Flowery Branch — Former University of Georgia standout Tony Taylor, a former undrafted free agent, will start at middle linebacker for the Falcons against Jacksonville in the preseason opener on Saturday.
“Tony is looking good,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said today. “He’s been playing the mike (middle) linebacker for us and he’s done a nice job in communicating. It will be a great opportunity for him as the starting mike linebacker in this first game.”
Taylor is in a battle with Curtis Lofton, the team’s second-round draft pick, for the starting spot. Both have spent time working the No. 1 unit in practice.
The Falcons moved Keith Brooking back to weakside linebacker after he played the middle position for most of the last three seasons.
“You’ve got to kind of take it in stride,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to go out there and show what you can do. At the same time, you’ve got to gain the trust of the older guys, Brook (Keith Brooking), Lawdog (Lawyer Milloy) and Abe (John Abraham). You have to show them that you can function in their defense, make plays and help the team out the best way that you can.”
Taylor, of Oconee County High, started 35 of 49 over his career at Georgia and was named second team All-SEC in 2006. He made the Falcons last season after getting bypassed in the draft and played in 16 games on special teams.
“It’s been a fight,” Taylor said.
– Courtesy of AJC.com