Several hours before the Falcons’ final preseason game, a report surfaced that the team was bringing in veteran kicker Matt Bryant for a workout session on Friday.
After Thursday night, Bryant, who had been the Falcons' starting kicker since 2009, appears to have a very real shot at the job, assuming he’s healthy and as consistent as he’s always been.
“We have a great deal of respect for him,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said of Bryant on the Atlanta CW broadcast. “We have monitored [him] over the last month as well. We had plans on thinking about bringing him in; we’ve thought about bringing him in.
“Some people think that he shouldn’t have to work out. The reality is, of course we have a great deal of respect for him, but we need to see where he is, what type of shape he’s in right now. We’re excited to see him move the ball tomorrow afternoon.”
The team’s other two kickers, Giorgio Tavecchio and Blair Walsh, who the Falcons signed earlier in the week following recent struggles by Tavecchio, entered Thursday’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the chance to make a statement on the field. Neither were able to do so in Atlanta’s 31-12 victory.
While Tavecchio was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra-point attempts, he missed his lone field goal try, a 53-yarder in the second quarter. It was Tavecchio’s third-straight miss in his fourth in his last five attempts.
Atlanta brought in Walsh after Tavecchio missed a 39-yard attempt against the Redskins, but he also wasn’t perfect in the preseason finale. Walsh nailed his first attempt of the game, a 46-yarder in the third quarter, but his second 46-yard attempt was blocked.
With neither Tavecchio or Walsh slamming the door shut on this job, Bryant, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, will once again get the chance to prove he’s money.