Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- With the NFL season right around the corner, the Atlanta Falcons will face off against the Miami Dolphins in their final preseason game.
As they begin preparations towards their big week one road matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta will reportedly hold out their starters from playing on Thursday night, as to avoid any injuries towards their impact players.
After being asked about final roster decisions and not using his starters against Miami, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn responded, “As far as roster decisions, there are some things to work out here even on Thursday night. There will be some to be competing for the practice squad, developmental and still battling to make the 53-man spot, the 51, 52, 53-man.” He continued, “The goal is to also if it’s not here, it’s somewhere. So those guys can put out tape, so they have those opportunities. That’s kind of the goal for me as a coach.”
Going into the regular season at full strength has been a major key for the Falcons all preseason, as they have rested offensive stars in receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman throughout, so the decision to rest their starters on Thursday shouldn’t come as a big surprise.
With those final roster decisions being the main focus for coach Quinn, the player to focus in on offense is rookie quarterback Kurt Benkurt. After receiving positive buzz from training camp, Benkurt has struggled a bit to take hold of the backup quarterback position completing 18 of 39 passing attempts with two interceptions. He will get a final chance to impress the coaching staff, before a final decision is made of whether to carry the undrafted rookie on the roster or move him to the practice squad.
On defense, the man to watch is rookie defensive tackle Deadrin Senat. A third round pick out of the University of South Florida this year, Senat will be called upon to play quite a bit for this young Falcons defense that needed more depth at the tackle position.
When asked about his feeling about the depth at that position, coach Quinn said, “One thing that Jack [Crawford], Terrell McClain, and [Deadrin] Senat all provide is how hard they play. When you look across the board and you put their tape on you’re going to say, man, this is a group that really puts out.” He continued, “I like that part of the group so far. As far as getting into the game plan and the flow of things, we haven’t done a lot yet. I think that will grow as the season grows.”
The end of preseason football is upon us, with the anticipation of regular season NFL football mounting. Before the full meal next week, however, fans will get one sneak peak of football as the Falcons and Dolphins suit up from Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their final preseason game.
The Falcons and Dolphins will kick-off from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA at 7:00 p.m.