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Update on Atlanta's Nickel Backs


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The best competition in Atlantas training camp might be the battle for nickel back.

Although the Falcons could have gone out and acquired a veteran, they didnt. They decided to stick with two of their young players -- Dominique Franks and Christopher Owens - and let them compete. The Falcons believe both have lots of potential and the hope is that one of them will step forward to claim the job.

Hows the competition going? Well, lets turn to coach Mike Smith for an update.

Well, I see guys making plays, Smith told the media Tuesday. The guys have competed very well. I think theyre very aware of the situation, that that spot is going to be highly contested.

Thats partly because Franks and Owens are having to work against Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas, which should help them prepare for facing just about any receiving corps.

Therell be one period when youll see Dominique step up and make a play, and then youll see Chris turn around and do the same thing, Smith said. Chris had a nice play (Tuesday) in our Texas period. He jumped around and made the type of plays that we have to make, and thats really what its all about. Its all about play-making ability. Those guys have competed like you want guys to compete. Its not like, Oh well, Im going to step back and give it to the other guy. When you have guys going out there and working against each other competing for a job, youre going to get a higher level of play, and thats what were trying to get.[/quote]


Edited by vel
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Edwards, Abraham, etc will be the real difference this year. We have to learn how to put consistent pressure on every team in the league. Part of that is the DB's being able to lock onto WR's for the first 15-20 yards, of course, but a more consistent pass rush would show we have a talented young-ish secondary capable of great things. At least I believe it to be so, but the front seven has to do their job.

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For certain, if we haven't judged our DB's correctly, we could be looking at a 2-3 or 1-4 start to the first five games of the season!

The Bears, Eagles, Packers, Bucs and their respective QB's will show us no mercy!

Fixed! ;)

But seriously, the Bears offense doesn't scare me now that they lost Olsen and Forte is sitting out the preseason. Roy Williams is a joke, Hester is not a WR. Knox could pose the biggest threat in the slot similar to Lance Moore. And their OL...

Vick is even sporadic and I don't see him having a 100+ QBR this year again but Reid always seems to do things right against us, but Smitty finally has "his" team. Hopefully they are ready this go round.

Josh Freeman is good but Grimes owns him. Ask Brees.

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But can Owens make a tackle? It will be interesting to see these two battle it out against other teams.

I give our coaches profs for not succumbing to political winds after the GB game. It would have been easy for our staff to use him as a scapegoat. The young kid found himself in the middle of a pressure cooker GB game loaded with some elite talent with all cylindars clicking. He was not ready clearly.

To reply to your above statement regarding tackling, one of the most impressive things I remember about Owens (at a true corner position) during his rookie campaign, was his natural ability to jump all over the run-game and stick his nose in there.

HIs career path now depends upon his ability to always be in position to cover wideouts and make plays from the nickel... Franks seems to be the more natural playmaker in this area but I ain't writing off owens at this stage thats for certain. Sometimes a man with something to prove can be dangerous. I know one thing, they will make each other better and thats good for us...

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