Atlanta Falcons notes: Franks impresses as punt returner

Vivlamore reporting from the Georgia Dome.

Dominique Franks assumed the punt return duties in the Falcons first exhibition game Thursday and made a big impression.

Franks, a reserve cornerback, returned a first-quarter punt 45 yards to the Ravens’ 15-yard line before being pushed out of bounds by punter Sam Koch.

“It was a middle return and once I caught it I had seven or eight yards free,’ said Franks, who also credited the rest of the punt return unit. “It gave me a chance to get downhill, make a couple guys miss and bounce it back to the outside where the opening was. I’m sad that I got tackled by the punter. I didn’t want to do too much cutting back. I’m still trying to win a job.”

Tim Toone returned punts in the second half. Harry Douglas, who has also been working at punt returner during training camp, did not play in the exhibition with a rib injury.

Jacquizz Rodgers returned kickoffs in the first half and brother James Rodgers returned in the second half. The Falcons must replace returner Eric Weems, who left via free agency.

Competition at QB

Coach Mike Smith has said many times during training camp that there is open competition at several positions this season. He reiterated such comments Thursday in regards to the backup quarterback positions behind starter Matt Ryan.

Smith was asked following the game if the battle at quarterback was for the second spot or just the third spot.

“I think it’s wide open.” Smith said. “It will play itself out over the next three weeks. I don’t think anyone has an advantage over the other one. We are going to let these guys put a body of work out there and we are going to evaluate it at the end of the preseason.”

Chris Redman, the No. 2 last season, was 1-for-6 for eight yards. John Parker Wilson was 8-for-13 for 69 yards. Dominique Davis was 6-for-11 for 53 yards. All played with the second and third units.

O-line rotation

The Falcons used a starting offensive line of Sam Baker (LT), Justin Blalock (LG), Todd McClure (C), Garrett Reynolds (RG) and Tyson Clabo (RT). It was the same first unit they have used during training camp.

On the Falcons’ fourth offensive series, Joe Hawley replaced the veteran McClure at center. The second unit, that entered in the second quarter, was Will Svitek, Andrew Jackson, Hawley, rookie Peter Konz and Mike Johnson. Konz later moved to center and was replaced by Phillip Manley.

The final offensive line used consisted of Bryce Harris, Manley, Tyler Horn, Konz and Jackson. Rookie Lamar Holmes, a third-round draft pick who missed much of the offseason with a broken toe, did not play.

Challenge error

In his four seasons, Smith has a good track record of challenging official rulings but he got one wrong Thursday.

Smith threw the red flag to challenge an incomplete pass to Drew Davis in the first quarter. Davis caught pass from Ryan but was ruled out of bounds. Video replay officials upheld the call.

“In hindsight, I would have loved to have kept that flag in my pocket,” Smith said. “We all made mistakes out there and that was one of mine.”

33 comments Add your comment

Cejay

August 10th, 2012
3:48 pm

Franks did a great job !!

hiramsaint

August 10th, 2012
3:50 pm

on the flip side- failclown punt returners don’t see much playing time anyway

yo mama

August 10th, 2012
4:04 pm

the ajc claims the falcons were routed. how the heck did your editors make that claim. the game was close til the end. mistakes and turnovers by second and third teamers were the downfall. we were killing them until Joe Flucco got a td on our second team defense.

I WOULDNT CALL THAT A ROUT AJC. ITS THE PRESEASON, GET THOSE COB WEBS OUT AND ACTUALLY WATCH THE GAME.

play our starters the whole game and we rout the ravens. sometimes journalists just cant get it right.

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da truth

August 10th, 2012
4:22 pm

I have to agree with yo mama – why would you say the Falcons were routed – the 1st team looked good and the Ravens got nothing going until the 2,3 and 4th team came in.

buckhead benny

August 10th, 2012
4:40 pm

Would have been nice now to have used our third round pick on a good middle linebacker or DT from Clemson Brandon Thompson who if you google his name is killing it at Bengals camp- our interior defesnive line is an issue and so is our LB-

so we have major whiff issues last 4 years in our third round- christopher owens, mike johnson, Akeem Dent, and now Lamar Holmes- a third round pick should be a serious contributor if not starter or star in this league with all of the underclassman that come out-

this is where Dimitroffs picks become real suspect he zero’s in on guys and his arrogance believes he is smarter than all of the other talent scouts and if you watch Pittsburgh and all of the good teams they grab the all american talents that slip not these projects that slip under the radar-

I am not even high on the DT he drafted from Kentucky he had one good year but last year I didn’t think was good and this year he is already hurt…

hiramsaint

August 10th, 2012
4:40 pm

losing and doing it by giving up THIRTY ONE constitutes a ROUTE

Another Rick

August 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

Hiram….such the troll. Does scoring only 3 constitute trouble? Just saying…….The times Picyuane said as much! Something to the effect of big trouble with only 3 points……..sounds like trouble to me. Something also about the offense line for the Shaints! Not protecting or something…….trouble?

billdawg

August 10th, 2012
4:55 pm

Hiramsaint not only doesn’t understand the second half of early NFL preseason games is to evaluate new talent. He also can’t spell “ROUT”. Suggest a study of preseason football strategy and a spelling lesson. LOL!!

