Atlanta Falcons’ first-round pick in this year’s draft A.J. Terrell had his first official practice in Flowery Branch yesterday. Today, he addressed the media after day two practice and is determined to make a difference on defense.
According to Falcons’ team reporter Kelsey Conway, Terrell said he hopes to add more juice to the Falcons defense and has plans to create more turnovers.
With the absence of Desmond Trufant and a young cornerback, Terrell will be expected to step up early.
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Terrell is Coachable
It didn’t take long for Terrell to impress Falcons’ defensive coordinator Raheem Morris over the virtual offseason.
“Going through a couple of weeks with us and listening to him talk to either [secondary coach] Joe Whitt or [defensive assistant] Chad Walker, he was able to teach back the defense, whichever one was asked of him,” Morris told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. “I think A.J.’s attention to detail, his ability to listen and retain information and being able to spit it back out to coaches is what impresses us probably the most already. We all had tests. We all had different online things. We all had different ventures and different avenues of ways to test a guy, and his attention to detail was excellent.
The Falcons allowed 9.5 yards per attempt on passes to wide receivers last season which was second-worst in the league. Morris hopes the addition of Terrell and the other rookie defenders will change that.
Morris Liked Terrell’s Championship Appearance the Most
To some, this game made Terrell not look like a first-round pick. However, to Morris, the LSU game was a great depiction of Terrell’s character. He pointed out the fact that Terrell never gave up while he was in the spotlight.
“The things that people didn’t like about him was his LSU game that he got beat on a couple of times, but that was what made me like him probably the most,” Morris said via Falcons website. “In that game, I saw a guy go out there and challenge a guy. Get beat, not be afraid, make a play. Get beat, not be afraid, make a play.”
Right off of the bat, Terrell struggled to defend LSU’s star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase allowing him to catch a 52-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
Terrell was covering him one-on-one for the most part and nearly everyone who had to cover Chase last season was beaten by him. Terrell took on the challenge and kept trying play after play which is why Morris is so enthused by his competitiveness.
A New First Impression
People tend to hang on to first impressions but Terrell is getting a fresh start come September.
Terrell plans on bringing consistency to Atlanta and told ESPN which opponent he looks forward to facing the most.
“Anybody, you know just going in there and competing with any WR in the league, Terrell said. “I don’t have one WR in particular, just going into each game and just compete against everybody in the same way.’’
What he doesn’t plan on bringing are the mistakes he made on January 13.
“You have to have a short-term memory regarding the struggles in the national title game.”