OVER THE ARCH – The “Shootout in St. Louis” for the No. 3 quarterback position was a toss up.
After Matt Ryan retired, D.J. Shockley and John Parker Wilson got chance to impress the coaching staff. Chris Redman, who did not play, is apparently safe as the backup.
“It is a competition,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We wanted to evaluate those guys.”
Both had interceptions and a missed protection led to a Shockley fumble. Both led the team to field goals.
“We had two really unfortunate turnovers,” Smith said. “They were touched by our receivers. I thought both of those guys had good learning experiences.”
Shockley got a chance to play with the first-team offensive line.
“I felt like I could have played better,” Shockley said. “There were situations when I was trying to make something happen and may have forced some things. Overall, there are a lot of things I can learn from this game.”
Ryan and Redman figure to spilt the action against San Diego on Saturday.
In the exhibition game finale against Baltimore, Shockley and Wilson may get another shot to impress to settle the No.3 spot.
“I think it’s a situation where you have to be ready . . . the biggest thing is being prepared when your number is called and you have to make the most of your opportunities,” Shockley said.
Shockley hit a nice pass down the field to tight end Justin Peelle, but some of
passes seemed telegraphed and drew crowds of Rams.
“I was ready to go,” Shockley said. “It felt good to go in the game early.”
Shockley was glad he did get a chance to guide the offense to a field goal on his last series.
“It was a big plus in that situation,” Shockley said.
Here are the five things we learned in the St. Louis game:
1. Who’s No. 3?: There’s a battle for the No. 3 quarterback spot.
2. Grimes a keeper: Brent Grimes is the starting left cornerback. We just need a formal announcement. “I wish I could have made the interceptions,” Grimes said. “I think I did pretty well.”
3. Romberg Rumbles: Backup center is in good hands with Brett Romberg. He started for Todd McClure (leg strain). He enjoyed the two touchdown drives.
“They looked stellar,” Romberg said. “That was one thing we really wanted to focus on, coming out explosive.”
4. Run defense can stop backup running backs: The run defense shut down a slew of backup running backs – Samkon Gado, Antonio Pittman and Kenneth Darby. Steven Jackson only had three carries before getting the night off.
“It was very alarming on the first play of the game to give up a nine yard run,” Smith said. “We settled down and had some nice (run) fits.”
5. No huddle is back: The Falcons flashed their no-huddle on the second series.
“We knew on that second drive that we were going to go to our no huddle offense,” tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “The defense dictates to us what we are going to do. Matt (Ryan) is out there calling his own plays.”