FLOWERY BRANCH – The lasting impression of the Falcons three-day, five practice minicamp was that will be some fierce competition during training camp to make the 53-man roster.
The Falcons have quietly assembled some nice talent to fill out the roster and field a team that figures to have depth across the board.
One team executive told us that the competition will be particularly fierce at linebacker, offensive line and in the
In addition to first round pick Sean Weatherspoon, Spencer Adkins and Robert James appear much improved at linebacker. Of course, all of the incumbents return in Mike Peterson, Curtis Lofton and Stephen Nicholas.
Weatherspoon has been asked to learn both – weakside and strongside — outside linebacker positions.
In addition to those position groups, the wide receiver group at mini-camp was spectacular. Rookie Kerry Meier was moving around good and running crisp routes until he went down with a minor hamstring injury in the fourth practice. Brandyn Harvey from Villanova turned heads every day, Alcorn State’s Tim Buckley showed some explosiveness and nice hands and UNLV’s Ryan Wolfe showed why he’s the leading receiver in Runnin’ Rebel history.
Here are a few more closing tidbits from the minicamp:
DAHL HAD SURGERY: Right guard Harvey Dahl had surgery in Charlotte about a week after the season to repair his right ankle. He was cleared for action about three weeks ago and held up well during the minicamp.
JERRY ON SCHEDULE: Defensive tackle Peria Jerry is on schedule to return by training camp even though he was noticeable limping after a workout on Saturday’s public practice. One of his battles during rehab was putting back on his weight. He’s up to 295 pounds. He was listed at 294 last season.
REST OF THE INJURY GUYS: Jerry, wide receiver Harry Douglas (knee), cornerback Brian Williams (knee) are expected back for training camp.
Safety William Moore (pectoral muscle) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder) were held out of the minicamp, but are expected to be available during the organized team activities which start on May 25.
Running back Jerious Norwood (hip), defensive end Chauncey Davis (right knee) and wide receiver Kerry Meier (hamstring) all suffered minor injuries during the minicamp and are expected to be available for OTAs.
ROOKIE MINICAMP SET: Falcons coach Mike Smith will hold his first rookie minicamp May 17-20. All of the rookie draft picks, free agents and added tryout players will repeat the material covered in the mandatory minicamp and get additional classroom work.
The Falcons have not held a rookie minicamp the last two offseasons under Smith.
ROSTER MOVES: Quarterback Eric Ward and cornerback Daylan Walker were signed by the Falcons on Monday.
Both were tryout players invited to participate in the team’s minicamp.
Ward, who guided Richmond to the Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) national championship in 2008, played at Southwest DeKalb High.
Ward completed 784 of 1,264 career passes for 8,969 yards and 61 touchdowns over his career at Richmond.
Last season, he passed for 2,396 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Ward also ran for 1,406 yards on 420 carres and scored 22 touchdowns.
In 2008, he set Spider single-season records in passing yards (2,808), completion percentage (64.1), attempts (359), completions (230) and touchdown passes (tied with 17).
Walker played at Arkansas State and was voted to the All-Sun Belt Conference team by the media and the coaches.