Falcons make some moves after market settles


Mike Peterson and Brett Romberg were added to the Birds’ nest.

The Falcons have been slow and extremely deliberate in free agency. By contrast, last season they were swift and decisive in adding running back Michael Turner, safety Erik Coleman and the rest of the group.

Peterson has played weakside and middle linebacker. He comes “cross-trained.” He was also a former captain in Jacksonville before falling out with head coach Jack Del Rio last season.

But Falcons coach Mike Smith never had any issues with Peterson. Word coming out of Flowery Branch is that their bond is still pretty tight and that allowed the deal to get done so quickly.

Despite his falling out with Del Rio, Peterson still led the Jags in tackles with 84. He missed six starts after Del Rio misinterpreted Peterson’s attempt to fire up the team as a selfish celebratory move. It was also the last year of Peterson’s contract and well, he thought he should have been extended.

But all that is in his rear view mirror.

Peterson steps into a unit that needs some direction and playmakers. Peterson and Stephen Nicholas can go at it for the weakside spot. If Peterson wins, then Nicholas could slide over to strongside and possibly play on passing downs if he can’t beat out Coy Wire. Wire started on running downs late last season for Boley.

Now, if something happens to Curtis Lofton, Peterson can also play the middle.

Romberg gets reunited with offensive line coach Paul Boudreau and gives the Falcons another solid interior lineman behind center Todd McClure and guards Justin Blalock and Harvey Dahl.

Romberg, 29, has started 18 games over the last three seasons. He started his career in Jacksonville after playing at Miami.

Do you like the new Falcons?

308 comments Add your comment

Greg

March 10th, 2009
10:39 am

One slightly above average pick (Peterson); one average pick (Romberg). Nothing to get a fan excited. Tampa, Jacksonville, and New Orleans have all, on balance, upgraded considerably ahead of the Birds. TD better pull a couple rabbits out of the hat before this is all over. Right now no one would say we’re a stronger team than we were last year.

Todd

March 10th, 2009
10:40 am

I am pretty happy with these two additions. The slow pace of their FA signings is irritating, but completely understandable. The possible addition of TE LJ Smith doesn’t really do much for me, since he has a dubious injury history. The secondary needs addressing right away, because I thought they should have kept Milloy for one more season.

Tale of Woe

March 10th, 2009
10:44 am

I like both moves…I just hope we are not done. Without a doubt, Peterson is an upgrade over Brooking. We need some DL to help out next and maybe someone else in the secondary. Then I will feel much better about what the draft might bring us. We had a great draft last year, but it is hard to strike lightening twice.

D Money

March 10th, 2009
11:02 am

The Romberg move was okay but I don’t expect to see him play really. The Peterson move is just okay too. We just signed a backup middle linebacker (Gilbert) and I expect Nicholas to take the weakside linebacker spot. If he’s strictly backup great. If we draft a solid SLB then I will feel comfortable with the LB corp.

eric

March 10th, 2009
11:04 am

Yes, I’m happy with both moves, but clearly not overjoyed. The secondary needs big help, and I hope they’re not banking on the draft to upgrade this portion of the team. They’re still uner the salary cap=correct, so why not make more free agency splashes?

D Money

March 10th, 2009
11:05 am

What’s the word on Trey Lewis? Is he 100% yet? We need a hog in the middle to take some of those double teams off Abraham.

bert

March 10th, 2009
11:12 am

Just remember, we can still re-sign Milloy, I don’t believe he’s signed with anybody else. As far as these two signings go, I see them as adding depth and that’s about it.

Deangelo Falls

March 10th, 2009
11:12 am

I’m okay with the moves. They’re not flashy but serviceable. I think if a guy like Leroy Hill was available we would have made a big move. I would have liked to have seen Sean Jones visit. Seeing that he signed for just one year in Philly it seems like we could have made a play on him. Oh well, Delmas will be perfect if we can get him.

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
11:13 am

These are moves a solid team does to strengthen an already great team. For us this does nothing to solidify a weakened defense and no realistic targets we can count on to get in the draft. A backup center,whoopee and another Jacksonville reject. Who’s next the receiver who just got busted Matt Jones. It used to be we were the VA TECH graveyard now we get the Jacksonville rejects. Very dissapointed so far and yes I was wrong about Ryan but jury is still out on OUCH I’M HURT AGAIN SAM BAKER and the others from this so called great draft last year. It was the free agents that got us as far as we did….that and a quarterback who could throw a short slant and not decapitate his receiver.

