DEPTH CHART: Starters will get test vs. Steelers

 

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout is now an accomplished ballroom dancer, too. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout is now an accomplished ballroom dancer, too. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Mike Smith said the Falcons will likely play their starters a significant portion of Saturday night’s game against the Steelers.

“In terms of the amount of snaps that they are going to play, I don’t know that we’ve sat down and decided,” Smith said. “But we want to keep those [starting] units in there and get them as many exposures as possible.”

Smith said the team will do some game planning, including film work, as they switch from a training-camp to regular-season schedule this week. The coach said there was no game planning for the exhibitions against the Dolphins and Jaguars.

Also, in the past, he’s wanted the starters to go through a regular halftime and then return to the action. So, if he stays with that plan, we could see the starters well into the third quarter.

Falcons center Todd McClure returned to practice on Sunday. The 12-year veteran received some "veteran rest time" from head coach Mike Smith. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons center Todd McClure returned to practice on Sunday. The 12-year veteran received some "veteran rest time" from head coach Mike Smith. He'll see action against Pittsburgh. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Here’s the depth chart that was released by the team on Monday for the Steelers’ game:

OFFENSE

WR 11 Julio Jones 83 Harry Douglas 14 Eric Weems 15 Andy Strickland
                                                           18 Doug Beaumont 12 Kevin Cone
LT 72 Sam Baker 65 Jose Valdez
LG 63 Justin Blalock 69 Andrew Jackson 68 Paul Fenaroli
C 62 Todd McClure 61 Joe Hawley 67 Rob Bruggeman 64 Ryan McMahon
RG 75 Garrett Reynolds 79 Mike Johnson
RT 77 Tyson Clabo 74 Will Svitek 66 Matt Murphy
TE 88 Tony Gonzalez 89 Reggie Kelly 81 Michael Palmer 85 Marquez Branson
                                                               86 Ryan Winterswyk 48 A.J. Simmons
WR 84 Roddy White 80 Kerry Meier 16 Tim Buckley 17 Brandyn Harvey
                                                                                                19 Drew Davis
QB 2 Matt Ryan 8 Chris Redman 4 John Parker Wilson 13 Adam Froman
RB 33 Michael Turner 44 Jason Snelling 27 Gartrell Johnson 35 Antone Smith
                                                                       22 Jacquizz Rodgers 32 Philip Sylvester
FB 34 Ovie Mughelli 42 Lucas Cox 40 Thor Merrow

DEFENSE

RE 55 John Abraham 90 Lawrence Sidbury 98 Cliff Matthews 96 Emmanuel Stephens
DT 91 Corey Peters 99 Vance Walker 97 Trey Lewis 73 Carlton Powell
DT 95 Jonathan Babineaux 94 Peria Jerry 76 Kiante Tripp
LE 93 Ray Edwards 71 Kroy Biermann 92 Chauncey Davis 70 Tom McCarthy
WLB 56 Sean Weatherspoon 59 Spencer Adkins 51 Robert James 49 Youri Yenga
MLB 50 Curtis Lofton 52 Coy Wire 43 Akeem Dent 45 Bear Woods
SLB 54 Stephen Nicholas 53 Mike Peterson 46 LaMarcus Thompson
RCB 23 Dunta Robinson 21 Chris Owens 26 Kamaal McIlwain
LCB 20 Brent Grimes 24 Dominique Franks 29 Darrin Walls 37 Kirk Belgrave
SS 25 William Moore 36 Rafael Bush 38 Rafael Priest 30 Matt Hansen
FS 28 Thomas DeCoud 39 Shann Schillinger 41 Suaesi Tuimaunei

 

SPECIALISTS
K 3 Matt Bryant
KO 5 Matt Bosher
P 5 Matt Bosher 6 Ken Parrish
KR 14 Eric Weems 83 Harry Douglas
PR 14 Eric Weems 83 Harry Douglas
LS 82 Joe Zelenka 47 Andrew Schulze
H 5 Matt Bosher 80 Kerry Meier

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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71 comments Add your comment

corey

August 22nd, 2011
10:50 pm

waynester

August 22nd, 2011
10:51 pm

Steelers looked dominant in that last game, so it should be a stern test….

