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Congrats Tom Dimitroff, RG Harvey Dahl and the 5 rookies that will start opening day


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By STEVE WYCHE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Flowery Branch — Falcons head coach Mike Smith said that though the starting quarterback job has been decided, there are several jobs still up for grabs.

“The thing that’s lost in this is over the next five, six days there’s a lot of competition, not just at the No. 2 and No. 3 quarterback positions,” Smith said. “There’s not a lot of roster spots that are secure. There are going to be more decisions we have to make.”

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Smith said that veteran right tackle Todd Weiner played well in his first action of the preseason Friday against Tennessee and that there have been no negative after-effects to his surgically overhauled knee. Smith indicated that Weiner could emerge as the starter ahead of Tyson Clabo and that the rest of offensive line appears set.

“It was good to see Todd Weiner out there this past weekend and where we possibly have our starting five intact,” Smith said. “I think they’ll be a very efficient group.”

That means that upstart Harvey Dahl would start at right guard ahead of Kynan Forney, who did not play against the Titans after seeing reserve duty in Atlanta’s other two preseason games.

Lofton, other rookies, in play

Smith also said that as many as five rookies could be in the top rotation to start the season, including middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who appears to have moved ahead of Tony Taylor in the starting lineup.

“Curtis had six good hits and did a nice job coming downhill,” Smith said of Lofton, who made his first start against the Titans. “He was all that we anticipated. He handled the logistics of getting our front set. It was good to see our rookie middle linebacker out there.”

The other rookie starters will be quarterback Matt Ryan and left tackle Sam Baker. Harry Douglas will be the No. 3 wide receiver and Chevis Jackson is the starting nickel back.

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also good to see Weiner had no ill effects after playing on his knee for the first time post surgery....that is a big deal. Yes, we all love Clabo as wll, but Weiner being healthy just makes us better as a whole regardless. Weiner can also play LT in a pinch if Baker goes down a game or something, allowing Clabo to play RT.

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Can you guys fill me in as to why the #3 WR and the #3 CB is considered starting? In a basic formation there is only 2 WR's on the field right? Always wondered about this. But yea TD is sick, I BELIEVE!!!

I suppose it is because the nickel defense and 3 wr set are a base subset of all defensive and offensive schemes respectively.

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I suppose it is because the nickel defense and 3 wr set are a base subset of all defensive and offensive schemes respectively.

Yah, starting 22 is not accurate anymore. Its more like a starting 24 with 1 extra corner and wide reciever included in there. Its just how the league has evolved over the last 5-6 years really.

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The optimism is running high again. It must be getting close to kickoff time of the regular season.

I do think this was an excellent draft. But I think we do need to be careful not to get carried away too early. Is having 5 rookie starters really something to be happy about? (and I can buy that the slot/3rd receiver and nickelback positions could be considered starting positions since there is a possibility of opening in those sets)

You tend to see this on the board every preseason after about week 3. A lot of things are looking good in preseason, so hopes get raised. But what happens in preseason has no relationship to what happens when the regular season kicks off. There will be much more complicated offenses & defenses that we will be facing. Our 3rd/4th stringers won't be going against other 3rd/4th stringers anymore. Everybody will play with higher levels of intensity. Just a cautionary word of advice, don't get over-excited about anything that happens in the regular season.

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The optimism is running high again. It must be getting close to kickoff time of the regular season.

I do think this was an excellent draft. But I think we do need to be careful not to get carried away too early. Is having 5 rookie starters really something to be happy about? (and I can buy that the slot/3rd receiver and nickelback positions could be considered starting positions since there is a possibility of opening in those sets)

You tend to see this on the board every preseason after about week 3. A lot of things are looking good in preseason, so hopes get raised. But what happens in preseason has no relationship to what happens when the regular season kicks off. There will be much more complicated offenses & defenses that we will be facing. Our 3rd/4th stringers won't be going against other 3rd/4th stringers anymore. Everybody will play with higher levels of intensity. Just a cautionary word of advice, don't get over-excited about anything that happens in the regular season.

I see what you're saying, I'm just happy Forney's been demoted.

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The optimism is running high again. It must be getting close to kickoff time of the regular season.

I do think this was an excellent draft. But I think we do need to be careful not to get carried away too early. Is having 5 rookie starters really something to be happy about? (and I can buy that the slot/3rd receiver and nickelback positions could be considered starting positions since there is a possibility of opening in those sets)

You tend to see this on the board every preseason after about week 3. A lot of things are looking good in preseason, so hopes get raised. But what happens in preseason has no relationship to what happens when the regular season kicks off. There will be much more complicated offenses & defenses that we will be facing. Our 3rd/4th stringers won't be going against other 3rd/4th stringers anymore. Everybody will play with higher levels of intensity. Just a cautionary word of advice, don't get over-excited about anything that happens in the regular season.

