Falcons Rookie Minicamp: Morris, Penix Jr. And More Hit The Field

Today was rookie day at Flowery Branch.

The Atlanta Falcons had a packed house of press members for Rookie Minicamp, where thirteen new team hopefuls looking to join the team’s final roster get to show their capabilities to Falcons brass. That group included just-drafted quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who got to toss the ball around with his coaches and meet with the press afterwards.

But first, head coach Raheem Morris got the ball rolling by putting forward the objectives for today’s tryouts as well as providing updates on the team.

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The first question he was asked was about advice he would give Penix Jr. and the other rookies trying out for the team.

“Just be your best self,” he said. “Be the best version of yourself. That’s why we got you.”

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Morris addressed concerns about whether the team has confronted its pass-rush issues from past seasons.

“We’re not even close,” he said. “You talk about getting into the weeds of training camp, determining the things you can do to help your pass-rush.” He said he would evaluate the new players to see if they can help the team defensively.

Morris said part of getting the rookies acclimated to being part of the Falcons is helping them find their routine and rhythm, and he said that the veteran players are helping the coaching staff with the “onloading process” for the new players. He planned to have the new players get acclimated to the community and to develop them mentally and personally.

Updating the status on a couple of existing Falcons, Morris said of picking up the fifth-year option on tight end Kyle Pitts, “Getting a healthy Kyle Pitts gives you a really dynamic player that we believe in a lot,” he said. “If we can get this guy going, we know what this guy can do.” As for the team’s starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, Morris says he is “improving” and has been throwing the ball, however, he is limited in the amount of his throws. He adds Cousins is operating right on schedule.

Morris detailed what he was looking for in potential Falcon players. He stated although he’s patient, he does have standards for making sure mistakes made on the field don’t become repetitive.

“I’m gonna look for movement, I’m looking for intent, I’m looking for correcting those mistakes you make and how fast and quickly can you do it,” he said. “There’s no such thing as players that can’t learn what you do.”

After workouts with his coaches, Penix Jr. also spoke to the press. He said he is learning the ropes as the Falcons’ newest quarterback and is ready to help move the team forward.

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“I just want to improve each and every day,” Penix Jr. said.  “I just want to prove myself. I’ve been dreaming since I was a kid and now that I’m here I just want to continue to prove myself every day and just show not just myself but the team that I’m here to work and here to help this team win football games any way that I can.”

Penix Jr. said he and Cousins are on the same accord, which is winning games.

“We’re on the same team,” he said “You know, we got the same goals and that’s seen this team win football games, so you know for me is just being able to connect him, to get to know him as not just a player but a person as well.”

Newly drafted DT Ruke Orhorhoro said he was happy to be a Falcon.

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“It’s so nice man…It’s just so surreal just being out here you know,” he said. “To actually finally be here I feel man I’m just so grateful for that opportunity.”

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On a day for the rookies, the Falcons also announced the signing of sixth-round draft picks. Falcons Senior Reporter Tori McElhaney reported this afternoon that the team signed RB Jase McClellan (pick #186), WR Casey Washington (#187) and DT Zion Logue (#197) to rookie deals. Washington and Logue were at Minicamp, but McElhaney posted on X/Twitter that McClellan did not practice today (although he also attended minicamp) due to a pre-draft injury that he was recovering from.

Falcons press conferences

Raheem Morris

Michael Penix Jr., Ruke Orhorhoro, and others