The Falcons are bringing in a slew of new Bill Walsh training camp interns to Flowery Branch this offseason. The team announced Christion Abercrombie, Joan Cantanese, Yosef Fares, Sajan Thakkar and Courtney Upshaw as the interns for the 2022 training camp.
Abercrombie is an Atlanta native who played his high school ball at Westlake and went on to play at Tennessee State University and the University of Illinois. Most recently, he spent time in Tennessee as the Titans’ assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Cantanese currently works for Huntington High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, as the offensive line, tight ends, and fullbacks coach. She’s spent the last 11 years there working in a variety of roles but most recently participated in the NFL Women’s Forum in March. Atlanta has always been at the forefront of women in football — i.e., Sarah Hogan — so it’s no surprise Cantanese is among the interns this year.
Fares is a head coach for a California high school, where he’s been for most of the last five seasons. Thakkar is currently a coach on the Harvard staff as a running backs coach. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Fitchburg (Mass.) State University, where he played quarterback and wide receiver from 2010-12.
However, the most recognizable name of the bunch is Courtney Upshaw, an assistant coach at Grayson High School in Lawrenceville. He’s currently the defensive line coach and was previously in the same role at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 2020. Upshaw was a two-time BCS National Champion and first-team All-American at Alabama. He was initially a second-round pick by the Ravens in the 2012 NFL Draft and even won a Super Bowl with Baltimore. He had a brief stint with the Falcons and helped the team win the 2016 NFC Championship.