NFL Atlanta Falcons

5 Things to Watch During “Hard Knocks” With The Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons: 5 Things To Watch During "Hard Knocks"

desmond trufant
Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have been chosen to be featured on HBO's NFL training camp series, "Hard Knocks", which has given fans an inside perspective on what training camp is really like for rookies, veterans and coaches alike. Atlanta was plagued by the injury bug last year but will look to bounce back in a big way this season. Here are five things to expect to see during "Hard Knocks" this August.

5. Julio Jones' Return

Julio Jones
Getty Images

5. Julio Jones' Return

Julio Jones
Getty Images

It should be no surprise that Julio Jones is on this list. He's here for good reason. The star WR missed 11 games last season due to injury yet still put up 41 receptions for 580 yards in the five games he played in. It will be interesting to see how the "Hard Knocks" crew decides to chronicle his return to the field. Jones is known as one of the best receivers in the game, and he will look to make his return to that category this season.

4. Filling Tony Gonzalez's Shoes

Levine Toilolo
Getty Images

4. Filling Tony Gonzalez's Shoes

Levine Tiololo
Getty Images

Tony Gonzalez will likely go down as the greatest tight end to ever play the position, but Atlanta needs to move on rather quickly from the future Hall of Fame TE. Second-year TE Levine Toilolo was brought in last season to be the successor at the position for the team. While he played well last season, he will need to make a very large leap in progress and development for QB Matt Ryan and this offense to get on track properly.

3. Desmond Trufant The Shutdown Corner?

Desmond Trufant
Getty Images

3. Desmond Trufant The Shutdown Corner?

Desmond Trufant
Getty Images

During his rookie season with the club, CB Desmond Trufant flew under-the-radar as one of the better rookies from the 2013 class. One could argue he may have had the best season out of all the rookie corners last year. He will look to become one of the league's best at his position this season stepping into the role as the team's clear cut No. 1 corner. Can he become a shutdown corner or does he struggle a bit this season?

2. Can Matty Ice Warm Back Up?

Matt Ryan
Getty Images

2. Can Matty Ice Warm Back Up?

Matt Ryan
Getty Images

Ryan has been teetering on that elite/average level for the past two seasons, but hewill look to ascend himself into the elite category this season as one of the league's best signal-callers. He will be without his Hall of Fame tight end, but he will have a healthy Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas and very capable backs behind him to ease the pressure from his shoulders. Can Matty Ice warm up and ascend or will he repeat his 2013 season?

1. Replacing LB Sean Weatherspoon

Paul Worrilow
Getty Images

1. Replacing LB Sean Weatherspoon

Paul Worrilow
Getty Images

Unfortunately, LB Sean Weatherspoon has been lost for the season, which is tough because the guy is so talented, yet he cannot catch a break. The team will lean on young LBs Joplo Bartu (85 tackles, 3.5 sacks in 13 starts last year) and Paul Worrilow (127 tackles, two sacks in 12 starts last year) to ease the loss of Weatherspoon. Worrilow quickly became a great story last season, so keep an eye on both players during "Hard Knocks".