30 Falcons gather for impressive start to training program

The Atlanta Falcons kicked off their unofficial offseason workout program – minus the franchise’s coaches and support personnel – today at an athletic training facility.

About 30 players gathered at Ignite, according to Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – to begin the kind of conditioning work that would traditionally be done at the club’s facility in Flowery Branch, Ga.

“We have to take it upon ourselves to continue working in a manner that will allow us to continue to establish ourselves as one of the top teams in the NFL,” linebacker Coy Wire, the team’s player representative to the trade group known as the NFLPA, told Ledbetter.

Wire and right tackle Tyson Clabo are helping organize the get-togethers.

The players are working out Monday through Thursday with Friday set aside as a “makeup day,” similar to what NFL clubs do. They’ve done their best to tailor the program after what the team does in the spring. The Falcons point to the work they did last offseason as a reason why they won six games in the fourth quarter or overtime in 2010 when they won the NFC South and were the top-ranked team in the conference playoffs.

“It’s given us a chance to pull together even stronger as a team,” Wire said. “Although it’s unfortunate that there is a lockout, there may be some good that comes from this.

“There is something about being away from the facility that we feel less like we are doing something because we have to, but because we want to. No one is telling us to be there. No one is telling us to workout. But we are all making a choice to do this together.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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