Falcons: Things To Look Out For Thursday Night In Cleveland

Rhythm on offense… yes the field position was awful last Thursday against the Skins. But Falcons fans wanted to see at least one first down regardless of how simple the game plan is. Kyle Shanahan told The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter about his approach for the first few games of the preseason. “We don’t game-plan much, it’s not about what are we going to try to do to get (the first team) rolling. We are trying to give the guys looks and put them through situations … to see if they can do in the heat of battle like they’ve done in practice,” said Shanahan.

That said, Falcon fans want to see something to hang their hat on offensively from the first team. How about a nice 80-yard drive with new weapons like Mohamed Sanu making a play or two. Let’s see Matt Ryan look more at ease throwing the ball and comfortable with this offense.

Thursday night the Falcons take on a Browns’ defense that was tied for the third worst in the league for points allowed. In the offseason the Browns drafted Emmanuel Ogbah a big physical defensive end from Oklahoma State. They also picked up some line backing help. But you’d think we could get a nice drive rolling especially with former Brown Alex Mack returning to Cleveland to help clear the way for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

Freeney time! We lobbied for Dwight Freeney the last two offseasons and now he’s here. He showed his patented spin move and burst into the backfield at Falcons practice this week, now we get to see it for a few plays at least against Cleveland. I’m curious to see how often both he and Vic Beasley will be on the field at the same time.

Jalen Collins gonna show he’s ready to step up to starting corner? Truth be told Robert Alford has had a good camp, but Collins was drafted last year in the 2nd round to play the Seahawk-like role of the bigger physical DB. But his progress has been tough to measure through last season and this camp. Like to see him make some plays.

Plays in the punt return. We saw Arkansas State rookie J.D. McKissic take it 102 yards to the house on a kickoff return vs Washington. Can he do that on punts too? Eric Weems was the human fair catch last season, How ’bout the burner from UCLA Devin Fuller? We’re looking for some big plays here! Now that Devin Hester is gone, and some would say he’s been A.W.O.L. the past 2 years, can we find a way to flip the field?

We’ll be breaking down Thursday’s preseason game #2 vs Cleveland all day Friday on Dukes & Bell.

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