Sanders has played both strong safety and free safety, and I agree with Dave Choate that Thomas DeCoud's free safety position could be a likelier fit than William Moore's strong safety spot. DeCoud has made at least a couple of visible mistakes this preseason -- not that you'd base such a thing strictly on preseason performance. Moore adds value as a run defender and over-the-middle enforcer, meaning his own middlin' pass coverage isn't all that noticeable.
At minimum, this is a little bit of tough talk meant to put some fire into DeCoud and Moore, and that really can't be a bad thing. From what we've heard, if Sanders has to step up, Falcons fans have reason to be confident he can handle just about anything.
He was once named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a game he didn't even start. With three interceptions last year, he reached eight for his career. And he has a solid reputation off the field, once taking less money to stay in New England. People like to hear that kind of thing.
Yes, but could he challenge for the nickel spot?
Sanders has only been listed as a safety during his NFL career, even though he's played both strong safety and free safety. He's started 50 games in that span, appearing in 84. At Fresno State, he made his mark as a strong safety. It looks like this is a move to provide a challenge to the team's two starting safeties, along with some versatile veteran depth and a special teams presence.