Falcons QB is taking charge

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan works out with some of his teammates Tuesday in Buford, Ga. The workout, organized by Ryan, gives Falcons' players an opportunity to practice together during the lockout. About 30 players participated in 7-on-7 drills at Buford High.

BUFORD, Ga. --- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan says he doesn't mind working as a player and a coach during the NFL lockout.


Such is life when players are not allowed to report to work and can't talk to their bosses.

But the lockout hasn't kept Ryan from trying to bring his teammates together. He gathered about 30 players for 7-on-7 drills -- offense vs. defense -- in a scripted session Tuesday on an immaculate practice field at Buford High School.

"This is just something to keep us sharp," Ryan said. "We've all been doing it long enough to understand what's beneficial. You kind of put on your coaching hat and work on some things you want to work on."

Atlanta draft pick Julio Jones, taken No. 6 overall, has attended some of the passing sessions Ryan has held with Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White. Neither receiver came Tuesday.

Falcons backup quarterback John Parker Wilson indicated that Jones still isn't running at full speed. The former Alabama standout had a foot stress fracture discovered in February, but he still ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds a couple days later at the NFL combine.

Jones underwent surgery in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when he returned from the combine.

"He looks skinnier on TV than he is in person," Ryan said of the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Jones. "When I first met him, he was enormous. I was like, 'This guy is a monster.' "

Without White, Jones or tight end Tony Gonzalez present, Ryan threw passes to Michael Jenkins, Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran and others. Fullback Ovie Mughelli was on the field, too.

Defensively, five starters -- cornerback Brent Grimes, safety Thomas DeCoud and linebackers Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon and Mike Peterson -- ran the coverages.

SAINTS: Reggie Bush insists he was only joking when he stirred up fans with posts on his Twitter account about enjoying free time during the lockout. Bush drew critical responses from a number of his nearly 1.7 million Twitter followers when he posted: "Everybody complaining about the lockout! Shoot I'm making the most of it! Vacation, rest, relaxing, appearances here and there! I'm good!"

Bush then added in a second post moments later: "Right about now we would be slaving in 100 degree heat, practicing twice a day, while putting our bodies at risk for nothing."

REDSKINS: Washington defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth did not grope a waitress at a hotel bar and intends to fight the accusations, his lawyer said Tuesday in entering a not guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse.

Haynesworth was not at his arraignment in D.C. Superior Court. His lawyer said Haynesworth would defend himself at a trial set for July 11.



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