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Five Things We Learned: August 27

1. Nothing Settled at Right Tackle: The right tackle position battle isn't completely closed, and although it appears Lamar Holmes is the favorite at this point, Ryan Schraeder isn't going anywhere in the competition. Just like in last week's game, both players rotated on Tuesday in and out of the position with the other offensive starters. Holmes also took second-team snaps at right tackle while Schraeder manned the left side. In Week 3 of the preseason, Schraeder got 31 snaps and Holmes was in on 36.

2. Linebackers Exceeded Expectations: It probably won't come as a surprise, but the two young players that head coach Mike Smith pinpointed as young players that exceeded his expectations were Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu. Both have been moving up the depth chart and last week Bartu took time with the first-teamers and Worrilow is now the No. 2 outside linebacker behind Stephen Nicholas on the latest depth chart. Smith said both players have been impressive: "Both of those guys have done a nice job. I thought that Bartu did a great job in the game last week for us. He had extensive time at the dime position and we wanted to get a good evaluation. Paul early in the preseason was very active tackling and making plays. Both guys are going to be guys that have a chance to make our roster and contribute on special teams."

3. Julio Moving Around: Wide receiver Julio Jones appears to be set to impose his will on the NFL this season, doing with it what he wants in his third year. Jones said on Tuesday that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is always listening to any input he may have for the offense both during games and during the week of planning. He also said the coordinator is putting in plays that have Jones moving around the field depending on matchups and situations: "Dirk does a great job with me, just moving me around and putting me in space to make plays. In the backfield, in the slot, out wide, whatever the case may be, depending on who we're playing."

4. Backs Blocking: When Jacquizz Rodgers joined the team in 2011, the first thing the Falcons needed to know about him was if he could hold his own as a blocker. It didn't take long for him to prove that and since then he's shown to be very reliable. Steven Jackson has also shown he's got pass protection skills and between the two of them, the extra blocking the Falcons may need should be in good hands. On Tuesday the running backs spent a session during practice with the defensive ends working on blocking. This may come in handy during the season in case the Falcons should need extra help blocking on one of the edges in the passing game.

5. Not Really a Peak Ahead: The Falcons have a very important road game to open the season this year as they head to New Orleans for a NFC South showdown. The natural inclination would be to scrap any planning for this week for a head start on game planning for the Saints in Week 1, but that's not Smith's style. He said they've used time throughout the offseason to do some preparations for New Orleans, even though they don't have any current game film to review. He added that preparation has extended into the preseason and they've put in some Saints work here and there so what is to come next week won't be entirely new.

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