Joint practice report: Kyle Pitts in redzone, Geronimo Allison fights for spot, nickel position intrigue

Florham Park, NJ – After the Falcons’ second joint practice with the Jets Saturday morning, Arthur Smith said he got a kick out of the notes from Friday’s practice that he saw circulating social media and the media once said the practice was wrapped.

“I had a good comedy and read some of the observations from yesterday,” Smith said after Saturday’s practice.

From a head coach, that’s a comment that makes sense. What many outsiders looking in may not realize is 1) how scripted these drills are, and 2) how far from 100 percent players actively go. Sure, it’s nice to see teams face off against their own teammates, and the bickering makes it interesting, but as for what you can actually learn from these drills? Smith said to take everything you see with a grain of salt.

Smith used the example of working designed runs in the red zone.

“It’s hard to measure the runs because you know we’re not tackling, so you drive it down there and is it on the two? Or did he score? They’re subjective,” Smith said. “That’s why I appreciate our staff. They could go down and yell every play like a cheerleader with a pom-pom that you scored, but it’s all situational stuff taken with a grain of salt.”

This grain of salt becomes a pinch when you take the pads off, which both teams did in Saturday’s practice. Asked why he and Jets head coach Robert Saleh didn’t want to go two days of padded joint practices, Smith said Saleh came to him when he broke down their schedule for the week.

“He just asked me because a lot of times you look at the second day (of joint practice) and the injury rate tends to be higher,” Smith said. “We thought it was best for both teams if we could get that working so we can work coverage.”

Even with just shells, let’s still review the Falcons and Jets final practice before Monday night’s game.

Notes, observations from practice:

Notes, observations from practice:

Notes, observations from practice:

The battle for the spot continues: A couple of the best defensive plays for the Falcons during Saturday’s practice came in the spot. In 7-on-7, Mike Ford had two passes, ripping the ball out of the Jets receiver’s arms for one. Then, during an 11-on-11 period with both teams working from inside the 10-yard line, Isaiah Oliver picked off a pass from Denzel Mims as he tried to complete a catch in the back of the end zone. Read also : The dynasty that is Central Cheerleading. Ford continues to get the majority of first-team spot reps, with Dee Alford working sparingly. Oliver remains with the second- and third-team defense.

Special teams additions: We’ve talked a lot about Jared Bernhardt’s play at wide receiver, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that he’s getting some notable reps on special teams. Early in practice, Bernhardt spent an entire period playing points. He was also back in the kickoff period, coming in behind Avery Williams and Cameron Batson as Cordarrelle Patterson looked on. Bernhardt continues to be one to watch this preseason.

Drake London Update: No, he didn’t practice on Saturday.

Who’s on the bubble?: When it comes to the five or six receiver spots open on the 53-man roster (to be cut in 10 days, one might add), Geronimo Allison continues to catch my eye. He got more reps with Marcus Mariota on Saturday and looked like he could be a good fit for one of the coveted receiver spots if he continues. Like many receivers vying for those spots (Frank Darby, Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate, to name a few), the next two games of the preseason will be important for Allison to establish himself in the offense.

A teachable moment: In one of the 11-on-11 periods where the offense was set up inside the 10-yard line, Desmond Ridder tried to hit Feleipe Franks over the top of the defense. With Will Parks covering, both he and Franks went up for the ball. It was a perfectly placed ball, but an even better play by Parks to get his hand on it before it landed in Frank’s hands. After practice, the two met again on another court to talk about the game. Parks showed Franks his hand placement and the two worked through the route itself and the overall game. It was a moment that wasn’t seen by many since practice had been over for a while, but it was still an interesting moment to see a veteran safety work with a rookie tight end.

KP shines in 7-on-7 redzone work: In the same period that Oliver broke up Mims’ pass, the offense worked from inside the 10 on another field. Most notable? Mariota walked Kyle Pitts twice in that span. Both were touchdowns.

Seeing Pitts with more touchdowns next to his name in 2022 is something many fans — and likely Falcons coaches — want to see.

Situational Work Closes Practice Again: On Friday, we took you through the final practice period, which was a two-minute drill for both teams’ first and second teams. Saturday, the format was the same, but the focus was more on redzone work, starting at the 25 yard line. Here are some quick notes from the last 10 minutes of practice:

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota #1 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons inside linebacker Nathan Landman #55 and linebacker Troy Andersen #44 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons fans during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota #1 and quarterback Desmond Ridder #4 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Overall view from the Victory Tree during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Slow-shutter view at the line of scrimmage during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Lorenzo Carter #9 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Geronimo Allison #82 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Kuony Deng #52 and defensive tackle Abdullah Anderson #65 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta falcon)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo #7 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons free safety Dean Marlowe #21 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons tight end John FitzPatrick #87 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson #84 and running back Damien Williams #6 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falke )

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Casey Hayward #29 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson #84 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Matt Hankins #43 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

A view of the Jets signage during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts #8 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier #25 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison #30 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Players walk off the field after joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Feleipe Franks #15 throws the ball during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

A view of an Atlanta Falcons helmet during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

View of New York Jets quarterback Mike White #5 from the Atlanta Falcons sideline during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falke )

Shanna Lockwood/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons running back Avery Williams #35 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

A view of a huddle during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson #68 during joint practice with the New York Jets at the New York Jets Training Facility in Florham Park, New Jersey on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Photo by Mitch Martin/Atlanta Falcons)

Mitch Martin/© 2022 Atlanta Falcons

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