Wire also heard plenty of frustration in Smith's voice, but their phone conversation inspired the Falcons' representative to the NFL Players Association to provide some unity for his teammates.
"He was highly upset by the whole situation because he wants to take this organization places and he's handcuffed right now like we all are," Wire said Monday. "He was highly aggravated that if a lockout was implemented again that we wouldn't be able to find a way to meet as a team."
That team-wide meeting never took place after a federal appeals court restored the lockout not long after Wire and Smith spoke.
So Wire, a nine-year NFL veteran, resumed his role of organizing player workouts and kept teammates informed on labor developments with phone calls, emails and text messages.
Wire feels added leadership responsibilities after spending 2010 as the Falcons' special teams captain in 2010 and signing a new two-year contract in early February.
"If we have an opportunity to help the team grow stronger and more closely knit, I'm going to make it happen," Wire said. "Right now, we have to find a way to make it happen on our own, so I just felt it to be part of my responsibility and privilege to get the guys together."
Once the lockout began over nine weeks ago, Wire started organizing workouts overseen by his trainer, Jim Launer of Ignite sports training, and held 30 minutes west of the Falcons' complex at High Intensity Training Center. Launer runs two 90-minute shifts four mornings week, and as many as 25 players report each day.
Wire's goal is to have better participation -- NFL rosters consist of 53 players during the season and over 80 at the start of training camp -- but he understands that many teammates have their own agendas.
"I usually train in the offseason in Indianapolis, but once it looked like we were headed for some labor issues in the winter, I decided to stay here instead and train with Mr. Wire," Biermann said. "It's good being with your teammates. We need to spend time together to replicate what's usually going on this time of year."
There's a chance that quarterback Matt Ryan might be planning on-field workouts soon at an area Atlanta high school. Though Ryan hasn't attended the sessions in Cumming, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon recently tweeted that Ryan is trying to organize 7-on-7 drills.
The Falcons, who earned a No. 1 playoff seed last year before being blown out by the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, have missed the start of voluntary conditioning in late March and a mandatory minicamp that would have been held last weekend.
If the annual NFL calendar was in place, the team would start its offseason training activities next week.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press