Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Monday, August 10, 2009
Heading up to Flowery Branch

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

I'm leaving for Flowery Branch, Ga. On Monday night and will be out watching the Falcons in camp Tuesday, Wednesday and part of Thursday.

I'll be keeping an eye on a lot of things while I watch the Falcons, but here are five storylines that I'll be focusing on closely:

1. Who's going to be the No. 3 wide receiver with Harry Douglas lost for the season? The Falcons brought in veterans Marty Booker and Robert Ferguson and they already had Brian Finneran. Not sure if any of those guys in the true answer for the No. 3 job. I'll be watching the young receivers to see if there might be a surprise.

2. I'll keep a close eye on defensive end Jamaal Anderson. It's clearly make-or-break time for him.

3. The Falcons have high hopes for strong-side linebacker Stephen Nicholas. I'm curious to see if he looks ready for big things.

4. One other trickle-down effect from the Douglas injury is the return game. The Falcons have Jerious Norwood to handle some returns. But I want to see who else might be able to fit into the mix.

5. Of course, I'll be watching quarterback Matt Ryan and I'm not expecting to see any signs of the "sophomore slump.'' But I'll be watching the backup quarterbacks even more closely. Curious to see if D.J. Shockley has any chance of moving ahead of Chris Redman.