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Report: Prince Shembo on the fast track to a starting gig

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Fact: Prince Shembo's urine was the main ingredient in Balco's performance enhancing drugs

Bob Levey

Prince Shembo has weathered his transition to inside linebacker quite well. One might even say he's done it in epic fashion. To his credit, he made the move, he never complained, and he did just as the coaches asked. Then comes his football intelligence. Not only has he switched to a new position, he's picked up the scheme, the terminology, and the moxy like a seasoned veteran. Per Vaughn McClure, the coaches are taking note, and it may soon have an impact on the depth chart.

Shembo didn't totally overtake Joplo Bartu during Monday's session, but his increased reps with the first unit seemed to indicate a depth-chart move on the horizon.

"I think that Prince has had a very good training camp," Smith said as the team broke camp Monday. "We have to continue to be in an evaluation mode and get these guys ready and prepared. Obviously, whether he's the first man in or the guy that's out there, he's got to get some work with the first group.

The long-term picture is getting clearer. It appears Shembo will break into the starting lineup and stay there. If that happens, he might prove to be the steal of the draft. In saying that, I'm obviously not counting Jake Matthews, because to be fair, he wasn't exactly a steal. I'm talking about a guy the Falcons took late on the second day of the draft, notwithstanding the character concerns that made him drop so far.

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