The TD Show takes combine by storm

Falcons general manager was a big hit during his media session at the NFL scouting combine.

He touched on several topics from the Falcons not being major players in free agency to what he looks for at the safety position.

Dimitroff and his staff are on a mission to find the next Troy Polamalu or Ed Reed.

Let’s wish him good luck on that because if he’s successful that would extremely fun to watch on Sundays.

Here’s the best of “The TD Show” at combine:”

ON MOVING FORWARD AFTER LAST SEASON: “We were encouraged by our 2008 season in Atlanta. We are fired up about moving forward and going on into (2009). We have a lot of work to do. A lot of roster calibration to do. We’re excited about it. We have a number of free agents right. We have 13 that we are trying to decide on. We are still in the process of that.”

HOW HE PLANS TO FOLLOW-UP LAST SEASON’S SUCCESSFUL DRAFT: “Last year, it was no surprise, we spent a lot of time and a lot of money in the draft and free agency on our offense. Obviously, we’ll be focusing on both sides of the ball with an emphasis on defense as well. . . we will definitely try to build through the draft and be mindful of free agency to supplement. . . Our focus is not to be a major player in free agency, but to be focused on this process here and try to get young and energetic, fiery football players that we can continue to build with.”

FALCONS ARE NEEDS BASED DRAFT TEAM (Not best player available): “In the very end, we have a system-specific scouting system. We are needs based. So we will make sure that we focus on the players that we feel will help us to continue to build. . . but I want to make sure that we continue to get speed and urgency on this team.”

HOW SMITTY WON THE LOCKER ROOM: “Mike came into our situation in Atlanta, following up a very tumultuous situation in 2007 season. His stance, again, was very, very real in that circumstance. He’s about being real. He’s about selling it straight to the players and they really appreciate that. He doesn’t like to posture any which way. They know he’s the head coach. He’s very fiery when he needs to be, but he also knows when to pat them on the back.”

ON EVALUATING TIGHT ENDS WHO PLAY IN SPREAD OFFENSES: “This is a good tight end draft. I think you get a chance to see certain players like (Missouri’s) Chase Coffman. He’s a very accomplished receiver. With his abilities you have to project him inside. . . For instance, we have tend to project a little bit to determine if he has the whole operation and control as far as blocking and pass reception.” (ASIDE from “THE TD SHOW”: Our old pal Jim Mora, Seattle’s new head coach said that spread tight ends are offering teams practice film that shows that they can block.)

ON STAFFORD AND MORENO: “They are not in need areas for us. We’ve had the opportunity to see them quite a bit. Not to get into a whole bunch of specifics about players. I don’t want to give you my scouting report necessarily, but I think those two guys are going to make a lot of money. Obviously, (owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank is happy that we are not picking in the top five.”

ON REBUILDING THE DEFENSE: “There are some nice defensive tackles in this draft. . . It’s nice to be in the 20s, to be honest with you to acquire players of that caliber that will allow us to continue grow and learn.”

ON QB PAT WHITE AND THE WILDCAT OFFENSE: “Obviously, Pat White is an incredible athlete. I think the Wildcat situation is something that a lot of us are trying to figure out what’s the best way to defend it and as well as use it. I think Mike Mularkey has a very good understanding of that as well. I think it will continue to bring players to the forefront that are a little bit of that slashability, where they can also toss the ball. That’s also important as well.

“If you can get that runner who can run as well as be a receiver . . . versatility in this league is huge at any position. But when you get a receiver slash skill position guy, who has the versatility to run it out of the backfield, to me that adds a whole different dimension.”

ON BROOKING: (DOL’s intreptation: Falcons want him back, but looks like they aren’t ready to break the bank to keep him. Also, Brooking could face a challenge for his starting spot.)

BACK to The TD Show: “We are in the process now of having discussions with his representatives. Part of this process here is determining what is out here in the draft. What are the possibilities verses what we have. We have not made that final decision yet. That is part of the reason why we are here to determine if we are going to go forward with some of our players.

“To be quite honest with you, with Keith he has to decide what’s best for him. (Translation: We’re not showering him with loot.) We’d like to have him back, but he has to decide what’s best for him in free agency.”

86 comments Add your comment

Ronnie

February 21st, 2009
1:20 pm

I think the Falcons should let some other teams have the opportunity to show Brooking the money. Let other teams set the market for a slow, non-physical, non-urgent LB who is allergic to making big plays (for the Falcons). As far as his “leadership,” he was not voted as one of the two defensive captains at the end of the season, which speaks volumes. I guess being the last player introduced before the game doesn’t mean you’re a leader among your teammates.

And his interview with 790 this past week was ridiculous. His statements about not getting to blitz much in this defense were bunk, considering that he was by far the most likely blitzer when we did blitz. But of course, you have to make big plays, they don’t come to you.

