Originally written July 21, 2012 on Grits Blitz:
Five Storylines Entering Falcons Camp Curiously, a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday indicated that former Eagles coach Andy Reid felt that Samuel was “in steep decline” – the reporter’s words, not Reid’s – and that Samuel no longer suited the scheme. (Samuel responded via Twitter by saying, “I just finished reading the story on coach Andy Reid! All I can say is WoW! #fueltothefire #riseup.) Remember that Reid seemed to be clairvoyant in dumping former quarterback Donovan McNabb on Washington, a team in the same division, when McNabb’s time had passed and that the Falcons paid a small price for Samuel with a seventh-round pick. This guy just received some extra motivation   ProFootballTalk ranks the Falcons 12th in the League This is the year to do it, as players such as Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner and John Abraham are at or near their functional end, and because of the aggressive moves they’ve made such as draft-day trades, the roster skews old.   Five Most Important Back-ups on Falcons Roster Kroy Biermann is an interesting player. He is a guy who can do everything well. He can drop into coverage, get after the passer and set the edge. He's also someone who can slide back to linebacker when Mike Nolan switches the defense into its 3-4 alignments.   Stephen Nicholas on Thin Ice with Atlanta Falcons? Potential Camp Casualty: Outside linebacker Stephen Nicholas missed a significant portion of 2011 with a quadriceps injury and picked up just 31 tackles in less than 30 percent of the team's defensive snaps. With the Falcons beefing up their secondary with the trade for Asante Samuel and re-signing of safety Thomas DeCoud, frequent use of nickel packages could result in some trimming at linebacker. Sean Weatherspoon and the combo of Lofa Tatupu and Akeem Dent are safe, which could put Nicholas and his $1.5 million base salary on the chopping block. Backup defensive tackle Vance Walker is due $1.26 million in base salary on a restricted free agent tender, which may bit too steep for his limited role. [follow]

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