falcon057 Posted August 29, 2010 Share Posted August 29, 2010 (edited) By D. Orlando LedbetterThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionMIAMI -- Falcons coach Mike Smith and his staff are near the end of the evaluation process.The Falcons must trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday. After the final exhibition game against Jacksonville on Thursday, they'll have to trim down to 53 by Saturday."In terms of sitting down and talking about it, we've had numerous personnel meetings," Smith said. "We talk almost daily about who had a good day and who had a bad day."Before training camp started, Smith said this was the most talented group he had in his three seasons as the Falcons' head coach. Some of the hotly contested position battles are at cornerback, defensive tackle and the reserve spots along the offensive line."There are going to be some important decisions that we are going to have to make as an organization," Smith said. "You want to make sure that you put your best 53 guys out there."Over the past two seasons, the Falcons have juggled their roster after making the initial cuts. Last season, cornerback Brian Williams was added. In 2008, they added tight end Justin Peelle two days after the 53-man roster cut-down and traded for cornerback Domonique Foxworth.When making their decisions, Smith and his staff evaluate players on more than exhibition games. They use the "entire body of work" approach.Here's a look at some of the decisions facing the Falcons: (Note: The number beside each position group is the number on the Falcons' roster at the end of last season. They had 26 players on offense, 23 on defense and 4 specialists.)Quarterbacks (3)This will be the second season this group is together. John Parker Wilson looked good against New England's reserves.Locks: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman and Wilson.Running backs (6)change to 5It's not likely that they will keep six running backs. They had to keep Aaron Stecker active last season because Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood were hurt.Locks: Norwood, Turner, Ovie Mughelli, Jason Snelling and Dan Klecko.Long shots: Dimitri Nance and Antone Smith.Wide receivers (5) change to 6With Kerry Meier this will be an all-veteran group, with Troy Bergeron possibly making the team. Michael Jenkins is recovering nicely from his shoulder injury and could be back by the opener.Locks: Jenkins, Roddy White, Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran and Eric Weems.On the bubble: Bergeron.add him for now and watch wireLong shots: Andy Strickland, Tim Buckley, Brandyn Harvey and Ryan Wolfe.Injured reserve: Meier.Tight ends (3)Keith Zinger's hands have improved, and he has developed into a fine in-line blocker. Look for Michael Palmer to show up on the practice squad. The Parkview High grad has potential.Locks: Peelle, Zinger and Tony Gonzalez.Long shots: Palmer and Robbie Agnone.Offensive line (8)Change to (10) and add Brett Romberg.The Falcons wanted to build some depth behind the starters.Locks: Todd McClure, Justin Blalock, Harvey Dahl, Sam Baker, Tyson Clabo, Will Svitek, Garrett Reynolds, Joe Hawley, and Mike Johnson.On the bubble: Jose Valdez and Brett Romberg.Long shots: Rob Bruggeman and Blake Schlueter.Defensive line (9) change to 10Trey Lewis has made it tough for the Falcons to cut him. He arguably has had the best preseason along the defensive line.Locks: Lewis, John Abraham, Kroy Biermann, Lawrence Sidbury, Corey Peters, Chauncey Davis, Peria Jerry, Jonathan Babineaux, Jamaal Anderson.On the bubble: Thomas Johnson and Vance Walker.Long shots: Emmanuel Stephens and Maurice Lucas.Linebackers (6)It's just a matter of who is going to start for this group. Robert James' four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy likely will cost him a roster spot.Locks: Curtis Lofton, Mike Peterson, Stephen Nicholas, Sean Weatherspoon, Coy Wire and Spencer Adkins.Long shots: James, Weston Johnson and Bear Woods.Defensive backs (8)Brent Grimes and Christopher Owens have received some valuable repetitions as Dunta Robinson recovers from his hamstring injury. Look for Owens to show up as the nickel back.William Moore played well Friday against Miami in his only action of the preseason."It was a feeling that I've been waiting on for a long time," Moore said of his first tackle against the Dolphins. "I actually didn't feel too nervous because I was prepared. I felt like I went out there and had a good day."Locks: Grimes, Owens, Robinson, Moore, Chevis Jackson, Dominique Franks, Erik Coleman, Shann Schillinger and Thomas DeCoud.On the bubble: Williams and Matt Giordano.Long shots: Rafael Bush, Dominique Daniels and Eric Brock.Specialists (4) change to (3)Matt Bryant beat out Steven Hauschka for the place-kicking duties.Locks: Bryant, Michael Koenen and Joe Zelenka.I believe B.Williams makes it over both Chevis Jackson and Matt Giordano. Edited August 29, 2010 by falcon057 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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