Posts Tagged ‘Harvey’

Seven Roster Spots Remain Open

August 20th, 2011 1 comment

The NFL instituted a new rule that teams will be allowed to activate 46 players on gamedays instead of the traditional 45 players. As such, I think through two preseason contests the Falcons have pretty much found 46 players that assuming there are no injuries to them, are virtual locks to make this year’s roster. That leaves 7 remaining spots that are still in contention that will have to be earned through these final two preseason games.

Here is my list of 46 that are locks to make the roster. These are guys that I feel will not be cut before the season starts. If they aren’t on the final roster it will be because they are on the injured reserve or some other reserve list. Here are the offensive players:

QB – Ryan, Redman, Wilson
RB – Turner, Mughelli, Snelling, Rodgers,
WR – Jones, White, Douglas, Meier, Weems
TE – Gonzalez, Palmer
OT – Baker, Clabo, Svitek
OG – Blalock, Reynolds, Johnson
OC – McClure, Hawley

Now for the defense:
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Brandyn Harvey: The Next Michael Jenkins?

August 13th, 2011 1 comment

We fans have a tendency to exaggerate things particularly when it comes to preseason play. There have been thousands of preseason “superstars” over the years in the National Football League that went on to do little in their pro careers to merit anything but a very obscure trivia question. So I must preface what I’m about to say with that statement.

Brandyn Harvey’s play in the preseason opener against the Dolphins reminded me of Michael Jenkins on his better days, and at least merits some sense of optimism.

Is Harvey going to actually be the next Jenkins? If that means becoming a starter for the Falcons and being a quasi-productive player that averages 45 catches and 3 touchdowns per season over a six-year span, then the answer is no. More than likely, Harvey’s future in terms of what he can actually do as an NFL player probably mirrors that of fellow Villanova grad Brian Finneran rather than Jenkins.

But it’s easy to compare Harvey and Jenkins. Harvey is listed at 6’4″ 205 pounds, which is only a tad off the 6’4″ 214-pound frame that Jenkins sported. They are both long, lean, and probably most similarly they can block. On a team that likes to run the ball as much as the Falcons, being a good blocker can make you stand out. Finneran was also blessed with a large frame, blocking skills, and the steady veteran experience and versatility that allowed him to fill a variety of roles in the Falcons offensive attack.

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Camp Battles 2011: Wide Receiver

July 11th, 2011 Comments off

The focus in camp likely will be on the team’s top pick, Julio Jones, and trying to get him integrated into the starting offense as much as possible. In a normal summer, the Falcons would likely work Jones at all three wide receiver positions (X, Y, Z) to promote depth and flexibility. It’s most likely that most of his work will come at the X and Y positions, which are currently manned by Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas, respectively.

It will be interesting to see where the Falcons modify their usual formula in order to accelerate Jones’ progress. The positive is that during Camp Exile, Jones got work at all three positions, so at least among the Falcons rookies he’s certainly ahead of the curve.

There has been speculation that the Falcons might be willing to deal Jenkins to make room for Jones, and that will depend heavily on how the Falcons view the  latter’s progress in camp. It’s unlikely to occur and the market for Jenkins will likely be cool since it’s an uncharacteristically strong class of free agent receivers that needy teams will be able to pilfer.

Douglas is also likely to remain in good standing with the team, making the Falcons quartet with Roddy White fairly set and secure in 2011.

The questions come behind them. Eric Weems should remain safe coming off a Pro Bowl year on special teams. While the team may give other players some extended looks in the return game, it’s not likely to be a reflection on Weems since he’s a fairly known commodity and brings a ton of value in that arena.

Kerry Meier is the front-runner of the remaining guys to land a roster spot. He is coming off an ACL tear last summer, and he’ll need to be 100% when camps commence to ensure him sticking with the team. If Meier is less than healthy, it will open up opportunities for the rest of the guys to make their presences known.

Brandyn Harvey has good size and is a capable blocker, but he needs to have a better showing as a receiver this preseason opposed to last where he had only one catch for three yards. Tim Buckley and Andy Strickland are also in the mix, and as typical, all three’s chances will depend heavily on their performances on special teams. All three are only likely to be practice squad candidates at best.

Also, there still remains a chance that the Falcons bring back veteran free agent Brian Finneran. Finneran worked out with his teammates during Camp Exile, indicating that he still wants to play football. Finneran’s chances of playing a twelfth season for the Falcons should dramatically increase if Meier is still rehabbing his injury.

The team will definitely keep at least five receivers for the regular season. Meier and Jones’ progress and how much confidence they inspire will likely determine if they decide to keep a sixth.

Falcons sign seven off practice squad

January 18th, 2011 Comments off

The Falcons signed seven of their eight practice squad members to future contracts. Among them: tight end Marquez Branson, center Rob Bruggeman, wide receivers Tim Buckley, Brandyn Harvey, and Andy Strickland, defensive end Emmanuel Stephens, and offensive tackle Jose Valdez.

The only member of the practice squad that was not re-signed was linebacker Robert James. James served a four-game suspension at the beginning of the season. He was a fifth round pick by the team in 2008.

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