Sage of Bluesland

February 21st, 2009
1:41 pm

Keith Brooking: the most overrated, overpaid linebacker I’ve ever seen. If not for the emotional factors and the sheep involved, he would have been long gone.

He wasn’t even voted team captain in the early 2000s–Keion Carpenter was–and Dan Reeves wasn’t happy at all about it.

Stop the fraud, Falconsland. I beg you.

(Well, at least Darrell–that’s D. Orlando Ledbetter’s first name–gets Brooking’s name correct ‘now’…You’re progressing, Darrell, good for you!…)

guy0nthec0uch

February 21st, 2009
2:14 pm

Brooking has a ton of heart, but he’s never been dominant. If you got that from heart alone, he’d been a Hall of Famer. I realized many years ago that he was over-hyped. People were so ready to find the next Tuggle and he became annointed before he earned it. Lofton could be that MLB we have been looking for since the 21st century began. We need to surround him with punishing players. Bart Scott would be huge for us. Lets sign Scott and let Baltimore replace him with Brooking and see what happens!

Steve

February 21st, 2009
2:19 pm

In regards to Brooking, I think it is telling that while Keith seems to be a spokesman of sorts (judging by media quotes), he wasn’t selected by his teammates as a captain. If the Falcons feel the need to keep an older player primarily for leadership reasons and stability, it should be Milloy. He is the one the players said they respect. I am not a Brooking “hater” and wanted the Falcons to draft him in 1998, but now I can be honest enough to say it’s time to go. I am a fan of the Falcons more than I am of any one player.

crabapplejoe

February 21st, 2009
2:40 pm

Mike Singletary — Hall of Fame
Retired at 34 — 12 years in the league

Career: 19 sacks; 7 interceptions

Last four years: 3 sacks; 1 interceptions

Keith Brooking
Presently 33 years old– eleven years in the league

Career: 17 sacks; 12 interceptions

Last four years: 8 sacks; 4 interceptions

Jesse Tuggle — Falcons Ring of Honor inductee
Retired at age 35 — fourteen years in the league

Career: 21 sacks; 6 interceptions

Last four years: 8 sacks; 0 interceptions

Does anyone see some similarities in the above stats?

I remember all the Atlanta/Chicago fans trying to run Tuggle/Singletary out of town those last few years. And I wonder if the fans ever referred to them as Singletarys or Tuggles. sarcasm/off

Lance

February 21st, 2009
2:56 pm

The Falcons need to see ole Keith hit the road. I can only think of two game changing plays from our “paid like Ray Lewis, introduced last during player introductions” hometown hero. 1. Helping Reggie Bush score a TD last year, and 2. Covering a TE 4 yards past the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 16 during the AZ playoff game.

I’d rather watch an undrafted rookie struggle at OLB linebacker than see “Caught-looking Brooking” again. At least it’d be a heck of a lot cheaper for the same production.

Great Falconi

February 21st, 2009
3:02 pm

If Brooking will come back at a heavily reduced salary, fine. He’s a true Falcon and has been a solid citizen and representative of the franchise. On the field, he could be effective in certain situations, but he’s not a full-time player for this team anymore. If he won’t take a vastly reduced deal, the Falcons need to move on. The defense needs to get younger, faster, and bigger.

One reason the Falcons will not be big players in free agency is that Dimitroff is going to have to release Vick (no one’s trading for that guy). They’ll likely need the significant room they have under the cap to absorb the hit from Vick AND be able to sign a few players outside of their draft picks.

Poor McKay

February 21st, 2009
3:21 pm

Brooking is in the same place with the Falcons as Glavine with the Braves. If he wants to stay, he will do so at a reduced salary (with incentives tied in). If not, allow him to walk. Wire and Nicholas can compete with whatever rookies or lower-level feee agents are added to the mix. And maybe offer Boley a low 1-year offer to allow him a chance to increase his value.

SoCalD

February 21st, 2009
3:22 pm

Brooking is without a doubt the most overpaid, overrated LB in NFL history. Does anybody realize this fraud of a player had the 2nd highest cap hit of any LB in the NFL last year at nearly 8 million. For 8 million we got: ZERO forced fumbles, ZERO sacks, ZERO fumble recoveries, ZERO interceptions and ZERO big plays. He doesn’t blow up blockers at the point of attack and he blitzes with his eyes closed. The great pile-jumper has to go! Please Mr. Dimitroff, NO more “Home Town Heroes” that don’t get the job done on the field.

Let him hit the open market and we’ll see exactly what he’s NOT worth.

Ronnie

February 21st, 2009
3:39 pm

For those who want Brooking back at a reduced salary and in a rotation. Such players typically would also play on special teams. Brooking hasn’t played on special teams for years. Would you want him running downfield trying to tackle Reggie Bush in punt coverage? Can you imagine Brooking busting a wedge on kickoff coverage?

