With the first preseason game on Thursday, the Falcons have released their first unofficial depth chart for the 2016 season.
Here are eight key observations:
- The battle at right guard was one head coach Dan Quinn said would be one to keep an eye on, and veteran Chris Chester gets the nod for the first preseason game. After moving back to his natural position, Mike Person will serve as Chester's backup. Chester started all 16 games for the Falcons at right guard in 2015.
- Signed as a free agent in March, Aldrick Robinson has impressed throughout the offseason and has earned a spot as the No. 4 receiver. Robinson is listed behind WR Mohamed Sanu and ahead of Nick Williams. Prior to the Falcons, Robinson spent time with the Redskins, where he played in 36 games and scored five touchdowns. Following his three-year stint in Washington, where he played under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Robinson was a member of the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.
- Matt Schaub will begin preseason play as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, ahead of Sean Renfree. Schaub, a 13-year veteran, has a firm grasp of the zone blocking scheme as he was Shanahan's quarterback in 2009 when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. In three seasons with the Falcons, Renfree has played in two games.
- Brooks Reed's first year in Atlanta was plagued by injuries, but after an offseason dedicated to getting healthy, Reed returned to training camp in great shape. Quinn decided to feature Reed at defensive end, and the move is going well as he is now listed as the No. 2, behind Adrian Clayborn.
- Second-year defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is listed as one of the starting defensive tackles, and former outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw will back him up. When the Falcons signed Upshaw in March, Quinn said the team would look to feature him in the pass rush, and he's been working exclusively with the defensive line throughout training camp.
- Tevin Coleman is listed as the starting kick returner and his flashes of speed during camp may give Atlanta a special teams edge if it transfers to gameday.
- Veteran receiver and special teams ace Eric Weems will resume his duties on punt return, where rookie WR Devin Fuller will serve as his backup.
- Six of Atlanta's defensive starters have been acquired in the past two years: DT Grady Jarrett, OLB Vic Beasley Jr., DE Adrian Clayborn, DE Derrick Shelby, LB Sean Weatherspoon and S Keanu Neal.