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Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Observations, August 4 Edition

With so much training camp news out there and the season so close, I thought it was time to collect observations from beat writers, fellow bloggers and those closest to the team. As usual, I'll be offering my own analysis and generally snarky commentary. I just can't help myself, you know.

Let's jump in:

  • A really great observation buried a little bit in this story from Atlanta Falcons Examiner, who notes that the rapport between Matt Ryan and Harry Douglas is something special. Douglas is also showing great hands in the early going here in camp, according to writer Daniel Cox. Some readers and pundits have asked why Douglas can't slide into the starting lineup if Roddy White's holdout drags on, and I'm here to tell you that even with the great showing, the talent disparity at this point is still a little bit too wide. There's no doubt that Douglas has a bright future ahead of him, though.
  • John Abraham keeps a particularly hardy core-strengthening regiment going in the off-season, according to beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC. The ravenous sack monster has found that the exercises have eliminated his groin injuries, which have cost him significant time previously in his career. It's hard to say whether it's 100% those exericses or 50% that and 50% superstition, but whatever keeps Abe on the field is better than okay with me. He should be due for another double digit sack season with a little more help along the line.
  • Interesting quote from Mike Smith regarding Von Hutchins, who according to the Official Site is getting reps at safety:

    "I think the defensive side of the ball has more position battles and more competition. I think the safety position is one where there is a good battle. We’ve moved Von in getting him more reps. Von is a very valuable guy for us because he can play corner, he can play nickel, and we’re working him at safety.  He could be a utility player if he doesn’t win the starting position. William Moore is just learning our system, but he has the skill set we are looking for the safety position. Thomas DeCoud is coming back from his rookie year last year where he had the opportunity to compete and play on special teams. Of course, Erik Coleman is a returning starter. We are going to put a good eye on all players and the best 53 guys are going to be the guys who make our roster."

    That sums up the safety battle without really giving you any hint of who is going to win, but the thought of Von Hutchins in a utility role is an intriguing one. The dude's a versatile defensive back who would seem less likely to win the strong safety job because William Moore is a better pure hitter and Thomas DeCoud is arguably a better coverage guy, but if he could jump in at nickel back or fill in at safety when needed, Hutchins could see a ton of snaps this year.
  • The AJC's Jeff Schultz has a short and very candid interview with Arthur Blank, where he talks about the close relationship between Mike Smith, Thomas Dimitroff and Rich McKay, and admits that ticket sales are still catching up after the Mike Vick and Bobby Petrino fiasco. Rather than go into this at length, I'll just note that I have never been happier with the owner, front office and coaching staff than I am right now. I hope this feeling lasts.
  • Probably nothing, but did anyone else notice that on the Official Site's roster matrix, John Parker Wilson is listed as a wide receiver? If this has any legs I expect we'll hear more about it in the days ahead, but JPW as a receiver is a very, very intriguing thought. If you've got any news on this, make sure you let me know. Strike that. J. Mike at the site says it's just an issue with the roster. Ah well.