D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

February 21st, 2009
3:44 pm

INDY (Finally warming up) — The linebackers are starting to roll through the interview room at the scouting combine. Just sat in on the James Lauranitis interview. USC’s Brian Cushing and Ray Maualuga are at the podiums. Ohio State’s Marcus Freeman might be the best replacement for Michael Boley if he leaves. Lauranitis also played some strongside linebacker as a freshmen at Ohio State.

SAGE OF BLUESLAND: Don’t try to crack on me because folks in Coweta County forgot to put the “S” on the end of Keith’s name. SO TECHNICALLY, I was never wrong.

South Carolina tight end Jared Cook of North Gwinnitt High stole the show at the TE workouts. He ran an unofficial 4.42. Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew, wearing neon green Nike shoes and gloves, ran a lumbering 4.85.

HERE ARE SOME MORE RESULTS:

40-Yard Dash Times
Top 10 Offensive Linemen
Player School Pos 40-yard dash
MURTHA, LYDON NEBRASKA OT 4.85
MEREDITH, JAMES SOUTH CAROLINA OG 4.97
FULTON, XAVIER ILLINOIS OT 4.98
BEATTY, WILLIAM CONNECTICUT OT 5.03
BELL, JOEL FURMAN OT 5.07
LUIGS, JONATHAN ARKANSAS OC 5.07
CADOGAN, GERALD PENN ST OT 5.08
WALKER, BRANDON OKLAHOMA OG 5.11
COOPER, JON OKLAHOMA OC 5.14
SMITH, JASON BAYLOR OT 5.14

Ken Strickland

February 21st, 2009
4:48 pm

Based on what I’ve been reading, unless DT’s Jerry or Raji, or TE pettigrew fall into our laps, the Falcons might be more interested in drafting a DE than a DT in the 1st 2rds. We know they’re sold on DT Babineaux, and if they are satisfied that DT TLewis will return to form, they would be interested in drafting a DT in the lower rds as a backup. Drafting potential starters at TE, SS, DE and possibly CB seems to be our top priority. If we’re unable to resign CB Foxworthy, we have CB Vaughn Hutchins returning from a season ending injury. He was signed as a FA to start opposite CB CHouston, but injuries to he and Grimes necessitated the trade for Foxworthy.

If we don’t resign LB’s MBoley and/or KBrooking, we’ll have to draft a starter and hope SNicholas is ready to step up. Losing both starting OLB’s, and moving a reserve(Nicholas) into a starting position, would leave us very shorthanded, and lacking in leadership and experience at the position.

Brooking Seriously?

February 21st, 2009
4:52 pm

I don’t give a shat who we draft, just get rid of “Highway 56.” Crabapplejoe you can take your racist arse with him.

inkspot

February 21st, 2009
4:55 pm

Keith Brooking hasn’t made a big hit in years. He’s the softest LB in the NFL. It seems impossible that a smart young GM like Dimitroff would pay anything for a no-impact LB Brooking.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 21st, 2009
5:05 pm

The big news as we wrap up at THE LUC (Lucas Oil Stadium) on Saturday:

1. Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree has a stress fracture.

2. Alabama T Andre Smith just up and left yesterday without telling anybody.

3. South Carolina TE and North Gwinnett stud Jared Cook blazed through the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds.

Why are y’all stuck on Brooking. There’s plenty of other things from “The TD Show” to discuss. I thought it was telling what TD said about the tight end class and then started talking about Chase Coffman — unsolicited. (BTW, Coffman didn’t run the 40 today — RED FLAG).

CYRIL

February 21st, 2009
5:14 pm

We are stuck on Brooking because nobody has ever been paid more for less through a complete decade!!

Redbird

February 21st, 2009
5:27 pm

Dear AJC.

Please stop with your Keith Brooking agenda! We as a fan base DO NOT want him back under any circumstances. Not a 1 year deal not a 2 year deal we DO NOT want his soft play and “BS Leadership” anymore. Look at your own opinion poll and see that the VAST MAJORITY of the Falcons fanbase feels the same as I do…the numbers do not lie unlike Keith 3:16’s tackle numbers he gets from pile jumping and ankle dragging 10-15 yards downfield..

So please stop with you fluff pieces and your feel good Brooking pieces because we do not care and quite frankly never have. We as a fan base care about play on the field and when you have not made a single impact play in 3 years and get toasted on a regular basis we the fan base have seen enough.

Keith 3:16 take the 40 million that you stole from this team with your soft play and take a hike…you have fooled too many “fans” for way too long. Go try to get a 4-5 million dollar a year contract from another team because unlike the falcons who apparently ignore tape of you playing they know EXACTLY what you are and that is why everyone keys on you when the play us!

JJ

February 21st, 2009
5:35 pm

Crabapple, breathe in….breathe out….repeat. Don’t take the cheese, breathe in…breathe out…repeat!

