The 53-man roster is almost set. They have their practice squad and still may make a few minor trades. Most likely nothing will impact the starters. As for the 53 man roster, some interesting decisions were made. Shann Schillenger is still on the roster although he had a mediocre showing during preseason. At the same time, Robert James is off the roster after having one of the best preseason he has ever had.
After a week showing in the last preseason, Darius Johnson was cut leaving Kevin Cone the final roster spot. He’s been spot on in special teams and seemed to hold his own as a receiver.
Probably the most interesting decision, however, is carrying six backs. Bradie Ewing has his chance to be a fine fullback. The first three half backs were already set. Steven Jackson is the three-down back that will lead the offense. Jacquizz Rodgers is the powerful scat-back that will give Jackson some rest. Jason Snelling doesn’t see a whole lot of carries, but the Falcons love that little shuffle pass for a 6 yard touchdown. Behind him, it got crazy.
Antone Smith did fine in the preseason. He ran well, and showed quality as a kick returner. Considering he only ran for one play in the 35 games with the falcons, I’m very certain that he’s not on the team as running back depth. Josh Vaughan, on the other hand, had a very impressive preseason. On top of being able to run very well consistently, he pulled off a 60 plus yard touchdown. That made it really hard not to sign. They also didn’t want him going to another team after a performance like that, so Atlanta kept him as he deserves.
The practice squad is also set with Seth Doege as the third quarterback, Adam Replogle as good tackle depth and Patrick DiMarco to back up an injury prone Bradie Ewing.
The roster and the practice squad look good. As long as Matt Ryan can stay protected (which is the biggest question on the team) and the rookie corners can cover their man, this Falcons team has all the tools needed for deep Super Bowl run.
After tonight, the preseason is officially over. It is officially game week. It’s time to start planning for an opening matchup against the rival saints that should be every bit as exciting and emotional as the entire season. The season has started.