The Atlanta Falcons played their annual Friday Night Lights game at Buford High School (Buford, GA) last night. Head Coach Dan Quinn enjoyed his first taste of connecting with Atlanta Falcons fans.
Dan Quinn likes how much the Southeast loves its football, from high school to college, all the way up to the professional level. Coach Quinn enjoyed his time back in a familiar place in Buford, GA as he was in charge of recruiting that area when he was a member of the Florida Gators staff several years ago.
Friday Night Lights is always a big turnout for the Atlanta community. It’s many of the fans first time to see some of the new players on their favorite team, whether they’re rookies or veteran free agent acquisitions. Fans enjoy watching a few drills before the night finishes in a full contact scrimmage.
Players that shined last night for the Atlanta Falcons were Desmond Trufant, Justin Hardy, and Antone Smith. Trufant made a great interception in the scrimmage that got everybody out of their seats at Buford High School.
Part of what will get Desmond Trufant to that next level of being an elite NFL cornerback is to elevate his ballhawking ability. He does a great job already of containing his man in coverage. Perhaps his pick in Friday Night Lights is a sign of good things to come from Trufant in 2015.
Justin Hardy continues to have strong performances in practice for the Atlanta Falcons. Outside of Thursday’s practice where Offensive Coordinator let him have it after a series of poorly run routes, he rebounded nicely and played well in last night’s scrimmage.
I’ve called Justin Hardy the steal of the draft for the Atlanta Falcons, but if he plays like he has practiced thus far in Training Camp, he might have been the steal of the entire 2015 NFL Draft, falling all the way to the Atlanta Falcons in the 4th round.
With both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman unable to take part in last night’s event, veteran RB Antone Smith stole the show with his breakaway speed we all have come to love. He’s back from his season-ending leg injury. A fully healthy Antone Smith gives Kyle Shanahan’s offense that lightning in a bottle type of back that can break a 20+ yard run in every game he plays.
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Besides Coleman and Freeman, LB Brooks Reed and DE Cliff Matthews were unable to play tonight. FS Charles Godfrey had to leave the scrimmage early because of a cut on his head. Outside of those five players, Atlanta got out of Friday Night Lights pretty much unscathed. The fans got to see what they wanted and the coaching staff got to see their time in live-action situations without any serious injuries.
Overall, the 2015 Atlanta Falcons’ Friday Night Lights was an overwhelming success. The culture change is real in Flowery Branch and fans are so eager to see some Atlanta Falcons football. Their first preseason game happens next week at the Georgia Dome when our Atlanta Falcons host Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. Football is here! Until next time, Rise Up!
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