Desmons Trufant has been staying on top of the Falcons' playbook via Skype from Washington as he finished college at Washington.
FLOWERY BRANCH — First-round draft pick Desmond Trufant practiced with the Atlanta Falcons for the first time Tuesday at OTAs.
Trufant missed the last two weeks of the voluntary workouts while finishing school at the University of Washington.
Head coach Mike Smith dropped him into the deep end on his first day.
“I’m sure his head was spinning,” Smith said.
Trufant and fourth-rounder Levine Toilolo both kept up as much as possible with video conferences, but Smith favors an immersion program for players learning the Falcons’ system.
“This is overload,” Smith said Tuesday. “We are going to give them everything. This was the first time we worked on certain situations. We did some two-minute for the first time and worked on some other situations down in the low red zone. We want to try to bombard their brains through this offseason. Then when we get back together in August, we’ll do it again and try to get them ready for the first game.”
Smith then added: “We give it all to them right away. Then step back, dissect a little bit. That’s always how we’ve done it. It’s something I believe in — let’s see how they handle all of it first and not bring them in slowly and see what they’re capable of retaining.”
Quarterback Matt Ryan got his first glimpse of Trufant, a cornerback, and was looking forward to more.
“He’s an athletic kid, that’s for sure,” Ryan said. “He moves pretty well. That’s probably the thing I noticed the most during the one-on-ones.
“I’m sure he’ll keep getting better and keep getting acclimated.”
Toilolo was still out Tuesday, his last day at Stanford, and Smith said he should be in Flowery Branch today.
The OTAs have been well-attended, only missing a player here and there for various reasons. Asante Samuel wasn’t there Tuesday, though he has been over the last two weeks. Tony Gonzalez, convinced to delay retirement for another season, was also absent.
Linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon continued to work with the trainers on the sidelines during the workouts and are expected back in action next week.
“I’m fairly confident that when we start our minicamp, both those guys will be out there,” Smith said.
The situation is good for the younger players like Trufant and Robert Alford.
“These are guys we’re counting on contributing this season,” Smith said. “They’re getting lots of reps. Asante is not here this week. We know where he is. We knew he wasn’t going to be here.
“It gives Robert and Desmond an opportunity to get more reps, which they really need.”