Atlanta Falcons rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant, a former Wilson High School and University of Washington star, has spent time at right cornerback and nickel back in training camp.
“Things are definitely moving pretty fast out there, but the more that I’m learning the playbook, the more comfortable I’m getting,” Trufant said. “I’m feeling good out there.”
The starting right cornerback position is open, but the Falcons like to cross-train players at several positions.
“I’m learning both spots,” he said. “The more I can help the team, the better.”
There are some nuances to the different positions.
“There are different calls,” Trufant said. “I played some nickel in college before. But it’s just about learning the system and the more I learn the system, the more comfortable I’ll get.”
It’s been a pretty bumpy start to training camp for Trufant, who’s adjusting to the speed of the pro game while attempting to cover Pro Bowl receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones.
The Falcons traded up eight spots with St. Louis to select Trufant.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot over the first three days,” Trufant said. “I feel like I’m getting better. I’ve made some mistakes, obviously, but as long as I’m playing hard and going 100 percent, I feel that I’m just going to continue to get better.”
Secondary coach Tim Lewis recently gave Trufant some individual instruction.
“He’s playing multiple positions,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I think you’ll see all of our rookie DBs will be doing that. We have to find a mix where we can figure out who is going to be our third corner. Our third corner plays about 65 percent of the snaps in our defense, so he’s really considered a starter.”
Trufant is wearing No. 21 popularized when Deion Sanders played for the Falcons.
“I met him before at the (scouting) combine,” Trufant said. “He’s definitely somebody that I looked up to while I was young. If I can be anything like him that would be great.”
POLICE CONDUCT SEARCH
Connecticut and Massachusetts authorities searched in and around a lake in the hometown of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots player who is charged with murder.
Connecticut police declined to comment on the nature of the search at Pine Lake in Bristol and referred calls to Massachusetts prosecutors. Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney, would not comment.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 about a mile from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass.
MCNABB, NUMBER RETIRE
Six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb returned to Philadelphia to retire as an Eagle, three years after he was traded by the team and 21 months after taking his final snap in the NFL.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie revealed that McNabb’s No. 5 will be retired on Sept. 19 against Kansas City. Former Eagles coach Andy Reid now coaches the Chiefs.
McNabb, the No. 2 overall pick in 1999 behind quarterback Tim Couch, will become the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired.
Eagles linebacker Jason Phillips tore his right anterior cruciate ligament during practice. Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the No. 10 overall pick in 2011, sprained his right ankle during practice. Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach signed a two-year contract to remain with Super Bowl champion Baltimore after failing to find a proper suitor in the free agent market. The Titans agreed to terms with offensive guard Chance Warmack, the No. 10 overall pick out of Alabama who had been the last remaining unsigned first-round draft pick. The Ravens said star tight end Dennis Pitta didn’t suffer ligament or cartilage damage when he fractured and dislocated his right hip, which will cause him to miss the season. Bills star defensive end Mario Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, missed his second consecutive practice to have his sore foot evaluated by team doctors. Patriots defensive tackle Armond Armstead is in good condition after surgery to treat an undisclosed infection. The team provided no other details. Buffalo receiver/kick returner/Wildcat quarterback Brad Smith reportedly agreed to restructure the final two years of his contract.