Gus Bradley got his first win of the preseason as Jacksonville scored in every quarter to hand the Atlanta Falcons their fourth straight loss 20-16.
The loss nor the stats will be on the books when the season starts next week but for a franchise seeking an identity it was a step in the right direction.
Starters for both teams donned warm-up gear and baseball caps as the second, third and fourth teamers gave it one last effort to avoid the chopping block.
Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi gave Atlanta Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan a reason to lobby on his behalf in the coming meeting with Head Coach Mike Smith. The 2nd year pro out of Troy strip sacked Jaguars QB Matt Scott inside the 10 yard line then picked up the fumble and ran through Scott's ankle grab into the endzone.
Third year pro Josh Vaughn had another fine preseason game. His 65-yard burst won't be overlooked by Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter. Vaughn, a member of the 2012 practice squad after two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, has made the most of his last two games rushing for 42 yards on 4 carries against Baltimore including a 20 yard jaunt and 83 yards on 5 carries against Jacksonville. Antone Smith and Jason Snelling might want to call their agents. IJS
There's a logjam in the quest to join the Falcons receiving corps. Tight end Chase Coffman continues to solidify his position as backup to Tony Gonzalez. It's likely the Falcons will keep a third tight end as they have done in previous years so rookie Levine Toilolo may be safe. Darious Johnson has shown the most consistency followed by Drew Davis and Kevin Cone. Martel Moore doesn't have much to show nor does James Rodgers. Rodgers may stick as a pure return man.
Who gets the third spot behind Chad Henne is anyone's guess. Denard Robinson's ability to play mutliple positions including quarterback in the read option could make both Kafka and Scott expendable. Neither seperated themselves in the last game of the preseason.
Rookie linebacker LaRoy Reynolds is likely to hold on to his spot behind starter Paul Posluszny. The 243 pounder played extended minutes leading the defense in stops (11). Reynolds is consistently around the ball, somewhere a mike backer should always find himself.
Running back Jordan Todman continued to impress rushing for 60 yards on 9 carries with a touchdown. The second year back rushed for 105 yards last week against the Eagles.
Expect the plethora of wide receivers to be curtailed behind starters Justin Blackmon, Cecil Shorts III, and Marcedes Lewis. Mike Brown, Ace Sanders, Allen Reisner, and Brett Brackett appear to have the backup jobs for wide out and tight end sewn up. There really isn't a need for a fifth because of the Denard Robinson Effect.
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