In tonight’s preseason finale for the Atlanta Falcons against the Jacksonville Jaguars, I wouldn’t expect to see a lot of familiar names. The final preseason game is going to be a showcase for a lot of young, hungry guys to make their last impression on the Falcons coaching staff.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith has said that the starters may play briefly, as he has done in past seasons, and Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said his starters will likely play for the first quarter before his reserves are sent in.
Some players who are on the bubble will need to really make a showing as this will be the coaches last opportunity to see them in game situations. Even if cut by the Falcons, young players who perform well in the final preseason game can earn spots on the practice squad, which will be established on Sept.1, or can even be picked up by other teams. Two years ago, running back Danny Woodhead was cut by the New York Jets after making an impressive preseason finale, and was eventually signed by the New England Patriots, where he made a huge impact.
Some of the Falcons young players who are sitting on that proverbial bubble, and will really need to shine against Jacksonville, include:
WR – James Rodgers, Tim Toone
OL – Joe Hawley, Mike Johnson
TE – Tommy Gallarda, LaMark Brown
RB – Antone Smith, Dimitri Nance
LB – Robert James, Spencer Adkins.
CB – Christopher Owens, Peyton Thompson
S – Charles Mitchell and Shann Schillinger
Most of those positions will have one final spot remaining that the above players are fighting to win.
Atlanta’s final roster cuts will be made following the game to meet the NFL‘s Friday deadline.