Finally, Falcons football season is here!
Some long days ahead, but hey, I could be hanging roof shingles or operating the old chop saw cutting steel (an old summer job while in college) for a living.
That’s pretty hard work. Speaking of hard work. I must thank my colleague Chris Vivlamore for catching the first two days of camp for me while I get to hit the Family Reunion. (Should be a blast. All of the rowdy Uncles are coming!!! They are getting old, but they are still rowdy.)
With the signing of defensive tackle Peria Jerry to a five-year contract, there is only one pressing matter before the Falcons put on the pads and start doing some live hitting.
What affect will the lack of a contract extension for wide receiver Roddy White have on the team? It’s clear the Falcons want to work something out. It appears they are working on their timetable and not White’s, who wanted a deal done before the season started.
One long-time league observer pointed out that the season starts when you put on the pads, not with the first regular-season kickoff.
White could take the high road. Come in, keep grinding away and let the negotiations take their course.
Or White, who held out during his rookie season, could go Rod Tidwell on the
Falcons and start yelling “Show me the money!” We’ll have to keep track of White’s situation.
Quick review: White is set to make $2.28 million and could be bound to Falcons for two years. His leverage is weak. Top receivers – Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald ($10 million), Tampa Bay’s Antonio Bryant ($9.98 million) and Buffalo’s Lee Evans ($9.3 million) – are making four times as much as White.
Here’s my list of 5 questions that the Falcons will have to answer during training camp.
1. How will offensive coordinator incorporate Tony Gonzalez into the offense?
2. Can quarterback Matt Ryan continue to blossom as an NFL quarterback?
3. Will the offensive line be even nastier this year?
4. What are the Falcons going to do at defensive end opposite of John Abraham?
5. Which undrafted free agent is going to step forward and earn a spot on the roster?