Camp Confessional: Falcons Week 3 Storylines
The Atlanta Falcons are boring, and they like it that way. Boring not in the conventional sense of how they play, but rather in how they conduct themselves. The 2013 Falcons training camp opened nearly three weeks ago and while the action is exciting, this camp holds about as much controversy as a game of checkers. With that being said, there are a few storylines as the Falcons prepare for their second preseason game:
- If there is concern about the offensive line, you will not find it at a panic level as of yet. With the loss of RT Mike Johnson, the team is going to continue to go with in-house solutions such as 2012 pick Lamar Holmes. The coaching staff continues to use the words “cross train” when it comes to their prospective offensive lineman. The plan is to get the best five on the field, even if that player is currently playing another position at this point in camp.
- TE Tony Gonzalez is still not here and the team does not expect him to return until next week at the earliest in preparation for the third preseason game. The coaching staff and Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff started camp by pointing out that any other first ballot Hall of Famer on the roster was welcome to do what Tony Gonzalez is doing. You do not get a sense that it is a distraction, but people eventually act like people. Resentment eventually occurs regardless of profession.
- The rookie cornerbacks are developing, with second round pick Robert Alford being the more impressive of the two thus far. First round pick Desmond Trufant has had his troubles in camp just as Alford has, but it is Alford’s gambling nature that has made him stick out a bit more during practices.
- This defensive front seven looks much more like a 3-4 front than what we saw last year. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan promised during his first year in 2012 to use elements of the 3-4. What is apparent thus far is that many more of those elements are on display. Seeing DE Osi Umenyiora stand up at the line of scrimmage and drop into zone coverage looks odd at times.
- WR Julio Jones has reached another level and just looks like the biggest and most physical athlete on the field.
- HBO's "Hard Knocks" was much more interesting to the media than it was to the Falcons players on the field. The organization made an effort to not be part of the production featuring the Cincinnati Bengals.
Still like Trufant's upside a lot more than Alford. Both guys have talent, but inexperience could be a factor in that secondary during early parts of the season.