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Mini Insight From Minicamp, Day One

Because I was (surprise!) at work for most of the day, I'm heavily relying on the observations of others. Here's my own take on the words of the lovely and talented Steve Wyche of the AJC:

1. Smith communicates well and isn't afraid to make changes. Hey, remember when I bitched and moaned about Bobby Petrino refusing to let Norwood run? Remember when he wrote a note to players letting them know he was leaving for the college ranks? Mike Smith is just like that...except exactly the opposite! Wyche says he's not afraid to shuffle things around and checked in with players of every position, which is fantastic news. Until we see him coach an actual game, I'll take what excitement I can get.

2. Justin Blalock at right guard? This one came out of nowhere. Blalock struggled in pass protection in his freshman season in the league, but left guard is a pretty important position on the line. A switch to right tackle would pretty much signal the end of the Todd Weiner era in Atlanta, and it'll be interesting to see how Blalock does. It was unclear when he was drafted if a team could switch him to tackle or not, so we'll see the results of this little experiment. It's still very possible that Mike Smith just wanted to screw around in Weiner's absence.

3. Laurent Robinson plays #2 receiver. I had a feeling about this one. I don't care if Mike Smith spends every press release pulling a Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" and saying "one practice and no games does not make L-Rob a starting wide receiver" over and over again until his head explodes. Laurent Robinson is going to flash enough in camp this year to start opposite Roddy White, and I don't believe it's going to be all that close.

4. Von Hutchins as the #2 cornerback? This one I'm having a harder time believing. Hutchins is not completely awful, but he's also not considerably better than enormous waste of space Lewis Sanders, and David Irons and Brent Grimes can likely approximate his value. The alternative would simply be to draft a corner who can step in and be effective immediately. Either way, I think I'm reading into this too much.

5. Michael Turner had shoulder surgery. Surprising. If it's as minor as it's made out to be, there's no point in worrying about it. The fact that he couldn't participate means we don't get a real feel for how he looks out there. I'm willing to give it time, considering that he's completely useless to us if he's not healthy. Wyche's article on how Turner "made it" is a good read, though.

6. Shockley's job in danger? Y'all know I like D.J. I'd love to see him at least claim a backup spot on the Falcons, but I have to be realistic. If the team spends a high draft pick on a quarterback, there's not going to be room for an unproven, recently injured young player with two semi-established players ahead of him on the roster. In that case, D.J. will probably be on the cutting board at some point. I'll always kind of wonder with him if that turns out to be the case. He was on the fast track to get some playing time if he hadn't been injured. Harsh reality, man.