Jun 18, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith works with safety Zeke Motta (41) during minicamp at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Every Year, training camp comes along and, because of it being the first time players can actually hit, injury usually claims a player here or there. For some of the lucky teams out there, it’s only a minor injury and/or to a second or third string player. But every once in a while it happens to a major player that takes him out for the entire season right off the bat. Last year, the Falcons signed Lofa Tatupu as the middle linebacker. As successful of a season Atlanta had and as well as Akeem Dent filled in, I can’t help but wonder if Lofa had stayed healthy and played the entire season, would things be any different?
It’s a question that will never be answered, but the fear of losing a major contributor in camp. If there is one thing that Thomas Dimitroff has done well, however, is filling in backups very well. He builds through the draft knows the kind of players that will contribute whether they are starters or not. Atlanta has a strong offensive line behind the starters and a powerful secondary running back. Hell, even Snelling could get the job done in my opinion. Drew Davis and Tim Toone are both decent enough receivers should Roddy or Julio go down. (it certainly wouldn’t be the same, but they would still have a lot of fire power) Even the defensive ends have a lot of potential in the backups and most players will probably see a large portion of game time anyway.
The only position that has very questionable depth is the Linebackers. Pat Schiller is one of the only guys back there that can fill in. Robert James has never done much and Brian Banks is still unproven. I can’t wait to see him perform in the preseason to see what kind of depth he could provide, but until then, he still has a long road ahead of him.
I still worry about the possible injury loss that seems to come around every training camp. Thoughts?