Robb what are your thoughts on moving Chev Jackson to the starting slot?? Houston looks hurt to me.

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The optimism is running high again. It must be getting close to kickoff time of the regular season.

I do think this was an excellent draft. But I think we do need to be careful not to get carried away too early. Is having 5 rookie starters really something to be happy about? (and I can buy that the slot/3rd receiver and nickelback positions could be considered starting positions since there is a possibility of opening in those sets)

You tend to see this on the board every preseason after about week 3. A lot of things are looking good in preseason, so hopes get raised. But what happens in preseason has no relationship to what happens when the regular season kicks off. There will be much more complicated offenses & defenses that we will be facing. Our 3rd/4th stringers won't be going against other 3rd/4th stringers anymore. Everybody will play with higher levels of intensity. Just a cautionary word of advice, don't get over-excited about anything that happens in the regular season.

BOOO This Man...Robb, I know what you're saying, but now is not the time for reality. Now is the time to consider the possiblities as we as Falcons fans always do this time of year.

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BOOO This Man...Robb, I know what you're saying, but now is not the time for reality. Now is the time to consider the possiblities as we as Falcons fans always do this time of year.

He must have been talking to someone else since my post was simply congratulating TD, Dahl and the 5 rookies.

The W/L record is not the barometer I will use for success this season. I will look for steady growth and cohesion as a young but talented group of players grow together . All you have to do is open your eyes to what is going on around here at all levels, coaching, FAs, draft picks, front office and you can see some very good things going on. Instant success is not one of them, and I warned everyone that was cheering on the demise of our last QB it was going to take at least 3 years to turn things around so I knew.

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Robb what are your thoughts on moving Chev Jackson to the starting slot?? Houston looks hurt to me.

I really like Jackson, but with Houston/Grimes we are already very young at a tough position, if we have to move Jackson into Houston's spot, things could get really rough for us if we don't have a very good pass rush. If Houston is tweaked (or maybe if he isn't), it wouldn't be a bad idea to watch the waiver wires for a vet CB to be released just for some experienced depth. Problem might be, who do we knock out to get the vet there. I like all our young CB's.

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He must have been talking to someone else since my post was simply congratulating TD, Dahl and the 5 rookies.

The W/L record is not the barometer I will use for success this season. I will look for steady growth and cohesion as a young but talented group of players grow together . All you have to do is open your eyes to what is going on around here at all levels, coaching, FAs, draft picks, front office and you can see some very good things going on. Instant success is not one of them, and I warned everyone that was cheering on the demise of our last QB it was going to take at least 3 years to turn things around so I knew.

No, my post wasn't in direct relation to your initial post. I just happened to put it under yours when I could have made that post in any of about 20 threads on the front page last night.

There are quite a few posters that have been down on our moves, who after seeing a few preseason games, have gone from poo-pooing our offseason to we should go 8-8 or better. These are the same roller-coaster type fans who, if we lose 2 out of our first 3 games will be on here yelling and screaming because we started so many rookies & made bad offseason choices. A lot of the changes we've made are going to take time to develop and work out, but I think they will. We've seen good signs of that this preseason. I just hate seeing people get over-hyped on a few preseason games that a. don't mean anything really and b. are played against vanilla defenses & offenses. Rookies really have no idea what to expect once the regular season hits and all these uber-complex schemes hit the field. There is going to be a big learning curve that hits one the regular season kicks off and we don't need to base all our excitement on what we've seen in just a couple of preseason games.

I agree with you, in that I'm cautiously optimistic about this season, but I'm trying not to go overboard. I think we do have a legit shot at surprising and carrying on the NFC South tradition of worst-to-first, but until I see it on the field in the regular season, I'm trying to keep my emotions on an even keel.

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It also makes Robinson the 4th WR, which is also quite surprising.

the reason why Laurent Robinson is not starting at this point is simply because he can't stay healthy and has missed too many practices - plus, Michael Jenkins looked very good last week in the Titans game - think he caught five balls.

Laurent Robinson is going to have to stay healthy and win the job on the field - he does not have enough of a "history" of good play to simply be "handed the job" like Roddy White (who earned starting spot no matter what with his superior season last year). I definitely believe that Laurent Robinson is talented enough to be a #2 starter in the NFL for the Falcons - but he has to stay healthy and "prove it on the field". Until then, Jenkins starts.

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