Are the Falcons ready for Prime Time again?

The NFL is set to release the week-by-week schedule for the 2009 season at 7 p.m. tomorrow

Who's going to bring the popcorn when Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills come to the Georgia Dome in 2009?

Who is going to bring the popcorn when Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills come to the Georgia Dome in 2009?

The Falcons already know their opponents.

Home games include: Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Carolina, Philadelphia, Washington, Buffalo, Miami and Chicago.

Away games include: Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Carolina, Dallas, New York Giants, New England, New York Jets and San Francisco.

The Falcons should get at least one Monday night game and possibly a Sunday night game. The away game at New England with Matt Ryan returning to the Boston area should get prime time consideration.

The Falcons will get a chance to see some of the players who left during free agency. Keith Brooking will get a shot at his old team when the Falcons go to Dallas. Linebacker Michael Boley is now with the New York Giants and will host the Falcons in Giants Stadium.

This offseason’s bad boy, Jay Culter, will lead the Chicago Bears into the Georgia Dome. Miami running back Ronnie Brown of Cartersville will get a chance to play in front of some of his hometown folks.

Cartersville's Ronnie Brown.

Cartersville's Ronnie Brown.

Also, the Falcons organized team activity schedule was released by the league. Each team is permitted to conduct up to 14 organized training sessions as part of their offseason workout programs

The sessions are supposed to be non-contact, but let’s just say that the big guys get “tangled” up from time to time.

The Falcons’ OTAs are sent for May 20-21, May 26-28, June 2-4, June 9-11 and June 16-18.

Wonder if Keith Brooking will be this fired up when the Falcons roll into Dallas?

Wonder if Keith Brooking will be this fired up when the Falcons roll into Dallas?

How many prime time games do you think the Falcons should get? How tough does that road schedule look? Excited about the teams coming to play in the Georgia Dome? How important are the OTA’s to getting ready for training camp?

205 comments Add your comment

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
11:20 am

D-Led, hear any rumors around Flowery Branch about a possible trade for T-Gon for a 2nd round pick?

Poor McKay

April 13th, 2009
12:01 pm

I could see the Falcons-Dolphins game getting some prime time love. Both teams rose from the ashes last season and I could see that serving as the back-drop for a nationally televised game.

Poppa Falcon

April 13th, 2009
12:09 pm

I’d give my right arm to have that Dallas game a prime time game. It would be LOVELY to whip them Cowboys in their NEW crib.

Blake

April 13th, 2009
12:10 pm

I think they SHOULD have two prime time games, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. Schedule looks brutal. My concerns are with the defense. If they are going to pull off back to back winning seasons for the first time, the defense is going to have to be much better (and I’m talking night and day from last season).

Khao$

April 13th, 2009
12:18 pm

Intermural,I saw that rumor on ESPN as well. I wouldn’t make that trade. With all the holes we have on defense, we need to go all out on defense. I think a tight end would make our offense even more explosive. However, our defense looks pitiful right now.

TSD

April 13th, 2009
12:20 pm

I currently live in Houston, TX and I want to go to the Dallas/Atl game. I know it’s getting some serious prime time consideration. I want to go and represent my Falcons.

I have a feeling that the New England, if it doesn’t get prime time consideration, might be involved w/ the flex scheduling, if later in the season. I want to see the Giants/Falcons and Dallas/Falcons on prime time.

terry

April 13th, 2009
12:23 pm

we’ll get a least 3 and possibly 4 (New England, Dallas, Giants and a division game, probably the Panthers

Marcus

April 13th, 2009
12:29 pm

I think one of the CAR games will be primetime (MNF or SNF) and also the DAL game, with an outside shot at being the Thanksgiving Day matchup. I dont see any other compelling storylines.

