Yesterday's combined practice with the Bengals featured some standout defensive performances, and it unfortunately also led to a season-ending injury for the clear cut leader in the right tackle position battle, Mike Johnson.
Keep an eye on this kid, you may see him on the field at Falcons training camp in a few years.
We didn't see much from the Falcons offense, because they primarily worked against Cincinnati's defense on the far field. However, here's a gem about Matt Ryan.
Levine Toilolo struggled some in drills yesterday, it looked like he was just having an off day. Don't panic.
The defensive line, whether first, second or third string, managed to bring a lot of pressure against Cincinnati's offense. Kroy Biermann, playing at defensive end and matched up against the Bengals' Andre Smith, managed to consistently get into the backfield despite behind held by Smith.
Osi Umenyiora also brought consistent pressure. He looked really solid coming off of that other edge.
With the second team, Jonathan Massaquoi exhibited excellent technique and was very effective.
Malliciah Goodman looked very good yesterday, and CBS Sports' Pete Prisco is a big Stansly Maponga fan. This is particularly impressive from Maponga, considering that his development has been delayed by injury.
@GBBZach Maponga has a chance to be damn good. Thick, strong pass rusher.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) August 7, 2013
Biermann didn't just look good at defensive end; he has really developed a level of comfort in his reps at linebacker. He was disruptive in coverage and managed a pass deflection and an interception.
Joplo Bartu had a solid day yesterday. He has really good instincts in coverage.
Keep an eye on Paul Worrilow, also. I really liked his pursuit and his angles in both run and pass coverage yesterday.
I really like the development from the young corners, Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. They each look more prepared every day. Trufant deflected a pass, and Alford had one pick in one-on-ones and one near-pick in 11-on-11 drills. You can tell that Asante Samuel wants these young players to succeed, also.
One thing that stood out to me about safety Zeke Motta, a 7th round pick out of Notre Dame who has the size to potentially serve as a hybrid safety/linebacker, was his maturity. Cincinnati's Orson Charles got really physical with Motta, but Motta stayed with his assignment, and when Charles tried to continue some contact after the whistle Motta just walked away. I'm sure Mike Smith was glad, as he wasn't keen on Falcons players fighting with Bengals in front of the Hard Knocks cameras.
You can see all of the Falcons' photos from yesterday's practice on their site.
And there's some video on AtlantaFalcons.com of the Falcons offense against the Bengals defense.
We'll have full coverage of tomorrow's preseason matchup against Cincinnati here on The Falcoholic. In the meantime, discuss what you're looking for in tomorrow's game in the comments!