The Atlanta Falcons broke camp last week, and they are gearing up for the finale of the preseason. There have been injuries and interesting stories going on this week, so let’s get it on with this weeks Atlanta Falcons “Bird Droppings”, news, notes, snippets and rants from around the Falcons camp and the NFL.
The preseason injury bug continues to bite at the ankles – or arms – of the Falcons. This time it was reserve offensive tackle Will Svitek, who is gone for the season with an upper arm injury. The loss of Svitek creates a big hole at the backup tackle position, and will put increased pressure on starters Sam Baker and Tyson Clabo, as well as rookie Lamar Holmes.
Defensive tackle Peria Jerry, who’s brief Falcons career has been riddled with injuries, is finally looking like the player the Falcons drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft. The injury to starter Corey Peters has given Jerry a chance to show he’s still able to compete for a starting position at defensive tackle. “I’m feeling better than I have felt since my rookie year, but I’m just going to stay focused and keep working hard every day,” Jerry said.
On the subject of Corey Peters, he continues to work with trainers on his undisclosed foot injury. There is no timetable for Peters’ return at this point, and no medical update is expected until the final week of the preseason. “Right now, Corey is only working on the side [with the training staff] and only working in the training room basically in a rehabilitation mode,” head coach Mike Smith said.
After two preseason games and two preseason losses, the coordinators have given their reviews of the team, and both of the echoed the sentiment that most saw to be quite obvious. The reserves need a lot of work. “There is a big difference between our first group and our backups. Some guys need to step up as far as the backups go.” said defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, while his offensive counterpart Dirk Koetter stated, “Let’s see if we can get off to a fast start in the second half.”
It looks like the Falcons practices may be getting a little more spirited, as there were two fights during practice on Monday. Wide receiver Tim Toone and cornerback Peyton Thompson began to duke it out on consecutive plays, followed by a fight between offensive tackle Tyson Clabo and defensive tackle Micanor Regis. Mike Smith made light of the tussles, saying, “We broke camp yesterday and I don’t know but everyone went home and came back in a bad mood.”