Optimist

April 13th, 2009
12:31 pm

Falcons Dolphins wont be in prime time because of the strong chance that both teams regress this year…and the small fan bases

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
12:32 pm

I don’t disagree. I’m not gung-ho about that possibility. However, if you’re going to get a TE, that’s a better option in a weak draft for tight ends than taking one. Gonzo is proven, had over 1000 yards receiving last year, and is a good blocker. I think the prudent move would be to resist temptations to trade for it, but I think it would be more likely to provide more immediate benefits to have Gonzo catching balls for Ryan than any defensive pick we can make in the second round (unless we can find another Curtis Lofton at the bottom of the round).

Optimist

April 13th, 2009
12:37 pm

Falcons not as defensively deprived as most suggest. Lewis will be a force, Hutchins is back, and our LB group will round itself out somewhere in the draft. we do need a safety. All this being said, a late second rounder for gonzalez would be a steal IMO. Let’s not forget that these same Gonzo rumors were around last offseason as well.

dacha

April 13th, 2009
12:46 pm

That road schedule looks downright brutal! If we can just win a few of those and defend the dome like we did last year, we should still be in good shape for back-to-back years in the playoffs. That’s right, I said it, BACK-TO-BACK playoff years! BTW, Intramural Team: Where did you come up with that this draft is weak at TE? That’s one of the deepest positions for the ‘09 class! Pettigrew,Cook,Nelson,Coffman,Casey and Morrah just to name of few, buddy. We don’t need Gonzo.

Al Beeski

April 13th, 2009
12:49 pm

hey marcus NO way dallas game on turkey game gets picked, b/c dallas played NFC last year, gonna be an AFC team on thanksgiving

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
12:51 pm

Pettigrew is the only decent blocker in an offense that’s predicated on TEs blocking. Cook is a great talented receiver, not much for blocking. Coffman, Casey, Morah all decent deep round values but none of immediate impact.

Not saying we “need” Gonzo, but if you’re thinking of taking TE in the second round like some mocks have it, then why take it on a tight end when you can trade for something proven?

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
12:53 pm

To finalize, I do think we should be taking defense with those early round picks, but I wouldn’t be floored if we made that trade.

PMC

April 13th, 2009
12:54 pm

I’m not sure Keith Brooking has enough left to make the kind of killer impact Chris Draft did when Mckay dumped him for that bum Hurtwell.

Season Ticket Holder

April 13th, 2009
12:57 pm

Primetime games stink from a Season Ticket Holders point of view..here’s hoping just 1 Primetime game is at home this year.

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
12:57 pm

Why not trade for Gonzalez? Because Gonzalez is 33, not 23. If you were the Chiefs, drafting in 1999, would you rather trade to the 49ers for an aging, past his prime Brent Jones, or pick Tony Gonzalez, and watch him develop and excel for 10 years?

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
12:59 pm

Correction: 1997 draft (man, that guys been in the league for 12 years?)

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
1:09 pm

Once again, don’t disagree. That’s a question for TD and his scouts to figure out.

Comparing the Chiefs situation then with our situation now isn’t very fair because there may not be a player of similar caliber available in this draft. Gonzales may be 33, but he also had over 1000 yards receiving last season. Plus none of this stops you from looking at next year’s crop of tight ends and using a pick there, in which case you have even more depth.

If the Falcons talent evaluators believe that any of the TEs in this draft can reach that level, then I fully support it. They’ve certainly earned the benefit of the doubt and I’m just joe schmoe sitting down watching football on Saturday and Sunday. But if none of these guys really fit the bill of what you’re looking for, it makes some sense to get a proven commodity. That’s all I’m saying.

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
1:13 pm

Man, the more I think about the rumored Gonzalez trade, the more I hate it. This draft is loaded with good, 2nd round defensive talent (one of whom the Falcons might hav to take with their 1st round pick, if they can’t trade down). I just can’t see how it makes sense to trade 4-8 years of Chung/Brace/Moala/Delmas for one or two years of Gonzalez, especially when there are enough TE’s in this year’s draft to push a good enough talent into the 3rd round or later (Casey/Coffman/Cook/Ingram/Morrah/Quinn). A 2nd rounder for Gonzalez would be a “Falcons of old” pick, not characteristic of the new regime.

