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Five Things We Learned In Camp: Day 14

Posted Aug 11, 2013

Each day of Russell Athletic Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, AtlantaFalcons.com's Daniel Cox will share five observations from his day watching and listening to all the happenings around camp.

1. Douglas Top Inside Option: With Julio Jones out in the preseason opener, Harry Douglas got the start on the outside for the Falcons opposite Roddy White. Douglas is typically the offense's slot receiver, but he showed what he can do with his one catch against the Bengals. On the fourth play of the game, Douglas was on the outside with Drew Davis at the slot when he caught a screen pass from Ryan that he took 42 yards. Assistant head coach and wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie said Sunday that he told Douglas that should have been a touchdown, but regardless, Douglas looks locked in at the slot when Jones and White are on the outside together: “Harry is our inside guy. He can go outside and do some things for us but Harry is one of those guys that can get inside and work. He’s got a lot of grass and area to work in. His quickness is the thing that helps him become better and get better every day and let him do the things he can do inside. He can go outside and make some plays but he’s really, really good inside.”

2.  Young Backs Taking Advantage of Time: With Antone Smith missing practices during training camp, the young trio of running backs the Falcons have on the roster are making the most of their extra time. In past years Smith has been one of the Falcons' best special teams players and has given them depth at running back when needed. Donald Russell and Ronnie Wingo along with Josh Vaughan, a member of the practice squad last year, got some on-field action in Thursday's game and they saw some first-team snaps during Sunday's practice. Wingo showed an exceptional burst on his four runs for 29 yards against the Bengals and both Wingo and Russell have impressed running back coach Gerald Brown: “I think both of them got around five or six snaps each. When Wingo was in there, he had some nice runs. He had about three or four nice runs, so he looked good there. Russell came in there late and he caught a screen pass. It was good to see them get out there and make some plays for us. They’re young but they’re coming along. “

PHOTOS: See Images From Sunday's Camp Practice

3. Full Participation for Jones: On Saturday, Jones returned to practice and was limited, but Sunday marked the receiver's return to full participation and he should be good for the remainder of camp and the preseason barring any injuries, head coach Mike Smith said after Sunday's practice: "Julio was back in full participation. He's been limited through this early part of the week and didn't participate in the game. We anticipate he'll be full participation and be ready to go for the rest of the preseason."

4. Decisions Davis Wants Back: Smith said earlier this week he wanted to see backup quarterback Dominique Davis make good decisions with the football in his first look as the No. 2 against the Bengals. The results Davis gave were mixed. After starting slow, Davis put together a 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, but the interception he threw earlier was one Smith said his young QB would probably like to have back: "There were a couple of plays that I know he would like to have back. The interception there before halftime, that was probably not a wise decision, probably trying to make too much happen. Sometimes it's not about what you do, it's what you don't do. We need for him to make better decisions in that situation. He continues to progress and has gotten better every practice from beginning of OTAs to now. He's done a nice job."

5. Final Spots Along the O-Line: Competition is rampant along the offensive line, but Smith gave a clue perhaps about how many jobs are truly up for grabs with three preseason games remaining. While the competition remains at the right tackle position, the other four spots look to be filled at this point. Smith said cross-training will continue as they find the right mix of nine players that can offer them the most flexibility. Specifically, Smith said the final four spots on the line will come down to what happens on the field in the upcoming three weeks: "We just have to continue to evaluate those guys. I think it's going to be very competitive. When we start talking about who is six, seven, eight and nine on our roster at the offensive line. I think a lot is going to be determined over the next three games."


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