Falcons talk to Pettigrew and Gardner

INDIANAPOLIS alias THE NORTH POLE – The NFL scouting combine kicked off in earnest today with the several team executives — including Falcons head coach Mike Smith – addressing the media.
The offensive linemen, special teamers and tight ends are flowing throw the media room to do interviews.
Georgia Tech offensive tackle Andrew Gardner and South Carolina tight end Jared Cook have been through.
Just got done talking with Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State’s stud tight end. Nice kid. He’s already spent 15 minutes with the Falcons last night.
Gardner interviewed with the Falcons, too and Cook is set to visit with them later.
Smith basically covered all of the stuff in his end of the season presser. Off to the aside, he wouldn’t take the Michael Vick bait, when I asked him about the team’s efforts to trade the suspended quarterback.
Arthur Blank is due to fly in later tonight and is set to take all of the team’s executives to world famous St. Elmos Steakhouse.

128 comments Add your comment

Phar71

February 19th, 2009
4:45 pm

What would it take for Raji to fall to us? Any chance?

Atlanta Jackets

February 19th, 2009
4:47 pm

First!! LOL!

Next year the Falcons select Josh “the Robot” Nesbitt. Second rounder. Book it. He’s the perfect compliment to Matty Ice.

Travis

February 19th, 2009
4:53 pm

nice try with nesbitt going pro

gp295

February 19th, 2009
4:58 pm

I think peria jerry would be a nice fits for D. line.

Andre

February 19th, 2009
5:01 pm

Forget Pettigrew get James Casey later and go defensive early

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 19th, 2009
5:31 pm

Hey y’all. It’s cool up here. BRRRRRRRrrrrrrr.
Hope the rain is gone and everybody is not driving around I-285 like it’s a NASCAR race. Heard
about the crazy rain.

The draft is supposed to be deep at TE. Don’t think Raji will drop to 24, but stranger things have happened.

Deangelo Falls

February 19th, 2009
5:56 pm

I’m calling it right now. Louis Delmas S is our first round pick. Ron Brace DT is our second round pick. Best TE available in round 3.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 19th, 2009
7:59 pm

Deangelo Falls: Like your picks. Let’s file them and check back later.

Bill

February 19th, 2009
8:17 pm

DOL I really enjoyed the article today about the free agents. As you reported, the Falcons are targeting KB as their top priority. Do you see the organization bringing him back in a starting capacity or do you see us trying to get younger at that position through the draft assuming a Cushing, or a Everette, or a Spikes is available there at 24 or lower for a possible trade down the draft board? What are your feelings about DT? Free agency (Haynesworth is he fits the organization, resign big Grady) or address through the draft? Lastly, do you see Anderson becoming the playmaker we hoped when we drafted him? Thanks for the insight and stay warm in Indy.

falcon21

February 19th, 2009
8:24 pm

D.Orlando Ledbetter,do you think the Falcons will resign KB and if so why? I would like to see Milloy back, I think he can still be an impact player. What are your thoughts? I know it has nothing to do with the North Pole, just asking.

falcon21

February 19th, 2009
8:43 pm

Sorry Mr. Ledbetter I just went back and read your article on KB. I still cannot see it as a priority.

Ronnie

February 19th, 2009
9:15 pm

Why is it such a priority to re-sign a LB who hasn’t forced a fumble in four years despite never coming off the field? I wouldn’t trust Brooking to play special teams. Dimitroff, we’re all adults here: we can handle an Atlanta Falcons team without Keith Brooking.

ShamusThacker

February 19th, 2009
9:49 pm

I can’t imagine another year of KB as a starter.

He might take a backup’s salary to stay here, but I’d rather see him elsewhere.

Ken Strickland

February 19th, 2009
10:09 pm

While I’d like to see us upgrade our OLB positions, you can’t ignore the fact that Brooking led the team in tackles, again. Of course, you can try and manufacture the rediculous excuse that he makes too many of his tackles 5-10yds down the field. Why complain about him being able to do something apparently no one else was able to do. Brooking and Malloy are the only vocal veteran leaders on our DEF, so I can see why Smith would want him back.

Gerald Paschal

February 19th, 2009
10:53 pm

I think all of you should just join me and become Lions fans. Cause it’s all the way up from here baby.

Supes

February 19th, 2009
11:06 pm

No matter, Brian Cushing should be the 24th pick in the draft. I don’t care if KB is here or not. He’s the past. Time to move forward and draft our future outside LB!

darrell starks

February 19th, 2009
11:20 pm

No offensive only defense defense and more defense, the FALCONS have never had a dominating defense in the HISTORY off this franchise.GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

74Dawg

February 20th, 2009
12:06 am

Darryl,did you forget the gritz blitz? What about Claude humphrey,John Zook,and the great linebackers behind them/ In the early years the defense carried them . They had no offense. Never until Bartkowski and jENKINS.THEY WILL GET THERE . THIS TEAM HAS THE SEED TO DO IT,AND THE MANAGEMENT HAS THE BRAINS TO FINISH IT.

