A New Attitude in Atlanta

The Falcons finally opened up their two-week passing camp earlier this week. The new owner, Arthur Blank, has also brought along many new things with him, including a new defensive coordinator, a new starting quarterback, and a new starting running back. Does that give this team a new attitude?

You bet it does.

After the watching the first two days of the passing camp it was easy to see that they also have a new and improved approach to the game.

I haven't seen the birds with this much spirit since their magical run to the Super Bowl in '98. If the first two days of the passing camp are indicative of things to come, Falcon fans will definitively be pleased on Sundays this season.

The Falcons have four young quarterbacks, Vick, Doug Johnson, and rookies Dusty Bonner and Kurt Kittner. All four qb's have looked sharp during the first two days of camp. If they all continue to look good don't be surprised if the birds keep all four, designating one to the practice squad.

The biggest concern for Atlanta coming into camp has to be the wide receiver spot. The Falcons, however, appear to be content with their current group of receivers. Many inside the organization think that the current group is much better than most people think.

Veteran cornerback Ray Buchanan has also been pleasantly surprised with the receivers. "We really do right now have four good wide receivers if not five that are real solid," said Buchanan when asked about the receivers.

Those receivers have indeed shined during the first two days of camp. Alvis Whitted has shown great separation speed, he should give the birds some much-needed quickness at the receiver spot.

Travis McGriff and rookie R.J. English have also looked great. TE Alge Crumpler has also been impressive and he made the catch of the day on Tuesday, snagging a pass with one hand on a crossing pattern from quarterback Dusty Bonner.

The running back combination of T.J. Duckett and Warrick Dunn has also looked good thus far. More specifically, Duckett has looked great catching the ball out of the backfield, an area in which many felt he needed to improve.

The birds' camp seems to be full of energy this year. Last season, at times it seemed as if the team was lifeless but Mr. Blank has brought a new attitude to Flowery Branch.

The defensive unit is especially excited with the hiring of Phillips. It appears that the birds will be switching to a 3-4 defense and that has Buchanan excited. "I'm very excited about Wade, he's taking a lot of pressure off of us with the defense that he's bringing."

The bottomline here is that the Falcons will be a more aggressive team this year, and much more exciting.

When you come to the Georgia Dome to watch them this year, don't expect to see what you saw last season; well everything except the uniforms will be the same. The birds have a new owner, some new players, and some new coaches, but most of all those new faces will be accompanied by a "NEW ATTITUDE."

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