1. Praise from Moore: There's no question who the Falcons' starters are at safety, but behind Thomas DeCoud and William Moore are four players fighting for what may only be two roster spots. Two seventh-round rookies, Zeke Motta and Kemal Ishmael, have come in and made the race so tight that Moore doesn't know who will win and is very curious about the outcome. The Pro Bowl safety said Ishmael and Motta are impressive in their approach: "I haven't seen anything like them in a while. These guys have come in and picked up the playbooks so fast. I'm surprised by all of them. They haven't missed a beat. They take coaching well and they're taking notes all the time. It's going to be one heck of a competition."
2. Toilolo Improving Steadily: While Chase Coffman has grabbed most of the headlines while Tony Gonzalez is away from the team during camp, rookie Levine Toilolo is steadily improving and looks like a lock for a roster spot. Toilolo got some first-team reps in practice on Monday and his tight end coach, Chris Scelfo, has measured improvements since he joined the team during OTAs: "Levine is a guy that from the first day he's stepped on this campus to now has improved every day."
PHOTOS: See Images From Day 15 of Camp
3. Situational Battle: Linebacker looks like a camp battle that is wide open behind last year's three starters, Sean Weatherspoon, Stephen Nicholas and Akeem Dent, but there may be a competition brewing to see who will join Weatherspoon on defense as a three-down linebacker. It could once again be Stephen Nicholas, who held the spot last year, or it could be third-year middle linebacker Dent. Head coach Mike Smith said on Monday that the staff is watching Dent's progression toward becoming a three-down LB: "Look for Akeem to take the next step in terms of being a three-down linebacker. That's the next progression for him, to be able to come in and play three downs. He didn't play much in our sub-package except when we had injuries."
4. Weatherspoon Out For Baltimore: Weatherspoon returned to practice on Thursday but was limited to only drill participation. Weatherspoon wasn't part of contact in the practice and Smith said the linebacker is unlikely to play this week but should return by the weekend: "We're shooting for and our target is realistically for him to be ready to go this weekend after the game. More than likely he will not participate in the game this week. I'd say it's very unlikely that he will participate."
5. Seeking Better Discipline: One of coach Smith's trademarks is a disciplined team that avoids penalties. That wasn't the case against the Bengals last week as the Falcons uncharacteristically committed four penalties for a loss of 51 yards. Smith said Thursday that has to change and he expects better execution and fewer penalties against Baltimore this week.