NFL’s reality show set to start

INDIANAPOLIS – Ready to hit the ground running at the NFL scouting combine.

We’ll have a story and notebook for our print editions of the AJC and between working the hallways for interviews, getting tips on who’s interested in trading for Michael Vick, who the Falcons are interviewing and sizing up, we’ll jump back on here to answers your questions.

So don’t be shy, send the questions along. If I don’t have the answer, we’ll dig around and get it.

For us football-heads this is a pretty big prelude to the draft.

Talked to Mark Loomis, a former big timer with ABC, who’s the producer for the NFL Network now. They will have wall-to-wall coverage of the scouting combine.

“It’s the ultimate reality show,” Loomis said. “They are trying out for their jobs in front of the world and certainly in front of the NFL Network cameras. It’s just one big week for us.”

The league-owned outlet will carry 25 hours of live coverage starting on Thursday and running through next Wednesday.

The line up includes Brian Billick (Coach Smitty’s brother-in-law), Paul Burmeister, Charley Casserly, Fran Charles, Charles Davis, Jamie Dukes, Rich Eisen, Marshall Faulk, Scott Hanson, Kara Henderson, Steve Mariucci, Mike Mayock, Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp, Adam Schefter and Solomon Wilcots.

We all know Mayock by now, but we’ll know more about Davis by the end of the week. They are lead draft analysts. (I wrongly questioned Mayock’s touting of Matt Ryan last year because of their Boston College connections. But Mayock was right on point. Got to give it up for that. I had him on speed dial last season. He’s since chanced his cell phone number. I have to get his new number!)

“Davis is well versed in the college game,” Loomis said. “He just called the national championship game. . . . The best think that Mike and Charles can do together is put things into perspective, just because somebody ran the fastest doesn’t mean he’s going to be the first pick.”

They will be on the lookout for Workout Warriors, too.

“Sometimes a guy from a small school may catch people by surprise,” Loomis said. “It may pay off for some people. We’ve seen that happen before. But then on the other hand Mike and Charles will be there to tell you that he might be a workout warrior, but he struggled here, there and everywhere so don’t just take this to mean he’s going to be a high pick.”

The NFL Network and the rest of NFL writer types are holding out hope that Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford will change his mind and decide to workout. Just looking at the highlights and having watched a lot of Georgia games, it’s not clear if he can read multiple routes. He seemed to lock-in on receivers a lot. That would explain his high interception number.

“We love having people compete,” Loomis said. “I think the numbers will show that more and more athletes are competing since it has been on television. I wish it was at 100 percent.”

Vick’s impending release from prison on July 20, will make him a topic here, too. Especially since the Falcons just tossed it out there that the Bat-Phone for trade talks was activated.

The Bat-Phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook. Quarterback-needy teams like Detroit, Tampa Bay and the New York Jets have told the Detroit News, Tampa Tribune and New York Daily Post that they are not interested. However, San Francisco coach Michael Singletary would not rule it out in a state of the franchise address.

Also, St. Louis, with former Falcons executive Billy Devaney running the football operation, will get peppered with questions along with Seattle, Dallas, Oakland.

Cleveland makes sense to me. They have a section of their stadium called the “Dawg Pound” and Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson didn’t show much last season.

Also, I wonder if the Falcons, who had short-yardage issues last season, will kick the tires of Fred Taylor.

Maybe if Michael Vick had listened to the mega-rap hit “Self Destruction” he’d still be with the Falcons. Maybe when he gets out, Vick will use A-Rod’s “Young and Stupid” defense.

Lyrics to Self Destruction – Featuring an All-star 80s rap crew (Courtesy of Lyrics Manis)

Well, today’s topic, self destruction
It really ain’t the rap audience that’s buggin
It’s one or two suckas, ignorant brothers
Trying to rob and steal from one another
You get caught in the mid
So to crush the stereotype here’s what we did
We got ourselves together
so that you could unite and fight for what’s right
Not negative ’cause the way we live is positive
We don’t kill our relatives

[MC Delight (Stetsasonic)]
Pop pop pop
when it’s shot who’s to blame?
Headlines, front page, and rap’s the name
MC Delight here to state the bottom line
That black-on-black crime was way before our time