SeminoleWarrior

February 21st, 2009
6:00 pm

Look, I have enjoyed KB’s time but it is time to look forawrd to the future. With potential major cap issues in the near future due to the Vick deal, we need to make our moves now to solidify the foundation of our team’s future in the post-Vick cap damage era. McKenzie and Freeman at OLB are TWO picks that would serve the Falcons well.

falcon21

February 21st, 2009
6:01 pm

Ken Strickland, Pettigrew may fall into our laps. He had two slow 40’s today. Also several other TE’s looked good today. TD may wait a little later for a TE.

Ken Strickland

February 21st, 2009
6:49 pm

FALCON21-very good point. His slow times could put him in our laps, especially as deep as this draft is in quality TE’s. However, if a top rated SS or LB falls to us, will they pull the trigger on Pettigrew? Remember, our 2 top SS’s are unrestricted FA’s, as well as our 2 starting OLB’s. Those 2 positions have to be high priority considerations. Our OFF did pretty darn good last yr without a quality pass catching TE, but our DEF didn’t do well with a SS and OLB that had trouble in pass coverage.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 21st, 2009
6:54 pm

Let’s stick to football, y’all.

Jared Cook had a vertical leap of 41 inches. He hit and Under Armour performance goal. The sports company is going to donate 100 cleats to North Gwinnett on his behalf.

Birdy

February 21st, 2009
7:16 pm

Well said, Redbird.

I find it laughable that a GM from a team that featured big-play-making, hard-hitting, sack-making LBs like Bruschi, Vrabel, Colvin, and McGinnest would even dare to pass up the opportunity to rid his team of an over-paid, soft fraud/sycophant like Keith 3:16.

And no, we long-time Falcons fans will not “let up” as long as the team dares to insult our intelligence by trying to foist this fraud down our throats.

Brooking is the last player introduced — even after Abraham — yet the crowd volume actually dies down after Abraham is introduced. Why is that? Whi is it anti-climactic when the “chosen hero” is introduced? Because the fans are not DUMB.

I plead with the team: Please be OBJECTIVE and HONEST and give us the kind of team where every player is held accountable — not just 52 of them. The tape doesn’t lie. The lack of impact plays from this fraud who never leaves the field does not lie. The PLAYERS AND THEIR VOTE ON TEAM CAPTAINS DOES NOT LIE.

Brooking is no locker room leader.
Brooking is no on-field leader.

What brooking is is a smart guy who learned the hot-buttons of the new owner (Charity work, media savvy, clean corporate image). Shoot, the Falcons might as well sign me. I’ll gladly fake my way through games, jumping on piles, tackling at ankles and talking good talk in the locker room to the scribes after the games. And my old, washed-up behind will do it for one-half of vet minimum! We’re not getting anything more from Brooking, that’s for sure.

I will close with this: The NFL ‘Live Wire’ segment on the Arizona game was telling. At the end, Mike Smith — who along with his coaching staff and MOST OTHER PLAYERS — did a heckuva job. But poor Mike was really astonished by the 3rd-and-16 play. He was flummoxed by the 11-year veteran “leader” and his idiotic failure to cover a journeyman TE on the biggest play of the season. On the NFL Films piece, Smitty told the other coaches, “It’s over boys. Unbelievable.”

When the subject of Brooking comes up in the next few days, I want Smitty to remember how he felt seeing “Highway 56″ let the team down yet again.

I’m guessing Smitty was impressed back in last year’s OTA’s with how Brooking proclaimed he has “totally bought into” Smitty’s plan. But wait, Highway 56 also professed the same “buy-in” for Petrino (yet he helped Reggie Bush score). And Hwy 56 also professed the same “buy in” for Mora, and Reeves, and Phillips and Emmett Thomas, and anybody else who might have had a chance to cut his fraudulent arse.

But even beyond the defining moment in Arizona, I would ask Coach Smith to go get the game tape of the first game in Tampa. Forward to about 12:00 mark of the second quarter. Check out the “effort” of the 2nd-highest paid LB in the NFL for 2008. You will see “zero effort” by the “leader” the wearer of the “green dot”. Is this how he supports Smitty? How he demonstrates his vaunted “buy in”? Yes, check the tape.

Brooking complains the scheme did not allow him to blitz. check the tape. Check the Minnesota tape. Observe a brilliant blitz call by the DCoordinator BVG that brought brooking in untouched towards Tarvaris Jackson. Observe the excuse-making Brooking contact Jackson softly, then immediately drop to Jackson’s ANKLES and fail to make a gift-sack.

Brooking says, “don’t judge me on “3rd and 16, look at my body of work”. OK. Let’s look at more of his “work”. Look at the Philly tape. Observe how he let McNabb — a quarterback — meet him in the hole at the two yard line. instead of bench-pressing the QUARTERBACK and blowing McNabb back to prevent TD, Brooking drops to McNabb’s waist and lets McNabb drag him into the end zone. And this is the guy the team never takes off the field. the “nickle LB” — a weakness smart coaches exploited by running up the middle against the Falcons all year.

