- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Three things to watch for in Atlanta’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.
1. Julio Jones, the sequel. The rookie receiver got off to a fantastic start last week. He gained first downs the first three times he touched the ball. It was a sensational start and the Falcons have big plans for Jones. But they’ve got to walk a fine line here and perhaps keep him under wraps. There’s no sense showing too much of your offensive intentions in the preseason.
2. Dominique Franks and Chris Owens. They’re battling for the nickel-back spot and both are going to get a ton of playing time in this one. Dunta Robinson is sitting this game out with a hamstring injury, meaning Franks or Owens will move into the starting lineup. Whichever one doesn’t will still get on the field a lot. The Falcons are waiting for one of these guys to step above the other.
3. Ray Edwards? The question mark is there because we don’t know if Edwards will even play in this game. Atlanta’s crown jewel in free agency missed the preseason opener, soon after it first was revealed by coach Mike Smith that Edwards had “minor’’ surgery on his knee during the lockout. We’ll see how minor it was. But if the Falcons are confident Edwards is ready, we might get our first look at the main who is supposed to elevate the pass rush to the next level. If not, we'll see more of the Kroy Biermann show.
7hEric D. Williams