5 things to watch for during Falcons Training Camp

Photo by AtlantaFalcons.com

1. Starting Right Guard: Right now Jon Asamoah is listed as the starter at that spot on the offensive line. The Falcons brought him over in the offseason from Kansas City to sure up the right side of the line and add some size/toughness. This will be interesting to look at, because the Falcons did give some reps to Gabe Carimi at that spot during OTA’s and mini-camp. We could also see if third year offensive lineman Peter Konz factors into the competition. Konz is likely going to be the second team center, behind Joe Hawley.

2. Weakside outside linebacker: Jonathan Massaqoui is the starter opposite Kroy Biermann in this 3-4 defense heading into training camp. Likely on passing downs we are likely to see veteran Osi Umenyiora come on the field. This will also be when the Falcons go to the nickel defense and put their outside linebackers on the defensive line with their hands down to rush the passer. Second year player Stansly Maponga out of TCU is also trying to get on the field at either of these outside linebacker spots on the field.

3. 2nd Team Running Back: Jacquizz Rodgers is listed as the second team back according to the website www.ourlads.com. However, the Falcons did draft Devonta Freeman out of Florida State pretty high in the fourth round and did put him in with the second team offense at times during the spring. The Falcons have made no secret this year that they want to be more physical on the offensive and defensive lines. In terms of the first group mentioned, that means that they’ll try to run the ball more. Which means either of these two players could see the field a lot this season.

4. Ra’Shede Hageman: The rookie defensive lineman saw third team reps at defensive end during OTA’s and mini-camp. However he was a nickel defensive tackle with the second team during the spring. The Falcons are encouraged by his development since they drafted him in May. It will be interesting to see if that means a promotion to the second team at least.

5. Nickel Cornerback: The odds on favorite to be that guy is Robert McClain. “Bobby Mc” as he’s called by his teammates and coaches got a lot of playing time last season, due to the defensive struggles and inexperience at the position. He’ll be battling for that playing time in this defensive set with fellow veteran Josh Wilson, newly acquired corner Javier Arenas, and possibly fifth round draft pick Ricardo Allen out of Purdue.



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