And when Brooking was asked to indicate what he would like to have as a “do-over” this year, he did not cite his failiure to stop a QUARTERBACK in the hole in the Philly game, he cited the gaffe by Adam Jennings instead. How’s that for “locker room leadership”?

Fraud.

Jennings was held ACCOUNTABLE and was summarily dismissed about 10 days later. When will the Falcons braintrust finally hold Brooking accountable? When will they end the farce.

He has “stolen” $40 million from the team. Having him here led the team to pass on numerous real talents at LB like Patrick Willis and countless other veteran free agents. The opportunity costs of having a highly-paid, soft-playing, fraudulent LB here has been enormous.

Finally, the Falcons had to have a sit-down talk with Matt Ryan to discourage him from throwing his body around after he went airborne trying to score against Minnesota. You see, Matt Ryan is a legitimate WINNER, He is a REAL football player GIVING HIS ALL trying to help his teammates win. When is the last time anyone has had to caution Brooking about being “too aggresive”, about throwing his body around making collisions with opponents. Such a thought is unfathomable because the guy has played soft the last 5 years milking a bloated contract.

End the farce, Falcons.

Let’s see what offers Brooking gets in free agency. Take the “risk”. I guarantee you this: If the Falcons put him in free agency he will retire. He won’t play anywhere that he actualy has to risk hitting someone in order to make the team.

End the farce, Falcons.

Birdy

February 21st, 2009
7:30 pm

And Crabapplejoe, while you are throwing up comparisons between HoFer Singletary and “Highway 56″, I offer a few “big Hits” for comparison purposes.

In the 1985 NFFCG, HoF RB Eric Dickerson took a handoff on 4th and one. He was met HEAD-ON by HoF MLB Mike Singletary. Singletary won the battle, knocking Dickerson back.

Now tell me who won the battle THIS YEAR when QUARTERBACK Donovan McNabb met Keith “Highway 56″ Brooking in the hole at the 2 yard line? Think Singletary drops to a QB’s waist and gets trucked at the goal line?

Does singletary let Warrick Dunn run up the gut for a 17-yard touchdown on 3rd and 15?

There is actual tape of Singletary literally knocking a Detroit quarterback out cold. Did “Keith 3:16″ knock Tarvaris Jackson out cold, or did he drop to Jackson’s ANKLES and fail to even register a gift-sack?

The shortest way to a successful play against the Falcons is to take “Highway 56″ straight to paydirt.

We’ve seen it time and time again.

falcon21

February 21st, 2009
7:31 pm

Ken, TD has said they will not try to improve through FA. Getting a TE early in the draft would be sinceless. As you said, we had no problems moving the ball on offense. If SS or LB falls to us I think that will be the pick, if not I still cannot see taking a TE with the first pick. TD seems to have a good football mind and will make the right choice. Watching the combine today a lot of TE’s looked good and a few should be avalible in the later rounds.

crabapplejoe

February 21st, 2009
7:44 pm

@Birdy…God help you if the Falcons do resign KB56! Never have I seen so much hatred and vitriol directed at one player…wow just wow. So, Birdy, what do you think about Pettigrew running a 4.8…still think the Falcons should sign him. By the way, I would make sure your meds have all been taken on Monday. That’s the day the Falcons owe KB56 some money and since they apparently haven’t come to terms they may just announce his release. Then we really won’t be able to keep up with the Brooking bashing…don’t want you getting overexcited and all.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 21st, 2009
7:45 pm

Y’all need some help. It’s like now that Vick’s gone, you need another lightning rod to endlessly babble on about, so you pick Brooking. At this point he’s probably not quick enough or strong enough to be a productive every down linebacker anymore, and he did blow the coverage in the Arizona game, but considering he played most of the prime of his career out of position on poorly coached teams with no size on the D-line in front of him, I’d say his career was pretty solid. He’s not the Hall of Famer crabapplejoe thinks he is, and he’s not a bust the rest of y’all think he is. Please, grow some perspective. You make yourselves look like idiots alternatively overrating and underrating him.

