Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn works with his defensive line during NFL football training camp Thursday, July 27, 2017, in Flowery Branch, Ga.
Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore
Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore

What Dan Quinn had to say on the first day of training camp 

Opening Statement:
“It feels good to be back on the field with the team. Right away I can sense the work they put in over the summer, and I’m not surprised they put that work in. As we got back into our team stuff, we did a good bit of move the ball today just as a competition. Let’s get the coaches off, make some calls, and let them adjust on their own. So the retention from what we had and built on some of the time through the spring to now was good. We highlighted the players in the spring to say ‘Here’s a couple of things specifically you need to work on individually’. And then now here in training camp, it’s everything we could do to get our team better. We have a really clear vision of how we’d like our football to look come September. We have a hell of a long way to go to get to that spot. But, today was a good first day in that start. I’m glad to open it up to questions regarding training camp.”

On how Takk McKinley did today:
“We have three players that are limited right now, meaning they do our night walkthrough, they do the individual skill parts, and some group periods that aren’t full speed. Those three players are Julio Jones, Taylor Gabriel, and Takk McKinley. They’ll probably go through that for a few days and make sure they get back up and then we’ll work them in next week into the full team periods, or at least that’s the goal heading in.”

On whether he got a chance to see how McKinley looked:
“I did and he really put the work in over the summer. When you’re a little bit behind and don’t get to get here to do some of the skill work, based on colleges around the quarters, you don’t get some of the knowledge. Over the summer you can tell he applied himself and put the work in from a rehab standpoint. He looks very strong and we’re just going to take him one step at a time. We’ll take it through this first block and then the guys get a day off and then we come back and go for it again.”

On how he evaluated Julio Jones’ work today:
“I didn’t check on him specifically today. He’s communicated with me over the summer the running that he’s done. I think he felt good on most of his cuts. He’s such a specific guy. There’s certain things that may bother and certain ones that won’t. So we’re going to work through those and make sure he’s getting the routes and the timing with Matt Ryan, especially during the individual and the group periods. And then when we can get him in with the team stuff, we will. But, he’ll participate in the walkthrough portions too to make sure he’s staying on top of the install parts.”

On how McKinley did in drills using his right arm:
“I was real optimistic seeing him. He looked real normal. With any player that comes back from an injury, it’s like ‘Ok, I got to go through this and make it feel good again’. The fact that he has confidence, and how he put the work in during the rehab portion, allows him to have that confidence. We’re pleased with the first day.”

On why they brought in Andreas Knappe and how he’s played so far:
“He did a good job at University of Connecticut and really had experience playing tackle. He has size and length and we knew he had the work ethic to go with it. We’re going to work like crazy to develop him. He’s not behind in terms of any other rookie. He worked so hard at Connecticut to get up to speed. We are pleased with him so far. This next month is a big one for the offensive linemen. At some positions, you can develop your skill on air or throwing and catching. At this specific position, it’s about the contact too and that will be a big part for him over the next month.”

On if he has taken any special approaches in the offseason and how the players have responded:
“We did our due diligence over the spring to make sure we could recapture our mindset of how hard we have to work to get right. Once we’re here in training camp, how good can this team get. That’s really where our focus is. We know so many things that we can get better at and when they push each other like they do, they’ve created this environment that they push each other and hold each other accountable. When you’re in that kind of environment every day, it kind of fuels you to be at your best. You don’t want to let the guy right next to you down or the guy you’re going to compete against. I think more than anything it’s the environment that the players have created here based on the work where if you’re not doing that you kind of stick out like a sore thumb. So more than anything it’s that work. You better be ready to battle.”

On how closely he is watching Desmond Trufant:
“The fact that he got cleared at the end of minicamp was good so then we knew he had a really long window over the summer to get ready. He took about half the reps today and then we’ll go three quarters over the next day or two and then back to everything. But, his speed, his strength and his ability to be in it and go for it was good. I thought honestly the same thing for Adrian Clayborn as well. He got a chance to get back in and get in the mix. For those two guys, they’ve put a lot of work in in the offseason, one with a bicep and one with a back. You’ve got to go in there and test it on a player, and I was glad to see those guys do that today.”

On whether it was difficult for Trufant when the team caught fire at the end of last season:
“Yeah, I’ve talked to him about it almost every day. Part of the reason we had so much success was because of men like Trufant and Clayborn because of the work they put in. We tried to show them that gratitude to know that part of the team’s success is because of the work they put in.”

On Tevin Coleman’s development as a receiver and how that makes him a threat:
“It definitely makes him a threat. It’s because of a couple of things. One, we have confidence in him to catch it. He’s really worked hard in establishing his receiving skills. Our evaluation of him was could he really fit in well with the one cut system where he could press up against the line of scrimmage and then accelerate and go. And then he added the other part of it with it. It’s his long speed that can really create some matchups. He can fly. So when a linebacker or safety is there, you better be on your game.”

On whether Coleman is an example of a player that they try to develop in new ways during camp:
“He is and he’s had to put the work in to make sure that’s a role he can do. So just because you’re trying it doesn’t mean you excel at it. He had to put the work in. A lot of time and routes to get to that spot. We’re very encouraged. We feel like guys who go from year one to year two make a significant jump in the league and we also feel that guys who go from two years to three years make a significant jump. I do feel like Coleman is going to be one of those players that’s going to make that jump. They get more experience as they go through it. So for a number of the second year guys, they’ve played in over 40 games over the last two years. They’re gaining more confidence in their game. He’s one that we’re excited about and we think can make a big jump this year.”

On how Dontari Poe has fit in:
“He has right from the very beginning. He’s an excellent teammate and right off the bat there’s this connection that has started between him and Grady Jarrett right down in the middle of it all. He came back in terrific shape. You can tell just by looking at him that he’s fit and ready to go. We’re proud of the work he put in since he’s arrived here as a Falcon.”

On the competition at right guard:
“The competition at right guard was good. Today really wasn’t where we feature Sean Harlow. Ben Garland started the whole thing off and then Wes Schweitzer and those guys will rotate through. We’ll also put some guys inside at center and see. Both of those guys are going to play guard and center all the way through camp. Some days one will be a guard and one will be a center. Some days we’ll have them both at guard. Chris Morgan is going to be real deliberate in how he’s creating those reps. It’s going to be a while before someone steps up there and the reason being is that the position is so much about having the contact and the tension that goes along when you have pads.”

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