FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The signs are nowhere to be seen. There is no sluggishness, no apparent want to lie around, nobody running for the bathroom or holding stomachs in agony.

Sure, there is plenty of Gatorade being consumed, but for different reasons.

Where are the supposed hangover symptoms for the Atlanta Falcons? As they opened their second OTA practice of the year Thursday, there were no visible signs that this is a team still haunted by their unreal collapse in February in Super Bowl LI, blowing a 28-3 third-quarter lead to lose 34-28 to the New England Patriots in overtime.

It could be delayed-hangover syndrome -- some of you know what that can be -- but this is a team that appears to be past that gut-wrenching loss to the Patriots and eager to move on.

Or at least it seems that way.

"You can either sit around and let this ruin what we have moving forward, or you can get up off the mat and figure out a way to get better, as a team and individually," Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. "I don't sense (a hangover) at all."

The loser of the Super Bowl every year is supposed to fall victim to the hangover, their following season going down the toilet like vomit from a 20-year-old after a night bender. The Carolina Panthers, one of Atlanta's division foes, lived it last season when they went from Super Bowl loser to a 6-10 team. Quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL MVP from their 15-1 season in 2015, hardly looked like the same player.

Now the Falcons are following a similar path: NFC South champions, a first-round bye, an MVP quarterback in Ryan and a stomach-punch of a loss in the Super Bowl on their resume.

No Super Bowl loser has gone back to the game the next year since the 1992-93 Buffalo Bills. That's a long time, which is why the hangover talk exists.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has spent a lot of time this offseason working on ways to get past it. He talked with coaches, managers and general managers in other sports who have dealt with losing in the championship or finals.

How do you get back? How do you get past the hurt and the pain and the lingering anger?

'We're not at the top, but we're not all the way at the bottom either,' Falcons coach Dan Quinn said.  USATSI

"I just wanted to make sure for our team we don't look back a whole bunch, but how would we go about it this year?" Quinn said. "I wanted to make sure I had my language down right. People say you're going to go back. Hey, you have to grind. There's a lot of ball to be played. If you put that before the grind of the season, you're going to miss a lot.

"Just because I wasn't talking about it doesn't mean our guys weren't. I don't look too far down, but I told them to throw a great OTAs. I told the team when we got back we are at base camp. We're not at the top, but we're not all the way at the bottom either. How we battle forward from here we find out."

Ryan said he will never get past the loss, but was curious to see how the team would react. He got his answer when 22 teammates worked out with him at the University of Miami in early April -- at Ryan's request.

It was the second straight year for the workouts and bonding sessions, but this time it involved some psychological moments.  Since it was the first time the group gathered since the loss to the Patriots, Ryan wondered how they would all react.

"I was curious when we went down to Miami to see whether or not people were still going to be in a funk or whatever," Ryan said. "When we got onto the practice field, you could see guys were in good shape. They were running around. And guys were enthusiastic. And I thought when we start the next Monday we're going to be a lot better than people think we should be. And Dan's been fantastic at it. He's great at getting a pulse of the group, and guys respond to that."

The Falcons' 25-point blown lead is the biggest in Super Bowl history, which turned what should haven been a dream season into a nightmare and the coronation of Tom Brady as the greatest quarterback of all-time.

It was a game with plenty of questionable strategy, including abandoning the run game in the second half with the big lead, and questionable play-calling late in the game. Quinn has been as good as any coach I've ever seen at dealing with all the questions that followed -- handling them with class and character, which doesn't always happen in the profession. Quinn hasn't shied away from those tough ones, but rather has hit them head on. Like the fans and players who watched it unfold, he knows mistakes were made -- and he's said many times in the past few months that he will learn from them.

In the end, the game will be one of the best teaching moments for Quinn, who, through the pain of it, will come out on the other side a better coach. That's apparent now with all he's done to help his team get past the loss.

"When you have a rough experience, I think it always lives inside of you," Quinn said. "But I've come to grips with it. As a competitor, that's the world we've chosen. I'm past it."

This Falcons team appears to be even better, so why wallow in self-pity? They've added some nice pieces to a defense that came on strong in the second half of 2016.

That defense started four rookies in the Super Bowl, and all those players should be even better this time around. They also signed defensive tackle Dontari Poe, drafted pass rusher Takk McKInley and signed free-agent defensive end Jack Crawford. Oh, and star corner Desmond Trufant, who missed the last seven games and the postseason with a torn pectoral muscle, will be back.

The offense was ranked tops in the league in scoring at 33.8 points a game, and there is no reason to think that will change. Sure, former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, but new coordinator Steve Sarkisian is a bright mind who will run the same scheme, and with Ryan at the helm it should be a smooth transition.

"The challenge is to see if our team can be better than last year," Quinn said. "I think we can be better."

That's why there's no time for any hangover talk.

When I mentioned it to defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, the defensive star of the Super Bowl with three sacks, he seemed to not like the question much.

"We don't even talk about that," Jarrett said. "Guys are just going so hard. It's a new team with new guys, just trying to go day by day to get better. It's one of those things we buried behind us."

It appears that way, yet you never can tell until the regular season starts. But I get the feeling this team just might be able to buck the hangover trend and get back to the Super Bowl again.

Hangover? What hangover?