Goodman, Rookies Eager For Next Steps

Goodman, Rookies Eager For Next Steps

Jay Adams

Published June 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM

We’re still weeks away from the first time the Falcons strap on pads and get a little more physical, and rookies like defensive end Malliciah Goodman are looking forward to the experience.

During rookie minicamp, OTAs and now veteran minicamp, the team has been in helmets only. Pads don’t come until 2013 Russell Athletic Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, and that will give the rookies their first taste of what hitting in the NFL is like.

“When you’re in just jerseys, you can’t shed like you want to shed or do things you want to do, so it’ll be a different step coming into training camp,” Goodman said.

PHOTOS: Minicamp Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Goodman said you can still get a good sense of the speed of the game without pads and working without them forces linemen on both sides of the ball to focus much more on technique and finesse, rather than just brute strength and physicality.

Another rookie, linebacker Brian Banks, is also eager to get pads on during training camp, if for nothing else than it marking the first time in more than 10 years that he’s had a chance to experience football physicality.

“I’m looking more forward to that than anything else, man,” Banks said. “To finally put on pads, to finally get physical out here — Steven Jackson is the same size as me. It makes no sense how big he is, but I can’t wait to go against him and everybody else. It’s time to go to work and compete and just live in the moment and have fun.”

Head coach Mike Smith is also eager to see the rookies in padded practices. Getting a true evaluation of talent and teaching needs, Smith said, can be difficult when players are just wearing helmets and jerseys.

The Falcons will hold approximately 10 padded practices during 2013 Russell Athletic Training Camp, and the first chance to see players truly hit will be Friday, Aug. 2 during Kia Motors Friday Night Lights at Gainesville High School.

“We can evaluate what our players know mentally, but the physical play, this is non-contact in the offseason and they’re going to be competing in pads (during training camp),” Smith said.

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