BIRDLAND – Here are five questions the Falcons must answer at minicamp, which starts on Friday and runs through Sunday. The practices on Saturday are open to the public.
1. Is John Abraham ready to turn in a bounce back season? His sacks decreased from 16.5 to 5.5 last season, but Falcons coach Mike Smith believes much of that had to do with the porous coverage in the secondary.
2. Is Kroy Biermann or Lawrence Sidbury ready to take over for Jamaal Anderson at left defensive end? “You can always get stronger and work on being a better athlete,” Biermann said when asked about his offseason focus. “I was working on some hand stuff. I’ve been working on pass rush moves and focusing on things like that. I’m always trying to put on a little extra weight for the run. I’m happy with where I’m at right now.”
3. Will Dunta Robinson be assigned to one side of the field or will he follow the opposition’s top receiver around? We might not get this answer in what figures to be a vanilla, scheme-wise, camp. But it still will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder uses his new $57 million toy.
4. Will first round pick Sean Weatherspoon line up with the first-team defense? It really doesn’t matter much in minicamp, but folks will be watching.
5. Which one of the undrafted free agents will be the surprise of minicamp? A couple to keep an eye on are safety Rafael Bush, running back Dimitri Nance, wide receiver Ryan Wolfe, wide receiver Tim Buckley and tight end Michael Palmer (Clemson, Parkview High).
(Saturday’s practices are open to the public)
Friday: Practice — 10:30 a.m. (closed to the public), practice — 4:15 p.m. (closed to the public).
Saturday: Practice — 10:30 a.m. (Practice is open to the public, gates open at 9:30 a.m.). Practice — 4:15 p.m. (Practice is open to the public, gates open at 3:15 p.m.)
Sunday: Practice — 10:30 a.m. (closed to the public).