Preston

April 13th, 2009
1:13 pm

Blake, I don’t quite understand. The Falcons D was quite good last season so I don’t see a need for a “day to night change” for them to have another successful campaign in 09′. Coach Smith was a brilliant choice and he WILL have a good defense on the field.

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
1:17 pm

Note: if the Falcons are leaning “old” at TE, O.J. Santiago is thought to be available.

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
1:18 pm

Now there’s where I agree with you. If you draft a TE anywhere, I would prefer it be in the later rounds where the gamble costs a lot less. Spend the early picks on good defensive prospects. TE is far from a pressing need at this point.

By the way, he was drafted in 1997, but he was the 13th pick in the draft, which is why analogizing to the Chiefs situation at that point isn’t really similar to our present one.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 13th, 2009
1:21 pm

We’ve been checking out the Gonzalez rumors. At the AJC want the parties on the record.

1893 Reporter

April 13th, 2009
1:26 pm

Finally some talk of professional foot-ball in this town. I have searched the google for foot-ball talk and all I find of pictures of girls. And now I find this aJc foot-ball blogpost. Hazzah!

What is this talk about selecting a 33 year old professional foot-baller with our second round pic? That’s utter nonsense. First, the draft is for amateur athletes. Second, I wouldn’t want an amateur that is 33 years old. Nonsense.

Select a large man with good feet to man the middle of the line. The center nose tackle guard. Or the middle center guard as we use to call it.

WHAT?

April 13th, 2009
1:29 pm

Optimist I agree with you. The defense will surprise some folks this year. Our coach built a good one in J-ville and will in ATL also!

Edward

April 13th, 2009
1:37 pm

Schedule looks brutal. NFC South will always be rough, both home and away. Then include the two top division from last year: the NFC East and AFC East. If the Falcons break the streak this year, they would have earned every bit of it.

As far as prime time games, I think they’ll get 1 for definite (vs. Carolina) and a second possible (vs. NE).

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
1:38 pm

96 Receptions, 1058 yards passing, 10 TDs. Definitely amateur numbers.

I’d for sure pull the trigger if the price were a little less (like maybe our late third round pick). The second round pick is probably just a bit too much.

Falcon228

April 13th, 2009
1:38 pm

The Prime Time Games can be a pain and it seems the years we get them they give us not just one but three or four with 3 of them at home. Now that’s a pain. This Gonzalez trade has been hanging around since about a week before last season’s trade deadline. They may pull the trigger to acquire him but they’re not going to give up the goat farm for him. He’s worth, maybe, a 4Th round but I wouldn’t give more than a 5Th. I know he can still play but he’s got mileage.

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
1:39 pm

Yards receiving, pardon me, not passing

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
1:41 pm

1893: welcome. You’ll also be pleased to learn that the game has been revolutionized by the forward pass.

Ryno

April 13th, 2009
1:42 pm

**Sleeper pick for a prime time game**

Anyone think it might be an ATL/New Orleans matchup? The Rookie and Coach of the year vs. The Offensive player of the year.

I love the NO/ATL rivalry and think it’s absolutely worthy of a Sunday or Monday night time slot.

JG

April 13th, 2009
1:43 pm

Strong Offensive and Defensive lines win games.
I would love to have Gonzales, but I am not sold on the 2nd round pick? We have too many future needs. We need A DT, LB and then a Tightend- Jared cook, Shawn Nelson, etc…
Dont forget Safety and Corners. AND a back up or some one to compete for offensive Lineman. Too many needs.. We need to be trading for more picks.. not our Second round pick for One or two years out of a 33 yrd Old Tightend. Remember, The Tennesse Titans thought they were getting more than they got when they picked up Alge Crumpler.
Kansas City looks at his age and is trying to get something for him now..

