Originally created 08/08/99

Falcons notebook

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The ominous tone to Saturday's controlled practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars started with a golf cart mishap.

Tight end O.J. Santiago was late to the 8:15 morning session and caught a ride by standing on the back of a golf cart. A sharp right turn threw the 6-foot-6 Santiago off, which caused massive bruising on his left leg and buttocks.

The injuries are not expected to be serious, but Santiago missed both scrimmage sessions and was noticeably limping while wearing a leg sleeve to cover the road rash.

"I've got bruises from my ankle all the way up to the top of my hamstring," Santiago said, obviously embarrassed at the injury. "My knee's a little sore, too. I really don't want to get into it. All I can tell you is that I wasn't driving."

Santiago would not reveal who was.

Coach Dan Reeves did not seem all that happy with the news, gruffly stating that "O.J. fell off a golf cart this morning. Thankfully he didn't damage his knee joint or his ankle joint."

In Santiago's place, second-round pick Reggie Kelly, Brian Kozlowski and Rodney Monroe took all tight end snaps, none of the three distinguishing themselves.

ROUGH PRACTICES: If Santiago's injury didn't perturb Reeves enough, the general inconsistency and sloppiness of the morning practice did. The Jaguars' defense overwhelmed a Falcons' first-team offense that did not have Jamal Anderson (holdout), Chris Calloway (high ankle sprain) and Santiago (fell off a golf cart).

"We did an awful lot of bad things," Reeves said. "It took only one or two plays to get a bad taste in your mouth, and I got an awful lot of bad tastes."

Receivers Terance Mathis twisted his back and Ronnie Harris pulled his groin.

"We had too many mistakes, too many interceptions, too many missed assignments," Reeves said. "It just shows how much better we have to get."

The Falcons proved more focused during the afternoon session, especially the defense against the Jaguars' offense. Cornerback Michael Booker pulled his right quad muscle during a passing coverage drill.

"It's just hard to evaluate this team right now because we're so nicked up," Reeves said. "When you play against another team, you see the deficiencies you have when you get exploited in certain areas. With all of our injuries, we're going to be able to evaluate certain guys a little more than we thought we would."

The Jaguars, a Super Bowl favorite, will meet the Falcons on Nov. 7 at the Georgia Dome.

"I don't know if they were better or we were worse," tackle Shane Dronett said. "They did a lot of things today that worked, a lot of things we hadn't seen so far."

SMALL TUSSLES: The Falcons and Jaguars did not have the knock-down, drag-out brawl the Chiefs and Saints had the day before, partly because Reeves and Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin agreed not to have any tackling or full-throttle action.

That didn't stop Falcons lineman Calvin Collins and rookie Jaguar lineman Larry Smith from shoving each other during a one-on-one pass- rushing drill.

Afterward, Smith, from Folkston, Ga., talked smack Florida State style.

"This ain't no make-believe, baby," Smith yelled at Collins. "This is real life. So start playing like it."

JAMAL UPDATE: Anderson's fines exceed more than $50,000, and it does not appear the All-Pro running back will be joining his teammates anytime soon.

"Haven't heard from him," Reeves said.

"It's the same," general manager Harold Richardson said. "If they don't see our offer as a fair contract offer, it could be a long time before we see him."

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons will train at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. Here's some information on the camp:

Dates: Thursday through Aug. 19.

First Practice: Thursday, 9 a.m.

Camp Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday -- 9 a.m., and 3 p.m., two-hour practices. Wednesday and Saturday -- 3 p.m., two-hour practice.

Directions: From I-85 south of Greenville, S.C., exit on U.S. 25 (White Horse Road). Proceed 12 miles north to Duncan Chapel Road. Turn and drive just under one mile to the campus gate on the left.

Contact number: (864) 294-2560.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers will train at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. Here's some information on the camp:

Dates: Friday through Aug. 26.

First Practice: Friday, 8:45 a.m.

Camp Schedule: Morning workouts at 8:45 a.m. (lasting approximately 90 minutes to two hours), and afternoons at 2:30 or 2:45 p.m. (lasting approximately an hour to hour and one-half).

Directions: From I-85 south of Spartanburg, S.C., exit onto Hwy. 585 (Pine St.) to Spartanburg. Follow approximately 2.5 miles and make a right on McCravy. Proceed to the first light and turn left. Immediately bear right onto Cummings and proceed uphill approximately one-quarter mile to stop sign.

Contact number: (864) 597-5496.

Rick Dorsey can be reached at (706) 823-3219 or rdorsey@augustachronicle.com.


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