It was business as usual Tuesday at Flowery Branch as the Falcons completed day five of training camp.
I had the opportunity to attend Tuesday’s training camp and I must say that I was impressed at the first, second, and third-team offense and their drills.
It goes without saying that vets such as Matt Ryan, Roddy White (despite a pair of drops), Devin Hester, and Julio Jones had an overall impressive workout on Tuesday.
However, the two players who stood out the most at the camp on Tuesday was practice squad players Mickey Shuler Jr. and Josh Vaughan.
Shuler Jr. is looking to follow in his father Mickey Shuler Sr.’s footsteps. Shuler Sr. had a successful career as a tight end at Penn State under legendary coach Joe Paterno in addition to a solid career in the NFL where he was a two-time pro bowler and three-time All Pro selection. Shuler Jr., who also had a successful collegiate career under the long tenured Paterno at Penn State, is looking to emulate the success of his father by elevating from practice squad status to full-fledged second or third tight end on the depth chart.
Another practice squad player who is making his presence felt at training camp is running back Josh Vaughan. He took several reps in the third team offense during Tuesday’s training camp and had an overall great performance even scoring a touchdown in the red zone. Since going undrafted in the 2009, Vaughan has journeyed across the NFL on numerous teams as a practice squad player questing for a full time opportunity on a 53 man roster. These teams include Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Carolina, Indianapolis, and Buffalo before ultimately ending up in Atlanta. His only regular season action was in 2010 and 2011 when he was activated to the 53 man roster in Carolina where he scored is only career touchdown in week 10 of the 2010 season against Tampa Bay.
Now Vaughan is looking to go full time with the Atlanta Falcons.
Both Shuler Jr. and Vaughan both have an opportunity to continue proving themselves worthy enough to emerge from the practice squad to a roster spot come week one of the regular season for the much anticipated home game against New Orleans.
However, that road to making that 53 man roster detours at training camp and preseason that kicks off next Friday. These two individuals have the work ethic, intangibles, and overall capabilities to accomplish this goal.