FLOWERY BRANCH – The bubble is going to burst on some players in Jacksonville in the final exhibition game.
Cornerback is one of the interesting positions. The Falcons want to see some more of Brian Williams. They may have seen enough of Chevis Jackson, who struggled mightily to cover in space against Miami.
Defensive tackle, one of the other more competitive position groups, is starting to come into focus with the release of Thomas Johnson, who started 10 games last season. After Peria Jerry and Jonathan Babineaux, it looks like Trey Lewis has locked down the No. 3 spot and could open the season as a starter next to Jerry. (Babs has to sit with his one game suspension.)
“The guys that we are talking about fighting for roster spots are probably going to play more snaps on Thursday than they will during the regular season,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.”It’s going to give us an opportunity to see how they prepare for significant playing time. Most of the guys that we are talking about will be in backup roles or on special teams. We’ll get a real good evaluation because they are going to play significantly in the game on Thursday. ”
The evaluation will not be limited to what happens on the field.
“The second thing that I look for, is if the game is too big for them,” Smith said. “You watch them on the sideline and see how they interact with the coaches.”
Other than Jackson, other players on the bubble are projected to include defensive tackle Vance Walker, wide receiver Troy Bergeron, guard Jose Valdez and center Brett Romberg.
Some of the longshots to keep an eye on are Troy linebacker Bear Woods, tight end Michael Palmer, wide receiver Brandyn Harvey wide receiver Ryan Wolfe and cornerback Dominique Daniels and safety Rafael Bush.