Greg

February 21st, 2009
7:50 pm

Keith plays as if he’s muscle-bound (which actually he isn’t). His hips are incredibly stiff. He’s neither quick nor fast nor powerful, but he IS knowledgeable, which he uses to cover his physical disabilities. He was a LOT quicker at GT, where I saw him play many times. But now, he probably has no future with the Falcons. He gives 110% every play, but the problem is that that’s equal to about 80% of a really good LB. And we must have ONLY “very good” LB’s. I admit I feel a little sorry for Keith. Big heart. But the talent level has passed him by.

crabapplejoe

February 21st, 2009
8:02 pm

@Najeh…Just to correct the record I have never said KB will be in the Hall of Fame, nor do I think he will be. Like Tuggle, he will be in the Falcon Ring of Honor. I merely compared his stats to a HOFs and Tuggles as well. They are pretty comparable which nobody seems to want to talk about. Back to the combines….what do you think of Pettigrew running a 4.85/40. I don’t think we should take a TE at the 24th slot. There’s a kid named James Casey out of Rice that ran a 4.71. He’s 6′4 and caught 111 balls for something like 1300 yards last year….could be a good second or third round pick-up of us.

falcon21

February 21st, 2009
8:02 pm

Davenpoop you are right,I have never been a big fan of Brooking but I will admit he is a solid football player but not a superstar. In my opinion I don’t think he can help the team anymore as a player but maybe as a coach.

TheManMike

February 21st, 2009
9:39 pm

Jared Cook did look good today….all until the little hammy incident after his second 40 run. I hope that doesn’t turn into a larger problem for him. I also wish Chase Coffman (SP?) would have worked out; only because i dont know who he is but TD mentioned him, and as LED said, thats a bit telling.

Cedric

February 21st, 2009
10:22 pm

Thanks for the updates DLed, but are the Falcons brass letting on to some players that they may pursue at this combine or are they like other teams and just going thru all the motions just to interview and look at each guy. I hope they remember that it all goes down on the field when the lights come on and the fans fill up the stadiums. 40 times and weight liftin mean nothing if you cannot tackle or read and react.

ray

February 22nd, 2009
1:43 am

On the Keith Brooking thing:

The guy has been a solid player for the bulk of his career. But that is not the question is it? The question is WHAT can he give us NOW, and at what price? Obviously Dimitroff wants what is best for the team, which is what fans should want. He certainly sounds like he’s not prepared to spend a lot of money on him. If what’s best for the team is Brooking out of here, replaced by a younger, more effective player (if not immediately more effective, then soon to be), then so be it. I really don’t see what the argument is…some of us sound like the damn housewives of Orange County or some such foolishness….

On the draft:

I figure if the right safety falls in our laps (we may not have a chance at the top defensive tackles) then that is where the trigger will get pulled, not on a tight end. All the same, I figure Dimitroff will be taking a tight end somewhere. I just don’t know if it will be with that first pick. Unless of course, they find/have reason to believe that a guy like Pettigrew is a serious game-changer on offense. Considering the .40 he ran, and all the needs on defense, dude would have to make them think he’s like the guy the Chiefs used to have (I think Tony Gonzalez was his name).

I’m glad to hear that he and his crew are looking for a serious difference maker (or two) in the secondary. A guy like Reed or Polamalu is as close to a Lawrence Taylor as you get these days. I’d love to have that, or something like it. Somebody fast enough to drop into coverage and pick off a good quarterback, but mean and tough enough to fly in and stuff the run.

Perhaps Dimitroff takes the best defensive player available to us at our first pick. After all, are not all of our defensive positions needs in the draft?

ray

February 22nd, 2009
1:52 am

Cedric,

That’s true. After all, Ricky Williams ran “slow” .40 times, but was a heck of a running back. When he wasn’t smokin’ the wacky tabaccy that is. And Lincoln Kennedy could lift the gym (remember him?), but wasn’t worth a crap for at least the first few years we had him. I don’t even recall if he ever turned into anything worthwhile for the Raiders. And let us not forget: Matt Ryan was not a combine stud. I’d not trade him right about now, either.

TheManMike,

There’s always something strange about guys not working out during the combine or not participating in certain parts. Dimitroff mentions the guy like he’s not worried about him not working out. Hmmmm. Sometimes it’s a red flag….and sometimes it’s a different kind of flag altogether. Combine workouts tell stories, but I think sometimes they are over-inflated. After all, the combine workout shows how you’re doing TODAY, not EVERY DAY, and how you’re doing in a vaccum. Has nothing to do with whether or not you can hit that hole quickly coming out of the backfield, know when to accelerate to that 6th gear when you pass the linebackers, or how well you can time that 41-inch leap in the endzone as the two cornerbacks try to rob you of a touchdown…

FalconUGAFan

February 22nd, 2009
7:31 am

DOB,
Many thanks for keeping us up to date and trying to keep folks on track. Keep up the good work!

TCM

February 22nd, 2009
7:46 am

Interesting comments. I am looking forward to this draft and feel that with confidence this front office will make the right decisions on draft day as opposed to wasting picks like others’ we’ve had in the past. I have never been a KB56 fan so I won’t be sad to see him leave. It’s really time for him to go, enough said. The only thing I will say about him is he was never really all that solid to me but he was PAID like a Ray Lewis or a Brian Urlacher and THAT was the problem and also why most fans had an issue with him. He was paid like a HOF’er but that produciton never materialized on the field very often like it should have for the money he was paid. I’m really happy about the direction the team is now headed and if people would just leave MV alone and let him get on with his future that would be a good thing too……….