Khao$

March 10th, 2009
11:15 am

I’m pleased with the acquisition of Peterson. On the previous blog, I harped on the Falcons need to get some veteren leadership in the lockeroom, without breaking the bank. Well, we have that with Mike Peterson. This accomplishes a few things:
1) The Falcons have a guy who can show the youngsters, on the field, how to do their business
2) He probably won’t break the bank
3) We’re still able to build through the draft
4) He knows Smitty’s system.
I like Lofton. However, after just on year, he’s not ready to lead. We needed somebody who could step in and bring leadership until Lofton is ready to be the leader.

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
11:15 am

Oh and stay the hell away from that crappy TE from Philly…Smith. All we need is another wimp sitting HURT? in a whirlpool.

Falconian

March 10th, 2009
11:19 am

The Falcons would be a better team with or without free agent signings simply because of more experience with Ryan, and the same offense/defense coordinators and schemes. I love the way the Falcons are building this thing…only getting players that fit your exact scheme, and not just going after big names. Just like the Patriots have done it for years!!!!

falconsavvy89

March 10th, 2009
11:22 am

I’m happy they made the moves the linebackers got a good quality veteran as well as the offensive line. I think the falcons need to be more active in the free agent market, but i believe that the draft will help them in some of their needs.

Marcus

March 10th, 2009
11:24 am

Hope Peterson still has something in the tank. I was wondering if this is the same deal like when Parcells moved to teams there seemed to be a couple of players he liked to bring with him (Pepper Johnson?, Bryan Cox?, Keyshawn Johnson?).
What this also (hopefully) does is make us less desperate to find an immediate starter at a NEED position in the draft and/or add more flexibility to use one of our two 5th round picks as a package to swap draft positions to move up if we see someone we like (kinda like we did last year with Sam Baker).

Leon

March 10th, 2009
11:28 am

EXACTLY RIGHT Falconian! Building slow and steady. If anybody needed a change of scenery it was Peterson, he will be a HUGE upgrade over Keith Broken and Romberg gives us depth on the OL. clthurman you need to drink a big ol’ glass of chill the f*** out.

wr

March 10th, 2009
11:29 am

I like the Peterson move, I don’t have much knowledge about Romberg but the depth he adds can only help. The Peterson move at least brings in veteran leadership that hopefully will help the young players we have and rookies that we may acquire through the draft. Also, he was only signed for two years so he won’t hurt the salary cap much if his tank happens to be half empty. I continue to be worried about the secondary, especially the position vacated by Milloy. D Led, what is your take on L.J Smith, it seems that many people feel he is an inadequate blocker, but when healthy he seems to play pretty well. Also, any other word on his potential signing with the falcons. I think that the falcons can afford to draft a tight end in later rounds and be okay with what we have, Peele looked pretty decent last year and I would rather have a young tight end that can develop and grow as Matt Ryan continues to develop and grow rather than a stop leak tight end, which seems to be the overall concern of most bloggers when considering L.J Smith.

Dogbyte

March 10th, 2009
11:33 am

The Falcons are doing what they need to do, slowly and methodically. They are getting help from the middle-level pool that does not break the bank. Yesterday, some idjit said they should have signed Haynesworth. For $100 mil+?! Thank God “he” is in charge of nothing more important than his sand box.
No, TD is doing a good job and with a couple of more small pieces + the draft he will solve the puzzle. The Falcons will be sound in 09!

Charlene Samuels

March 10th, 2009
11:41 am

I think the birds are not going out overpaying FAs. Our GM knows talent better than we do. I like the new guys we are signing because they are blue collar workers. The birds have been burned in the past in the FA market and sometimes it is not GOOD to jump to big names. Our GM is the best in the business right now and I predict a 12-4 season with home field. I think people on this line should set back and re-examine their comments. The birds are sleeping gaints in their division. We also will win our divison. Last year I said we will be 12-4 I was wrong by one game. To be champions, you must learn to fit the pizz and football is just like this idea. Look at the steelers and tell me do they have high price big name players??? NOPE

Brian Hunt

March 10th, 2009
11:42 am

I like both signings a lot. Peterson guarantees that the LB corps is at the very least, as good as last year with the potential to be better. Romberg provides depth that is important and he has a lot of experience. Both of these moves will allow the Falcons to focus more on the Defensive line and secondary in the draft.

Barry

March 10th, 2009
11:43 am

Hey Y’all:

Good solid and safe moves. These players, especially Peterson, will fill that playmaker role that we need a linebacker. His ability to also play the middle will build some great flexibilty in the Falcons defense. Now we have to get some “BIG NASTIES” to fill up the middle and on the ends on defense. Hopefully, we can find some of these young studds in the draft and/or through free agency. If fullfilled, then we will be moving in the right direction to beat all the teams we have on the schedule this year.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a SECRET from a FAlCON FAN!!!! TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!”

