Spotlight Players vs. Jaguars
Looking at five players that the spotlight will be on during the second preseason contest. I would also list DE Ray Edwards on here, but as of this writing, it has yet to be confirmed whether he will play against the Jaguars. Most signs seem to point that will not be the case at this point.
DT Peria Jerry
Jerry will get the start for the injured Corey Peters and will get his first real test in that role since the beginning of the ’09 season. Jerry did not have a noteworthy performance last week against the Dolphins, and showing some improvement against the Jaguars will go a long way to inspire more confidence in the coaching staff and the fan base.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Last week, I highlighted Rodgers against the Dolphins. Rodgers’ Falcon debut ended without much fanfare. While he’s sure of a roster spot this season, the better he plays in the preseason, the bigger his role is likely to be at the outset of the season. Getting some earlier reps with the first and second team offensive lines should potentially help.
OG Mike Johnson
Garrett Reynolds showed some things against the Dolphins last week at right guard. Johnson missed that game due to a concussion, and if he has any shot at usurping Reynolds for the starting job, he’s going to need a really strong performance against the Jaguars.
LB Robert James
James got opportunities last week in nickel situations. And with Akeem Dent out for this week’s action, he should get even more chances, particularly with the second unit defense. James is on the roster bubble since it’s no safe bet the Falcons will keep more than six linebackers, and needs a bit more consistent performance this week against the Jags.
CB Chris Owens
Who starts in place of Dunta Robinson will be quite telling about the way the nickel cornerback battle is going. Franks appears to be ahead after Owens gave up a touchdown last week on a blown coverage. Regardless of who fills out the starting lineup, Owens needs a good bounce back performance against the Jaguars.