1. Schraeder Seeking Consistency: Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said on Tuesday that his young linemen are focusing on staying consistent in everything they do and that's their top priority. This is especially true in the case of the right tackle job, a battle that is taking place between two young players, Lamar Holmes and Ryan Schraeder. We learned an interesting detail about Schraeder from O-line coach Pat Hill and the undrafted rookie tackle is trying to keep up with players that have played football far longer than he has. Hill said Schraeder "hit a wall about three days ago" but has bounced back well. Koetter said the jump from Division II football to the NFL is large and he'll get tested this week by Baltimore's skilled edge rushers: "My best guess on that would be it's a huge jump. The guys he's blocking in the NFL, I'm sure he didn't play a whole lot of guys like the two outside linebackers he's going to be going against this week, (Terrell) Suggs and (Elvis) Dumervil. I think it's a great story. … We'll have to see if it has a great ending."
2. Master of Much: The excitement that the signing of Steven Jackson has brought to Atlanta is unmistakable. What was already a potent offense is made more so by the addition of Jackson, a player widely regarded as one of the most complete running backs in the NFL. Koetter said the addition of Jackson gives the offense a lot of options as they put together a game plan based on how to best attack opponents. The offensive coordinator shared that he didn't give Jackson enough credit for his quickness and agility before he arrived in Atlanta. Now that he's here, Koetter has a weapon in the arsenal that can do everything: "Steven does everything well. He runs the ball well. He catches the ball out of the backfield. He's good in the screen game. He's excellent in protection. So now, we have good depth at halfback. We still need to get Quizz in the game and get him his touches. I think Steven's style, he might cut back more or he might be bounce more. He does a lot of things well. It allows us a lot of flexibility in the run game."
3. O-Line Leads Screen Game: The 42-yard screen play against the Bengals wasn't the first time we've seen that exact play. Julio Jones and Roddy White have each exploited opposing defenses with similar screen passes in the past and Douglas showed the effectiveness of it, regardless of who is in there. Douglas was on the outside at the snap, a spot normally held by Jones. Drew Davis was in the slot, Douglas' primary location. It's an exciting play the Falcons have gotten a lot of yards with and Davis thinks the offensive lineman make that play tough to beat, no matter the number called: "I feel like it's a big kudos to the linemen. They get their big selves out there, they throw their bodies around and they block real well. I think regardless of who you put in that position, we have a good offensive line and they make it happen for us."
4. Tony's Tips: While he's away, Tony Gonzalez is still watching. Because of the technology the Falcons are using this year, Gonzalez is able to watch practice film while he's away from the team. Levine Toilolo said the future Hall-of-Famer sends tight ends coach Chris Scelfo text messages of what he sees on film and areas that the young tight ends working to earn a roster spot can improve.
5. Similar Playing Plan: While the Falcons won't game plan for Baltimore this week, they've already given thought to how the snap counts will shape up. Last season Matt Ryan played into the second quarter and saw 27 snaps and this year head coach Mike Smith first-teamers will play a little longer than they did against the Bengals. Further, he said, there are some specific players they'd like to play a little longer. There are also players that have earned more playing time based on how they've done in the past few weeks and Smith said they'd like to get some of those players continued reps, and quality reps against a higher level of competition, most likely against players that will make a team's 53-man roster.