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Falcons TSN Report

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Falcons Team Report

Posted: June 25, 2008

D. Orlando Ledbetter

For Sporting News

PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: For Daren Stone, it would have been cheaper to get a driver. The backup strong safety met with Falcons coach Mike Smith following his arrest on a drunken driving charge. Stone participated in the next-to-last offseason practice but he did not comment on his arrest. Smith did and was not pleased, but he elected to keep those conversations private. Stone is part of the group of young safeties that the Falcons hope to rebuild with. Veteran Lawyer Milloy and Erik Coleman are currently running with the first team defense. Stone, who showed great range late last season when he got on the field, has some upside. He's been a solid special teams player and projects as a potential starter. The Falcons are hoping that he'll learn from his mistakes. In the wake of the Michael Vick dogfighting case, the team has had to become more image conscious. Stone is athletic -- check out his YouTube.com video where he's jumping over cars -- and is a solid hitter. He's making the jump from Maine to the NFL and must show some savvy on and off the field. ...

The Falcons thought they were drafting a potential center for the future when they selected former Ohio State standout Doug Datish last season. But with veteran Todd McClure, Bruce Wilkerson and Alex Stepanovich, Datish was expendable. Wilkerson and Stepanovich will battle it out for the backup spot and the winner will find himself on the field if something happens to McClure.

SCOUTING REPORT: Draft pick Thomas DeCoud got a lot of attention from DB coach Emmitt Thomas and head coach Mike Smith during the last few days of organized training activities. The team likes his toughness and ability to strike. He's an intelligent player who communicates his recognitions to the rest of the defense. DeCoud is a hybrid safety and could possibly take over for Lawyer Milloy, who's in the last year of his contract. If something happens to the first string safeties, look for DeCoud to be on the field.

WIDE RECEIVERS ANALYSIS: The development of Roddy White into a 1,000-yard receiver last season has helped to elevate a once porous unit. White's route running continued to improve and he was able to eliminate the dropped passes that marred his earlier seasons. If he can continue on an upward plane, the Falcons may have their first Pro Bowl receiver in years. Opposite White is Laurent Robinson, a second year player who has top shelf speed, magnetic hands and is a fearless route runner. He showed flashes late in his rookie season and has likely sent Joe Horn into retirement or to another team looking for a veteran receiver. Michael Jenkins will have to hold off rookie Harry Douglas for the No. 3 spot. Brian Finneran will be a major bonus if he can return from knee injuries that have caused him to miss the last two seasons. Grade: B Pro Bowl-caliber receivers: 1.

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I think the "B" grade for our receivers may literally be the first positive rating of any type that I've seen associated with the Birds this off-season.  I think this guy missed drinking the kool-aid that all of the other writers drink that convinces them that there's absolutely nothing to be positive about in Flowery Branch.

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nobkowski (6/26/2008)
When Orlando say Laurent Robinson has "magnetic" hands, I agree.  I believe he has hands like Chad Johnson.  Now if he can just put the rest of the game with them, RWhite will not be the pro-bowler.
I see we still have Roddy White haters.
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