NFL Atlanta Falcons

5 Things the Atlanta Falcons Must Accomplish During OTAs

5 Things the Falcons Must Accomplish During OTAs

mike smith atlanta falcons ota
Kevin Liles- USA Today Sports

The Atlanta Falcons look to turn it around this year after a poor performance in 2013. With that in mind, let's look at five things Mike Smith's team must accomplish during OTAs in order to improve their game.

Keep WRs Healthy

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Dale Zanine- USA Today Sports

Keep WRs Healthy

roddy white julio jones atlanta falcons
Dale Zanine- USA Today Sports

Julio Jones missed a majority of the 2013 season with a fractured foot and Roddy White has been troubled with injures on and off over the past few years. They are both familiar with the playbook, so making sure that they aren't overworked may be something to keep an eye on. When both Jones and White are on the field together, Atlanta has one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the NFL. Keeping them healthy is a must during OTAs.

Prepare DBs

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Kevin Liles- USA Today Sports

Prepare DBs

desmond trufant atlanta falcons ota
Kevin Liles- USA Today Sports

After the departure of Dunta Robinson in 2013 and the release of Asante Samuel and Thomas DeCoud this offseason, it's time for the new guys to step it up. The door is open for promising second-year CB Desmond Trufant. FS Dwight Lowery was signed on to fill DeCoud's role. The Falcons' secondary definitely has the talent, but making sure they are prepared is a must. Since the 2014 NFL Draft, a handful of new receivers have joined the NFC South.

Determine Starting Tight End

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Daniel Shirey- USA Today Sports

Determine Starting Tight End

tony gonzales atlanta falcons
Daniel Shirey- USA Today Sports

With Tony Gonzales gone to retirement, the starting tight end spot is open for competition. Levine Toilolo was drafted last year and looks to be the frontrunner, but Mickey Shuler, Andrew Szczerba, Bear Poscoe and Jacob Pedersen are all candidates to see a bulk of the action. The Falcons may use a three-headed unit like they did before the Gonzales days, but Atlanta will still need to determine its go-to guy.

Put Together Backup Plan For Steven Jackson

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Kevin Hoffman- USA Today Sports

Put Together Backup Plan For Steven Jackson

steven jackson atlanta falcons
Kevin Hoffman- USA Today Sports

Steven Jackson will be 31 next month and he's coming off the biggest let-down season of his career. Health was an issue, so the Falcons will need to look for a backup plan in case he goes down again. Jacquizz Rodgers serves as a decent No. 2 and rookie Devonta Freeman looks to make his case during OTAs and training camp as well. The Falcons will need a solid run game in order to take pressure off of QB Matt Ryan.

Improve Pass Protection

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Kevin Liles- USA Today Sports

Improve Pass Protection

matt ryan atlanta falcons ota
Kevin Liles- USA Today Sports

Let's face it, the Falcons did an awful job at protecting their Pro-Bowl quarterback last year. If they want to find success against the Saints' and Panthers' pass rush, Matt Ryan is going to need all the help he can get. A nice little defense is on the rise in Tampa Bay as well. Drafting OT Jake Matthews was the first step, but some extra work will need to be done this summer in order to make that protection a guarantee.