Debut in Motown
The Dark Clouds Have Lifted, Well Almost
The wait is finally over my friends, Atlanta Falcons football has returned, well sort of. No, its not the real deal yet, but if you’re a serious football junkie than it can serve to be an awesome experience for many reasons. One, the preseason game officially rings the bell that football is back. Two, preseason games are an excellent way for fantasy football junkies to do research on players that might be sleepers or risers, and conversely can help drop some players who may be overrated. Three, it’s a great time to try and figure out who will make the final 53 man protected roster. And finally, hey its football, do you need another reason?
Tale of Two Franchises
Falcons Offense vs Lions Defense
Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood will likely see a couple of series and head to the bench. The “Burn Unit” as DOL nicknamed the offensive line the other day, will see some action and get a chance to beat on someone else other than their teammates. In general, we’ll see some glimpses of what’s to come with our potentially explosive offense, but not enough for our liking.
As far as the Lions defense goes, they will look to see what they have with many new faces they acquired in the off-season. They signed Big Grady at DT, Phillip Buchanon at CB, and Larry Foote at LB among others, and drafted Louis Delmas at S, Deandre Levy at OLB, and Sammie Hill at DT to add a youth movement. Add to those names one of the better young linebackers in the game, Ernie Sims, and Jim Schwartz’s defensive mind, and its possible to see some hope for the future.
Falcons Defense vs Lions Offense
The Lions can really only go up on offense after a pretty atrocious year. Of course a great tie-in for local UGA fans to watch and see what number one draft pick Matthew Stafford will do in his debut (remember, Matt Ryan looked pretty good in his). Besides Stafford they drafted arguably the best tight end in the draft in Brandon Pettigrew, whom many of us believed would be in red and black before the Gonzalez trade. They will add that to a promising RB in Kevin Smith and local legend Calvin Johnson. Daunte Culpepper wants to show with authority that’s he back and that Stafford may have to wait a little longer than expected.
Key Players & Battles to Keep an Eye On
The majority of what preseason games represent, particularly the early ones, are a chance for the backups to show why they deserve a coveted spot on the 53 man protected roster. The real games begin once the starters head for the sidelines:
Running Back #3 – Thomas Brown vs. Jason Snelling
As has been mentioned before, there’s a good chance that Brown and Snelling will both make it on the roster. However, neither player can assume as much since there’s so much competition throughout the team. Good chance the Falcons may carry 5 DT’s, 5 DE’s, and maybe even 6 WR’s, so it may not be a lock after all.
Every Wide Receiver Not Named White, Jenkins, or Finneran
Open DT Not a Lock After All
Many assumed that Peria Jerry would be a shoe-in for the open defensive tackle spot when he was taken with the 24th overall pick in the first round. Thomas Johnson, Trey Lewis, Jason Jefferson, and Vance Walker are all having something to say about that. Thomas Johnson is making a big push to either start or make the coaches consider keeping a 5th defensive tackle. Jefferson’s a crafty vet who knows the ropes, but the biggest surprise has been local favorite Vance Walker of Georgia Tech fame. Trey Lewis must prove he can stay healthy.
Veterans or Rookies at Backup Linebacker
The battle was supposed to be simple with 2008 5th round draft pick Robert James battling 2009 6th draft pick Spencer Adkins for the last linebacker spot, but the recent signing of veteran OLB Jamie Winborn has certainly added some heat to the mix.
Open Corner Spot
Brent Grimes is shocking the world again and taking the inside track to be our opening day starter. Chris Owens is having a great camp as a true rookie and looks to push Grimes as far as he can to start in his first year. Chevis Jackson also looks to be in the mix as well, even though he may be slotted for the nickel again this year. Von Hutchins looks to be the hybrid CB/S that can play both, but maybe not necessarily as a starter. Hadn’t heard very much from rookie William Middleton.
Get the honey-do list done early, grab some good food (even try one of the recipes posted in here), get your favorite beverage, and lockdown on the couch for the return of ATLANTA FALCONS FOOTBALL!!!!!
Well Wishes to Michael Vick
The news broke late last night that our former quarterback, Michael Vick, was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. This will not be a post focusing on any negative aspects. Vick brought a spirit, energy, and passion to Atlanta Falcons Football and the NFL in general. He was one of the most exciting players in football when he played and wowed us many Sundays. Situations well known to everyone certainly changed the dynamics. Human existence is about redemption and second chances, and Michael Vick surely deserves every opportunity to remake his life and find recovery, both professionally and personally. Best wishes to MV on his new journey.