Harry Most Definitely is Back
Our contributing writer Daniel Cox wrote about this Thursday, proclaiming Harry Douglas to be back to the form he showed in his rookie season, and Douglas made him look like a genius Friday night on a 76-yard touchdown catch and run for the Falcons' first TD of the game. Douglas caught the pass on a crossing route, found a little daylight and took off like a shot down the field toward the end zone. Douglas looks every bit as healthy as he says he is — maybe more. He's going to be one to watch in 2011.
Grimes in the Outfield
It's a wonder opposing quarterbacks still try to test cornerback Brent Grimes. Jacksonville QB David Garrard threw his way on the first drive Friday on a very deep pass and Grimes did what he usually does in those situations: He made a big play. Grimes ran to get under the ball like he was going back to the warning track on a baseball field and settled under the wildly errant and overthrown pass. Grimes took it about 7 or 8 yards out of the endzone and returned it 62 yards to set up the Falcons' field goal drive to start the game.
Matt Bryant probably wouldn't like that nickname. Well, not the "old" part. But the 10-year veteran is as automatic as it gets when he steps on the field. Bryant drilled three field goals against the Jaguars on Friday night and has gone 5-for-5 in the preseason. Bryant has missed only three regular season field goals in each of the past two seasons.
Several younger players had impressive showings Friday night. Bear Woods had a great tackle on special teams that prevented any sort of return on a punt. Kiante Tripp worked in with the first-team defense, and while it was likely due to injuries to Corey Peters and Peria Jerry, who returned later in the game to record an impressive sack. Seventh-round selection Cliff Matthews also had another nice game, providing a lot of pressure in the good amount of time he saw in the second half.
The Falcons' first-team defense put together a nice showing Friday night. The unit held starting quarterback David Garrard to less than 100 yards passing, Grimes had his pick at the start of the game and Sean Weatherspoon recovered a fumble in the first half. In coverage, the secondary showed a lot of cohesion despite starter Dunta Robinson being sidelined for the game due to injury. Dominique Franks started the game in Robinson's spot, even though Chris Owens was the listed starter at the position for the night. While there were some growing pains at the spot, the CBs looked like they showed up to play vs. Jacksonville.