Weekly Mailbag: Rookie Mini-camp Q&A

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Thank you everyone for your questions this week!

– Short answer, yes. Harry Douglas proved last season that he has the ability to make plays when thrust into the spotlight. However, I believe we saw him reach his celiling last season, but that makes him a lethal slot weapon. There is no shame in being a slot wideout. Tony Gonzales made the majority of his plays lined up in the slot, now HD is not close to the match-up nightmare Gonzales is, but has the speed and hands to be very productive in this new offensive system. Freeman will get snaps, but his major impact is projected to be a season away. Do not count out Steven Jackson just yet.

-Denver has something Atlanta does not. A proven defense. In order for the Falcons to be considered a legimate threat in the NFC, the Falcons must improve drastically on defense. Julio and Roddy are more than capable of putting up insane numbers behind the arm of Matt Ryan. In this new 3-WR base set offense, look for Ryan to throw for close to 40 touchdowns. Atlanta is preparing to sling it around this year. The question lurks along the offensive line, can they protect him? Time will tell. Drafting Matthews was the first step in insuring Atlanta’s offensive production long-term.

– I believe you could potentially see 4 rookies gaining a lot of early playing time this year on the defensive side of the ball.

– No. Atlanta has transitioned away from that type of tight end play. They are looking for more in-line blockers, utilizing three wideouts in their base set. I believe the days of a 1,000 yd receiver at that position are dead and gone.

As far as the nickel is concerned, I believe Robert McClain will be the starter. The rotation will also have Ricardo Allen and Javier Arenas. The linebacker coverage rotation will be Biermann,Umenyiora, Shembo, Spruill, Massaquoi, Maponga.

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