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Falcons vs. Dolphins 2015: Snap counts and analysis for Week 3 of preseason

Snap counts and some thoughts, though we can't clarify everything.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons lost to the Dolphins last night, but the most important thing today is how those players competing for roster spots performed, and whether they might stick around. We'll have a full 53 man roster projection coming up after the first round of cuts, but until then, snap counts and scrutinizing performances are the best tools we have for projecting who might make the team when the dust settles.

As always, these preseason snaps are best considered in light of what they mean for players seeking to make the team. I'll highlight some notable snap counts below.


T.J. Yates: 51 (75% of defensive snaps) 
Terron Ward: 42
Justin Hardy: 40
Ryan Schraeder: 37
James Stone: 37
Mike Person: 37
Tyler Polumbus: 34
Levine Toilolo: 32
Pierce Burton: 31
Nick Williams: 30
Jacob Tamme: 26
Leonard Hankerson: 26
Bernard Reedy: 26
Jon Asamoah: 24

Jake Rodgers: 24
Chris Chester: 23
Patrick DiMarco: 21
Jerome Smith: 20
Carl Mitchell: 19
Jared Smith: 18
Jake Matthews: 17
Matt Ryan: 17
Joe Hawley: 17
Tony Moeaki: 15
Devin Hester: 15
Valerian Ume-Ezeoke: 14
Eric Weems: 11
D.J. Tialavea: 9
Adam Replogle: 9
Eric Lefeld: 8
Matt Huffer: 7
Tevin Coleman: 6
Lamar Holmes: 2
Mickey Shuler: 1
Mike Ford: 1
Julio Jones: 1

There's some oddness here with Lamar Holmes, who I legitimately did not see getting onto the field. If he's back and capable of playing, expect him to get a long look in Week 4 with the team facing some scary questions at the tackle position. With Jake Rodgers playing well enough to earn a roster spot, Tyler Polumbus and Pierce Burton got a few more snaps last night, with Polumbus turning in his best performance before getting hurt and Burton playing pretty well. If the Falcons don't look outside the roster, hopefully it'll be Rodgers, Holmes, and Burton mixing for the last two tackle spots.

I'm fully expecting Mike Ford, Eric Lefeld and Matt Huffer to get cut, as they simply haven't gotten the opportunities you'd expect if they were legitimately battling for roster spots. Levine Toilolo, meanwhile, continues to get a long look from the coaching staff, and I can't tell you right now whether Tony Moeaki is getting fewer snaps because he's running behind Toilolo. The two will probably duke it out for the right to back up Jacob Tamme this coming week.

Why didn't Julio Jones play? It's generally smart not to announce your star wide receiver's big contract and then risk him in a preseason game, I suppose.

Final, interesting note: If the Falcons are seriously considering keeping six to seven receivers, and Nick Williams is still firmly in the mix, so is Bernard Reedy, who got nearly as many snaps. I continue to think Reedy is the better long-term keeper for Atlanta, and he should at least be able to push his way into the conversation for a roster squad spot.


Ricardo Allen: 60 (93% of defensive snaps)
Phillip Adams: 38
Robert Alford: 38
Paul Worrilow: 38
Kemal Ishmael: 34
Justin Durant: 32
Allen Bradford: 27
O'Brien Schofield: 27
Charles Godfrey: 26
Jalen Collins: 25
Travis Howard: 25
Kevin White: 25
Stansly Maponga: 24
Jonathan Babineaux: 22
Adrian Clayborn: 22
Tyler Starr: 19
Ra'Shede Hageman: 19
Vic Beasley: 18
Joplo Bartu: 17
Kroy Biermann: 17
Grady Jarrett: 17
Paul Soliai: 16
Cliff Matthews: 15
Joey Mbu: 13
Malliciah Goodman: 13
Tyson Jackson: 12
Warren Herring: 10
Boris Anyama: 10
Nate Stupar: 9
Brooks Reed: 8
Terrance Manning: 7
Sam Meredith: 7
Dezmen Southward: 6
Sean Baker: 5
Jonathon Mincy: 5
Derrick Hopkins: 5
Akeem King: 2
Michael Lee: 2

Good luck sorting through this one. Ricardo Allen got a very lengthy audition in this one, and he played a solid game that would seem to secure the starting job he's had all along. Look for him to sit against the Ravens on Thursday.

Akeem King is probably ticketed for the practice squad, Michael Lee, Derrick Hopkins, Jonathon Mincy and Sean Baker figure to be in the mix for the first round of cuts, and Tyson Jackson, Malliciah Goodman, and Cliff Matthews all got a relatively paltry number of snaps and didn't stand out, so they'll likely all mix in some for Week 4 as the team tries to figure out who deserves to stay.

Bradford got snaps with the starters, continues to rank among the team leaders in snaps and tackles this preseason, and has done nothing to shake my belief that he's turned himself into a roster lock. Kudos to him.

I just don't think there's a ton to be gleaned here beyond that. Players I think are competing for roles were generally in the same neighborhood in terms of snaps, with Tyler Starr and Joplo Bartu being a prime example of that phenomenon. The first round of cuts and the subsequent snaps on Thursday will go a long way toward clarifying what's going on up front, but for what it's worth, I think the Falcons are deciding between Starr and Bartu for the team's last linebacker spot.

Special Teams

Allen Bradford: 16
Patrick DiMarco: 14
Kemal Ishmael: 13
Eric Weems: 13
Matt Bosher: 12
Jalen Collins: 11
Levine Toilolo: 10
Ricardo Allen: 10
Phillip Adams: 10
Nate Stupar: 9
Josh Harris: 9
Robert Alford: 9
Joplo Bartu: 8
Jacob Tamme: 8
Travis Howard: 8
Tyler Starr: 7
Kroy Biermann: 6
Nick Williams: 6

Bradford continuing to play a ton on special teams and show well there means he can push another linebacker with less special teams chops off the roster...but I doubt he has to worry about that, as I noted above.

DiMarco getting a considerable amount of special teams work has to help his roster case, even if fullback is looking a bit like a coin flip right now.

One final note: Travis Howard getting 25 snaps on defense and some work on special teams might mean nothing, but given the unsettled cornerback situation after the team's top four, maybe he's in.

Your thoughts on these snap counts?