CARTERSVILLE — On the way to Dalton, I received the email from the Falcons previewing Thursday’s game against Baltimore.
I peeled some rubber and pulled off I-75. I found the McDonalds/Pilot Gas/Wal-mart/Winn-Dixie and Hotel. (They take one-stop shopping pretty seriously!) This is a big day for us because the team’s first depth chart is in the 222-page release. (They call it an “unofficial depth chart,” but it’s pretty official if it’s in the 222-page release.)
There are more than a few surprises.
On the first-team offense you’ll find Sam Baker at left tackle, Garrett Reynolds at right guard and Mike Cox at fullback. The Falcons promised a full and open competition along the line, but it’s the same group that opened the season in the Chicago last year. Garrett Reynolds has looked good and is moving well in tight spaces.
On defense, Asante Samuel is listed on the second-team behind Dunta Robinson at right cornerback. Also, it appears that Corey Peters has lost his spot to a foot injury. Peria Jerry is listed as one of the No. 1 defensive tackles alongside of Jonathan Babineaux. Peters is about two more weeks away from returning.
Also, Jacquizz Rodgers is listed as the No. 1 kickoff returner and Harry Douglas as the No. 1 punt returner.
(About to get back on I-75 and finish driving to Dalton. If you’re driving up, abide by the speed limit. I saw the state troopers pull over two cars. One Red Impala was trying to fly. I’m sure he’ll get a ticket for having jet fuel in his Impala.)
WR 11 Julio Jones, 83 Harry Douglas, 19 Drew Davis, 15 Michael Calvin, 18 James Rodgers
LT 72 Sam Baker, 74 Will Svitek, 76 Lamar Holmes
LG 63 Justin Blalock, 69 Andrew Jackson, 68 Phillipkeith Manley
C 62 Todd McClure, 61 Joe Hawley, 66 Peter Konz, 64 Tyler Horn
RG 75 Garrett Reynolds, 66 Peter Konz, 79 Mike Johnson
RT 77 Tyson Clabo, 79 Mike Johnson, 76 Lamar Holmes, 73 Bryce Harris
TE 88 Tony Gonzalez, 81 Michael Palmer, 86 Tommy Gallarda, 85 LaMark Brown, 86 Adam Nissley, 49 Aron White
WR 84 Roddy White, 80 Kerry Meier, 12 Kevin Cone, 16 Marcus Jackson, 89 Kenny Stafford, 17 Tim Toone
QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Chris Redman, 4 John Parker Wilson, 14 Dominique Davis
RB 33 Michael Turner, 44 Jason Snelling, 32 Jacquizz Rodgers, 35 Antone Smith, 30 Dimitri Nance, 40
FB 42 Mike Cox, 34 Bradie Ewing, 43 Lee Meisner
RE 55 John Abraham, 90 Lawrence Sidbury, 98 Cliff Matthews, 97 Louis Nzegwu
DT 94 Peria Jerry, 99 Vance Walker, 92 Travian Robertson, 70 Elisha Joseph
DT 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 91 Corey Peters, 67 Micanor Regis, 65 Conrad Obi
LE 93 Ray Edwards, 71 Kroy Biermann, 96 Jonathan Massaquoi
OLB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 50 Robert James, 43 Rico Council, 46 Max Gruder
MLB 52 Akeem Dent, 53 Mike Peterson, 45 Pat Schiller
OLB 54 Stephen Nicholas, 59 Spencer Adkins, 49 Jarrell Harris
RCB 23 Dunta Robinson, 22 Asante Samuel, 21 Christopher Owens, 38 Marty Markett, 37 Peyton Thompson
LCB 20 Brent Grimes, 24 Dominique Franks, 29 Darrin Walls, 27 Robert McClain
SS 25 William Moore, 36 Chris Hope, 26 Charles Mitchell
FS 28 Thomas DeCoud, 39 Shann Schillinger, 41 Suaesi Tuimaunei
K 3 Matt Bryant, 1 Erik Folk
KO 5 Matt Bosher
P 5 Matt Bosher, 9 Dawson Zimmerman
KR 32 Jacquizz Rodgers, 24 Dominique Franks
PR 83 Harry Douglas, 24 Dominique Franks
LS 82 Joe Zelenka, 47 Josh Harris
H 5 Matt Bosher, 80 Kerry Meier
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–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog