FLOWERY BRANCH – Hey, y’all remember Dimitri Nance, right?
He ran hard for the Falcons during the 2010 exhibition season and made the practice squad.
Much to the consternation of the Falcons, Nance was plucked off the practice squad by the Green Bay Packers.
On their way to the Super Bowl title, Nance played in 12 games for the Pack. He had 36 rushes for 95 yards. He played in the playoff game against the Eagles, but was inactive for the rest of the playoffs, including the Packers win over the Falcons.
However, he still picked up a Super Bowl ring and he has it with him in his dorm room in Flowery Branch for motivation.
“I keep it close to me at all times,” Nance said. “I got the Super Bowl ring, but I really didn’t play in the game. That’s motivation to try to get back to the Super Bowl and be a part of it and play in the game.”
The Falcons were the NFC’s No. 1 seed when the Packers pummeled them at the Georgia Dome.
“I was on the winning side, but I still knew a lot of guys on the Falcons’ sideline,” Nance said. “It was interesting. I was just happy. I was on that team at the time, so that’s who I wanted to win.”
Nance knows that he will get some action against the Ravens and against the Bengals.
“The first couple of games, the second and third stringers are going to get in a lot,” Nance said. “I’m expecting to get a lot of action to prove myself.”
In addition to Nance, here are some players to watch in tonight’s exhibition opener against the Baltimore Ravens at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.
Kerry Meier, wide receiver: With Eric Weems off to Chicago, Meier can wrap up the No. 4 wide receiver spot with a strong showing.
Meier has to learn all of the wide receiver spots.
“There is a lot of stuff that I need to do,” Meier said.
He’s expecting a lot of action against the Ravens.
“The key is kind of cutting loose and getting back into the swing of things in game situations,” Meier said. “We’ve kind of been grinding in training camp, so it’s going to be a good chance for us to go out and get into a live game situation.”
Meier doesn’t believe the Falcons have too much on his plate.
“It’s great, that’s what we come here to do,” Meier said. “I want to show these coaches and show these teammates that I’m capable of doing the things they’ve asked me to do. We can simulate as much as we can out on the practice field, but it’s not until we get in a game situations that guys will step out of their comfort zone and make plays.
“This is going to be a great chance for not only the young guys, but for me because I consider myself a young guy trying to prove every day that I belong here. Each day, I’m trying to take a step in the right direction. Thursday will be another big step for us.”
Robert James, linebacker: He is running with the second-team after being developed on the practice squad. He was a fifth-round pick in 2008 and has mostly been on the practice squad. He played in one regular-season game in 2009 and one in 2011.
Michael Calvin, wide receiver: The fleet receiver from California flashed his 4.3 speed in the Friday Night Lights event. He also showed off some nice hands with a difficult catch on a deep pass.
Dominique Davis, quarterback: He has been much more accurate with his passes and had a fine showing in the controlled practice against the Titans in Dalton. He could push John Parker Wilson for the No. 3 spot.
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–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog