Falcons Announce Starters At Three Key Positions

Sometimes who wins these starting jobs seems downright inevitable. Sometimes they still manage to surprise you.

Kroy Biermann and Sean Weatherspoon will start. Since the draft, I firmly believed that Kroy Biermann was locked in as the starter. Obviously it was harder to predict Weatherspoon, but there was reason to believe his pure talent would win out. I don't agree that Weatherspoon is more of an upgrade over Stephen Nicholas than he is over Mike Peterson, but that's a debate that has to be settled on the field. Biermann is clearly the best choice to start opposite John Abraham.

In both cases, you'll see enough of a rotation that all this starter talk may be rendered moot. Nicholas will certainly get on the field—he remains my choice to shadow Dennis Dixon this weekend—and Mike Peterson will probably need a nap and fluids twice a game. On the line, you can bet that Jamaal Anderson will get some time against the run, and good ol' Chauncey Davis will take his share of snaps there too.

Am I forgetting something? Oh yeah. Brent Grimes is starting.

Because I am a card-carrying member of the Chris Owens Fan Club, you might think that I'd be vehemently opposed to that. The truth is, though, I'm not. It's very difficult to argue that Grimey doesn't deserve a starting job. It's just surprising to me.

Given the way Grimes struggled with injury issues in the pre-season, coupled with the quality of Owens' play in limited snaps, I fully expected Owens to be out there opposite Dunta Robinson. He's definitely the more physical corner of the tow, and we could debate who is better in coverage for the better part of the week.

What Grimes does offer is ballhawking ability that Owens simply can't match. Anyone who watched the games that Grimes started last year remembers him skying to grab a few nice picks and get his hands on a few more, and that's an absolutely game-changing ability to have. Owens will, I believe, eventually be the more polished and consistent corner. In the here and now, there's a reasonable argument to be made that Grimes offers a better complement to Dunta, because while he will hopefully lock down teams' opposing top receivers, he's not going to come up with many interceptions. Teams will be leery of throwing to Grimey.

If Owens gets beat out for the nickel job by Brian Williams, though, we're going to have a major problem.

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