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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Falcons bolster blocking at tight end

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

The Atlanta Falcons are reaching into their past to solidify their situation at tight end.

The team just confirmed that it has agreed to terms with veteran tight end Reggie Kelly. Interestingly enough, Kelly began his career in Atlanta. He was drafted by the Falcons in the second round in 1999. He only stayed through 2002.

Backup tight end Justin Peelle injured his knee in the preseason opener and Kelly was a natural fit. That’s not due to his background in Atlanta. It has more to do with the fact that he was with Cincinnati from 2003 through last season. New Atlanta quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski previously was offensive coordinator for the Bengals during Kelly’s tenure.

In Cincinnati, Kelly developed a reputation as a very good blocking tight end. It’s unclear how serious Peelle’s injury is. But, if he’s out for a long period of time, the Falcons need someone to take Peelle’s role as a blocker.

Tony Gonzalez is the starting tight end, but is mostly a pass catcher. Kelly could step in and be an important part of the offense as a blocker.

A few other items of note from around the NFC South before I get back to work on writing Tampa Bay’s Camp Confidential feature that is scheduled to run Wednesday.

Mike Triplett has some contract details on some of the recent signings by the Saints.

Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis has been cleared to play in this week’s preseason game after missing the opener with an injury.

Former Carolina defensive end Tyler Brayton has landed with the Colts.