to try and create some competition. It was good to see this kind of back and forth throughout the practice. Love the intensity and that’s the respect that you give for each other. It’s all hands on deck to see how good we can get and that certainly showed up. I thought it really clearly demonstrated today.”

On the pass down to the 1-yard line that they brought back:

“I couldn’t tell. We’re going to go inside under the hood, but we didn’t have time to go under the hood right there, so I was trying to create a long field goal. Some people thought it was in, out. That one would’ve had to been reviewed, it was inside of two minutes. We’re going to have to decide where it was when we go inside, often times we’ll do that. It was a good throw. We had two plays against man-to-man and one not, so it was there to go take our shot. It was a good ball.”

On Keanu Neal’s physical style of play:

“We thought that would show up once we got in pads. I think that’s certainly his game and he’s got such respect from other members of his team because of his work ethic. Really, as a veteran player what you’re looking for in a young guy, a guy who’s got confidence, a guy who’s willing to work, and a guy who keeps his mouth shut and helping the team. He epitomizes those things. All he wants to do is help the team. That physicality, we know that’s an element to our team, but we’re just getting started with it.”

On Keanu Neal’s ability to cover:

“He was up playing in the hands. He’s off to a good start and that was the first four day block of our training camp. The players will have an off day tomorrow, and then we’ll come back and go after it again. I was pleased with the first block, that’s all it was, but we just got started. There’s a lot of things we had to work on, there’s still a bunch in our game that we’re getting right, but I was pleased with the effort and the toughness that we’re demonstrating out at practice. Now, let’s close that block and then we’ll install again tonight. The players have off tomorrow and then we’ll go right back at it again in the same format for the next four days and go through another great one. That’s honestly where the focus is lying, it’s not further out, it’s not to the preseason, it’s just how good can we go through the next window. I’m pleased with the first part.”

On what he feels has been the biggest surprise and accomplishment through camp so far:

“I don’t think it’s the biggest accomplishment, but I’m most pleased between the effort that we’re demonstrating at practice. That’s where it starts and if you have that part of your game right, and the work ethic, those parts right, then you have a chance to be really good because you know you’re practicing your skills really hard. Recapturing the work ethic that we had established as a team during the spring, and that was a number one goal, to make sure as a team to recapture the work ethic that we need to do to play really well. Up to this point, in the first four days, we’ve done that. That’s all it is, just one stage of it. We’re going to regroup, we’ll do our install again, meetings tonight, and then we’ll go right back at it again on Tuesday with another four day cycle of it.”

On pass-rush and calling outside the organization:

“Well, I’ll answer them in both parts. It’s an area that we’re always going to be looking at and you say ‘how can we improve that?’ I have such passion for it to say ‘how can we make our team better?’ We’re always looking that way. Two, it is a constant evaluation, but really we’ll get measured best in the games. In this one we’re working the skills hard, getting the drill parts right, the speed right, the technique right, but we have to get it into game scenarios. The one position that you don’t finish on in practice is the quarterback. Until we get to that mindset, that’s what we do. It’s very specific, and we’ve got our plan in place, so now we have to go execute it. Part of that is practice and part of that are the preseason games.”

On the details that the defensive backs are working on:

“It starts, number one, with the communication, so you have to get a call to give one. It’s finding that voice, and I think when you have another year in the system you have such confidence in what you’re doing where you’re not hesitant. Am I making the right call here or am I telling the right direction? But now it’s so clear and so crisp to say make that call and now I can go play at top speed. I think Marquand Manuel has done an excellent job with that group. He’s on them, and he doesn’t back off. The meetings are long, he stays with it, and there are questions all the time. I think he does a fantastic job of getting them ready, but ultimately it comes back to them putting in the work.”

On Paul Worrilow and Deion Jones working together:

“We left Deion at the same spot and we moved Worrilow to the WILL, so we’re just trying to create more versatility with him. That was the real goal there. Knowing that Paul is not only going to have a role at MIKE, WILL, teams – all the things we are doing. Typical Paul, he jumps right in and there’s no job too small, you know? He’ll do whatever it takes to help and that’s honestly the attitude that we love.”

On Ricardo Allen:

“He was probably one of the people I was thinking of when we asked about the communication. His ability to now articulate exactly the alert that could happen, a play that may happen based on a formation, the communication that happens on the field. That’s a big part of his jump. Ricardo Allen grinds. He puts it in. He’s one of the first people here, and he puts work in. It’s not just the weight room or on the field. He puts work in the meeting room, on the field, and he takes care of himself like a pro. I love to see when a guy is going for it. He and with another number of men here are in that mode of not backing off on anything. That’s honestly the type of competitors and the dog mentality that we’re trying to create. He’s embraced that, knowing I have to put work in.”

On Julio Jones’ progress:

“It was good to see him. We didn’t necessarily have a pitch count on him, but we wanted to have a quarter of what we had today. Make sure tomorrow on the off day and we’ll back into full for Tuesday.”

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