Pre-Season Game 3: Gameday
Troy Heinzman over at BloggingDirty.com has taken the time to answer 5 questions regarding the Falcons and Dolphins game later tonight.
He and I exchanged the questions and you can read my answers here.
Continue reading for the 5 Q and A’s
PP: How many snaps will the Falcon starters play and are there any significant players who will not be active?
TH: Head coach Mike Smith has said the starters will see 30 to 35 snaps unless it rains, then that number will be reduced. The Falcons will have their most complete roster in this one with several key players returning from injuries. Cornerbacks Dunta Robinson and Brian Williams could return and running back Jerious Norwood will see his first action in the preseason. The receiver position remains thin with Michael Jenkins still out with a shoulder injury and rookie Kerry Meier placed on injured reserve this week.
PP: What can the Dolphins defense expect from the Falcons offense?
TH: With the receiver injuries the Dolphins can expect a lot of two TE sets. They ran those against New England last week and were able to move the ball in the first half. The passing game early in the preseason has focused on a lot of underneath routes so look for Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez to be heavily involved. The real meat-and-potatoes of this offense, though, is the running game. Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and a healthy Norwood should see lots of opportunities.
PP: Give me two Falcon players we should be keeping an eye on in this game and why?
TH: Offensively the man to watch is Harry Douglas. He missed all of last season with an ACL injury and saw his first action last week against the Patriots. With the injury to Jenkins, Douglas’ role in the offense will increase. You know what you’re getting with the big guns (Matt Ryan, Turner, Gonzalez) but Douglas is a true wild card.
If Robinson plays – he’s still a game-time decision – he’ll be the one to watch. A pricey free agent brought in from Houston, Robinson is expected to shore up a pass defense that was 28th in the league a year ago. If he’s a late scratch, all eyes again fall on rookie Sean Weatherspoon. He’s a boisterous playmaker out of Missouri who has the speed and power to change a game. His inexperience gets him in trouble, as it did last week, but he’s always around the ball.
PP: Two Dolphins players the Falcons will watching for and why?
TH: Brandon Marshall is nightmare-inducing. He’s the one guy that can expose the Falcons’ achilles heel – their pass defense. I’m hoping Robinson can play because this be as good a test as there is for him. Trying to contain a big-time #1 receiver like Marshall is the very reason Robinson was brought in.
Karlos Dansby on defense. The Falcons love to run the ball and throw to their tight ends and receivers over the middle, so keeping Dansby from disrupting the gameplan will be foremost.
PP: Finish this sentence: It will be a successful season if the Falcons…
TH: Host a playoff game. There’s a lot of talk about competing for the Super Bowl and this team has the talent but a home playoff game would be a huge step for this franchise.