We'll start a round of team-by-team mailbags with the Atlanta Falcons
Matt in Millersville, Pa. writes: With Michael Jenkins shoulder injury now taking away regular season games and kerry meier on the IR do you see the falcons making a move on a WR? Jenkins shoulder injury was thought not to be so serious and be back for regular season no problem and here we are week 1 and he hasn't even been able to start practicing yet. I think something is going to have to give soon if Jenkins stays sidelined. I'm hoping they don't go the route they have before where they sign an old vet (ie Marty Booker) from free agency. what are your thoughts on the situation???
Pat Yasinskas: Like everyone else, I believed what the Falcons said when they initially said Jenkins would be healthy for the start of the regular season. That hasn’t turned out to be the case, and it creates a rather large question mark. Maybe the Falcons are only off by a week in their estimate on Jenkins’ return. If that’s the case, it’s not that big a deal. But if this injury drags on, then the Falcons have a problem. Harry Douglas is best suited to the slot, and he doesn’t have the blocking skills Jenkins does. Brian Finneran’s a nice role player, but his age prevents him from being an every-down player, and Eric Weems is a backup who also plays a lot on special teams. If Jenkins is out for a more extensive time, the Falcons will have to do something. But I’m not sure there’s much available out there right now, unless they make a trade. If they go the free-agent route, it probably will be someone like Booker.
Mike in Jasper, Ga., writes: Thanks for keeping us up to date on all NFC South goings on. My question is this. Is this the year the coaching staff FINALLY opens up the offense for Matt Ryan just a little bit? I realize we had injuries last year, but there was a LOT of dinking and dunking last year.
Pat Yasinskas: We’ll find out for sure when the season starts tomorrow, but I think the Falcons will open things up for Ryan. I don’t think they were able to run the full offense they wanted to last year because of the injuries to Michael Tuner and Douglas. Mike Smith and Mike Mularkey know they have a very talented quarterback and I think they’ll try to take better advantage of his tools this year. I’m hoping to see more of the no-huddle offense, because I think Ryan is very good in that.