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
11:44 am

Leon sorry to have scared you with my passion for all things Falcons. Peterson is a middle LB….we have one already..who is pretty good. I cant complain about Romberg just not really a need and any dollars spent away from our glaring needs seems well stupid. You cannot win in this league consistently without a good to great defense….you might get lucky one year but the teams that do well in this league consistently play good D…we do not. And we will not unless we upgrade with ready to play caliber studs. You don’t get those very often in the draft, especially as one as weak as this one is.

steve'o

March 10th, 2009
12:01 pm

Hey clthurman you need another glass!

T.C

March 10th, 2009
12:07 pm

Great pickup at linebacker,i would sign spudwebb to replace brooking.

Greg Smith

March 10th, 2009
12:11 pm

clthurman chill!!!!!! Try sex with a womean or something. The FO and coaches proved last year that they know what they are doing so I’m going with them until they prove me wrong.

Reno 911

March 10th, 2009
12:13 pm

BARRY’s back! TELL EVERYBODY!

Dr Henry / Augusta

March 10th, 2009
12:15 pm

after last season, I don’t question any moves these people (Falcon FO and coaching staff) make.

Seth

March 10th, 2009
12:19 pm

I think the Evil genius of TD is gonna trade our #1 off to a team who is low on salary cap space and probably couldn’t afford to sign a #2, like Indianapolis, so then we pick up a 29th, 55th, 59th and 90th and prolly all 4 will be starters. People wont like it but I have a feeling by the time our pick comes around most of the people we would take would be off the board already.

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
12:22 pm

Alright I will just trust in the solid foundation that is the Falcon history of year in and year out good decision making. Ever wonder why organizations like the Steelers, Cowboys, Eagles always seem to be competitive…one reason is their fans just don’t sit blindly after 1 season and say all is good. No they demand excellence. I’m not gonna sit here and say all is doom and gloom for the Falcons….their Offense is bad-ass. But I’ll be damned if I offend or confuse people with my high expectations. And right now I am worried about our D and what Dimtroff is thinking. As a fan and I have been one since the Gritz Blitz days living in DC no less, I have high hopes this year and I want us to have 2 good years in a row, and not settle for 1 here and 1 there.

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
12:28 pm

Nice Greg have “sex with a woman” I believe is your quote…would that be like a woman like you? If you want to debate what I said without getting personal then I’m fine with that. But if you are trying to show some type of clever humor then do a better job. Falcon Fans insulting other Falcon Fans ….yea that makes sense.

Mitch

March 10th, 2009
12:32 pm

I don’t want TD to make any stupid additions. Who would we add? Does Indy and NE do that? No. They build through the draft and add pieces as needed. They don’t add stars, just team players. If a guy gets too big for the team, they let him go. That is what I want here in the ATL. Don’t bring in any idiots. Build long term.
This team showed they can with with what most were saying would win 2 games. They will do the same again.
I hope us Falcon Fans will wise up and start wishing the new guys would do what has failed for so many years just because we want some news.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 10th, 2009
12:34 pm

D. MONEY: Falcons haven’t given us medical updates. We’ll have to get one on Trey when offseason workouts start this month.

BERT: Don’t think Milloy is an option. When a team issues a release and says they are not signing a guy, that usually means good-bye. . . you know, like forever.

WR: Wouldn’t overpay for L.J. But if he can still get up the field and catch the ball, he could be a nice weapon for Ryan. Problem is that they could get Jared Cook or Chase Coffman in the draft for a much cheaper price.

T.C.: Spud Webb at weakside. We know he’s fearless.

BARRY: Welcome back!!! ONE HEARTBEAT BABY!!!

SirReal

March 10th, 2009
12:37 pm

I think its a good move if we look at the big picture here. We definitely need a proven, solid veteran in EACH level of the D. I think the next thing to address is the secondary. I am starting to think twice about the L.J. Smith thing though. Guys, I dont know much about him. Is he really that bad or just too injury-prone? If he is, we don’t need that here.

Greg Smith

March 10th, 2009
12:46 pm

clthurman u are getting personal with your comments about FO and staff. I’m not sure u are a Falcons fan. I’ve followed them since 66 so I’ve seen everything. And I know that the moves they made last year were heads up above what the last group did. You still need to chill.

cutter

March 10th, 2009
12:46 pm

What is your opinion on Atlanta’s 1st round pick or do you think they trade down?

Falcon 8211

March 10th, 2009
12:50 pm

DOL, do you think we might get Rodney Harrison to fill the gap while we groom our future SS.

1eyedJack

March 10th, 2009
12:55 pm

clthurman

I just can’t believe that ANY team in the NFL would allow their fans to dictate what they do. That would be a disaster.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 10th, 2009
12:56 pm

CUTTER: I think you keep that pick. A really good player will fall to you at No. 24.