Paddy

August 10th, 2012
5:00 pm

Another Rick….don’t think we will be able to quote the Picyuane much longer. I believe they anounced they are going out of business. Too bad, I enjoyed that paper.

Another Rick

August 10th, 2012
5:21 pm

Lol, nothing good comes out the NO. Wait the food is the bomb! Sorry for the Times, lots of people will be unemployed. On another note @billdawg—-he got caught up in all those “Routes” Julio was running last night! You can tell he was watching and saying how in the heck will our porous secondary cover that guy this year? Dont feel bad Hiram alot of other teams were saying that also.

hiramsaint

August 10th, 2012
5:45 pm

since roddy can’t catch , covering julia will be e-z and when the reg season starts and the o line stops- well…we all remember last year- BAM

Another Rick

August 10th, 2012
5:49 pm

Amazing you say that when is ranked as the 3rd best receiver in footbal…..guess he cwtching something? Oline for Falcons looked pretty good last night…..how was the NO Oline or we can quote the Times on what they said it looked like……how do you say? BAM?

Nite Owl

August 10th, 2012
6:05 pm

I didn’t know there was a “Tim Toone.”

@hiramsaint:

I had to laugh at “Julia,” but that man is going to haunt you for years.

Michael M.

August 10th, 2012
6:10 pm

I can’t stop laughin at some of these comments

"E" from Riverdale

August 10th, 2012
6:18 pm

Why is Chris Redman the back up QB. Every time Redman enters the game, it seems like the game comes to a halt. Redman has yet to lead a quaility drive against anybody the Falcons have played.

Michael M.

August 10th, 2012
6:19 pm

I put a comment up about Julio a few days ago having a big year with stats like 175 or 180 yard games with 2 touchdowns…………..last night was just an example ………he probably would have blown by the Ravens all game long had he been able to play 4 quarters of football and set a new Falcon record for the books…………………………and yes Franks did real well on the punt return to set the Falcons up with good field position and think that was the drive they had the interception on later……I listen to the game on radio so you know how that is.

Michael M.

August 10th, 2012
6:31 pm

Hey Paddy……..maybe the Saints are going out of business without Coach Mastermind, the missing link on the chain of command that makes that Team stay in sync………………you reap what you sow hiramsaint, remember that………….

[...] Franks impresses with punt return [...]

Ken

August 10th, 2012
7:00 pm

‘E’ Redman replacing Joey Harington and was our starting QB before we drafted Ryan. Redman did a good job starting and won a few games. Redman also has done a good job backing up Ryan when he had to play in real games…. lets look at the whole picture not 6 passes in a preseason game.

Ken

August 10th, 2012
7:20 pm

hiramAint i have heard the Roger Goodell is going to take the SB trophy away from the Aints for the illegal bounty during that season. PS remember all those late hits on Brett Farve??? The Aints never could beat anybody unless they Cheated..

the silverman

August 10th, 2012
7:24 pm

I like Franks as the punt returner. He showed promise with that last year in the preseason whe he returned punts. Also I like Dominick Davis to take the 3rd QB spot. JPW looked awful last night

savannadawg

August 11th, 2012
8:31 am

OK. Look. Don’t get carried away on one decent punt return by a guy in his first game as the punt returner.

hiramsaint

August 11th, 2012
10:47 am

sorry to inform you mikey but we proved that we are not a one trick pony. y’all , on the other hand , would be happy if you had one more trick than julia

Michael M.

August 11th, 2012
11:14 am

They going to burn your a^^ when they play those lowland Crack sniffing Junkies you call the Taints !

Michael M.

August 11th, 2012
11:16 am

Put that paper bag on your head and start huffing some more hiramtaint…………………..

jES

August 11th, 2012
3:19 pm

Ryan was impressive. One bad throw. Go Falcons! And I hate the Aints.

hiramsaint

August 11th, 2012
8:09 pm

understandable jes- losers usually look upon their superiors with disdain

[...] Franks impresses with punt return [...]

[...] Franks impresses with punt return [...]

[...] Franks impresses with punt return [...]

[...] Franks impresses with punt return [...]

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