The nationwide lockdown has made the NFL offseason a bit of an obstacle when it comes to working out with fellow teammates. However, a handful of Atlanta Falcons have managed to meet up and get some drills in.
“Been able to get out to some fields, limited times obviously, but a couple of days and get with other guys and with receivers and kind of work the techniques and things like that,” Oliver said during a video conference call. “We definitely have been doing that these last few weeks, and I’m looking forward to getting some more of that in.”
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Getting Competitive in Quarantine
Olive said that the workouts aren’t too structures but the guys have been getting pretty competitive. They have been doing some one-on-one, individual drills, and seven-on-seven workouts.
“Haven’t been out there with Matt (Ryan),” Oliver said. “The receivers really, Devin Gray, Olamide (Zaccheaus), Christian Blake, Russell Gage, Rid (Calvin Ridley), all of those guys (have been there).”
Defensive backs Damontae Kazee, Chris Cooper, and Jordan Miller have also joined the receivers and Oliver to give each other practice.
“We’ve gotten together a couple of times,” Oliver said. “It’s been good. We’ve been trying to make it feel as normal as possible.
“Kind of trying to go through the same things that we would be doing if we able to be at the facility.”
A Virtual Offseason
This is an offseason that nobody has ever seen before, but the Falcons are learning to adjust to the limitations and have created a virtual offseason.
“It’s definitely been very different for sure, but something that I feel like we’ve adjusted to just as a unit, as a team and then as a defensive-back group,” Oliver said.
The coaches have come together to make point-of-attack tapes for every single player and what they should focus on working on during this offseason.
“My point-of-attack tape, the biggest thing was connecting my hands and feet at the line of scrimmage so that I can press technique and things like that,” Oliver said. “I’ve really been working on that.”
A New DB Coach in Town
The Falcons had a rough first half of the season last year but stepped it up in the final eight games. Oliver played a huge part in that turnaround.
Not only did the Falcons step up their defensive depth this offseason, but they hired a new defensive backs coach, Joe Whitt Jr. Oliver is looking forward to learning from the former Cleveland Browns coach.
“He’s coached a lot of really good DBs,” Oliver said. “A lot of guys that weren’t necessarily supposed to be good DBs, but ended up being really good DBs, if that makes sense.”
Coach Whitt has one thing one his mind for this upcoming season—interceptions.