Yates vs. Renfree

Could T.J. Yates be in jeopardy of losing his job? Bill Shanks has some thoughts.

Dan Quinn said Wednesday the battle for the backup quarterback position is "still close." So veteran T.J. Yates is being pushed by Sean Renfree, a former Duke star who has been relegated to the practice squad the last two seasons.

This is not a surprise. Renfree has skills, and the Falcons have kept him around for a reason. He has good size (6-5, 225) and has his pedigree of working with Duke coach David Cutcliffe matters.

It will likely come down to how the two play in the exhibition season, which starts Friday night as the Falcons host the Titans at the Georgia Dome.

Yates is the veteran and likely has the edge. He played in just one game last year with the Falcons after coming over from the Texans in the trade for Akeem Dent. Yates has played in 14 NFL games.

Renfree has never played in a NFL game. He was Atlanta's seventh round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Quinn intimated he isn't against going with three quarterbacks on his roster, but that decision would be made a few weeks down the road after the two backups to Matt Ryan have had a chance to show the new coaches what they can do in a game situation.

With Yates not separating himself in training camp, you have to wonder if the new coaches like what they see out of Renfree so far, enough to make this a competition. Last year, the Falcons did try to make the battle between the two real, but it seemed more likely they were trying to inspire Yates, who seemed to struggle with the new system after coming over in the trade.




Listen to "The Bill Shanks Show" from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.


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