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Atlanta Falcons preseason 2015: Five things to look forward to tomorrow night

Fact: Antone Smith invented shake and bake chicken

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons fans have patiently endured this off-season. On Friday, for the first time in almost 8 months, the Falcons will play a football game. Sure, it's just the preseason. But Vince Lombardi was just a football coach, the Beatles were just a band, and Mad Dog 50-50 is just an artisan wine. Whether it matters or not, Friday's game should be fun. Here are five things I'm looking forward to:

Matt Ryan's options in the receiving game

Ryan arguably had a decent supporting cast early in his career. It's been a decidedly mixed bag since. But the stable of receivers at his disposal this year is impressive. Getting a sneak peak of these guys at work should be a real treat.

Antone Smith's opportunity to shine

With Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman sidelined with hamstring injuries, Smith should get a decent amount of touches Friday. The coaching staff will probably be careful with him, not wanting to risk injury. That said, I'm eager to see Smith back in game action.

Offensive balance

A running game? What the heck is that? Preseason play calling doesn't mirror regular season play calling, but we should get some sense of the variety the Falcons will throw at opposing defenses.

Viability of the zone blocking scheme

We've heard about Kyle Shanahan's wholesale conversion of the offensive line to a ZBS. The ensuing shake up of the depth chart is proof enough that they're serious about this. I'm eager to see it in a game, and I'm eager to see how the depth chart shakes out.

First look at a Dan Quinn (Falcons) defense

Quinn's potential affect on the defense was a major reason the Falcons hired him. I have no doubt the defense will improve substantially this season. Will there be setbacks? Sure. But the overall improvement on that side of the ball should be palpable.

So what are you looking forward to Friday? Discuss!