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Falcons Notebook: Rookie S Charles Mitchell turning heads; Akeem Dent recovering
By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com
August 15, 2012 3:45 pm ET
Rookie safety Charles Mitchell, a sixth-round pick, is doing everything he can to crack Atlanta's secondary. He's learned the playbook, studied film, and performed in both practice and last Thursday's preseason opener against the Ravens.
“Coming into OTAs, he was doing great picking the playbook up,” starting safety William Moore told the team's website. “I told him in the classroom that he's been doing an excellent job staying after watching film. His progression as a player shows maturity. He's going to step in and play. I know that.”
Mitchell went to Mississippi State and was second on the team his senior year with 95 tackles. He also notched three tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Against the Ravens last Thursday, Mitchell recorded three solo tackles and a pass breakup.
Mitchell's primary competition for the backup safety position will come from Shann Schillinger or Chris Hope, both of whom have more experience than Mitchell. One advantage Mitchell has is that he's capable of playing both strong and free safety.
“I feel like I'm a hybrid player. I can play both. When the ball comes my way, I'm confident in myself that I can make the play,” Mitchell said.
Thursday's game against the Bengals will give Mitchell another chance to showcase his versatility.
Dent concussion update: Projected starting MLB Akeem Dent suffered a concussion last Thursday against the Ravens and has missed practice this past week in accordance with the NFL's three-week concussion protocol. "You basically have to graduate from one to go to the next one," coach Mike Smith said.
Dent will not play against the Bengals on Thursday night.
“Akeem's coming along well. There are some benchmarks that he'll reach through the weekend. Akeem is a guy that we're counting on heavy to be our linebacker,” Smith said. “We have to make sure we have a full boat and a full bus when we get to week one.”
For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSSportsNFLATL.