Roddy White, Arian Foster (middle) and Andre Johnson. From AJC.com
Let’s take a look at the various tweets, articles, reports, news and rumors that surfaced from the 15th day of Atlanta Falcons training camp earlier today:
The Falcons held combined practices with the Houston Texans today in Houston. Much of the focus centered on the battles in the trenches, where Falcons linemen faced Texans pass-rushers in J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
Left tackle Sam Baker fared pretty well when going against the rookie Clowney, although they had a bit of a back and forth.
Rookie right tackle Jake Matthews was able to go against both Clowney and Watt. Matthews had his Hall of Fame father, Bruce and other family members on hand to witness the action. Jake’s little brother Luke, might be following the family tradition.
Not to be left out of the action, backup right tackle Ryan Schraeder seemed to also relish his opportunities to square off with Clowney. Left guard Justin Blalock on the other hand, did not fare quite as well against Watt, getting beat a couple of times. Blalock was not alone, as his backup Mike Johnson also struggled.
Along with the Matthews family, several local Falcon players had the support of nearby family members at practice including defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and running back Jacquizz Rodgers. Linebacker Joplo Bartu will have a family reunion of sorts at Saturday’s game against the Texans.
Outside the trenches, the Falcons-Texans practice featured a few new Falcons mixing it up with a few former Falcons. Fullback Maurice Hagens is making his bid for a roster spot by getting after it with linebacker Akeem Dent. Matthews also go to work against defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.
Running back Devonta Freeman is showing strides in pass protection, the key to unlocking more playing time this season.
Free safety Dwight Lowery also got to mix it up with some real contact after missing time with a concussion.
The team also welcomed back Tim Dobbins against his former team today. Dobbins had missed the past few days with an ankle injury suffered in the Falcons win over the Miami Dolphins last Friday night.
Jay Adams has the usual five things we learned from practice.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN has the skinny on other noteworthy observations from today’s session.
On the opposite side of the coin, ESPN Texans blog writer Tania Ganguli noticed how a few Texans corners matched up against Falcons wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. As far as Texans fans are concerned, today’s practice saw the return of several key players. That includes Falcons quarterback T.J. Yates, who is still loved by a segment of Texans fans. The Texans also put out video of today’s practice.