Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is getting off to as good of a start as mine. Because of some morning appointments I had today, this is the first ever edition of ATL PM, which is basically the exact same thing as ATL AM, except it’s in the afternoon. Pretty straight forward? Good, let’s jump into the links.
MLB.com–Andrew Simon looks ahead to a rare match up with the Minnesota Twins in Atlanta:
The last time the Braves hosted the Twins in a game that counted, Atlanta took a 14-5 victory in Game 5 of the 1991 World Series at the old Fulton County Stadium.
Other than an exhibition game before the 2011 season, all nine of the teams’ meetings since then have taken place in Minnesota, the last coming in ’10. But that run will come to an end Monday night, when the Braves welcome the Twins to Turner Field for the start of a three-game series.
Minnesota comes in scuffling, having lost four of five games to close out a 2-7 homestand. The Braves had lost five of six before starting their six-game stand at Turner Field by sweeping a three-game set with the Dodgers.
TomahawkTake–Fred Owens wonders whether the Braves and Brian Wilson are a good match, after all of the injuries to the bullpen:
Since the news of Eric O’Flaherty’s UCL tear broke yesterday fans have wondered whether veteran closer and TJ surgery alumni Brian Wilson might be on the Braves radar. The answer is probably yes, he along with others who might be willing to take a short term deal to prove their health and ability are certainly on that radar. The details are more complicated.
SoaringDownSouth–Brandon Barnes looks back at John Jenkins’ rookie season and looks forward to what his role might be going into next year:
Depending on the upcoming offseason, Jenkins has an opportunity to win the starting job or compete for the 6th Man slot (also depending on Lou Williams’ preference and the coach’s beliefs, whoever it may be). I am super super super excited to watch John grow next season and I hope y’all are too. He has a solid chance to become a very important member of the Hawks and I hope he takes advantage of it. The best part about this season, in my opinion, was that he could’ve played better. He missed a lot of open threes that could be classified as “rookie shots”. Coming in as a sophomore and being one of the few players to return will help his confidence as a gunner.
John Jenkins had a satisfying rookie season, in my opinion, and I am excited to watch him play in the Summer League and for the next several years. Thanks for giving it your all Johnny Cash.
BloggingDirty–Sergio is doing a series on examining the roles of Falcons draftees next year, and in this installment he looks at Levine Toilolo:
At 6’8, 265 pounds, Toilolo is quite fleet-footed for a man of his weight and stature. He comes from a bloodline of pro athletes, the most notable being his uncle Edwin Mulitalo who earned a Super Bowl ring with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. He reminds me of Leonard Pope from UGA a few years back; Tall, atheletic with subpar hands and average blocking skills. As much as I like Levine, he seems like more of a ‘miss’ than a ‘hit’ prospect. He needs to work on his hands, route-running, and overall technique if he hopes to become a starting tight end in the NFL. I doubt he will get a lot of playing time his first year, but he will get to learn from one of the best to ever put on pads in Tony Gonzalez. It will be all about baby-steps for Toilolo…
I could see him getting a few snaps in the red-zone, as his height and jumping ability could pose mismatches for defenders. He could also be used in run-heavy formations as a extra blocker. Outside of that, most of his time will be spent riding the pine learning as much as he can from Chris Scelfo (TE’s coach) and Tony. I’m not looking for him to explode on the scene and I don’t think anybody else should either. This is a developmental year for Levine Toilolo, but I don’t think he could’ve been drafted into a better situation…
AtlantaFalcons.com–Daniel Cox writes about the large offensive line that the Falcons have this year, and how that could effect the team next season:
With at least two positions that will feature heavy competition on the line, Smith said it reminds him of the competition on the O-line in his first season with Atlanta in 2008. He also thinks the physical size of all the players in the mix is significant.
“This will be the biggest line, physically, that we’ve had on the offensive side,” Smith said.
This is the year that young players will be asked and expected to step up and play valuable snaps and the same will be asked on the defensive line. Smith said defensive tackle Corey Peters will be fully healthy this year unlike last year and the addition of Umenyiora along with mainstay Jonathan Babineauxwill give the Falcons leadership up front.
That will wrap things up for today. Stay tuned for the Atlanta Braves series preview (with the Twins) later this afternoon.