HOUSTON - For Brian Cushing, there's no substitute to being on the field.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The mandate came from the top of the Atlanta Falcons' chain of command when the offseason began.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Antone Smith, best known for his special teams play in his first five seasons with the Falcons, finally has a chance to show he deserves playing time at running back.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Jake Matthews' first live NFL action gives Atlanta coach Mike Smith reason to think the No. 6 overall draft pick has potential to become an elite player.
ATLANTA - Atlanta's Matt Ryan and Miami's Ryan Tannehill showed how starting quarterbacks should handle preseason openers.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons hope to find clarity in the competition to determine quarterback Matt Ryan's backup in Friday night's preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins.
FLOWERY BRANCH - A visit from the Tennessee Titans on Monday didn't change the tone of the Atlanta Falcons' fight-filled training camp.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Steven Jackson's latest hamstring injury is giving Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith a chance to fill the void at running back for the Atlanta Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Matt Ryan is expanding his leadership role to include teaching young players and other newcomers in his seventh training camp with the Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons need new leadership on defense, and coach Mike Smith says second-year cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford fit the job description perfectly.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Through the first two days of training camp, the Atlanta Falcons look just fine along the offensive line.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons won't be easing their way into this season.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a four-year extension with receiver Roddy White on the eve of training camp on Thursday.
ATLANTA - Mike Smith didn't like seeing the Atlanta Falcons pushed around in 2013.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan likes to hang out with family and friends, play golf and take a vacation or two in the offseason.