FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Preseason outcomes don't matter, but that doesn't mean performances in the preseason don't matter, either.
There were some positives in the Falcons' 17-6 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their third exhibition game, including the performances of Damontae Kazee and Tevin Coleman, but there were also a number of areas for improvement.
Coleman gained 38 yards on seven carries, averaging more than 5 yards per carry for the second straight game, but the offense converted just two of their 11 third-down opportunities and was held out of the end zone for the second time this preseason.
"I thought in the run game, certainly over the last couple weeks, I think Tevin [Coleman] has certainly made some strides and some progress," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Monday. "I feel comfortable with where he's at, not just from practice but in the preseason games.
"I wasn't happy with third down and our inability to convert on some of those," Quinn said. "I think that was probably two of the issues, good and bad, coming from the game."
Defensively, the Falcons surrendered 406 yards to the Jaguars and gave up nine plays that went for 15 yards or longer. Atlanta did force two turnovers, which helped it hold Jacksonville to just 17 points, but there weren't many other positives for the Falcons' defense.
Still, it's only the preseason and there is time to get things corrected before the Falcons head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles for their season opener on Sept. 6. Now might also be a good time to mention that Atlanta was without seven important players against Jacksonville.
"I'm comfortable where the guys are at, but like most games there's things that I'm happy about and things that I know need a lot of work still," Quinn said. "… What I did like was the ball security. That part felt really clean and strong and what we like. I thought the connection with [Mohamed Sanu] early on, I liked that. Our run game and [play-action] pass has certainly made strides that I'm happy with.
"We could probably hang out for a long time and talk about the things that I think we still need a lot of work on, so that's me and for the guys offensively, defensively [and on special teams]. But, in training camp you're trying to identify some roles for players, and I think the team has done a good job at that."