W2W4: Atlanta Falcons


The Atlanta Falcons (1-2) play their fourth and final preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) Thursday night at Everbank Field.

Here are a few things to watch:

1. The right tackle: The Falcons are set at left tackle with rookie Jake Matthews sliding over from the right side. Now it's a matter of solidifying the right tackle spot going into the Sept. 7 season opener against the New Orleans Saints. Offensive line coach Mike Tice said the competition is "wide open" with Lamar Holmes, Gabe Carimi, and Ryan Schraeder. Holmes has the edge now just based on experience from last year. Carimi, who just returned from an ankle injury, would appear to be the top competitor. Tice said Carimi was in line to be the swing tackle before Sam Baker went down with a season-ending knee injury. Schraeder is mean and nasty, but he's the dark horse. Let's see which guy is the most sound with his technique.

2. Fast track: During an appearance on HBO's "Hard Knocks,'' general manager Thomas Dimitroff seemed to indicate the team had a decision to make between undrafted rookie receivers Geraldo Boldewijn and Bernard Reedy. Well, the decision might have been made for the Falcons as Boldewijn apparently is dealing with a hamstring injury. His playing status for Thursday remains unclear. If the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Boldewijn plays through the pain and still makes plays, that might speak volumes about his value. But no one can discount what Reedy brings to the equation with his blazing speed and ability to go get the deep ball. We'll see if Boldewijn's hamstring issue gives Reedy the advantage.

3. Bubble watch: There will be plenty of other guys fighting for jobs Thursday. Some of the names worth monitoring include defensive tackle Travian Robertson, who has been solid throughout the preseason but might be caught in a numbers' game, and nickelback Josh Wilson, who started off strong during training camp but hasn't made many plays as of late while competing against Robert McClain and Javier Arenas. The backup tight end role seems to be down to the wire between Bear Pascoe and Mickey Shuler, although Shuler suffered a setback in missing the last game with a concussion. Coach Mike Smith contends the backup quarterback spot remains up for grabs, but it seems like T.J. Yates would have to pitch a perfect game to overtake Sean Renfree. We'll see.