Archive for August, 2010

2nd Annual Bird Cage Roster Competition

Decisions, Decisions

Will Nance Snag a Spot? (CCompton/AJC)

 It’s that time again Ladies and Gentlemen, your turn to take part in the 2nd Annual Bird Cage Roster Competition. Even though the coaching staff and front office have to make the actual tough decisions, its time to agonize between what you think should happen and what will happen. We as fans aren’t privy to all the information and evaluation that goes into making the hard resolutions that will determine the final 53 man team and 8 man practice squad. The vast majority of players are locks and are no-brainers, but there will be some excruciatingly hard calls on a few players. Pore over the preseason games and training camp in general and list out who you think will be the final Falcons 53 man roster.

Rules

-Each correct player prediction receive 1 point

-Each correct player on the practice squad will receive a half point

-Rosters must be posted in The Bird Cage or sent via email by Friday @ Noon

-Winner may receive a …

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How Big is the Dolphins Game?

Four Questions as the Falcons Prepare for ‘Fins

Can 1st Unit Score a….TD? (CCompton/AJC)

 The Falcons are looking to wipe away some bad memories after the Patriots came in and ripped the Birds pretty much from the opening kick. We all know its preseason and you simply can’t draw too much from the games that don’t count. How soon can fans forget that the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the preseason and then went on to finish with the worst record in the history of the National Football League at 0-16. The third game has developed into the “biggest and most important” game of the preseason where teams will treat it most like the real deal. Starters will see 30-35 snaps and actually will gameplan some to try and get the best possible look at their first units. Many of us had some bad mojo after the embarrassment that the Patriots put on, but its easy to forget that these games simply don’t count. More than anything, Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff deserve the …

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Concerned with Falcons Beatdown?

Four Questions as Falcons Prepare for Dolphins

Should We Worry, Coach? (CCompton/AJC)

First and foremost, let’s all repeat it together: it’s just preseason. The games don’t count and there’s no trophy for blasting opponents and going undefeated. Preseason is a time for players to get into playing shape and mentality. It’s a time for coaches to get a good glimpse of players in real game situation and decide who stays, who goes, and who starts. That being said, it was more than a little worrisome to see the Falcons look completely disinterested to be there against one of the best teams of the 21st century, on national television, and at home in The Dome. Yes it is preseason, but the Falcons were pushed around, manhandled, and pretty much embarrassed by the Patriots. With the Birds supposedly having one of the deepest rosters in recent memory and a several spots open, fans would hope to see a better showing. Although the big test awaits in the coveted “third game” in Miami, is …

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Falcons Ready for Patriots

Four Fiery Questions of Preseason

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) loosens up for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010.

Is #2 Locking on to #88 Again? (CCompton/AJC)

The Bird Cage is back and ready to go after a short break and the week of preseason and training camp have definitely started to make things a little more clear than they were on the first day of Training Camp when the Falcons opened in shorts and helmets. Some names have risen to the top of the heap and some, unfortunately, have already seen the Turk. After a pretty good showing against the lowly Chiefs, fans expect the Falcons to ramp up the competition as they play one of the best teams of the 21st century in the New England Patriots. As the Birds prepare for a big preseason test (and their last preseason game at home), The Bird Cage ponders several questions and looks forward to getting the true experts (Bird Cage and Falcons fans) opinion as preseason rolls forward:

1) Are the Piling-Up Injuries a Major Concern?

No Falcons fan in their right mind could believe that the devastating injury bug …

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Battle for S#4 – Veteran or Youth?

Which Safety Will Make the Cut?

 

The Bird Cage Training Camp Battle Series, Fight for Fourth Safety Spot: Matt Giordano vs. Shann Schillinger vs. Rafael Bush. Even though not a highly regarded battle, the Falcons will look to finally develop a player at safety and possibly not just reserving it for special teams duties only.

Rotating Door to Steady Depth

One of the lesser known and noticed training camp battles on the entire roster involves several players competing for one spot as the last backup safety position on the roster. The position has been a revolving door of sorts the last two years, having players such as Jamaal Fudge, Antoine Harris, and Eric Brock rotate on the roster and soon rotate back on. The main duties have included being a special teams ace and rarely seeing much action on the field. That could change this year with William Moore’s constant injury issues and the Falcons possibly looking to develop a player to take the position on a more permanent basis. …

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Battle for RB#2 – Snelling vs. Norwood

Who Will Be Main Backup?

3rd in The Bird Cage Training Camp Battle Series, Battle for Running Back #2: Jason Snelling vs. Jerious Norwood. Should be a great competition and whoever “wins” may be much more in the Falcons long-term plans.

A New Battle

One of the best battles that has developed the last couple of years on the Atlanta Falcons roster is the competition for the main backup duties at running back. One of GM Thomas Dimitroff’s first moves was to snag Michael Turner in free agency to be the stud running back he eventually became. The campaign for the main backup duties will be at an all-time pitch this camp. Jerious Norwood was long the Falcons central backup with his excellent speed that provided a great complement as a change-of-pace back and was a homerun threat every time he touched the ball. Recent injury history to Norwood opened the door for long valued running back Jason Snelling, who proved to be a very valuable asset and an essential part of the Falcons …

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Battle for CB#5 – Who Will Be Odd Man Out?

Will Falcons Keep All Six Corners?

Training Camp Updates

Updates will be posted here in The Bird Cage as they become available.

The Bird Cage Training Camp Battle Series, Topic 2: Battle for 5th Cornerback Spot. These aren’t given in any certain order, other than to spread out the big battles. This one might seem like a silly one since you’re talking about a player way down on the depth chart, but the Falcons roster is quite possibly the deepest it’s been in a long, long time.

From Big Weakness to Possible Strength

The Falcons poor secondary is well-documented and ranked near the very bottom last year after getting torched throughout the season in all aspects of the game. Several quarterbacks had their best game of the season and even of their career (Eli Manning). Since Thomas Dimitroff and Coach Mike Smith took over, the Falcons secondary has been pretty awful. With the signing of Dunta Robinson, the emergence of Chris Owens and Brent Grimes, a possible bounce back from …

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Battle for DE – Biermann vs. Sidbury Jr.

Defensive End Battle

 

Training Camp Updates

Updates will be provided here in The Bird Cage as they become available.

  The Bird Cage will be starting a 2010 Training Camp Battle Series that will run through the Grand Finale of Camp. The Battles will examine the situation and position, as well as the players up for the job. Check out the arguments and choose who you think will win.

First up is one of the more intriguing battles in trying to figure out who will be the main man lining up at the open defensive end spot opposite John Abraham: Kroy Biermann or Lawrence Sidbury Jr.?

A Huge Need

The Falcons ranked as one of the worst in the NFL in terms of getting pressure on the quarterbacks last season, and the entire defense paid for it. Most QBs were allowed to pick them apart when they got hot, players ranging from the predictable Drew Brees and Tom Brady to the heavily struggling Jake Delhomme. The Falcons ranked 26th in terms of sacks and 28th in pass coverage which seems like …

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