Jul 28, 2013; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a pass during training camp at the Falcons Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Finals week is finally over and so I am back from my short Hiatus! Luckily for me, there is plenty of stuff to cover. Luckier for me, There will continue to be something to say for the rest of the season. Yay for material! Let’s start covering ground!
Julio Jones and Matt Ryan’s chemistry is only greater. I’ve noticed that almost every pass Ryan throws to Julio in drills is way over the head for him to jump and go get it. Julio may be one of the most explosive receivers in the league and his ability to make the jump catch is great. However, he does drop it on a lot of plays and this is what they are obviously working on. Julio is catching a large amount of those high-balls and is only getting better as training camp starts. He’s looking like a true star and Matt Ryan is looking worth that contract.
Steven Jackson is looking ageless. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all; he’s every bit as physically skilled as ever. He brings everything to the table when it comes to what a running back can do. Before camp it was all speculation, but now it seems he is really clicking with the offense. He also seems to be excited to show “The full package” off in week one for the saints game. We’ll see how he does in the preseason against real competition.
Robert Alford is very impressive. He seems to be keeping up with everyone he is assigned to. Trufant, on the other hand, seems to be letting nerves get to him. There is no question that it would be difficult for a rookie to cover a playmaker like Julio, but a few mental mistakes seem to be bothering him. For example, I saw him being able to take on Julio down the stretch but misread a movement and stutter-stepped. That’s all there was for that play as Ryan Hooked Jones up with a 40+ yard touchdown catch with Trufant in the dust. Later that day, Desmond got a little respect back when intercepting a pass aimed for Roddy White. Keep in mind most of his visible woes are in one-on-one drills against Julio Jones, it’s hard to see any guy look good against that monster. He’s smart and still learning and has a lot of natural talent. He’ll be ready for the season.
As for the UDFAs out there, no one seems quite as impressive as Martel Moore. He’s making all the catches and showing off incredible athleticism. Keep in mind that the Falcons receiving core is tough enough at the top and it is doubtful that anyone will do quite enough to make a major impact this season at that position. Ryan can only throw it to so many people, but I would be surprised if Moore slipped into the practice squad after showing up the way he did. Drew Davis and Moore will most likely be the two receivers to make the roster. That is only after a few days of camp, there is a lot more stuff to happen before then.
The defense truly is going versatile this year. Last year, Mike Nolan made the defense a surprising task for offenses to handle with confusing disguises and versatility, but this year seems to be a full blown guess. With Osi Umeniyora standing up, Kroy Biermann taking a large amount of snaps at Linebacker, and Babieaux playing DE on some plays, there is no telling what this defense has in store for offenses.
Speaking of defenses, Brian Banks is on schedule. That’s what the linebacker coach Glenn Pires said about the rookie. What he is on schedule for is not very clear, it may be a back up spot on the roster, and it may be for the practice squad. Either way, he doesn’t look out of shape or lacking in any area.
Also, Apparently Shawn Merriman wants to be a Falcon and promises double-digit sacks. Sounds interesting, but with character issues and injury issues, it is highly unlikely it ever becomes more than a wish.
What are your views of training camp so far?