Birdy

February 22nd, 2009
7:58 am

Crabby, regarding Pettigrew:
I have not studied the guy so I cannot make much of a prediction on how he will fare as a pro. But if we are just looking at his 4.8 40 run, I will remind you of the old story of two campers who are surprised by a bear. One of the campers immediately starts putting on his sneakers, the other asks, “why are you doing that? You can’t aoutrun a bear, even with sneakers.” To which the guy responds, “Oh, I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun YOU.”

Like I said, I don’t know jack about Pettigrew. He may be grossly overrated in all other areas of TE. But I will say that a straight-line 4.8 does not mean he cannot get open against NFL zone defenses. How is his route-running? His recognition of defenses and where the holes are? Is he quick — so that he can gain momentary separation against a LB? Is he strong to out-muscle a safety? How are his hands? What is his “Sphere of catch” — where a QB can throw the ball and have a pretty good chance of a completion. Is it 12 inches in diameter like Ben Hartsock, or is it 6 feet diameter like Larry Fitzgerald? Can he block? Will he block?

I guess I am just saying the 40-time for a TE tells me something, but not everything I need to know.

Navigator

February 22nd, 2009
8:53 am

I want to be honest about Brooking, the Falcons drafted him out of GT because he was both physical and fast. First he lost a step when he hurt his knee (surgery), and because the Falcons were unable to procure a good middle linebacker, he played out of position for years. I think he’s beat down now, and at best is a bench guy who could come in for relieve rolls only. Under no circumstances, should the Falcons pour a lot of money into resigning him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 22nd, 2009
10:34 am

Back on the grind this morning in Indy!!!!

A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT was just made. New England coach Bill Belichick is going to grace the media with his presence and maybe even answer a couple of questions. THIS IS BIG. Coach Bill hasn’t been through the media room in years at the combine. SHOULD BE FUN.

Stirg d'Nahsif

February 22nd, 2009
12:16 pm

D.O.Ledbetter,

I was not looking forward to the end of the football season because there’s no action on Sunday. I’m stuck with watching the Mrs. do her hair, cleaning the garage or watching classic re-runs of Sanford & Son (actually, not a bad idea). Instead, You have made the off-season a real treat. I appreciate your efforts in bringing the fan inside the game. Keep up the good work. I tip my hat and Falcon mug to You!

On with the nest. In your meetings with TD, see if You can get around to asking this question: “You (TD) speak highly of this “specific scouting system (The Matrix). In 2001, would your “system” draft Michael Vick with the number one pick?” Just curious.

With obvious needs at safety and linebacker (I think with the return of T. Lewis and the depth of d-tackles in the draft, d-line is not the highest priority), who do You think the Falcons are giving the most consideration to in that position? How well did Louis Delmas score in “The Matrix”?

Did B. Pettigrew lose his position as number one tight-end taken in the draft, with the emergence of J. Cook? Do You think J. Cook will stay on the board until Atlanta pick First? Second? And what’s up with Chase Coffman; TD considering him?

Get back with Me, quick; Mrs. just gave Me to options…clean the garage or grease her hair.

Ken Strickland

February 22nd, 2009
12:29 pm

RAY-Lincoln Kennedy did have a productive career after leaving the Falcons. He became a Probowl performer with the Raiders. QB BFarve was also a bust when he was with the Falcons, but we all know how that turned out. Don’t be too quick to give up on a player, especially after only 2yrs. When it comes to evaluating individual talent, I don’t know if any GM is better than Dimitroff. If a player the Falcons are interested in refuses to particate in some or all of the combine workouts, it might be a good thing for the Falcons. It certainly raises a red flag, especially for those HC’s and GM’s who put a lot of stock in these workouts. A player that refuses to participate in all or part of the workouts certainly isn’t going to raise his stock in the draft. If anything, he might lower his stock, and that becomes beneficial for teams in the lower half of the draft like the Falcons.

If Coffman won’t workout, team’s looking for a quality TE might pass on him, if Pettigrew is off the board, and draft another TE of address another team need. That might cause Coffman to fall into the 2nd rd, or the bottom of the 1st. OT Baker had the same thing happen to him in last yrs draft, and we were able to trade up and get him. We’ve seen this happen to at least one highly rated player in every draft. CB JWilliams, of VA Tech, was considered a 1st rd talent, but we got him in the 2nd rd. This was one of those times they got it right because he turned out to be a total bust.

BIRDY-great comments and understanding. What do you think former TE ACrumpler’s 40yd times were. I seriously doubt his times were any faster than Pettigrew’s, but he got the job done at a Probowl level.

