FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Atlanta Falcons training camp:
It was interesting watching the pass-rushers continue their development under fiery defensive line coach Bryan Cox and outside linebackers coach Mark Collins. Players such as Jonathan Massaquoi, rookies Ra'Shede Hageman and Jacques Smith, and Malliciah Goodman showed some nice rush moves against various offensive linemen in one-on-one drills. Goodman took Terren Jones to the ground on one play. Hageman did nice work with getting his hands up toward the quarterback while rushing inside. There was spirited competition all-around between the offensive and defensive lines and pass-rushers.
"You can see it's very competitive in a number of areas, the areas that we kind of been discussing all offseason," coach Mike Smith said. "We get through one more day tomorrow and we'll get an opportunity to really evaluate these linemen when we get into the pads."
Veteran newcomer Josh Wilson continued to work as the primary nickel back ahead of incumbent Robert McClain and Javier Arenas. Don't read too much into yet, however. Smith said all three players should get a chance to be the primary nickel during the exhibition games, so it's an open competition now. It also makes sense to get Wilson more work because he's not as familiar with the defense as McClain.
"It's a competitive situation,'' Smith said of the nickel spot. ``We're going to give about three guys the same amount of reps. ... It's tough because 65, 67 percent is going to be your sub and the other 35, 33 are going to be base. Those guys are going to have to show what they can do in a little different situation. It's not like they're going out there and getting all the snaps that we're going to run in our training camp.''
Speedy Bernard Reedy continues to impress as an undrafted receiver. He seems to catch any ball within his range with ease and has a second gear that helps him explode by defenders. ``Yes, Bernard is very fast,'' Smith said. ``He's got elite speed. He ran by some guys yesterday. He's got a better understanding of what we're trying to do. I think he's definitely one of those guys who's going to be in the mix for a roster spot. We know we have our big three (Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas), Devin Hester, Drew Davis coming back. We've got to make a decision on our 53-man roster, whether we're going to have five or six wide receivers.''
Smith reiterated the plan with Julio Jones, who was held out of Saturday's practice as a precaution coming off foot surgery. He'll take every other day off for the first week of camp and be evaluated. Jones only did agility drills on a side field during Saturday's practice. And outside linebacker Kroy Biermann (Achilles) will be off Sunday as part of the two days on, one day off schedule he's on. A couple of those days fall on days off, so Biermann will miss just one true day of practice.
Desmond Trufant put in extra time after practice working on his skills. He continued to line up at right cornerback. ... Hester drew the biggest reaction of the day while catching a deep ball in one-on-on drills. ... Rookie linebacker Prince Shembo made a nice deflection of a T.J. Yates pass that earned praise from his veteran teammates. ... The Falcons signed wide receiver Jabin Sambrano to fill the roster void left after receiver Darius Johnson was waived. Johnson told the team he had enough of football and was considering coaching at his college, SMU, as a grad assistant.