[Kool Moe Dee]
Took a brother’s life with a knife as his wife
Cried cause he died a trifling death
When he left his very last breath
Was I slept so watch your step
Back in the sixties our brothers and sisters were hanged
How could you gang-bang?
I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan
and I shouldn’t have to run from a black man
cause that’s

[MC Lyte]
Funky Fresh dressed to impress ready to party
Money in your pocket, dying to move your body
To get inside you paid the whole ten dollars
Scotch taped with a razor blade taped to your collar
Leave the guns and the crack and the knives alone
MC Lyte’s on the microphone
Bum rushin and crushin, snatchin and taxin
I cram to understand why brother’s don’t be maxin
There’s only one disco, they’ll close one more
You ain’t guarding the door
so what you got a gun for?
Do you rob the rich and give to the poor?
Yo Daddy-O, school em some more

[Daddy-O, Wise (Stetsasonic)]
Straight from the mouth of Wise and Daddy-o
Do a crime end up in jail and gotta go
Cause you could do crime and get paid today
And tomorrow you’re behind bars in the worst way
Far from your family, cause you’re locked away
Now tell me, do you really think crime pays?
Scheming on taking what your brother has?
You little suckers.. you talkin’ all that jazz.

It’s time to stand together in a unity
Cause if not then we’re soon to be
Self-destroyed, unemployed
The rap race will be lost without a trace
Or a clue but what to do
Is stop the violence and kick the science
Down the road that we call eternity
Where knowledge is formed and you’ll learn to be
Self-sufficient, independent
To teach to each is what rap intended
But society wants to invade
So do not walk this path they laid.

[Ms. Melodie]
I’m Ms. Melodie and I’m a born again rebel
The violence in rap must cease and seckle
If we want to develop and grow to another level
We can’t be guinea pigs for the devil
The enemy knows, they’re no fools
Because everyone knows that hip-hop rules
So we gotta get a grip and grab what’s wrong
The opposition is weak and rap is strong

[Doug E. Fresh]
This is all about, no doubt, to stop violence
But first let’s have a moment of silence
*Fresh beatboxes*… swing
Things been stated re-educated, evaluated
THoughts of the past have faded
The only thing left is the memories of our belated
and I hate it, when
Someone dies and gets all hurt up
For a silly gold chain by a chump; WORD IP
It doesn’t make you a big man, and
To want to go out and dis your brother man, and
You don’t know that’s part of the plan
Why? Cause rap music is in full demand.

My name is Just-Ice a man not a prankster
I was known… as the gangster
But believe me that is no fun
The time is now to unite everyone
You don’t have to be soft to be for peace
Robbin and killin and muderin is the least
You don’t have to be chained by the beast
But party people it’s time I release!

[Heavy D]
Aiyyo here’s the situation: Idio[di]cy
Nonsense, violence, not a good policy
Therefore we must ignore, fightin and fussin
Hev is at the door so there’ll be no bum-rushin
Let’s get together so we’ll be fallin apart
I heard a brother shot another. It broke my heart
I don’t understand the difficulty, people
Love your brother, treat him as an equal
They call us animals mmm mmm I don’t agree with them
I’ll prove them wrong, but right is what your proving them
Take heed before I lead to what I’m sayin
Or we’ll all be on our knees, prayin

[Fruitkwan (Stetsasonic)
Yo Heavy D, deep in the heart of the matter
The self-destruction is served on a platter
Makin a day not failing to aniticipate
They got greedy so they fell for the bait
That makes them a victim, picked then plucked
New jack in jail, but to the vets they're a duck
There's no one to rob, cause in jail you're a number
They never took the time to wonder about

[Chuck D, Flavor Flav (Public Enemy)]
Yes we urge to merge we live for the love
Of our people the hope that they get along
(Yeah, so we did a song)
Getting the point to our brothers and sisters
Who don’t know the time (boyyyee, so we wrote a rhyme)
It’s dead in your head, you know, I’ll drive to build
And collect ourselves with intellect, come on
To revolve to evolve to self-respect
Cause we got to keep ourselves in check
Or else it’s…

24 comments Add your comment

Poor McKay

February 18th, 2009
3:14 pm

Come on dude, don’t bite DOB’s style. And a better choice would have been PE’s “Don’t Believe the Hype” when it comes to watching these workout wonders.

It seems like every year, Blank has written a fairly big check for a free agent acquisition. I know T.D. will build via the draft, but surely there’s a Karlos Dansby or Dunta Robinson out there that is both young and productive and can immediately fill a hole on the team. Who will get the dinner invite to the Blank residence this Spring?

