A seventh-round draft pick from Hawaii in 2001, Forney started all 16 games last year, 12 in 2002 and eight as a rookie. His feisty attitude, coupled with improved technique, gave Forney a head start with new position coach Alex Gibbs.
"I think going in the seventh round really humbled me," said Forney, a native of Nacogdoches, Texas. "I've always thought of myself as a first-rounder, you know? But I was just always out to prove that I could play as hard as I can and get better, you know?"
Now married and living in Buford, Forney remembers how former Atlanta running back Jamal Anderson helped him realize that seventh-rounders can thrive if they work hard enough.
"He took me and another guy out to eat, took us to his house and showed us around," Forney said. "I just always kept that in mind and talked with other people that went undrafted like Jessie Tuggle."
BACK IN BLACK: Cornerback Tod McBride, who missed nearly four weeks with knee tendinitis, returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 5. Before Hall took the left-side job after mini-camp in May, the Falcons listed McBride as the starter.
Jason Webster, the right-side starter, sat out the workout with a strained groin.