REPORT DATE: July 24th
SITE: Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, GA
CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: One of the NFL's most dynamic offenses is not only back in tact in Dixie, it has actually been upgraded. Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan and the best receiving duo in the game, Roddy White and Julio Jones, were always a given but by convincing future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to put off retirement for another year, and replacing the descending Michael Turner with ex-Rams running back Steven Jackson, Atlanta now looks poised for another big season in 2013. Offensive tackle could be an issue, however, because Sam Baker has a history of back problems on the left side and veteran Tyson Clabo, a solid, if unspectacular player, was released. Meanwhile, Lamar Holmes, a third-round pick in 2012, is no sure thing. Defensively, things are much murkier. The aging but always productive John Abraham is gone, replaced by former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, a talented but far less consistent player. In the draft, the Falcons tried to rebuild the cornerback position after releasing Dunta Robinson and losing Brent Grimes in free agency to Miami. Atlanta nabbed Desmond Trufant in the first round and supplemented that by selecting Robert Alford in the second.
PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):
Aug 8 - vs. Cincinnati, 8:00 PM Aug 15 - at Baltimore, 7:30 PM Aug 24 - at Tennessee, 8:00 PM Aug 29 - vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 PM