Originally created 08/17/99

Anderson may see action Saturday

GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Atlanta Falcons entered their final week of training camp on Monday knowing who the main quarterback will be in their next preseason game, but not knowing if Jamal Anderson will line up behind him.

Fourth-year pro Tony Graziani will call most of the signals Saturday night in the Georgia Dome against Baltimore, just as fifth-year veteran Danny Kanell did last Friday in a 35-31 win over Detroit.

Chris Chandler, who has started 31 games for Atlanta over the past two seasons, will again start but play only a series or two.

Anderson, the NFL's No. 2 rusher last season with 1,846 yards, may see action. Monday's practice was his first in pads after ending his two-week contract holdout last Wednesday. Coach Dan Reeves said he was watching to see if Anderson was "mentally and physically" ready for a game situation.

"We'll see how it goes, and make a decision later in the week whether he goes Saturday or if we hold him off another week," Reeves said.

Graziani played in four games and started one for the Falcons last season, completing 16 of 33 passes for 199 yards. As a rookie from Oregon in 1997 he played in three games, starting one.

He'll be throwing to a mix of newcomers and veterans. "They're all looking good, even the young guys who are out there," Graziani said, adding that his success Saturday "is a matter of getting on the same page with everyone, which we've already done (in camp), so I feel good about it."

Ten Falcons caught passes from Chandler and Kanell in the Detroit game, led by second-year tight end Rod Monroe with three. Fullback Bob Christian and rookie wide receiver Eugene Baker caught two each.

Although the offense will be running the plays they've been practicing in camp, Graziani said there may be a few differences due to his scrambling ability.

"If something breaks down (in the pocket), I'm more apt to run with the ball than Danny or Chris," he said. "I don't necessarily want to run, I just happen to react that way. And it is a reaction -- I'm not trying to run."

Graziani said scrambling is a skill that developed without much attention. "I never thought of myself as a scrambler until I got to college and the coaches noticed how fast I was. I just do it naturally."

In the win over Detroit, Kanell completed 12 of 20 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, and was intercepted twice. "I think he played well," Graziani said. "Obviously he'd like to have the take back the two interceptions, but other than that he had a solid game with good numbers."

Kanell was a little harder on himself about Friday's performance. "I would like to have played better," said Kanell, who signed with the Falcons last March after three seasons with the New York Giants. "I had some good throws and some bad throws, so now I'll try to eliminate the poor ones. The more I play, the more comfortable I get with the system here.

"But those two pick-offs overshadow the rest. I'm a perfectionist, not satisfied even with completing 18 of 22. I want to know what happened with the other four passes."

Notes: Monday's afternoon session featured 30 minutes of scrimmaging that focused offensively on short passes and off-tackle runs and defensively on linebacker coverage . . . Anderson, who did not suit up against Detroit, said he was happy to finally get a full workout, but then joked that he was "taking it easy" on the other players. "I'm trying not to hurt these guys. They've been here two weeks now and they're a little sore and tired and I come in here all fresh, so I'm taking it easy on them right now" . . . The Falcons have been joined on the verdant Furman University campus by four of the Paladins fall teams in pre-season work: Football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. In all, some 230 pro and college athletes are working out this week . . . the Falcons finished practice Monday for the first time with "gassers," a series of timed cross-field sprints made even more difficult by the 95-degree heat.


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