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Falcons snap counts: The gang plays a ton of reserves and learns something about themselves

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The Falcons were clearly looking to see how some potential key reserves and interesting young players would fare, and now they have something to study.

Denver Broncos v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Even in exhibition games, we discuss the snap counts. That is the way our ancestors have done it, that is the way we do it, and that is the way our great-grandchildren will do it. We do not question the snap counts.

Offense

Sean Harlow: 79

John Wetzel: 77

Chandler Miller: 66

Jaelin Robinson: 61

Matt Gono: 59

Kurt Benkert: 57

Eric Saubert: 39

CJ Worton: 37

Jaeden Graham: 36

Christian Blake: 33

Olamide Zaccheaus: 30

Brian Hill: 29

Matt Schaub: 26

Qadree Ollison: 24

Devin Gray: 22

Alex Gray: 21

Dieugot Joseph: 21

Khalil Lewis: 18

Shawn Bane: 17

Russell Gage: 16

Wes Schweitzer: 14

Chris Lindstrom: 14

Justin Hardy: 13

Tony Brooks-James: 9

Ito Smith: 9

Marcus Green: 8

Logan Paulsen: 8

Kenjon Barner: 8

Ricky Ortiz: 7

Ty Sambrailo: 7

Richie Brown: 5


The Falcons were intent on taking a long look at some of their reserve offensive linemen. They were rewarded with some halfway decent blocking, but also some mishaps and penalties along the way. Sean Harlow, Chandler Miller, and John Wetzel all picked up penalties, and frankly I’d be hard pressed to say any of them looked great. The tackles (Robinson and Gono in particular) fared better on first blush, but we’ll see if Dan Quinn and company agree. Wetzel and Harlow are fighting over—at most—a single spot, and this was not a good first step for either of them.

Clearly, the Falcons want to get a long look at young players on offense who have a mixed chance of making the team, so the names are mostly who you would have suspected. Ominously for Eric Saubert, though, he was one of those guys, with veteran Logan Paulsen barely playing and even Alex Gray getting fewer snaps. We’ll see in the weeks ahead if that’s a sign that he’s the fourth man on the depth chart at the moment, or whether he’s just getting a little extra early run.

You’d be hard-pressed to argue that any particular young receiver ran away with the day, by the way, but Brian Hill made the most of his snaps at running back and appears to be doing everything in his power to push for a spot.

Defense

Kendall Sheffield: 41

Justin Zimmer: 41

Jordan Miller: 40

Ryan Neal: 40

Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 39

John Cominsky: 37

Austin Larkin: 32

Del’Shawn Phillips: 30

Parker Baldwin: 29

Tre’ Crawford: 29

Sharrod Neasman: 29

Deadrin Senat: 29

Yurik Bethune: 28

Jermaine Grace: 27

Durrant Miles: 22

Chris Odom: 20

Jayson Stanley: 17

Chris Cooper: 16

Stephone Anthony: 15

Foye Oluokun: 15

Jason Thompson: 14

Bruce Carter: 12

Rashad Causey: 11

Ra’Shede Hageman: 5

Deion Jones: 1

Isaiah Oliver: 1


Again, it gets a little tough to tell who the Falcons want to take a really long look at because they’re intriguing and who’s just playing to fill space. It’s not hard to understand the appeal of playing young draft picks like Kendall Sheffield and Jordan Miller to see what you have, but you also have to wonder why Sharrod Neasman (a known quantity) is getting far more snaps than Jason Thompson and Chris Cooper (who are relatively new). Again, one game isn’t enough to figure all this out.

What we do know is the Falcons weren’t thrilled with everything they saw in the secondary. They cut Causey outright and Ryan Neal took a lot of heat for some of his play late in the game, and the team went out and brought in a new safety (Ronald Martin) and cornerback (Hamp Cheevers) to give them some more options there. The play in the front seven was a lot more encouraging, with multiple linebackers (Bethune and Grace in particular) shining and John Cominsky wreaking havoc along the line. Those guys should all get longer looks in the first preseason game, which the Dolphins will at least take somewhat seriously.

Special Teams

John Cominsky: 15

Jermaine Grace: 14

Jayson Stanley: 13

Del’Shawn Phillips: 13

Matt Bosher: 12

Alex Gray: 11

Yurik Bethune: 11

Parker Baldwin: 10

Jason Thompson: 10

Kyle Vasey: 10

Jaeden Graham: 10


If you’re getting special teams snaps, meanwhile, it’s a pretty good indication the team is going to give you a long look this summer. Cominsky led the team in special teams snaps and looked damn good, which should earn him a role even if he slows down on defense. Stanley has the pedigree to be a quality gunner, Phillips and Bethune are fast and physical, and Gray and Graham need to prove their special teams value to push Paulsen and/or Saubert out. The only victim on this list is Kyle Vasey, who has the misfortune of joining a team with an established, very good long snapper. We’ll hope he lands elsewhere soon.