Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn says running

  • FLOWERY BRANCH Jaylon Ferguson Jersey , Ga. (AP) —  Devonta Freeman and safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen are still on the mend and that he believes each of the injured starters will be ready for the start of training camp.Freeman has missed 16 games since signing the NFL’s richest contract for a running back before the start of the 2017 season. Neal tore his ACL in the opener last year and was out the rest of the season. Allen tore his Achilles tendon two weeks later.Freeman has had head, knee and groin injuries over the last two years. The Falcons ranked 27th in rushing last year, one of seven teams not to average 100 yards per game.Quinn indicated at a rookie mini-camp Saturday that Freeman, who had season-ending groin surgery last October, is closest of the three to returning for a mandatory mini-camp next month.“We can’t wait to get Free back,” Quinn said. “He’s having such an awesome offseason. His energy and him being around the team, you feel what he brings. It’s been awesome having him part of the offseason program. When you get the team out here this spring, I think you’ll feel some energy at running back with Free leading the way.”Neal and Allen are the two leaders of a secondary that contributed to the Falcons’ ranking 25th in scoring defense and 27th against the pass. Atlanta missed their ball skills, too, as the defense recovered only four fumbles.“Keke and Rico both are really pushing it from a rehab and competitive side Quinnen Williams Jersey ,” Quinn said. “Big shocker. Two of our most competitive guys. They are really determined and detailed and they’re off to excellent starts with their process.”The goal for Neal and Allen is to be ready for training camp in late July.“If they continue to hit the markers that they are, I think that would be more than realistic,” Quinn said.Notes: Quinn liked the versatility he saw from cornerback Kendall Sheffield, a third-round draft pick from Ohio State, and running back Qadree Ollison, a fifth-round pick from Pittsburgh. Both have to earn several roles on special teams and provide depth at their regular positions. … Approximately 30 undrafted college free agents had tryouts while working alongside the draft class the last two days. … The Falcons begin offseason training activities for the entire roster on May 23. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After focusing on upgrading the team’s overall speed the past few NFL drafts, don’t be surprised if the Carolina Panthers look to add bulk up front this year.The Panthers have needs at left tackle and defensive end following the retirement of Julius Peppers and the release of Matt Kalil. Carolina struggled to protect quarterback Cam Newton last season while the pass rush fell off — two major reasons Carolina finished 7-9.Panthers general manager Marty Hurney predictably didn’t offer many clues to the team’s upcoming draft plans, but said he likes what he sees from both positions in this year’s class.“It’s a strong group up top and it’s a deep group,” Hurney said of the defensive linemen available.Hurney also predicted there will be a handful of offensive linemen who’ll be selected in the first round http://www.cowboyscheapauthenticstore.com/trysten-hill-jersey-cheap , and said that the group is strong overall.After Kalil was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury last summer, Carolina brought in journeyman Chris Clark to play left tackle before turning to Marshall Newhouse later in the season. The Panthers re-signed right tackle Daryl Williams this offseason, a move that could potentially mean Taylor Moton will shift to left tackle.But if someone such as Washington State’s Andre Dillard or Florida’s Jawaan Taylor falls to No. 16, the Panthers may head in that direction. Carolina hasn’t drafted an offensive tackle in the first round since Jeff Otah in 2008.On the other side of the ball, the Panthers signed veteran pass rusher Bruce Irvin to a one-year deal, but he’s not viewed as the long-term answer opposite Mario Addison. Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell, Michigan’s Rashan Gary and Florida State’s Brian Burns are potential options with the 16th pick that could help fill the void left by Peppers’ departure.“It’s a good class of edge rushers,” coach Ron Rivera said. “We feel really good about the guys we have seen.”Some things to watch for the Panthers in the NFL draft:NEWTON’S SUCCESSORHurney sounded optimistic about Newton’s recovery, saying the 2015 league MVP is gaining more range of motion in his surgically repaired right shoulder. However, Newton hasn’t thrown a football yet.Newton has two years left on his contract Jachai Polite Jersey , and it’s possible the team could start looking for a long-term replacement.“Our philosophy is you have to develop young quarterbacks,” Hurney said.One potential option outside of the first round is West Virginia’s Will Grier, who grew up in Huntersville, North Carolina, — about 20 miles north of where the Panthers play their home games. The Panthers have met extensively with Grier this offseason.SAFETY DANCEThe Panthers re-signed Eric Reid to a big contract earlier this offseason, but the other safety spot remains up in the air after the team parted ways with veteran Mike Adams earlier this offseason.Rashaan Gaulden, a third-round pick in 2018, and Da’Norris Searcy are potential replacements, but if the Panthers can find a safety with a knack for causing turnovers in the second or third rounds there is a real chance they could fill that need.REPLACING OLSENGreg Olsen has been a magnificent player for the Panthers, but the three-time 1 Chuma Edoga Jersey ,000-yard receiver has struggled to stay on the field the past two seasons because of foot injuries. All signs are Olsen will be back for another season, but at some point the team will need to look to replace the 34-year-old tight end.Carolina drafted Ian Thomas last year with the 101st overall pick and the jury is still out on whether he can develop into Olsen’s heir apparent. But don’t rule out the team grabbing another tight end at some point during the draft.McCAFFREY’S BACKUPNo running back in the NFL was on the field more last season than Christian McCaffrey. And while Rivera still believes McCaffrey has a chance to reach 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a season, he’d like to lessen his role just a little bit.The Panthers have Cameron Artis-Payne coming off the bench, but a back with a similar skillset to McCaffrey — fast, shifty and multi-talented — would be ideal.TEPPER’S TIMEThis will be new owner David Tepper’s first NFL draft since purchasing the Panthers for $2.2 billion last summer, and he’s been heavily involved in the team’s draft process.“He’s very excited and Ron and I communicate with him every day,” Hurney said. “He’s looking forward to being in the draft room. He’s dropped in on our meetings with scouts and has a good feel” for the draft.