The Falcons are set to open the regular season against Tampa Bay at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Friday:
1. Practice. The Falcons’ practice is set for 11:35 a.m with head coach Dan Quinn speaking afterward.
2. Julio Jones returned to practice. All-Pro wide receiver returned to practice on Thursday. Jones hadn’t fully participated in practice since being injured in the third exhibition game against Miami on Aug. 25.
3. Press box Smitty. Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith, former head coach of the Falcons, plans to call the defense from the press box.
4. Final season in the dome. This will be the Falcons final season in the Georgia Dome. Here’s a look at the Georgia Dome’s biggest upcoming events.
5. Go to the polls. Columnist Mark Bradley asked his readers “If you were an NFL owner, which threesome would you rather have?” Tampa Bay’s trio of Dirk Koetter/Mike Smith and James Winston (61.14 percent) were soundly defeating the Falcons trio of Dan Quinn/Mike Shanahan/Matt Ryan (38.86 percent) this morning. In Georgia, since they have 50 percent of the vote there would not be a run-off.
5A. Financial Advice. Columnist Jeff Schultz’ financial advice/predictions columns is out. He projects the Falcons to cover the 3 vs. the Bucs.
The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Noah Coslov preview Falcons-Bucs by talking about the Mike Smith difference, the biggest source of stress for Dan Quinn and the Falcons’ defensive game plan.