Miami and Buffalo are the first two opponents the Falcons will play in the preseason. Quinn made it clear that the decision isn’t final and will only depend on how the coronavirus affects the return of the season.
“As far as the timing regarding doing some scrimmaging [with] some other teams, the two teams that we spoke to way back in the offseason were Miami and Buffalo,” Quinn said. “And so if those guidelines are in place that we’re able to, we will. And then obviously if they’re not, we won’t.”
Here’s What the Falcons Know
Quinn gave ESPN the game plan for Atlanta as they navigate through the pandemic restrictions.
“A lot of people have been talking about what we don’t know or what we’re not able to do,” Quinn said. “But I’d like to start today with just the opposite and fill you in or what we do know and what we have started doing.
“The virtual offseason program, we’ve had three weeks that we’ve met with the veterans. This past weekend, we actually had our rookie minicamp – virtual, some on Microsoft teams, some on Zoom. And then this week will be a week totally devoted to the rookies. The veterans have off this week from the virtual program. … And then, beginning May 18, we’ll put everybody together as one group.”
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Georgia First to Open
Georgia’s governor Kemp has opened up the state with precautions but announced bars, clubs, concerts, etc. will be open on May 31st.
This means the Falcons practice facility in Flowery Branch will be allowed to open. However, Quinn said he agrees with what Mike Tomlin told ESPN last week and he will not open the facility until all team facilities can open.
“I prescribe to the approach of competitive fairness within our game, and that is everybody gets an opportunity,” Tomlin said in a conference call with reporters Saturday. “Our game is extremely competitive. It’s one of the things that make football at this level so attractive to our fans. I’m committed to preserving and protecting that, and so all teams getting an opportunity to start on the same footing is a core element of that.”
Why the NFL Has Joint Practices?
Joint practices have become common over the past few years.
2014 is the last time the Falcons held joint practices for HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” The Tennesse Titans came to Atlanta and then the Falcons flew to Houston to train with the Texans.
When you bring in another team to your turf or you go to theirs, it’s a completely new environment. Now, you aren’t just practicing against your own teammates, you’re trying even harder. It’s a great way to increase the level of competition and makes practice into a more realistic scenario. It’s also the best way to get rookies thrown into action before game day.
The Falcons 2020 preseason schedule is due to host the Dolphins in Atlanta between August 13 to 17 and then the Falcons head to Buffalo between August 20 to 24.