Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Thomas' Super Bowl Notes: Falcons Playbook Goes Missing in Backpack Mixup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Thomas' Super Bowl Notes: Falcons Playbook Goes Missing in Backpack Mixup

Article excerpt

HOUSTON * Kyle Shanahan's media session Monday night nearly turned into a nightmare at Minute Maid Park.

The Atlanta offensive coordinator, and head coach-in-waiting for the San Francisco 49ers, had a few minutes of panic when he couldn't find his backpack.

"I'm stressed out now," Shanahan said, via ESPN. "Somebody took my bag and it had everything in it."

Everything, as in the Atlanta Falcons' playbook. We know what you're thinking: The nefarious New England Patriots stole it. Not this time.

It turns out venerable San Francisco-area columnist Art Spander, covering his 39th Super Bowl, mistakenly had walked away with Shanahan's backpack thinking it was his own. Spander was in a bit of a panic himself, thinking his laptop computer had been stolen.

The two backpacks quickly were returned to their proper owners, ending the mini-crisis. Falcons coach Dan Quinn could joke about it Tuesday.

"Well, it would appear that this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to leave a fake game plan behind, so I'm glad that you guys picked up on that," Quinn joked. "But honestly, everything was fine. It was resolved rather quickly."

A DRAFT TO REMEMBER

Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has a draft weekend story to beat most others. The Clemson product was watching Day 2 of the 2015 draft at his family's home in Conyers, Ga., when they smelled something burning.

"So my uncle went upstairs in the game room and a little fire had started," Jarrett said. "It wasn't my whole house, you could say half that caught on fire. We had to get everyone out of the house. We had a lot of friends and family over."

All the while, Jarrett kept watching his phone. He had to wait until Day 3 to get drafted, getting the call from Atlanta in the fifth round.

REMEMBERING HIS MOTHER

As a teenager in Mesquite, Texas, Atlanta wide receiver Taylor Gabriel was dropped off at school by his mother, Kimberly. …

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