Arthur Smith fine with players not participating in voluntary offseason work

Falcons coach Arthur Smith doesn’t have a problem with players who choose to stay away during the voluntary offseason program.

The Falcons voted April 16 to opt out of the organized team activities.

“There’s a lot of noise made about the offseason program, but it hasn’t really changed since the CBA in 2011,” Smith said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Now, you add virtual and we all adapted to the virtual learning last year. It’s always going to be some kind of virtual [program] now.”

The team’s previous coach, Dan Quinn, stressed attendance at the offseason program despite it being voluntary. But the entire 2020 offseason program was virtual.

This offseason, part of the program is virtual, but teams are allowed 10 on-field practices and a mandatory minicamp.

“You don’t want to overreact and say it was a non-pandemic year, and they are out on the field in the spring,” Smith said. “We are not looking for the King of Spring. We are looking for guys that are going to be here and be good football players in late July and August and help us win in the fall.”