As you all are no doubt aware, the preseason starts for the Falcons on Friday against the Jets. I couldn't possibly be more excited about seeing our third and fourth stringers out there making a difference. It at least beats the hell out of watching those same third and fourth stringers play against each other in seven on seven drills, where it's very tough to draw any kind of meaningful conclusion on how well they're playing. So here's a list of things to watch on Friday:
Forney and L-Rob will be ready to play, though I don't expect Forney to get a lot of time with an aggravated back. Robinson should see a few passes, and it will be nice to see how he, White and Kinoshita do when they've got something resembling a real defense coming after them. It's going to be the preseason games that shake out the depth chart at receiver and determine if Kinoshita has a future with this team, so keep a close eye on those dropped passes (or God willing, lack thereof).
In the same post, Craig Custance talks about Pet Rhino wanting to see Shockley get some game action. There's a whole lot of debate about whether Vick was better than Harrington, Harrington's better than Shockley. We could go around in circles all day about that. It's no longer relevant, however, because Vick is out indefinitely and Harrington is the starter. We have to roll with that. My more relevant concern is with Chris Redman being the backup to Harrington. I still have yet to see a single person outside of the organization defend Redman as a viable backup candidate, and if I'm reading Petrino correctly here, he's saying Shockley will need to prove something in a game situation in order to be considered for the backup spot. I am truly terrified about being only one Joey Harrington injury or bout of ineffectiveness away from Chris Redman as a starting QB, so I'm pulling for Shockley to prove something in the worst way. Naturally it's even more terrifying to consider that Shock is worse than Redman, so I'm just not going to do it. Let's move along.
The battle for the starting job opposite DeAngelo Hall is still one that interests me. Lewis Sanders could be a quality nickel corner for the Falcons, no doubt. But let's not kid ourselves or Sanders. Unless Chris Houston crashes like the Hindenburg, he more or less has to be the starter. We suffered through bouts of Jason Webster and Allen Freakin' Rossum last year, so we can damn sure take Houston's growing pains. I'd just prefer Sanders gets nowhere near that starting job without some extremely impressive preseason games.
Finally, keep a close eye on Pet Rhino and see if he shows any emotion whatsoever. I'm relatively sure he's actually the Robotic Coaching Machine from some dark laboratory in Louisville, but I'd like to be sure.