After going 4-12 last season, Falcons coach Mike Smith wanted to have a competitive training camp.
The competition is over and the final decisions were made as the Falcons released 10 players to get down to the league-mandated roster limit of 53 on Saturday.
“They are very resilient guys,” Smith said. “They have done everything that we’ve asked this offseason to get prepared for this 16-game marathon that we’re getting ready to take on.”
The Falcons released cornerback Ricardo Allen, safety Sean Baker, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, guard Harland Gunn, tackle Terren Jones, wide receiver Bernard Reedy, defensive tackle Travian Robertson, tight end Mickey Shuler and linebacker Jacques Smith. The club has also reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn to reach the roster limit.
The Falcons have 25 on offense, 25 on defense and three specialists.
“When you start looking at the 53-man roster, you’re going to have nine offensive linemen,” Smith said. “I think you can start putting the numbers together and you can get an idea. Six were pretty evident. Then I think the other three spots (were) contested by four or five guys.”
Practice squad: The Falcons will monitor the waiver wire in order fill out there 10-man practice squad and possibly do some juggling to the back end of the roster.
After going 4-12 last season, the Falcons have the sixth position on the waiver wire.
Allen was a fifth-round pick in the draft.
Jacques Smith was an undrafted rookie from Tennessee. The Falcons, who were looking to become a tougher team, liked Smith’s ruggedness.
He attracted attention early in camp when he got into a couple of fights and ticked off veteran center Joe Hawley.
Smith’s stance showed the type of toughness the Falcons want.
“What I’ve seen from these guys is that there’s no backing down at any level,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said when talking about the rookie class. “Again, there is respect, but there is not blatant disrespect coming in. You never want the rookies to come in with a disprespecting attitude and that’s not it. But when the whistle blows everyone is pushing to attempt to take that job. You see it on the field. You see how they are going to the whistle. They are going right to the whistle and almost beyond, but they are not.”
Ejection a factor: Smith, who could be added to the practice squad, didn’t endear himself to the coaches after getting ejected from the third exhibition game against Tennessee after he got into a fight well after the whistle.
Ebert, 25, was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2012 draft by the New England Patriots. He played in six games for Jacksonville last season and has three career catches for 18 yards. For the Falcons, Ebert caught five passes for 64 yards including a long of 28 yards during the exhibition season.
The Roster: Here’s a look at the Falcons initial 53-man roster.
Matt Ryan, T.Y. Yates and Sean Renfree.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith, Devonta Freeman and Patrick DiMarco.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas, Devin Hester, Courtney Roby and Eric Weems
TIGHT ENDS (2)
Levine Toilolo, Bear Pascoe.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
Jake Matthews, Justin Blalock, Joe Hawley, Jon Asamoah, Lamar Holmes, Ryan Schraeder, Gabe Carimi, Peter Konz and James Stone.
DEFENSIVE ENDS (7)
Kroy Biermann, Osi Umenyiora, Jonathan Babineaux, Jonathan Massaquoi, Malliciah Goodman, Stansly Maponga and Tyler Starr.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (5)
Paul Soliai, Tyson Jackson, Corey Peters, Ra’Shede Hageman and Cliff Matthews.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
Paul Worrilow, Joplo Bartu and Prince Shembo and Tim Dobbins.
Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Josh Wilson, Javier Arenas and Robert McClain.
William Moore, Dwight Lowery, Dezmen Southward and Kemal Ishmael.
K Matt Bryant. P Matt Bosher. LS Josh Harris.
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