The Atlanta Falcons will play their second game of the NFL preseason Friday night in Jacksonville against the Jaguars. It is a bit too early to tell exactly which players are on the chopping block considering the team doesn't have to make any cuts until August 30 so instead the players to watch have been deemed Matt Ryan and David Garrard.
Both Ryan and Garrard will be their respective team's starting quarterbacks when the regular season starts, but it doesn't hurt to see them get as many good reps in the preseason while everyone waits for the games to start counting.
The Falcoholic, SB Nation's Falcons' blog, breaks down the reason they've chosen Ryan as the player to watch when Atlanta has the ball quite well:
The Jags haven't been able to muster much of a pass rush in recent years, but they have a bit of an underrated secondary. Rashean Mathis looked he might flirt with elite status a few times in his career, and he's now in a contract year.
Okay, that's just one guy. But my point is that the secondary is solid, and I really want to see Matt Ryan continue to slice and dice his way through solid secondaries. I also want to see how Chris Redman and Adam Froman fare against the team's backups, especially with Froman needing to make up a ton of ground to even have a real shot at the practice squad.
The quarterbacks' fortunes also affect our receivers. Julio Jones needs to keep kicking ass-just because, basically-while guys like Brandyn Harvey have to keep showing something to make the final roster. The passing game is one to watch.
The Jaguars' quarterback is conversely the player that Big Cat Country, SB Nation's Jacksonville blog, hopes to see perform well in Friday night's game.
David Garrard - As I mentioned, he needs a strong showing to throw some water on the quarterback competition fire. Blaine Gabbert took full advantage of the time Garrard was out with his back injury and has impressed the coaching staff with the quickness he's picked up the offense. Garrard needs a good game, because the word is people in the building want Gabbert to win the job.
In summation, the Falcons fans just want to see Ryan continue to dominate while Jags' backers are hoping Garrard can keep the rookie at bay until he's ready to perform.
Let's get ready for some football!