The Falcons have until September 4 to decide which of their current 75 players will make the final 53. Coach Mike Smith acknowledges tonight will decide the fates of several players. Here’s a look at a few guys with a lot to play for:
Cornerback: Veteran Brian Williams, returning from an ACL injury, and third-year Chevis Jackson, sneaker fiend, are the guys with the most to prove tonight. Williams was briefly a Smitty man during Coach’s time in Jacksonville, which likely helps his cause. The Falcoholic is largely unimpressed by Williams. Jackson hasn’t played all that much and has been hit-or-miss this preseason; D. Led thinks Jackson will go.
Defensive tackle: We interviewed former Tech man Vance Walker a few weeks ago, leading your correspondent to pull mightily for Walker tonight. Trey Lewis is also on the line. The team could certainly elect to keep five tackles, but Jamaal Anderson’s part-time interior lineman status could move coaches to free up a roster space. The Falcoholic sees both remaining with the team.
Wide receiver: Kerry Meier’s unfortunate injury opened the receiver competition back up, after he’d clearly grabbed hold of a backup spot. If the team decides to keep six receivers, the job is probably former Georgia Force star Troy Bergeron’s to lose, but rookies Brandyn Harvey and Ryan Wolfe may be in the mix.
Linebacker: There are questions of who will start at linebacker, which we’ll get to next week. But for now, we’ll be watching to see whether ridiculous upsider Spencer Adkins, fan favorite Bear Woods, or special teams captain Coy Wire are able to stick around.
Halfback: The threesome of Michael Turner, Jerious Norwood, and utility man Jason Snelling seemed to wrap up the position. But Antone Smith, a practice squadder last year, has been electric at times this preseason, and he may be able to squeeze into a special teams job. Plus, the team could use another speed back in the event of a Norwood injury, which is not an infrequent event.