Have your smellin’ salts handy, because Adam Gase and the New York Jets head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons tonight. We’ve got all your pre-game coverage in one convenient spot: Falcoholinks (your favorite morning destination to milk the clock).
The Falcons will host their first preseason game tonight at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, welcoming the Jets to the finest new stadium in the league. The Falcons carry the all-time advantage into this one, and they’ll look to improve on those historically winning ways against New York tonight.
The week began with the stunning news that Falcons tight end Eric Saubert had been traded away to the New England Patriots, violating one of the cardinal rules of NFL football: Never trade with the Patriots.
He promptly caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in his first practice.
The Falcons received a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft in exchange for Saubert, an ultra-athletic prospect that never seemed to put it together in Atlanta. He’ll certainly have a chance to stick in New England, as pass-catching tight ends are kind of their bread and butter.
With Saubert gone from a crowded mix of TEs, it opens up the possibility for young guys Jaeden Graham and Alex Gray to potentially crack the roster.
DQ loves LSU
Since Dan Quinn assumed the coaching helm in Atlanta, LSU has been the well from where he likes to select his players. Jalen Collins, Deion Jones, Duke Riley, and Russell Gage were all LSU draft selections under Quinn, and another former Tiger has now been added to the current mix: quarterback Danny Etling.
Etling was claimed on waivers from the New England Patriots yesterday, injecting some young blood (aside from the IR-bound Kurt Benkert) into the backup battle with Matt Schaub and Matt Simms.
We’ll see if he gets some run this evening.
The battle for left guard
One of the more interesting position battles in camp is for the starting spot at left guard. The Falcons brought in both James Carpenter and Jamon Brown in free agency to compete for the position, but as injury has slowed Carpenter during camp so far, it’s opened up a big opportunity for Brown to capitalize.
So far, Dan Quinn seems impressed with his progress.
James Carpenter has been doing some work on the rehab field, so we’ll hopefully see him back at full health soon and get a real feel for where this battle is leaning.
We’ve yet to see Calvin Ridley in the preseason as he recovers from a hamstring injury, but there’s a shot he’s in there for a couple of series tonight. So with that, we introduce the latest iteration of Allen Strk’s review series, this one focusing on Ridley’s most memorable play of his sensational rookie season.
Whether the Falcons decide to roll with six or seven wide receivers in 2019, Calvin Ridley will be a pivotal member of that group — and the offense’s overall success.