Falcon James

August 22nd, 2011
10:56 pm

We will just have to watch the falcon defence to see if the return of overpaid Dunte is going to have any impact at all. I just hopes the CB and S can stop the 20 yard gain. I doubts it.

charles

August 22nd, 2011
10:56 pm

First, It will be nice to get a look at our new big play Ray. Who he proves worth all of them skins.
GO FALCONS

Sausage King of Chicago

August 22nd, 2011
11:08 pm

The first half is gonna be knuckle-buster football…my hammy already feels tight!

waynester

August 22nd, 2011
11:13 pm

Pittsburgh has excellent coaching– they already look like they’re in season-ready form…

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 22nd, 2011
11:25 pm

The Bears looked raggedy tonight. Ugh!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 22nd, 2011
11:26 pm

Harrison and Woodley will get Clabo and Baker ready, that’s for sure.

Chandler going deep..

August 22nd, 2011
11:30 pm

Enter your comments here

bgfalcon

August 22nd, 2011
11:30 pm

even after the strong showing last week, quizz is still backing up gartrell and smith? whats going on?

Chandler going deep..

August 22nd, 2011
11:31 pm

It going to be tough for Falcon fans….

Steelers are for real! This Falcon loss is going to sting…

bgfalcon

August 22nd, 2011
11:33 pm

DOL whats up with akeem dent? haven’t seen or heard anything about him during this preseason.

Gym

August 22nd, 2011
11:33 pm

Reynolds is playing great. I think he will be a nice fit on the line.

DHunt

August 22nd, 2011
11:35 pm

Good test. Will be great to finally see everyone suited and booted. Wonder why Johnson and Smith are still listed higher than Rogers on the depth chart? Are they kidding or is there actually some chance that one of those two might make the reg season roster ahead of Quizz? I don’t care if he only knows 5 plays and can’t block to save his life, he is still better than those other guys.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 22nd, 2011
11:41 pm

bgfalcon — I think Quizz is bracketed with Gartrell in the No. 3 spot. Akeem Dent was injured in the Miami game. He was rehabbing with the training staff today. He’s getting close to returning.

DHunt
— (See above about Quizz.)

bgfalcon

August 22nd, 2011
11:57 pm

Thanks, D.OL. i believe that gartrell brings nothing to this team! he tripped up on grass on third and short and wouldve been a first down if he had stayed upright! smith at least has good speed, even though he fumbled the KO return.

(cursed) of rotten roddy white

August 23rd, 2011
1:26 am

quizz has brain size of a gator? that’s the size of a green pea. lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

robert

August 23rd, 2011
6:30 am

we just need to get out of this healthy. that’s my only concern.

mitch (the one in Rome)

August 23rd, 2011
6:55 am

With game planning this week there will be a much different look. All the folks on the edge of the bandwagon can get back on after Saturday.

SeenThisB4

August 23rd, 2011
7:05 am

Defensive tackle at #91 is a turnstile.

Falcons 4 LIfe

August 23rd, 2011
7:12 am

This will be the game where the Falcons prove they are for real.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2011
7:15 am

bgfalcon – Gartrell was a former 3rd round pick. He has some talent and has made some plays on specials. He could be the last back to make it.

Chandler going deep..

August 23rd, 2011
8:35 am

“This will be the game where the Falcons prove they are for real.”

Yea they really showed us something in that Greenbay game? Brutal…

Heard it before.. Yawn…….

honest_abe

August 23rd, 2011
9:39 am

hmmm maybe that trip up to soldier field might be easier than i first thought. it is just preseason but last nights game was a good sign.

please get out of preseason healthy. watching all these starters go down during preseason has been crazy!

D. Bell

August 23rd, 2011
10:28 am

Ought to be a good test. D. Led: Are you as surprised as I am that Jerry hasn’t played himself into the starting role yet, ahead of Peters?

Beckzhere

August 23rd, 2011
10:31 am

Lets throw a few screen passes to Jaquizz, i want to see what he can do in open space.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2011
11:02 am

D.Bell – Yes. He might surprise folks this season.

jerry

August 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

Someone tell that psuedo DC to account for the quarterback and maybe we won’t see him run for a first down on 3rd and 15.

punjabiinatl

August 23rd, 2011
11:19 am

dol …u think jose valdez is better then baker , & what about johnson instead reynolds !