D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER

February 22nd, 2009
12:41 pm

Official Top 10 Tight End 40 times
Name Time
Cook, Jared 4.50
Nelson, Shawn 4.56
Morrah, Cameron 4.66
Ingram, Cornelius 4.68
Branson, Marquez 4.71
Johnson, David 4.73
Bronson, Jared 4.76
Sperry, Kory 4.77

STIRG d’Nahsif: TAKE THE GARAGE OPTION and sneak the laptop out there.

1. Thanks for your kind words. It’s a tough offseason, but the combine and draft are fun. And the NCAA tournament is around the corner.

2. Not sure how Vick would have been in the Matrix. You have to remember the Matrix has found two pretty good ones in the sixth and seventh rounds — Tom Brady (2000, 199th overall) and Matt Cassel (2005, 230th). The Matrix might have spit Vick out because he was unconventional.

3. Louis is still being evaluated. The key on him is the 40 time. He’s mean, tough and hard-nosed football player. Don’t know if he’ll still be around in the second round.

4. Pettigrew’s slow time had to hurt him. But Cook had some drops in college that were pretty bad. Waiting for my assistant coach who evaluates the tights ends for me to tell me how Cook caught the ball from his perspective and if Pettigrew hurt himself. He was such a stud at the Senior Bowl that they might not be too worried about his showing in his lime green Nikes.

Redbird

February 22nd, 2009
1:17 pm

D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER:

You asked us to stay on point with football and I truly appreciate this forum to sound-off but this is your blog and it is inteneded to get the pulse of the falcons fans.

So I ask…will we be seeing you write an article about the general concensus of this blog? It is sooooo very apparent that the falcons fan base does not want Brooking back under ANY circumstance. Will you be writing a piece for the AJC that backs up your own opinion poll concerning the way the fans REALLY feel about Brooking? Or are we just going to get another fluff piece about his ” years of service” or “Blood, sweat ans tears” for the team.

You have an obligation as a writer to write what is really the opinion of your fanbase not this propaganda that has seemingly been going on and nit just your own opinion(see Terrance Moore). We the falcons fan base demand that you pen the truth and write a real stoty on how we feel about the great fraud.

crabapplejoe

February 22nd, 2009
1:20 pm

@DOL: Why is James Casey not listed in the TEs 40 yard times? It is my understanding that he ran a 4.71 which would put him tied at 5th with Branson. There was a discussion about this at AtlantaFalcons.com yesterday…but no answers.

G. Tampa Bedwetter

February 22nd, 2009
2:18 pm

Fire Tommy Nobis !

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 22nd, 2009
3:25 pm

MILLOY WILL NOT BE BACK?

WHO’S NEXT — KEITH BROOKING, CHAUNCEY DAVIS OR DOMINIQUE FOXWORTH?

Don’t why Casey wasn’t listed. Maybe that time was a scratch and didn’t get approved. (early takeoff or something). Will check around. Those TV times are unofficial.

REDBIRD: Don’t think you’re going to be seeing that story. MY JOB is to cover the team. Not to cover the fanbase. I’d like for you all to keep reading and provide a forum for us to talk. You need to let the team know how you feel. (I’m sticking to football!!!) That Fan Story you want is more a feature department deal.

Ken Strickland

February 22nd, 2009
3:28 pm

ORLANDO LEDBETTER-are the Falcons are looking for one of the top TE’s, or one that’s less spectacular, but offers the best combination of blocker and receiver? Also, what do you think our top DEF priority will be, LB, SS or DT?

Falcons 4 ever

February 22nd, 2009
4:16 pm

D. Orlando thanks for the near real time updates. Milloy’s leadership and savvy will be missed. Hopefully Brooking, Davis and Foxworth will be back but as you pointed out with the premium CBs are getting these days Foxworth may be a tough re-sign. I don’t think Crabtree’s injury will affect his draft status that much since the vast majority of WRs don’t contribute much in their first season anyway and Crabtree is in that class of receiver with Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson in the long run. The Titans are still eating crow for drafting Kevin Dyson ahead of Randy Moss. The Andre Smith saga has to make you wonder what is going on between his ears. What is the point of showing up at the combine if you haven’t prepared? Did he even interview with any teams? If you could I’d appreciate some insights from the combine on KRs as I would like to see the Falcons commit a single player to returns and let Norwood and Douglas focus on their respective roles in the offense.

SeminoleWarrior

February 22nd, 2009
5:39 pm

D. Orlando, how are Patrick Chung and Courtney Greene looking? I think either could be a good fit for a replacement for Milloy who will be missed.

SeminoleWarrior

February 22nd, 2009
5:45 pm

Give Chauncey Davis a chance as a starter. He has gotten better each year. Also, Ziggy Hood would look good next to Babs. There is much more upside taking Jared Cook as the TE. I love his hands, the speed, and the intangibles. Imagine this set up…Douglas in the slot, Jenkins and White wide, and Cook at TE. Lethal and Matt could become a Drew Brees like QB with similiar numbers.