Falcons Defense Rules the Roost in First Scrimmage


Getty Running back Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by linebacker Foye Oluokun #54 and strong safety Damontae Kazee #27 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The NFL will have zero preseason games this season, but that isn’t going to stop the Falcons from getting some “real-game” work in.

On Thursday the Falcons had their first intra-squad scrimmage with plans for more to come. This week both defensive sides stole the show, according to Falcons team reporter Will McFadden who had a front-row seat. No surprise there considering the Falcons planned to light some fire in their defense this offseason.

“Overall, it was a strong showing for the defense,” McFadden wrote. “The starting defense did not give up any points and only ceded a handful of big plays – most of them coming courtesy of Julio Jones. The second- and third-team defense only gave up one big run that resulted in the only touchdown scored by either team.”

McFadden added that Thursday’s scrimmage was a great start for getting a peek at what 2020 might look like.

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Walker Continues to Show Out

Falcons rookie Mykal Walker is deflecting passes left and right. Yesterday, Walker had the highlight of the day trending for Falcons and today he did it once again.

Dan Quinn emphasized this offseason that he wants to force more turnovers and the defense reiterated that perfectly today.

McFadden said Matt Ryan’s passes looked precise per usual, but Calvin Ridley lost control over the ball which led to Foye Oluokun scooping up the ball.

And the second-team offense could barely get a drive before Walker intercepted a tipped ball off of Blidi Wreh-Wilson. This makes the third interception Walker has gotten his hands on.

Younghoe Koo Missed a Field Goal???

According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, who also caught some of today’s scrimmage, said that Dan Quinn had no plans for some kicking competition for Yonghoe Koo this offseason. Well..that was until he missed a 49-yarder today, which could have cause his mind to change.

That’s not the Koo we know, but at least it was just practice.

Matt Hennessy Opened at Left Guard

It seems like rookie Matt Hennessy may have won the left guard starting position. Hennessy opened at left guard for the first-team offense.

The second-team offensive line consisted of left tackle Matt Gono, left guard James Carpenter, center Sean Harlow, right guard Justin McCray, and right tackle John Wetzel.

Well, it looks more like its a battle between Carpenter and Hennesy and who outplays the other in these scrimmages.

More Scrimmages to Come

Quinn said last month he is going to do anything he can for these guys to get some competitive play in so, that means there’s plenty of more exciting highlights, like today’s, to come.

“We’re going to try create some moments that are situation-specific that will be non-scripted to do the very best we can to create a game-like situation,” Quinn said on a video call with local media. “A scrimmage, so to speak. So, we’ll do as many of those leading up to the season as we can. That’s the first step to it: To provide moments where it’s not scripted – you don’t know the play – let’s go match up and see how we do. We’re going to try to make as many competitive moments as we can, especially for the players that need a lot of evaluations.”

The scrimmages will give undrafted free agents a chance to showcase their talents before being cut and give coaches a strong taste of where they’re at on offense and defense.

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