Every team is a Super Bowl contender during training camp, at least that's what the local media in each NFL town seems to think. Puff pieces about teams/players/coaches often read something like, "[Player X] is poised to have a career year because he's getting over [ailment/personal tragedy/weight issues/immaturity]. He will have a key role in [Team Y] making [playoffs/Super Bowl] after last season's [surprise/disappointment]."
To celebrate the brimming positivity being felt by each of the NFL's 32 fanbases, this month Shutdown Corner will take a team-by-team look at the flowery and buoyant prose being written by local columnists and writers, and the hopeful quotes of players and coaches in our daily feature, Camp Sunshine. Today, the Atlanta Falcons, whose hometown newspaper is the picture of Camp Sunshine perfection.
You should see him in the Elizabethean period:
He was particularly effective in the redzone period.
Didn't you learn anything from Love Day?
In two years under [general manager Thomas] Dimitroff, this team has never entered training camp loving the DB's it had. This time is different. This time the Falcons might wind up shedding somebody they like because they have a surplus.
Dunta Robinson(notes), the key acquisition of this offseason, is set at one corner spot. (He has missed time with a tender hamstring, but the Falcons maintain they're not worried one bit. On the contrary, they're making him sit out as a precaution.) [Sitting him out, no matter what the reason, would suggest they're at least a BIT worried, no? -- ed.] Christopher Owens(notes) and Brent Grimes(notes) are dueling to be the other starter. Chevis Jackson(notes) was drafted by Dimitroff in 2008 and has been a nickel back.
Meanwhile, Williams has yet to return to full practice duty after his knee rehab, which could prove interesting. Would a team keep five cornerbacks on its active roster? Maybe not.
As opposed to the other 31 teams who do not want the same from theirs:
The Falcons hope that their rookie class from the 2010 draft can make an instant impact this season.
The epitome of Camp Sunshine:
After an injury-marred 2009 season, Turner has spent a great deal of time in the training room re-sculpting his body and decreasing his body fat.
He appears to be much faster running to the edge and busting through the holes at the line of scrimmage.
"I'm feeling great," Turner said. "I'm just trying to get that pop back, that explosiveness that I was getting in the middle of last year. This year I want to start off with it."
Turner attributed his slow start last season to being out of shape.
He had rounded into shape and appeared primed for another mega-season when he suffered what essentially was a season-ending high right ankle sprain against Carolina in the ninth game. [...]
"I'm leaner this year," Turner said. "People can see it. Everybody has noticed the change. They see me out here working hard.
"I'm just ready to get back out here and play some football. Missing those games last year made me appreciate the game of football even more."