DawgFan

August 23rd, 2011
11:25 am

D-Led,
With so many running backs, a pretty solid WR corps, and a FB as good as Ovie, do you think we’ll see more Full House sets from the Falcons this season? I can see the potential for more play-action, but I really think this is a good chance for some multiple back sets.

waynester

August 23rd, 2011
11:25 am

Sorry guys, but watching Valdez over the last couple of seasons doesn’t fill me with confidence that we could simply plug him in should Baker or Clabo go down. Valdez is big but he seems incredibly stiff and inflexible–not what you need on the left side at all. I’ve been pulling for the young man for awhile but I’ve also been on the “New OLT” bandwagon for a couple of seasons, too……

huck from marietta

August 23rd, 2011
11:42 am

in the JAX game, #24 (D.Franks) was getting burned like #21(C.Owens) at the GB playoff game… We need some real corners or it’ll be a shoot-out every game!!!

rattler

August 23rd, 2011
11:55 am

I’d like to see RB Sylvester make the cut. The Falcons could use that speed on offense, especially on 3rd down plays. Also, Sylvester is a pretty good kick returner with 4.3 speed.

PickSix

August 23rd, 2011
11:57 am

What a rifle that Cutler has..IceMelt dont you wish?

Steelers will rout

Falcon Fan For Life

August 23rd, 2011
12:31 pm

to huck
Actually franks look pretty good. The first pass was a quick slant which would be hard to defend for any corner yet he made the tackle. On the other pass in the slot if does not fall down i believe he makes a play on the ball. He is clearly more athletic than owens who has far more experience. My only regret is atlanta didn’t let franks play more last year. I’d take my changes on franks cut owens, and bring back williams or another corner just in case.

FFFL

Falcon Fan For Life

August 23rd, 2011
12:34 pm

Dled
you still have never answered my question on why grimes, and stephen nicholson continue to play special teams as starters. That makes absolutely no sense to me. WHY IS THAT???

FFFL

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2011
12:35 pm

Falcon Fan For Life – The Falcons believe in putting their best players on special teams.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2011
12:37 pm

DawgFan — We have seen that Inverted Wishbone in some practices. I think it’s a short yardage formation for them.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2011
12:40 pm

punjabiinatl – Valdez is going to be a player. Baker was a first rounder. I need to see more of Johnson to put him ahead of Reynolds.

S'paw_99

August 23rd, 2011
1:03 pm

What about Vance Walker, is he gonna play this weekend, he’s listed as a # DT, but I don’t think I’ve seen him all preseason?

I assume both him & Michael Palmer are gonna make the team.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2011
1:08 pm

S’paw_99 — Vance Walker has returned to practice and it’s expected that he will play this week. He’s been hurt with an ankle injury and that’s why you haven’te seen him. I think Palmer is good. It will likely come down to Walker and Trey Lewis for the last spot.

Falcon Fan For Life

August 23rd, 2011
1:32 pm

Dled
thanks for responding.
I hope that does not bite them in the butt. we a ok special teams but there is room for improvement. One last inquiry i notice Lawrence Sidbury didn’t play last week any reason why or did we cut hi,m already???

Falcon Fan For Life

August 23rd, 2011
1:33 pm

We are ok on special teams is what i meant

The Fantastic Falcon Fanatic

August 23rd, 2011
1:48 pm

It looked like the Falcons starting O-line got pushed around last week by the Jags. Not sold on Reynolds at rt guard just yet. Gartrell at RB seems like a long shot to me since he is similar to Turner and Snelling. Still a toss up to me between Owens and Franks, both are a sure bet to make the team. Former UGA players Dent and Tripp seem like long shots, maybe practice squad for them along with Gartrell?

Tide Rising

August 23rd, 2011
2:14 pm

Julio is da man.

chris hemphill

August 23rd, 2011
2:18 pm

yea the steelers are goig to kick but this year

DirtyBirds2

August 23rd, 2011
2:20 pm

Enter your comments here

Greg Moundine

August 23rd, 2011
3:15 pm

Let’s Keep everyone Healthy!

[...] head coach Mike Smith said on Monday that he will likely play his starters a significant portion of Saturday night’s game against the Steelers. Tags: 93.7 The Fan, Bob [...]

S'paw_99

August 23rd, 2011
3:47 pm

Thanks for the update D_Led. Keep up the good work.

Personally, I hope Vance makes it, I think he’s played really well for a 7th rd pick. He’s never gonna be a star, but a solid rotational guy.

I may be biased b/c of his College & #.