10 things we learned from Falcons' Camp Exile

The Falcons’ first-round draft pick, wide receiver Julio Jones, was the last player to leave the field at the team’s final player-only offseason practice last week.

He stayed after the practice to run a few more routes, catch more passes and get schooled on the finer points the team’s passing game.

Quarterback Matt Ryan led the workouts, held as NFL players are locked out by owners, and tried to mirror what they would have been during organized team activities. The team practiced a week longer than what would have been allowed for OTAs under NFL rules.

Here are the 10 things we learned from the sessions:

Jones should be ready

Jones and Ryan have been meeting away from the field since he was drafted.

“He’s taken me under his wings,” Jones said. “He’s let me come over his house to go over material that I don’t have in my playbook. Everything has been great.”

Jones said they study some of the finer nuances of the Falcons’ passing attack.

“We are just going over different material that I don’t have, and I’m learning like that,” Jones said.

Jones went pretty hard during the practices, but acknowledged that he guarded against injury. There were no major injuries during the practices, although reserve wide receiver Tim Buckley injured an ankle in a collision.

Ryan is the unquestioned leader

Ryan is about to enter his fourth season in the NFL, and it’s clear that he’s the leader of the Falcons.

Ryan organized the workouts, came up with the schedule and got input from the key veterans. He kept tabs, via calls and emails, on the players who were working out on their own, too.

Lofton needs a whistle

Linebacker Curtis Lofton came with a defensive script to the practices and thoroughly enjoyed calling the defenses.

He has to work on his coaching voice, though, to become the next Brian VanGorder, the team’s defensive coordinator.

O-line may be in good shape

Although the offensive linemen don’t play a key role in seven-on-seven drills, Joe Hawley and Garrett Reynolds attended nearly all of the practices. Mike Johnson also was a regular.

Each could compete for a starting job if Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock leave in free agency.

Schillinger is recovering

Backup safety Shann Schillinger, who suffered a fractured ankle in the 15th game last season, took part in two of the practices.

“I’m getting closer and closer every day,” Schillinger said. “I can start getting into more football-related drills now. Hopefully, things will progress here in the next couple of weeks.”

Schillinger said he was at 85 percent healthy. He appeared to limp some during the final practice, where he saw time at free safety.

“I was cautious with it,” Schillinger said.

Franks may be ready to challenge

Cornerback Dominique Franks, a fifth-round draft pick in 2010, was a regular at the workouts.

Franks clearly was more comfortable backpedaling and making his breaks on the ball. He could be ready.

Roddy not a cornerback

One of the delights was watching wide receiver Roddy White play cornerback during the final practice.

He bit on tight end Michael Palmer’s inside move and gave up a sideline route before falling down.

The All-Pro receiver is not going to be a two-way player anytime soon.

Tight end puts on show

Palmer, the Parkview High and Clemson product, was a regular and received a lot of work at tight ends.

Tony Gonzalez did not make any of the sessions, and Justin Peelle made a few, so for the most part it was the “Michael Palmer Show” at tight end.

He caught nearly every pass thrown his way.

Douglas appears fully recovered

Wide receiver Harry Douglas battled back from knee surgery last season.

At the NFL scouting combine, coach Mike Smith noted that it could take a player an extra year to fully recover from major knee surgery.

Douglas attended regularly, ran extremely well and showed that explosiveness that he had as a rookie.

With Jones on board, and the continuing recovery of Kerry Meier, the wide receiver position is stacked.

Flowers for free agents

Linebacker Stephen Nicholas, kicker Matt Bryant and linebacker Mike Peterson, who all made some practices despite the fact they are free agents, garnered even more respect from their teammates. Nicholas attended regularly.