Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff welcomed reporters to 2017 Falcons training camp with a customary press conference that touched on injuries, roster battles, and the excitement that is pretty damn palpable after a long offseason. As is our custom, we rounded up some of the most relevant tidbits from today and shared our analysis of it. We do it because we love you.
Let’s start with an encouraging update on the team’s health.
Dan Quinn said no players will be placed on PUP for the Falcons. Julio Jones, Takk McKinley, and Taylor Gabriel... https://t.co/oEGwEjiyXf— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 26, 2017
There was some concern that one of these players would end up on PUP, but the fact that they haven’t tells you this team is about as healthy as they possibly could be at this point. McKinley should play in the third preseason game, while Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel could be brought along quite slowly. No one’s doubting their readiness for the season, either way.
I asked @FalconsDQ & TD what position group battles are they most excited to see play out, the response:— Kelsey Conway (@FalconsKelsey) July 26, 2017
I’m not exactly sure what wide receiver is doing on this list, frankly, but the rest are understandable. The Falcons want to see if Duke Riley or Kemal Ishmael wins out on the weak side, whether Brian Hill can win that third running back job, and who is going to be the starter at right guard. I can only assume the WR battle being referenced here concerns those who are vying for the fifth (and maybe sixth) spots on the depth chart, because the Falcons are pretty damn set from 1-4. There just are fewer compelling roster battles this year because this is a deeper, stronger team than the Falcons have had in years.
Dan Quinn said defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel will experiment on field and in coaching box during preseason. In box for first game.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) July 26, 2017
It’s worth remembering that Manuel has never been a defensive coordinator before, so he’ll be figuring things out as he goes to a certain extent. He has plenty of experienced staff to help him, including former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, but we’ll see where he eventually ends up. The Falcons defense should be better regardless of where he’s calling plays from.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings as the team gets on the field for the first time, but there’s plenty to be excited about.