Falcons: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - Printable Version
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Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - theProf - 08-05-2011 02:03 PM
I have seen virtually no discussion on the message boards concerning the following two players, who have a very good chance of making the Falcons final roster: OG Andrew Jackson and S Rafael Bush. A couple of Daniel Cox articles got me thinking about these two players. Some excerpts from these articles as follows:
"One rookie that few have said anything about is the Falcons’ seventh-round selection Andrew Jackson, a guard from Fresno State.
“One rookie to keep an eye on is Andrew Jackson,” he (Pat Yasinskas) said. “They think they got a steal. I heard from other personnel people around the league and they share the same opinion on Jackson.”
Yasinskas felt Jackson’s concerns over an ankle injury that kept him out for much of his senior year hurt Jackson’s stock."
The name of Rafael Bush may not be on the tips of many tongues, but the coaching staff of the Falcons know the second-year safety well.
After joining the Falcons as an undrafted free agent last April on the heels of an illustrious career at South Carolina State University, Bush made the practice squad and was promoted to the active roster for the final game of the season. With the backup positions wide open behind established starters at safety, William Moore and Thomas DeCoud, Bush is doing everything he can to impress the coaches. From observations with him and his coaches during the early days of camp, the staff likes what he’s doing.
Bush credits the ability to learn while on the practice squad last season as a factor for his positive start in camp this year.
“Last year the practice squad helped me,” Bush said. “That year I got a chance to watch the game. It slowed down for me and I was able to gain confidence and learn a lot about the NFL and things that I didn’t know. I think this year coming in I’m a lot more confident knowing my job and responsibilities. I think that’s got the coaches eyes and they felt like they believed in me. I’m just out here just continuing to work hard. Whatever they ask me to do I’m going to do. It’s exciting.”
There is no lack of confidence in the physical part of his game. What Bush felt he needed to maintain was how he approaches every day and every assignment mentally. One of the curveballs the coaching staff has thrown to him is asking him to get in some work at the nickel cornerback position, in addition to his natural safety position.
“I just came into the season with it in my mind mentally, if they wanted me to play safety, nickel or corner, I wanted to be able to do it mentally,” Bush said. “I put that on my back. Whatever they ask me to do, I want to go out there and mentally try to get it down and watch everything and see how it pans out.”
He believes the versatility he’s developing at corner and safety, in addition to playing special teams, only makes him a stronger player and more valuable to the team. It can also help him stay around in the league a little longer than the average.
It’s still early, but so far in camp, the mental preparation paired with Bush’s natural athletic ability are making it hard for the coaches to ignore the fact that he may be the role-playing, backup safety they’re looking for."
Atlanta will probably carry 9 Offensive Lineman on the final roster. Eight are pretty much locked-in (Baker, Blalock, McClure, Clabo, Johnson, Reynolds, Svitek, and Hawley). The final OL roster spot will probably be either Valdez or Andrew Jackson.
Atlanta normally carries 4 Safeties on the final roster. DeCoud, Moore, and Schillinger are pretty much locks. Atlanta likes its back-up Safeties to be good on Special Teams and to be versatile enough to possibly play a CB position. Appears that Bush is being groomed for that role. I don't see any viable competition to Bush for the #4 safety on the current roster. Perhaps Atlanta might bring in an experienced vet FA Safety, but I think that they are extremely near the cap limit already, which very much diminishes the FA possibility.
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - Jesus - 08-05-2011 02:05 PM
Nickname already established "Old Hickory"
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - theProf - 08-05-2011 02:43 PM
"MEET THE ROOKIES: OG Andrew Jackson
10:00 am August 4, 2011, by D. Orlando Ledbetter
FLOWERY BRANCH — Offensive guard Andrew Jackson, formerly of Fresno State, was selected by the Falcons in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL draft.
At 6-foot-5, 299-pounds, he’s a big and sturdy looking 22-year-old.
Let’s meet Andrew “Mr. President” Jackson. (I’m giving him the nickname here) "
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - Jesus - 08-05-2011 02:51 PM
(08-05-2011 02:43 PM)theProf Wrote: Yesterday Ledbetter tried to nickname Andrew Jackson "Mr. President". I like "Ol Hickory" much better.
If he makes the team and he's a bruiser...."Ol Hickory Stick"
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - phocis850 - 08-05-2011 03:24 PM
If he can pancake, then ill call him what he wants to be called.
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - Hit Stick - 08-05-2011 03:31 PM
I must say, I'm really pulling for Bush, watching that kid play in college was a treat, and I think he really could be a great ST player for us, and as much as I hope Decoud returns to his previous form, I'm not one to put all my eggs in 1 basket. I know it's unlikely, but I love a good feel good story, and that's what Bush could be here, at least to me. Would suck to see Decoud get hurt or fail, but I like to see the little guy win sometimes!
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - chris30277 - 08-05-2011 04:01 PM
I remember reading a blog before the draft comparing Jackson to Logan Mankins. Hopefully that can be the case.
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - Jesus - 08-05-2011 09:33 PM
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - phalcon phil - 08-05-2011 09:40 PM
Nice stories, hope these guys can contribute. You can never have enough quality depth.
RE: Two surprise players with good chances to make final Falcons roster - theProf - 08-07-2011 07:24 AM
From an August 6 Pat Yasinskas article entitled Matt Ryan Thrilled with O-Linemen:
"We’ll have more on the battle to replace Dahl in Sunday’s Camp Confidential segment on the Falcons. But third-year pro Garrett Reynolds appears to be the early leader. Second-year pro Mike Johnson also is in the mix.
There’s one other surprise candidate. That’s seventh-round draft pick Andrew Jackson. Coaches are saying he's been one of the most pleasant surprises in camp so far. Even if Jackson doesn’t end up starting, he appears well on his way to a roster spot. He can be a key backup because he has the ability to play guard and tackle."