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Big Roles For Falcons Rookies?

The Falcons now have a big wad of nothing until training camp, but Pet Rhino is encouraged by the rookie performances at the OTAs. As someone who firmly believes that rookies like Blalock and Anderson could make or break the season, this is extremely encouraging news. Let's go through the snippets of the Official Page's article and see what we can see, eh?

Q: How has Tony Taylor been?

Petrino: I like Tony and he does a nice job. He's very intelligent and he's a good learner. A lot of times with linebackers, offensive linemen and defensive linemen, you learn a lot more when the pads are on and you are tackling. I look forward to watching him during the preseason.

Q: Does Tony Taylor have a good opportunity here due to the fact that he can play a few positions?

Petrino: He's more of a middle linebacker. He's very smart, he can get everyone lined up and he understands blocking schemes. He's been very well coached and we can see that when he comes in here. I think he'll definitely be here competing.

Like every endorsement of a non-roster invitee, I take this one cautiously. What Pet Rhino is saying about Taylor is good, and he really does sound like the quick-thinking middle linebacker that you can count on to get your defense in order. The real question is whether he's physical enough to survive in the NFL. That's something that training camp will help resolve, but I'm definitely pulling for the kid. That's not to say I don't love Keith Brooking and think Jordan Beck has a lot of potential, but Brooking is older and Beck hasn't gotten much of a chance to show us anything. This will be a battle to look forward to, for sure.

Q: How do you like Laurent Robinson performing when the veterans aren't here?

Petrino: You see the change in comfort zone when the vets leave. Now they are back to how they were in college where they feel like they are "the guy" out there. They relax a little bit more. Hopefully they know it's how they have to act around the vets when we come back. We expect them to make plays just like they do when they feel that comfort zone. It's a good thing that they got out of it when the vets were here and they were back into it these past three days. Hopefully, they adjust better when they come back for training camp.

Jesus, Bob. All I got out of that entire paragraph was that Laurent Robinson plays looser when the veterans aren't around. That doesn't tell me how he's doing at all, unless you're avoiding the subject. If that's the case, maybe I'm a little worried about you avoiding the subject.

Q: Are there any other medical updates?

Petrino: No, I think that's about it. Rod (Coleman) and Demarrio (Williams) are ahead of course. I think their recovery is ahead of where most people would be and that's encouraging. We want to make sure they don't try to overdo it and have a setback.

This is the best news in many ways. I know it doesn't have much of anything to do with rookies, but it shuttles guys like Nicholas and Lewis to the back burner. If they're both ready for the first couple weeks of the season, the Falcons are a stronger team. Very encouraging news.

We'll see what's going from here, but you have to like Tony Taylor's chances of making the roster. Let's all hope that all of our rookies are signed by training camp so we can get a sense of just how big they'll be for this team.