We saw the Falcons do some things exceptionally well against the Dolphins. We saw the Falcons do some things poorly against the Dolphins. What I really want to know now is how the Falcons will do against the Jaguars.
There's a couple of reasons for that. Number one, they just so happen to be our next opponent, and I'm not the freakin' Oracle of Delphi. The second is that the Jaguars, despite their inconsistency, are a better team than the Dolphins. A little challenge is hardly a downer in the pre-season.
What I want to know, loyal and sometimes gentle readers, is what you're looking to see. Do you need to see the offensive line performing well again as a unit, or are you more concerned about Garrett Reynolds? Curious to see how the Falcons deal with speedy back Rashad Jennings, or barely able to wait to watch Jacquizz Rodgers in action again.
I'd like to hear from you. For a few examples of what I'll be looking at, hit the jump.
Corey Peters is going to be out and Jonathan Babineaux will be gone after a couple of series, so the backups are going to get their time to shine. Here's a question I have for each candidate for a spot in the rotation:
Peria Jerry: Can he turn his excellent practices into game-time success? He looked more than a little lost during the Dolphins game.
Vance Walker: Can he step up his game to seize a bigger spot in the rotation? Is he a more complete player than he was a year ago?
Trey Lewis: Is he worth carrying as an enormous run-stopper? Is he actually a better run-stopper than Peters/Walker?
Kiante Tripp and Carlton Powell: Do they have enough skill to push Lewis off the roster? Also, can they learn the defense fast enough, especially Powell?
I'm curious to see whether the Falcons will carry four or five defensive tackles. That will be determined by who, if anyone, stands out behind Babs/Peters/Jerry.
Can Brandyn Harvey seize a roster spot? If he plays as well as he did on Friday against the Dolphins, the Falcons will be awfully tempted to carry him. But six wide receivers is likely overkill, so it may depend on Eric Weems' fortunes. Weems, if you'll recall, looked plenty speedy in the passing game Friday, too.
I'll be looking to see if Julio Jones can be ridiculously awesome again, too. Consistency is all too often the bane of rookie receivers' existence, so I'll be hoping Julio can continue to look like a cagey veteran with the wheels of a Jaguar.
This is probably the most unexpected battle to emerge from camp. After the Falcons spent a draft pick on Matt Bosher, I assumed he was a shoo-in for the punter job. After Michael Koenen decided to go roll around in a pile of money down in Tampa, I figured it was a lock.
But no, not so fast. Bosher looked decent but not exceptional Friday, and Ken Parrish kicked like a cabaret girl with a bionic leg. For the offense and defense, it's fair to say "oh, it happened against backups." When you're dealing with punters, that argument doesn't apply.
I'll be interested to see how Parrish does against the Jaguars, as he still has a very narrow margin of error. If he continues to boom and Bosher can't quite get his leg going, this may not be as open and shut as I thought.