Reno 911

February 18th, 2009
3:42 pm

I’d be interested in hearing what feeling you get from talking with TD and the rest of the braintrust (and what you see yourself at the combine): 1) are the Falcons more likely to draft by the “best player available” or by position/need philosophy? 2) is there any player the Falcons covet enough to move up a few spots to get (e.g. Pettigrew, Raji, et al)? 3) how heavily do the Falcons weight the “character” issue when it comes to comparing players if none of the potential picks troubled backgrounds? If it came down to it, for example, would they take a Safety with great character traits over an equally talented DT with average traits even if the need at DT were greater? That may be impossible to answer, don’t know. 4) What’s the story on DT Peria Jerry? Is the thinking that he’d add weight and be a plug like Grady, or that he’d maintain his weight just under 300 and stay more athletic/mobile? 5) what’s the deal with William Moore, S, Missouri? Was he just having a bad week at the senior bowl, or was he that overrated to begin with? And what of Rashad Johnson, S, Alabama? Does he have the physical tools to match his character/leadership upside?


February 18th, 2009
3:49 pm




February 18th, 2009
4:02 pm

RENO 911: (HARVEY DAHL’S FOLKS). 1. They seemed to address needs last year and will again this year. Mostly defensive needs. The key on need-based draft is not to over-reach.
2. Don’t think they are trying to move up after drafting No. 3 and No. 8 in the last two drafts, considering the guaranteed money they had to cough up. They are fine, for financial reasons, sitting back at 24 and letting a good player drop to them.
3. Character is important for them after the Vick fiasco. No one knew to ask about dogfighting back then, I guess. Last year’s pick struck me as rather intelligent guys. I think they like good players with high football I-Q’s. Usually, those guys don’t have character issues.
4. Jerry. I think it’s his explosion off the line and his ability to get in the backfield and disrupt things.
5. Word is that Moore did have a bad week at the Senior Bowl because he hadn’t been working out much. He should show much better here. Not sure if he fits the Falcons scheme. He’s more of the straight-line, run and hit safeties. The Falcons want that new kind of hybrid (range and striking ability) safety.
6. Still gathering info on Rashad Johnson.

Reno 911

February 18th, 2009
4:18 pm

Thanks for the quick response, DOL. Does Delmas fit the Falcons’s scheme better, then?


February 18th, 2009
4:21 pm

This whole “trade Mike Vick” thing is laughable. Nobody is going to trade for him b/c:
1. He’s been in jail the last 1+ years for a crime that will stick with him wherever he goes (ie: PETA, protesters).
2. His contract is part of the trade… and it’s massive.
3. Teams know the Falcons don’t want him. He’ll get cut eventually.
4. He wasn’t that good to begin with so 2 years aways from the game (maybe 3 by the time he can actually play) will have eroded his skills.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 18th, 2009
5:13 pm

RENO 911: Yes, Delmas is a better scheme fit. High character dude, too.

CHC4: You need to take the Vick thing more seriously. Did you see the overall quarterback play in the league last year? Just look at the bottom 10 teams. Vick would make them better. THE CONTRACT is the drawback. If you’re Vick’s agent, you know that you are never going to see any of that money. So it’s in his best interest to re-negotiate a contract that the Falcons would be able to peddle. This is just the best theory that I’ve come up with, but it’s the only way this makes any sense.
Vick was 38-28-1 over six seasons, with three trips to the playoffs including NFC championship game and was a three-time Pro Bowler. You make it sound like he was chopped liver.

Great Falconi

February 18th, 2009
7:23 pm

Vick would be a huge distraction for any team. That’s not what you want at the QB position. After all, the QB is supposed to be the “general of the ship” (as Vick once put it). How can Vick be an effective leader when all the controversy is swirling around his mere presence on a team?

He’d be better served going to the CFL and proving two things:

1) He’s still got his speed

2) He is a “good citizen.”

If he can do those two things, somebody would give him a chance in 2010. Playing in virtual anonymity (and having a great year) in Canada would take some of the sting out of the revolt that would occur among fans of whatever team he goes to.


February 18th, 2009
9:12 pm

Mr. Ledbetter:

I appreciate you work on the Falcons beat.

