1. Projected Training Camp Depth Chart. We’ve had some time to reflect on all of the interviews with head coach Dan Quinn, the coordinators and the position coaches over the past few weeks.
While the coaches continue to stress competition, they still have the challenge of ranking the players, who have not put on any pads this offseason.
The coaches clearly haven’t made any final decisions and are looking forward to playing three exhibition games.
The Falcons are at 89 players, one under the 90-player offseason limit. The coaches moved players around with different units on a daily basis over the offseason.
The battle at linebacker will be the most intriguing when training camp opens. The Falcons drafted Deion Jones in the second round and De’Vondre Campbell in the fourth round. They received a lot of action with the first-team over the offseason.
However, we’re sticking with the veterans Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon for now. But the eventual and long-term linebackers appear to be Vic Beasley at strongside, Jones at middle and Campbell at weakside.
“I basically feel that I know about the whole defense,” Campbell said. “It’s just getting the little things down, like alignments, fits, keys and stuff like that.”
Veteran Philip Wheeler is a valuable backup.
Courtney Upshaw and Brooks Reed are also strongside linebackers who can play the run well.
The right cornerback spot is problematic because of Jalen Collins’ four-game suspension for using performance enhancement drafts. Akeem King, DeMarcus Van Dyke and C.J. Goodman are the candidates.
Based on the movement and the conversations with the coaches, here’s the projected depth chart heading into training camp.
The players don’t report until Thursday, July 27:
WR 11 Julio Jones, 16 Justin Hardy, 17 Devin Hester, 87 Devin Fuller, 18 Jordan Leslie
LT 70 Jake Matthews, 76 Tom Compton
LG 67 Andy Levitre, 71 Wes Schweitzer, 79 Shabaz Ahmed
C 51 Alex Mack, 63 Ben Garland, 69 Jake Reed
RG 65 Chris Chester, 68 Mike Person, 64 Collin Rahrig, Michael Huey
RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 72 Bryce Harris, 66 Laurence Gibson
TE 83 Jacob Tamme, 80 Levine Toilolo, 81 Austin Hooper, 86 D.J. Tialavea, 82 Joshua Perkins
WR Mohamed Sanu, 14 Eric Weems, 19 Aldrick Robinson, 15 Nick Williams, 7 David Glidden, 85 J.D. McKissic, 89 Daje Johnson
QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub, 12 Sean Renfree, 4 Matt Simms
RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 28 Terron Ward, 35 Gus Johnson, 20 Brandon Wilds
FB 42 Patrick DiMarco, 39 Will Ratelle
NICKEL DEFENSE (60 PERCENT)
RDE 99 Adrian Clayborn, 50 Brooks Reed, 91 Courtney Upshaw, 71 Brandon Williams
DT 97 Grady Jarrett, 94 Tyson Jackson, 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 98 Cory Johnson
DT 90 Derrick Shelby, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 92 Joey Mbu, 74 Chris Mayes
LDE 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 48 Ivan McLennan, 93 Malliciah Goodman, 52 Tyler Starr
LB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 41 Philip Wheeler, 46 Torrey Green
LB 55 Paul Worrilow, 45 Deion Jones, 53 LaRoy Reynolds, 54 Josh Dawson
RCB 25 Akeem King, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke, 29 C.J. Goodwin, 33 Devonte Johnson, 32 Jalen Collins (Suspended for 4 games)
NCB 23 Robert Alford, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke
LCB 21 Desmond Trufant,, 38 David Mims II, 39 Jordan Sefon
FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie, 20 Sharrod Neaseman, 34 Brian Poole
SS 22 Keanu Neal, 30 Charles Godfrey, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 40 Damian Parms
4-3 – UNDER
RDE 99 Adrian Clayborn, 91 Courtney Upshaw, 71 Brandon Williams, 96 Nordly Capi
DT 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 98 Cory Johnson
NT 97 Grady Jarrett, 94 Tyson Jackson, 92 Joey Mbu, 74 Chris Mayes
LDE 90 Derrick Shelby, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 93 Malliciah Goodman, 52 Tyler Starr
WLB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 46 Torrey Green, 48 Ivan McLennan
MLB 55 Paul Worrilow, 45 Deion Jones, 53 LaRoy Reynolds
SLB 44 Vic Beasley, 41 Philip Wheeler, 50 Brooks Reed, 91 Courtney Upshaw,
RCB 25 Akeem King, 32 Jalen Collins, 23 Robert Alford, 29 C.J. Goodwin, 33 Devonte Johnson, 38 David Mims II
LCB 21 Desmond Trufant, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke, 39 Jordan Sefon, 34 Brian Poole
FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie, 20 Sharrod Neaseman
SS 22 Keanu Neal, 30 Charles Godfrey, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 40 Damian Parms
K 3 Matt Bryant, 1 Nick Rose
KO 5 Matt Bosher
P 5 Matt Bosher
KR 17 Devin Hester, 14 Eric Weems, 16 Justin Hardy, 7 David Glidden, 85 J.D. McKissic
PR 17 Devin Hester, 14 Eric Weems, 16 Justin Hardy, 7 David Glidden, 85 J.D. McKissic
LS 47 Josh Harris
H 5 Matt Bosher, 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub
2. Five questions. Here are five questions with Falcons quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur:
Q: What are some the things Matt Schaub can help you all out with in the quarterbacks meeting room?
