Notebook: AM Practice - August 10


FLOWERY BRANCH, GA — The Falcons released their unofficial depth chart Monday for Friday's first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Most of the results shouldn't be of much surprise.

But because of some injuries, certain positions have been shifted. At wide receiver in place of Michael Jenkins, who is out four-to-six weeks, will be Brian Finneran. Head coach Mike Smith said Monday that Finneran and Eric Weems would get most of the snaps at that position Friday.

At the cornerback position, Dunta Robinson and Christopher Owens are listed as starters, but Brent Grimes will fill in as a starter Friday since Robinson is working to come back from a tight hamstring.

Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is not starting and is listed as the backup to Mike Peterson.

Eric Weems is slated to do all of the punt returning and some kick returning with Dominique Franks, Dimitri Nance and Antone Smith.

"We've got a couple of guys, especially on kickoff returns that we would like to see," Mike Smith said. "I think that we know what Eric Weems can do. We want to see what Dimitri Nance is capable of doing, as well as Antone Smith. Those two guys, I thought, had a very productive scrimmage (last Friday).

"We want to see what they can do on special teams, because a backup running back has to be a guy who can contribute on special teams. I hope we're not returning a whole bunch of kickoffs, but if we do, we're going to give those guys an opportunity to show us what they can do."

Months of preparation: Putting together a combined practice with two NFL teams doesn't happen on a whim. Logistically, it takes a lot of planning and figuring.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a smooth go of things in Flowery Branch, and that comes from the amount of work that has gone into every little detail of the visit.

"I think the idea began at the Combine when Coach Smith and Coach (Jack) Del Rio talked, but a lot of the planning began in the month or so after that with travel and an airline and a plane and a hotel and all of that," Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards said. "It takes really a few months to work all those details out. We had someone come up and do a walk-through and take a look at where everything is."

The past two days, the Jaguars have shown up to the Falcons training facility in four buses, all dressed and ready to go for practice. As soon as the morning sessions are over, they hop back in the bus and head to their accommodations at the Legacy Lodge on Lake Lanier.

That's where the players and coaches handle everything from eating, meetings, taping, training and dressing for practice.

"It's a fabulous facility," Edwards said of Legacy Lodge. "We've got a lot of banquet space there for the meals and for the meeting rooms and for the taping and trainers and equipment guys, and also room for the players to dress in. It's really a matter of setting up at the hotel like you would if you went away to training camp."

New to the Twittosphere: Grimes recently created a Twitter account for himself, and he's been updating it quite frequently. Not bad for someone who really didn't want much to do with social networking not long ago.

"My girl, she's always on Twitter, and she tried to get me to do it a while ago. I'm like, 'Man, I don't want to do this,' " Grimes said. "But I started doing it and it's pretty cool, so I'll stick to it."

Grimes has been updating followers on everything from goings on at practice to his favorite TV shows. You can follow Grimes at

Tale of the tape: Two teams sharing three fields means that there aren't enough eyes in Mike Smith's head to know what's going on everywhere. During combined sessions with the Jaguars, Smith has been doing his best to make the rounds and check in all over the fields.

Still, it's not an easy thing to do. Therefore, Smith relies heavily on the tape that is recorded during sessions to have a better understanding of what's happening when he's not watching.

"The tape doesn't lie, that's for sure. Your eyes can deceive you," Smith said. "I try not to make any snap decisions based on what happened on the field that I saw with my naked eye, especially in practice situations. It's very difficult to see.

"I don't necessarily always know what the guy was thinking in terms of what his responsibility was. It could be a mental error. It could be a physical error, and when you get in there and watch the tape and get a chance to interact with our players, it's a whole lot better decision-making process when you're in that calm, cool office."

Injury update: Smith said cornerback Brian Williams, wide receiver Harry Douglas and defensive tackle Peria Jerry will not play in Friday's game against the Chiefs. On a day-to-day basis are Peterson (calf), safety Matt Giordano (groin), safety William Moore (groin) and tight end Michael Palmer (groin).

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