The Atlanta Falcons held their annual Friday Night Lights exhibition scrimmage this past Friday, and the fans attended in record-breaking numbers for good reason.
Head coach Mike Smith elected to hold out the main starters. While this is normal, it is disappointing…but only to a point. Considering the number of players that have fallen to injury in the 2013 training camps, and the caliber of the fallen…I can’t blame him for being conservative. That being said, the night wasn’t without its uh-oh moments. Tommy Gallarda, who had been more than holding his own, came off the field holding his left arm.
However, an unexpected area of concern did rear its ugly head during the scrimmage. Neither Mike Johnson nor Lamar Holmes was able to excel at right tackle. Considering the assumption that the battle for right tackle would come down to the talent and abilities of these two, this one can’t simply be swept under the rug…or the goalpost. The odds are against both of them having the same kind of off night, but maybe…just maybe…that’s all it was. The team can’t afford mediocrity at the right tackle position, or any position for that matter. Their lackluster performances also bring an immediate longing for the return of Tyson Clabo. Unless there’s a quick turnaround for the better, cutting Clabo looks more and more like a mistake. The picture should become clearer Thursday night, when the Falcons’ preseason schedule kicks off against the Cincinnati Bengals.
One side note: Next year, the Falcons need to consider moving the scrimmage to a bigger venue with more seating and better views.
Particularly if a Super Bowl victory is in the books.