In a season of high turnover and limited starting options, the Atlanta Falcons have a few glaring holes to fill on their roster. They have a terrible safety situation led by Erik Coleman (a New York Jets rejection). Coleman is expected to start at safety free of charge, but could be replaced with Thomas DeCoud, a third-round rookie. And at cornerback, the Falcons have a huge hole in the middle of the defense. Lawyer Milloy is way past his prime and could be replaced by rookie Michael Boley or Rashad Moore.
Atlanta’s offensive line is a concern. The offensive line was a major weakness last year, with three players registering over forty-five sacks. Atlanta did not acquire any upgrades on the right sideline, in addition to Baker. While Kynon Forney, the guard, has been awful, center Todd Weiner, 33 years old and just returned from two knee surgeries is coming off the bench. In addition, there is no proven talent on the right side of the line other than Justin Blalock.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was one of the most intriguing pieces of the roster. Although he was able to sign a three-year deal worth $34.5 million, he needed to rest from his torn MCL. Warrick Dunn was another skilled runner, averaging 3.2 yard per carry last season. Both were on the team’s 2008 roster.
The 2008 Atlanta Falcons roster included the likes Matt Ryan, Sam Baker and Michael Turner, as well as Harvey Dahl, Tyclan Clabo and Antoine Walker. The Falcons drafted Buddy Curry in the second round as a defensive lineman. Curry’s stats for that season included eight tackles and one sack, as well as one interception. There are also other notable names on the team’s 2008 roster, but he was the most important one.
The Falcons opened their mini camp for the season Monday in Flowery Branch (Georgia). Earlier this month, the team had several mini camps under new head coach Mike Smith. The players worked for three consecutive days before the NFL Draft, before returning to Flowery Branch for a training session May 10-12. In addition to a new head coach, two players were signed to tender offers. Two-year deals were signed by Chauncey Davis and Michael Koenen, punter.
As a rookie, Matt Ryan blew out his previous record against the Detroit Lions. He completed nine of 13 passes, totalling 161 yards and a touchdown. WR Michael Jenkins added two touchdowns. The Falcons’ tight end position is still weaker than Roddy White and the other rookies. Although he had a productive season last year, his lack of end-zone opportunities limited his production. Matt Ryan, an aging quarterback, also forced the team’s wide receivers off the bench, making them uncertain about their performance.
The defense led the way for the Falcons, forcing the Chiefs into three-and-out drives in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ defense had a stellar start in this game, forcing the opponent to throw three field goals and an extra point, while Jason Snelling made his first career interception in the third quarter. Justin Elam also made two field goals of 25 yard, which increased his overall kicking streak by 22.