Some rosters are pretty well locked already, but the Falcons have a lot of guys who are poised to make a difference and are just waiting for the opportunity. Guys like Thomas Brown, the speedy potential special teams ace at running back, who is looking to unseat Jason Snelling. Guys like Chris Owens, who is drawing some rave reviews for his play at cornerback. And then there's guys like Dave the Falconer, who enjoys believing he makes a difference as he shouts and cheers from his futon. Bless them all.
With that in mind, let's jump in to some pre-game observations:
- Chris Owens seems to be shattering the learning curve. If he wins a prominent job in the secondary he's likely going to struggle somewhat, but he's very smart to maximize his value on special teams. There are a lot of corners who are likely in front of him, but an impressive outing tonight could change that very quickly.
- This is going to be a critical game for a lot of other rooks, like Vance Walker and Lawrence Sidbury, because Mike Smith wants to get them time against the Rams' starters. This will separate the men from the boys in a hurry, and it's a great way to accelerate the aforementioned learning curve.
- Over at Turf Show Times, my brothers in blue-and-gold seem to think the injuries to Chris Houston and William Moore will make things easier for their passing game. That'd be true if they weren't down Marc Bulger and Donnie Avery, but since that's the case, I'm going to engage in a little good-natured trash talk and say NO WAY JERKS HAHAHA! Ahem.
- Curtis Lofton, natural born leader? The expectations for one of The Falcoholic's favorites already are sky high, and it looks like he's ready to assume that kind of role. He and Mike Peterson will be critical to the growth of some of the younger guys in the front seven.
- Apropos of nothing, here's a fun little feature on Peria Jerry. My favorite response by far is when D. Orlando Ledbetter at the AJC asks him who his favorite team is, and Jerry says the Falcons....and then says he "can't believe (DOL) asked me that." We're going to get along just fine, Peria!