FalconDane

February 20th, 2009
3:30 am

I can’t believe we are even considering bringing Brooking back, from assisting Bush on the goalline to the 3:16 play – havent we (and the front office) seen enough of this overpaid fraud?

Makes me sick to my stomach to imagine him playing for us next season :-(

Any faith I had in the front office will completely evaporate if we resign the softest linebacker in the NFL.

crabapplejoe

February 20th, 2009
8:12 am

FalconDane wrote: “Any faith I had in the front office will completely evaporate if we resign the softest linebacker in the NFL.”
Let me guess….your faith in the FO also evaporated when they took Ryan instead of that “stud” Dorsey in last year’s draft. LOL

gdg73

February 20th, 2009
8:49 am

Crabapplejoe, you were surprisingly absent from the board when that KB article came out two weeks ago when it was evidenced by him and Schultz that he messed up on 3rd and 16 and had an overall terrible game. Why didn’t you come to KB’s rescue then? Why are the Falcon’s intent on having an old, slow linebacker playing the WLB position? When it comes to making the tough decisions with certain washed up players, the Falcons have always failed to pull the trigger. But for other players, they never hesitate to cut bait (see Crumpler, Tuggle, probably Boley and Milloy too). Until this team starts using the same evaluation criteria for all these decisions, we will never win a darn thing. Just look at Pitts. Joey Porter was the fan favorite and heart and soul of that SB defense 3 years ago. Do they miss him now?

FalconDane

February 20th, 2009
9:02 am

crabapplejoe: No, I haven’t seen enough college games to have an informed opinion of college players. I really wanted some violent circus freaks since I believe it all starts up front, but if a confessed “QB snob” wanted M. Ryan – that was fine with me.

But Brooking have for the past 3-4 season been stealing Cap-space from the Falcons with his soft play. The next time he takes on a lead blocker and blows him up will be his first! He is paid as a superstar player, it isn’t too crazy of me to expect him to perform like one, is it?

Even if people wont accept that he never was that good, can we at least agree that he is over the hill now? Fullbacks outran him for christ’s sake!!!

Get younger – we dont need his kind of leadership!

SCFalconfan

February 20th, 2009
9:02 am

Ken Strickland – Amazing how Brooking can “lead” the team in tackles so often yet he hasn’t forced a fumble in over 4 years.

crabapplejoe

February 20th, 2009
9:22 am

“Even if people wont accept that he never was that good” Yeah, that’s right….five pro-bowls voted on by his peers…but I’ll take your opinion instead. ROTFFLMAO

Redbird

February 20th, 2009
9:24 am

400+ tackles without a forced fumble is that even possible? Sure is when you are grabbing ankles and pile jumping. 2 years without an impact play..No forced fumbles ,No Int’s , No Sacks…again how do you start in all those games and have NO impact in the game except negatively. This would be the WORST signing we could possible have this year set this lawn ornament out to pasture…he’s done and been done for 4 years now. Football teams don’t win games reading Green Eggs and Ham.

Redbird

February 20th, 2009
9:26 am

I would rather have Jessie Tuggle as he is today then Keith 3:16 and his “leadership” back on this team.

Michael Parsons

February 20th, 2009
9:31 am

We have overpaid Keith Brooking for many years. He is the second highest paid linebacker in the NFL but is a consistent liability against the run and pass. Offensive coordinators actually scheme against him and he should be cut. He has milked this franchise enough and should retire with grace if no other team picks him up. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ARTHUR. We need a playmaker not a marketing scam!!! I know Thomas D. and Mike Smith are stuck unless Arthur lets him go so do the right thing.

crabapplejoe

February 20th, 2009
9:35 am

gdg73 wrote: “When it comes to making the tough decisions with certain washed up players, the Falcons have always failed to pull the trigger. But for other players, they never hesitate to cut bait (see Crumpler, Tuggle, probably Boley and Milloy too).” Let’s see, Tuggle was 35 when he retired after starting only eight games….Brooking is 33 and the Falcons are probably working on a two year deal…so things are about the same. By the way, did you know that your hero, Tuggle had no interceptions or pass defenses in his last five years in the league…hmmmm. And we sure did miss Alge’s 250 receiving yards this year…not to mention his game losing fumble at the goal line against the Ravens. And do you really think that Boley had a better year than Brooking…give me a break. If Boley doesn’t drop the easy int. against the Saint we wouldn’t have had to fly to Arizona. But, hey you must be right…it’s all KB56’s fault. LOL. And Milloy….pleez don’t even get me started. I still have visions of him chasing Boldin down the sidelines after taking a terrible angle and missing the tackle…and that’s after he got beat by Fitgerald for the first score….but no Milloy hasn’t “lost a step”.

Redbird

February 20th, 2009
9:38 am

“While I’d like to see us upgrade our OLB positions, you can’t ignore the fact that Brooking led the team in tackles, again. Of course, you can try and manufacture the rediculous excuse that he makes too many of his tackles 5-10yds down the field. Why complain about him being able to do something apparently no one else was able to do. Brooking and Malloy are the only vocal veteran leaders on our DEF, so I can see why Smith would want him back.”

Yeah good thing we had those two in the playoffs..their contibutions we just fantastic.

Thesouphead

February 20th, 2009
9:41 am

The back of Brooking’s helmet made more plays(unintentionally) than he did. The green dot was better in pass coverage than Keith was.

Thesouphead

February 20th, 2009
9:43 am

Rebird…..yes, Brooking had a lot of tackles….but that is what happens when you make those tackles 5-10 yards down field. You give the other team more 1st downs, which gives you the chance to get more tackles on the drive. Keith is a GaTech man….he knows how to engineer his tackle stats.

Thesouphead

February 20th, 2009
9:46 am

Brooking was a good player for us in his career…..he just isn’t what he used to be though. I guess most line backers are not in their 10th and 11th seasons.

Brooking as a rookie in 98:

wasn’t even a starter….was a rotational player and he had…

1 INT, 5 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles.

Brooking in 2008 as a full time starter:

0 INTs, 4 passes defended and 0 forced fumbles.

note: 3 of those 4 passes defended were passes that hit Brooking in the back of the head.

note: Brooking has not had an INT in the past 3 seasons.

note: Brooking has not had a forced fumble in the past 4 seasons.

he just doesn’t make big plays like he used to. he wiffs on the the would-be tackles for losses. he wiffs on the would-be INTs.

It’s time to hang it up, Keith.

gdg73

February 20th, 2009
9:49 am

Keith 3:16, ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!

JJ

February 20th, 2009
10:00 am

Someone wrote a great blog on here awhile back explaning how a great front 4 would benefit the dbacks better than vise-versa. If so, dont we want the best dt, then lb, then safety? Crabapple- if your man is brought back for less money and backup/tutor/leader – than fine. I finally trust our falcons to put the best athletes on the field.

Mike

February 20th, 2009
10:08 am

Please. PLEASE. PLEEEEEEEEEASE NO MORE BROOKING.

PLEASE. NO MORE. PLEASE!!!

brian22

February 20th, 2009
10:23 am

If he’s a backup, fine, bring back Brooking. Otherwise, it’s time to move on.

JJ

February 20th, 2009
10:24 am

D-led, love the new format. Just hope barry(one hb) and vs2 go easy on the obnoxious smileys. When will the falcons find out about vicks cap hit? Unless his agent reworks his contract, no one will trade for him. And if he’s out of halfway house in july, then we wait on goodell I guess. How can the falcons know how much under the cap in APRIL?

Gazoo

February 20th, 2009
10:38 am

The Falcons should try to tie up Brooking long term so he is not a threat to escape.

Gazoo

February 20th, 2009
10:40 am

Bring’em HOME McTD!!!!! Make the haters squirm…..I LOVE IT!!!

FalconFan

February 20th, 2009
10:46 am

It sucks that Keith’s coming back but I’m a Falcon fan and I support Thomas Dimitroff and staff.

Thesouphead

February 20th, 2009
11:07 am

Gazoo……….where did you go wrong? I believe I supported your thoughts on Vick…….but you are out of your mind with Brooking.

gdg73

February 20th, 2009
11:10 am

Gazoo, if you were a “true fan” that wanted to see this team win, you would not want to see Brooking back playing WLB. I agree, that the Falcons should tie him up. The should then ship him to a retirement home for over the hill NFL linebackers. Give him a room next to Buddy Curry and Clay Matthews. The 40 year old LB we got in free agency back in the 90’s, LOL.

Lance

February 20th, 2009
11:20 am

Keith Brooking has been a Falcon for 10 years. How many amazing linebackers have the Steelers LET GO during that time period, linebackers far superior to Keith Brooking? It makes me sick.

Face it, Keith is a nice guy, a good ole boy, and a decent spokesperson for the franchise. But real football fans want a linebacker that inflicts the maximum amount of disruption on the other team. That isn’t Keith’s game. I don’t want to see him dress out ini a Falcons uniform agin.

Bill

February 20th, 2009
11:32 am

I might be thinking about this incorrectly but I think the Falcons could benefit by bringing KB back in a backup role if the price is right and he is willing to accept that role and work hard to resign Boley. If Lofton can continue to anchor the Mike spot, Boley is 26 and if he can perform like his 07 season we have two solid performers. The question then becomes what is the highest priority in the draft? DT, OLB, or S? And if anyone can figure out our cap space with Vick how do we address our needs through free agency? My perfect world, Haynesworth through FA (if he fits the organization and cap space) and target a LB with first pick. Cushing at 24 if he is available. I know, unlikely scenarion, but it would be nice.

tbhawksfan

February 20th, 2009
12:18 pm

Look for a DT or WLB as our big FA. Couple lesser FA’s to plug some holes in need of depth.

Draft either DT or OLB first, then; SS/OT/TE/CB/LB.

Something like that should work with our needs.

Reno 911

February 20th, 2009
12:20 pm

Why is it that any time someone presses the KB button, crabapplejoe comes out of the woodwork, quoting other posts in relentless, vehement, blind defense of KB on the 3rd and 16, “rolling on the floor…”, etc, etc, yet when KB himself admits that he played poorly in that game, crabapplejoe is decidedly (perhaps purposefully?) absent.

From the Schultz column, 13 February:
“In his last game for the Falcons —- and it remains to be seen if it will be his last game for the Falcons —- Keith Brooking now admits: “I was in a funk the whole game.” The fact that game was a playoff loss in Arizona means it will linger for a while. “I hold myself accountable, and I’ll say that’s one of the worst games I’ve ever played,” Brooking said.

That loss isn’t on one man’s shoulders, of course, and I like what KB has done for the Falcons over a decade+ (though I think he has been a bit overrated). I just think that it’s funny when crabapplejoe goes ballistic on anyone for saying anything negative about KB, except, of course, when KB calls himself out for poor performance. Where were you that day, bro?
At the risk of redundancy, is it really worth everyone’s time and effort discussing KB when he is, realistically, about the 20th most important player on the team? Let’s put this thing to bed, people (again).

Ken Strickland

February 20th, 2009
12:26 pm

74DAWG-nice recall. You took the words right out of my mouth.

It would be nice if GA Tech and UGA fans would leave their college attitudes and loyalties out of Falcons football. Obviously the coaching staff feels Brooking is worth resigning, and that’s enough for me. Since I’m not a UGA or GA Tech fan, I’m not emotionally involved with the decision either way. Brooking has led the team in tackles for the last 4yrs, and some of you are trying to downplay an accomplishment no other player on this team has achieved. Bears LB Lance Briggs had 110 tackles and only 1 FF, the Bucks Derrick Brooks had 73 tackles with only 1 FF and the Ravens Ray Lewis had 117 tackles with only 2 FF. You guys are reaching for straws and looking for excuses.

Brooking had 102 total tackles, and our entire DL had only 132. DE JAbraham is the only DL with a FF(4). After KBrooking, the next 4 leading tacklers had only 1 FF each, except FS Colemen who had 2. Brooking might not be what he once was, but he’s a lot better than some of you are desperately trying making him out to be, especially some of you UGA faithful. IT’S TRUELY SAD WHEN CERTAIN SO CALLED FANS HAVE TO RESORT TO TRIVALITIES, LIKE FF’s, TO VILIFY A PLAYER THAT LEADS HIS TEAM IN TACKLES. AND YES, BROOKING DID GET BURNED ON SOME CRUCIAL PASS PLAYS, BUT SO DID MALLOY, AND I DON’T HEAR ANY OF YOU BLAMING HIM FOR THE LOSS, OR CALLING FOR HIS RELEASE.

Why don’t you Brooking haters let this thing rest. If the idea of the Falcons resigning him makes you sick to the stomach, there’s always Pepto Bismal. I’ll trust GM Dimitroff, HC Smith, and his coaching staff’s judgement in this matter over a bunch of disgruntled, emotionally driven fans.

Falconbill

February 20th, 2009
12:42 pm

Keith was recently interviewed on AM 790 and talked about how impact plays just haven’t come to him lately. Impact plays don’t come to you . . . you have to go out there an make them happen by hitting people. You’re a linebacker . . . sheesh! 336 tackles including assists over the last 3 years and not a single fumble caused. For a linebacker. That doesn’t cut it. I appreciate the long service to the franchise (for which he’s been paid very well), but it’s time to move on.

Thesouphead

February 20th, 2009
12:48 pm

To those of you that think Brooking still is a top tier player….let me ask you this:

When was the last time you saw Keith Brooking put a serious hit on a guy?

When was the last time he came up and knocked the snot out of a running back?

When was the last time he rocked a QB?

I have racked my brain and I just can’t recall that happening in recent memory.

Now go watch the other top paid LBs in the NFL……..they make those hits week in and week out.

Mike Moore

February 20th, 2009
12:51 pm

I trust Dimitroff will make the right decision here and let Keith go. No reason to re-sign him. The Defense needs to get younger.