FALCO 8211: Harrison is a tough hombre. Doesn’t fit the long-term goals. His range has been questionable for a few years now after those severe knee problems.

Cameron

March 10th, 2009
12:57 pm

What are we paying Peterson over the three years? How much guaranteed?

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
12:57 pm

Greg, your comment is WTF? First off I am a Falcon Fan. I have in no way made any personal attack on the FO and staff. I am questioning their plans. And not their sexuality I might add either. So you have been a fan since 66 I respect the hell out of that…I have not for that long because I am not that old. I seem to remember other great starts we have had here and they have not ended well for us. So if I play the doubting Thomas to coin a phrase its because I care enough to not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. And Atlanta has not had a good track record. Fans who care want their teams to succeed, and not say all is well after just ONE SEASON…as a Falcon Fan you should know this. And again Greg…I would enjoy sex with a woman…what are you a parrot….I was in the porn business and ran a strip club as well…I have had more women than that little hand of yours has ever dreamt about…and still do.

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
1:01 pm

Orlando…do the FO and stuff think that highly of Decoud and Fudge to think they are ready right now? Or is a real prospect or 2 been mentioned as wants thru the draft.

Greg Smith

March 10th, 2009
1:15 pm

clthyurman this is different. It is only one season but these people are running an organization the way it should be run. And it is America and you have the right to be wrong. You are bitching about what the have done so far. Last year they made early moves when they needed to. This year there was no one there of need or financially that they needed. Wait until the season starts and criticize. Of all the years I’ve followed the Falcons, this group of people, fron the FO to the coachiong staff, gives me more hope than I’ve ever had for the future of this franchise.

steve'o

March 10th, 2009
1:21 pm

I am not saying that after one season all is well but, I will let the GM and coach build the team because they have the expereince to do so. If they don’t get it right it will be shown on the field and then we as fans can question what the heck they are doing. Until then I will enjoy seeing a team being built for season after season not a one trick pony which is what we are use to. Loven the change!! Keep it up TD!!

fanATicaL

March 10th, 2009
1:24 pm

Bad teams make big splashes.The better the team .Tne smaller the splash.The teams that are consistent year in and year out.Are solid teams from GM/Owner to Physical therapist/towel guy.Everybody needs to do his/her job.If anyone in the league as FALCONFANS.We know what disfunction looks like.Dis Aint It

clthurman

March 10th, 2009
1:27 pm

And I can respect that Greg. I was so excited over the development of our offense last year that I was really hoping we addressed the defense just as well. I agree that no free agents really stood out and am glad we avoided the HAYNESWORTH hype. I do feel Foxworth was a big mistake letting him go. I just don’t see any real help in this years draft that will help us right away…so 2 steps back looks to be a reality no matter how smart our FO and staff are now.

falconsavvy89

March 10th, 2009
1:28 pm

Above all falcon fans the Falcons are signing based on their needs and also who fits into their style of play. I think at the osistion the Falcons are at in the draft, a real qualtiy player could fall at that 24 spot in the 1st round. maybe……. michael johnson….hmmmmmm

Greg Smith

March 10th, 2009
1:29 pm

Nice comment fan. That is exactly what i’m talking about

willie

March 10th, 2009
1:32 pm

Great additions. Over and over, you hear T.D. talk about how he loves players that can play multiple positions. That is clearly something he believes in. These guys both give you that flexibility, which is a great commodity. These are the solid players you need to build a foundation that will be competitive for years to come. Remember, it’s not all about next season with this regime…..they want to be good EVERY season. I’m liking it.

Old School

March 10th, 2009
1:35 pm

I’m on board with the thumbs up crowd. Folks, this is a 50 man team, if you spend all your time concentrating on the big moves, you wind up with no foundation and guys like these are the foundation. Quick – name more than 2 or 3 defensive starters with the Super Bowl Cardinals last year. Most probably can’t – because what’s hopefully happening here in Atlanta is what it takes to build a winner – concentrate on forming a winning team, not a team with as many stars as possible and fill out the roster with whatever is left over that other teams cut.

I point to the Redskins for an example. In the last 16 years they have all of TWO playoff wins and ONE division title (by the way, the Falcons have FIVE playoff wins and TWO division titles in that span). The point is, they always go out and sign the big name. Have an owner that spends lavishly. Builds the largest staduim in the NFL – and for over a decade and a half, has been less successful than Atlanta.

Moral to the story – we don’t need to spend freely, just spend wisely (and carry a big draft board!).

Matt Winkeljohn

March 10th, 2009
1:37 pm

D-Led,

I love the bow tie, but where are your glasses?

Mitch

March 10th, 2009
1:38 pm

I love the moral Old School. “Spend wisely and carry a big draft board”. That’s it.