Are you ready for some football?
The Atlanta Falcons open training camp this week in Flowery Branch, with practices beginning on Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Both will be open to the public.
The Falcons are seeking to build on their first ever back-to-back winning seasons and reach the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Running back Michael Turner, who missed five games last season due to injury, reportedly lost 20 pounds in the offseaon in hopes of returning to his 2008 form, when he rushed for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns. Fans will also get a look at the Falcons’ top offseason acquisition, cornerback Dunta Robinson, who signed as a free agent after playing his first five seasons with the Houston Texans.
The Falcons finished 9-7 last year and missed the playoffs by one game.
ATLANTA BRAVES: The first-place Braves begin a seven-game road trip Tuesday, starting with a four-game series against the Washington Nationals, who are in last place in the NL East.
Rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg (5-2, 2.32) is slated to take the mound in Tuesday’s game for the Nationals, while Tommy Hanson may start for Atlanta. Strasburg had a solid start against the Braves at Turner Field in late June, but Atlanta’s bats heated up late, chased him from the game and handed him a loss. The two teams are 3-3 this year in head-to-head meetings.
The Braves will then travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds in a three-game series beginning Friday night.
The Braves began turning their season around the last time they faced the Reds, rallying from a six-run deficit with seven runs in the ninth inning to win 10-9 to sweep their two-game series on May 20, sparked by a walk-off pinch-hit grand slam by Brooks Conrad.
GWINNETT BRAVES: Monday, the G-Braves will close a four-game series against Louisville, and beginning Tuesday, will host Rochester in another four-game series. They’ll then host a four-game series against Toledo beginning Saturday.