But a few paragraphs from you followed by pages of infantile
rap is a new low in the AJC’s pandering to the masses for blog-hits.

Please let Kool Moe know that brothas weren’t being hanged in the 60’s.


February 18th, 2009
9:22 pm

D. Orlando! – You made the switch – nice. You look like an older Michael Turner! And DIG the bow-tie.

Can’t wait for the Combine to start tomorrow. I have NFL Network waiting for me when i get off work and am really looking forward to seeing some of these guys work out.

Did anyone see the video ( of Jarron Gilbert leaping out of a swimming pool?? Saw an interview with him earlier, the guy is an effin monster. I thinks he projecting late 1st to early 2nd round contingent to his Combine workout – FYI: Dudes saying he’ll hit 30 reps on the bench with no problem. Wow.


February 18th, 2009
9:22 pm


February 18th, 2009
9:37 pm

Well, Suggs and Dansby both got the Franchise Tag today, so that’s 2 LB’s that the Falcons could have pursued in FA to fill in the void that will be created after Brooking and Michael B. are gone.

I’d love for the Falcons to have a chance at Brian Cushing from USC at 24!


February 18th, 2009
9:37 pm

D. Orlando,does Dick Williams know you swiped his tie? Thanks for the info. I agree with you on Vick. There are at least 10 teams he would make better. As for distractions, I would rather have Vick than TO,which ain’t a ringing endorsement, But Vick is a very talented and capable athlete. And he has paid his DTS. If he has his head right,he could make some average team a playoff contender. Umm, I think he proved that already.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 18th, 2009
9:58 pm

Wow, mad props on the old school hip hop reference.

The NFL is a talent-driven league, and a team that lacks talent at the QB position will look seriously at Vick as a contender for their starting QB position. But I still don’t think anyone is going to trade for a guy when his current team has made it clear they don’t want him.


February 19th, 2009
1:24 am

D. Orlando, thanks for the news. I look forward to your input from the Combine. Excellent point re Vick and his contract having to be re-done for him to be moved. Supes, I agree with you 100% re Brian Cushing, I’d love to see him hit people wearing the red and black. NRBQ, FYI, a young brother was hung in Mobile in the early 80’s. The murderers were convicted and the young man’s mother’s lawsuit against the local Klan put them out of business–literally. I think Cool Moe was looking to make a point, not state a fact.

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February 19th, 2009
9:33 am

It’s also been reported that while coach Mike Singletary expressed interest in acquiring the rights to Mike Vick, San Fran ownership quickly came out and said they do NOT want to pursue that direction with their franchise.

That’s the thing…who wants to take on the baggage that Mike Vick!

Orlando, any chance the Falcons are pursuing a trade involving a draft pick in 2010 (if they find a suitor for MV) ? Since he won’t realistically be making an impact on the field in 09, it would make sense to trade for a pick in the 2010 draft.

Reno 911

February 19th, 2009
12:33 pm

Paulie- it’s “hanged”, not “hung”. Unless, of course, that’s what you meant to say. ( can help you out with this one.) As for me, I could also do without the umpteen verses of rap lyrics, but I guess if I don’t like it, I can bypass it. But then again, if it’s posted, I can also make fun of it, so I’ll take this opportunity to point out that I’m not sure if I can take any serious “point” from a “message” that includes any phrase starting with “boyyyee”. I read this blog because I want to talk Falcons football. So, on that note, until I think of something relevant to that subject, I’ll be over on the Falvor-Flav blog and winding my clock necklace….boyee.

Reno 911

February 19th, 2009
12:35 pm

oh, sorry, that’s “Flavor-Flav”. Didn’t want to get served.


February 19th, 2009
1:09 pm

DOL Would you mind shading your posts so they are easier to spot.


February 19th, 2009
1:21 pm

Orlando, I understand your point about Vick’s contract being renegotiated but my question is why would vick do that? If he just stands pat then he forces the team to release him and he chooses where to go.


February 19th, 2009
1:28 pm

Reno 911: I appreciate your comment, but when I was raised and educated (quite some time ago), it was “hung” not “hanged”. Force of habit, long-standing fear of nuns with yardsticks (or worse) in their hands to correct you, and being just plain ornery, makes me stick with what I was taught. BTW, it’s also “pled”, not “pleaded” when you’re talking legalese. I completely agree with you re rap lyrics, though.

Reno 911

February 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

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