Let's check in and go over some great observations of the first week of training camp, courtesy of the talented Mr. Wyche at the AJC:
Matt Ryan is doing well, but Redman is still in line to be the starter. Unfortunately, Shockley's best shot at this point is to beat out Harrington as the third stringer, which is far from impossible. A Redman/Ryan 1-2 at QB makes by far the most sense right now, but it'd be nice if anyone of them separated from the pack.
You all doubted me, but it appears Harvey Dahl is still hanging around. He's just not doing it where I predicted, so it's still fair to call me a damn fool. Kynan Forney's spot at right guard was definitely in doubt after a disappointing and injury-plagued season, but it would still surprise me if Dahl wins out. Wyche believes preseason games will be the difference maker here, but it's going to take an extraordinary performance for him to start at RG in the season opener. He's probably guaranteed to make the roster at this point, though.
Steve Wyche briefly takes on the role of Capt. Really Obvious of the No Duh Brigade when he tells us that Atlanta tight ends won't catch a lot of passes next year. That's sort of like telling us that water is extremely unlikely to burst into flames.
Good news on that front, though. It appears that oft-injured zombie receiver Brian Finneran ay be making his comeback to steal a roster spot, while new fan favorite Harry Douglas has slot receiver all but sewn up. I dunno about you, but the thought of going into the season excited about our receivers is a strange and beautiful idea.
We appear to have no pass rush thus far, which stinks. But Erik Coleman looks great in coverage, so we have that going for us. Even better, it looks like Chevis Jackson is stepping up and really showing that he has the smarts and sock-rocking hitting ability to stick at the nickel. This draft is really yielding some dividends, particularly if Lofton ends up beating out Tony Taylor (up in the air) for starting MLB.
If you're wondering what happened to David Irons and Daren Stone, it appears they're slipping down the depth chart with alarming quickness. Wyche notes that Stone appears to behind perennial backup Deke Cooper, which is a very poor omen indeed. As much as I like both of them (particularly Stone and his athleticism), I'm not sure either is even going to have a roster spot.
Sorry guys, no Lito Sheppard. Though the team could use a corner, they clearly know this is a rebuilding year and aren't willing to mortgage the future. It's an approach that could be painful next season, but will otherwise work out pretty well.