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Summary from the Final Week of Camp
Matt Ryan talked to Scott Blair about his process in learning Arthur Smith's scheme: "I'm more on the field with the guys, and that's just for me. I know some people do it that way [reciting it over and over in private]. I learn better by doing it." Ryan also revealed himself to be a walking quiz bowl with teammates: "I quiz these guys all the time, just walking around the building. A lot of the quizzing isn't necessarily for them. It's for me, too." Blair notes that while Ryan started camp slowly, he has eased into regular-season form and performed well against the Dolphins in joint practices. The real story at the quarterback position revolves around the backups. The team lost A.J. McCarron for the season to a knee injury. They signed Josh Rosen this week and have been working hard to get him up to speed. Feleipe Franks played the entire first half of the final preseason game, has provided two of the team's few highlights and is fighting to earn a role as the primary backup.
The only clarity at the running back position is Mike Davis will be the lead back. There is a fundamental distinction between lead and feature back in this situation. Davis missed last Wednesday's practice due to a personal matter, and his absence granted a glimpse into the depth chart. ESPN's Michael Rothstein noted: "Cordarrelle Patterson received the first-team reps in practice, perhaps a sign he may have more of a role than initially indicated." The safest projection on Davis is as an early-down and goal-line back, though we need to see this situation in meaningful game action. The release of Javian Hawkins gave us some information on the backup role. Previously viewed as the primary handcuff, injuries have cost Qadree Ollison valuable touches.
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