The Falcons talked all offseason about want to add more explosiveness to the offense, and then they went out and made a blockbuster trade to move up 21 spots in the 2011 NFL Draft to snag highly touted wide receiver Julio Jones at No. 6 overall. In the short, the move looks to have paid off. The Falcons got a lot of production out of Jones in his short time on the field Friday night vs. Miami. Jones caught two passes for 43 yards and also rushed for 12 yards on a reverse before being kept safely on the sideline.
First Team Strong
Speaking of the first team offense, the unit looked very solid in its limited time on the field Friday night. Quarterback Matt Ryan went 6-of-10 for 90 yards and a touchdown, guiding the Falcons on scoring drives two of the three times he stepped on the field. With the exception of the very first drive where the unit struggled to find a rhythm right away, the Falcons first-team offense really clicked in big ways Friday night.
The Falcons defense was in an interception-type of mood Friday night, as defensive end John Abraham got into the act on Miami's first offensive drive and corner Brent Grimes later went up for another pick on Chad Henne. Safety Rafael Bush made a nice heads up pick in the second half by snagging a deflection out of the air. The defense has been ballhawking during camp, and it really carried over to the game field Friday.
Teaching 'Em How to Douglas
If you've been following Daniel Cox and I on Twitter during training camp, you've likely read us mention Harry Douglas as one of the top camp performers. He has really found his game again after a knee injury kept him on the sidelines during 2009, and he's back to his old form. Even better, actually. Douglas made a spectacular touchdown catch over the middle on a post route in heavy coverage.
Outside of Jones, the other Falcons' rookies got significant time on the field vs. the Dolphins. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers didn't see any action until the second half, but had a couple of nice runs. Linebacker Akeem Dent played a good part of the first half but was taken to the locker room before halftime and didn't return to the field. Punter/kicker Matt Bosher had a good night punting and kicking off, which each of his attempts seeming to get better. Guard Andrew Jackson saw a good amount of time on the field, and fellow seventh rounder Cliff Matthews had a sack in his debut with the Falcons.