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Monday, August 9, 2010
Falcons, Jags to have 'special' practice

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars are going to start their second joint practice of the day in just a few minutes.

I’m heading out to the field momentarily and this practice is going to be special. Lame joke there, but the afternoon session will be for special teams only. That doesn’t mean it’s going to lack some story lines.

About the only certainties are that Michael Koenen is safe as the punter and Joe Zelenka as the long snapper. But the place-kicker jobs and the competition among the return men is what I’ll be keeping an eye on. The Falcons have veteran Matt Bryant competing with Steve Hauschka competing for the kicking job.

There are all sorts of possibilities in the return game. Jerious Norwood, Harry Douglas and Brent Grimes all have handled some return duties in the past. Rookie cornerback Dominque Franks was drafted in large part because of his return abilities.

I’ll be back after the special-teams practice with some observations.