A: Number one, you’re talking about a guy who has played in the system. Not only has he played in the system, he’s played at a pretty high level in our system. So, I think it’s just another voice, another set of eyes for Matt to lean on. Schaub has been through a lot of these situations. It’s just another sounding board for Matt Ryan.
Q: Can he still play if necessary?
A: I still think Matt Schaub can still do it at a high level. Otherwise, if he wasn’t able to do it, we wouldn’t have brought him in here.
Q: How are you all trying to fix Matt Ryan’s footwork, which led to some of the interceptions last season?
A: I just think that’s the key to all of the quarterbacks throughout the league. You want to have a consistent drop, a consistent balance in the pocket so that you can really get everything into the throw, so that you are throwing with good velocity. I talk to our guys all the time about being balanced in the pocket because if a guy gets a little off balanced, the accuracy tends to fall off a little bit.
Q: How are Sean Renfree and Matt Simms coming along?
A: They are doing a really good job. The toughest thing for them is just there are going to get limited reps. Every time that they get a chance to go out of the field, they have to make those reps count. That’s been a big stress from me to them, just you have to go through every situation, take mental reps when you can get them and when it is your opportunity, you’ve got to perform.
Q: What did you all like from Matt Simms development from last year, to bring him back?
A: First and foremost, if you watch him out here, he’s got tremendous arm talent. He’s a natural thrower. He can throw in a condensed pocket. He adds some athleticism to the position as well. He can get out on the edge. He can make some off schedule plays. He’s definitely has some versatility from a movement standpoint.
3. 90-man roster analysis. We looked at the quarterbacks yesterday and have the tight ends on Thursday.
Matt Ryan is determined to have a bounce-back season.
Ryan has spent a great deal of his time this offseason trying to master the footwork in the outside zone scheme. He believes that he can fix a lot of the things that led to his interceptions last season.
Also, having a veteran center Alex Mack should help immensely with the ball handling.
Ryan sat down with Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jeff Schultz to watch some film of his play from last season. The story helped to explain how the offense struggled after the 6-1 start last season.
The Falcons have three quarterbacks behind Ryan in Matt Schaub, Sean Renfree and Matt Simms.
4. Falcons in Guam on USO tour. Falcons coach Dan Quinn, linebacker Paul Worrilow, kicker Matt Bryant, linebacker Vic Beasley and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are on a United Service Organization tour and they tweeted some pictures from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
5. Stadium tour. The Falcons have a tour of the new stadium set up for Thursday. The cost of the stadium is up to $1.5 billion with $200 million in add-ons.
6. Camp season. About 800 kids will be on hand this week for agent Todd France’s New Era football camp at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School today through Thursday. Several NFL players including Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, Tennessee wide receiver Harry Douglas and Philadelphia defensive tackle Fletcher Cox will be on hand to help the campers.
7. Falcons on youtube.com. The NFL is set to make three of the Falcons games available to the public on youtube.com. Team fans have have a choice of five games to pick from.
8. Tamme on offseason. Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme, who’s headed into his eighth season in the league, had his second most productive season in the NFL in 2015.
Tamme caught 59 passes on 81 targets. In 2010, while playing for the Indianapolis Colts he caught 67 passes on 93 targets.
“I really feel like my best years are still in front of me,” Tamme said. “Which is a good feeling to have at this point in my career. That’s an exciting thing for me.”
9. Offense ready to explode. Last season, Tamme sang the praises of the offense early in the offense.
“This offseason, the steps that we made as an offense, I know that I feel like I’m well ahead of where I was at this point last year,” Tamme said. “That’s something that I’m pretty jacked up about.”
90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
PROJECT PASS RUSH
FALCONS’ OFFSEASON SPOTLIGHTS