FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Linebacker Jacques Smith, an undrafted rookie from Tennessee, attracted attention early in the Atlanta Falcons' training camp when he got into a few fights and ticked off veteran center Joe Hawley. Smith was part of the team's final roster cuts, but was signed to the practice squad Sunday.
Smith's stance during training camp showed the type of toughness the Falcons want.
"What I've seen from these guys is that there's no backing down at any level," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said when discussing the rookie class. "Again, there is respect, but there is not blatant disrespect coming in. You never want the rookies to come in with a disrespecting attitude, and that's not it. But when the whistle blows everyone is pushing to attempt to take that job. You see it on the field. You see how they are going to the whistle. They are going right to the whistle and almost beyond, but they are not."
Smith did not endear himself to the coaches after getting ejected from the third exhibition game against Tennessee after he got into a fight well after the whistle. However, he will be given an opportunity to develop on the practice squad.
--Linebacker Nate Stupar was claimed off waivers while Tim Dobbins was released. Stupar was a seventh-round pick by Oakland in 2012 who has played in 12 career games.
--Cornerback Ricardo Allen, a fifth-round pick (147th overall) and linebacker Yawin Smallwood, a seventh-round pick (253rd overall) became just the fifth and sixth draft picks under Dimitroff to not make the initial roster.
Smallwood and Allen were among the 22 players released Saturday to get down to 53, with Allen signed to the practice squad.
The 2014 draft picks joined running back Thomas Brown (sixth round, 2008), cornerback Wilrey Fontenot (seventh round, 2008), tight end Keith Zinger (seventh round, 2008) and cornerback William Middleton (fifth round, 2009) as the draft picks by team under Dimitroff. Zinger later was added to the practice squad.
In addition to Allen and Smallwood, the Falcons released safety Sean Baker, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, guard Harland Gunn, tackle Terren Jones, wide receiver Bernard Reedy, defensive tackle Travian Robertson, tight end Mickey Shuler, linebacker Jacques Smith, linebacker Pat Angerer, fullback Maurice Hagens, defensive end Nosa Eguae, cornerback Jordan Mabin, wide receiver Freddie Martino, safety Kimario McFadden, tight end Jacob Pedersen, offensive lineman Adam Replogle, defensive tackle Donte Rumph, offensive tackle Pat McQuistan and running back Josh Vaughan.
The Falcons also reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn (hamstring) to reach the roster limit.
The Falcons have 25 on offense, 25 on defense and three specialists. They elected to keep three quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree.
Baker, Gunn, Jones, Reedy, Robertson, and running back Jerome Smith rounded out the initial practice squad.
--Linebacker Pat Angerer's once-promising NFL career could be over after he was released.
Angerer, 27, was trying to make a comeback after undergoing microfracture knee surgery in December. The Colts selected Angerer in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Iowa, and he started 39 of 53 games for them before ending last season on injured reserve.
He had 80 tackles as a rookie in 2010. The next season he had 146 tackles, before injuries started to set in.
--RB Steven Jackson has returned from his right hamstring injury and is expected to play in the season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
"That dimension there in the running game with Steven Jackson, he's big, strong and he's athletic," Jones said. "He can run a guy over and take it to the house because he has the speed and everything too. That's a great part (of the offense). I love having Steven Jackson back with us."
--OT/OG Gabe Carimi played in his first exhibition action against the Jaguars. The Falcons to see him at play at guard and tackle and the former first-round pick performed well.