Edward

April 13th, 2009
1:45 pm

RE; the Gonzalez rumor, remember that last year when this was mentioned, Tony was the one who didn’t want to go to Atlanta. Does anyone think he may have changed his mind about that?

Falcon228

April 13th, 2009
1:46 pm

Oh yeah about the schedule? I heard it’s the 2nd toughest in the league this season.

willie

April 13th, 2009
1:50 pm

If we don’t do the Gonzo deal, I hope they either take Pettigrew (he will be solid without question) or either wait until at least 4th or 5th round to take a TE. Don’t burn a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a 1-dimensional TE. The “experts” seem to think Pettigrew is the only complete TE in the draft. Don’t be a bit surprised if they grab him, regardless of the defensive holes. He ran a 4.8 which is very similar to Crumpler ran and probably close to what Gonzo, Witten and Gates run these days. TE’s don’t have to be burners.

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
1:55 pm

Willie you’re right on the money.

Larry

April 13th, 2009
2:08 pm

My preference? None! Why would any employed or sain individual want to return home from a football game bwteen 12:00-1:00 AM on a Monday or Tuesday morning? Plus, how fair is this to the kids sho must go to school?

This is selfish and selfserving!

JG

April 13th, 2009
2:08 pm

willie,
I agree with that.. Take Pettigrew.
2nd, 3rd and 4th round OLB,Dline,and Safety (not in any paticular order.)
5th Rounds Defensive backs or O Line help..

Josh M

April 13th, 2009
2:10 pm

The NFL already announced the Thanksgiving matchups – it ain’t Atlanta.

WR

April 13th, 2009
2:18 pm

Finally someone that understands tight-ends, Willie I have been on this blog for weeks arguing the same point, even with D-Led, tight-ends do not have to be burners. Pettigrew is 6′5 with a long wing-span which he uses to be a very effective blocker and receiver, if he’s there at 24, as Mike Mayock said on the NFL network, the Falcons should run to the podium. As far as the Gonzo deal, not only does he have only a couple of years left but he’s a tight-end thats use to getting the ball often, which he most likely wouldn’t with the falcons, any fan of the NFL who has paid attention to receivers whether WR or TE that are use to getting alot of balls thrown in their direction and all of a sudden they don’t, they become disruptive and thats the last thing a second year quarterback or the falcons need.

Terrell

April 13th, 2009
2:25 pm

I hope there are 3 or 4 primetime games. How is it fair that my job has placed me in Detroit and the only time I can get to see a game is if I go to a bar, and then it’s not even in sound because it’s not the main game in the region. Also, I am church on Sunday mornings and when I do get out I miss the 1st half of the game. It would be nice to have a few prime time games. I would prefer them to be at home because I get to see my fellow Falcon fans supporting the team!

Terrell

April 13th, 2009
2:32 pm

WR, if what you are saying is true in regards to Gonzo not getting the ball much in this offense if we trade for him, then why should we spend a first round pick on a TE that’s is going to be used mostly for blocking? This would be worst than us trading up to get Reggie Kelly, a blocking TE in the 2nd round because now we would be using a 1st round pick to accomplish the same purpose.

If we are going to just use the TE to block and get the occassional pass then we should pass on Pettigrew and used that 2nd round pick to get a veteran TE who is very productive. We know what Gonzo brings to the table, but we can only speculate what Pettigrew may bring.

chc4

April 13th, 2009
2:34 pm

Gonzo for a #2 is a bad deal… I really hope we don’t do that. That’s an awfully high pick to give up for an old TE (even if he is still very good). Our D has too many holes to fill.

WR

April 13th, 2009
2:42 pm

Terrell, we need a combination tight-end, when I said Gonzo want get the ball as much I am referring to the 80 to 90 receptions he averages each year. Kansas City had to use him in that manner he was pretty much there only option, I see Pettigrew as being more of the Jason Witten, Todd Heap, old school Brent Jones, Novacek, type tight end, excellent blockers, who can keep the defense honest and serve as security blankets for the QB.

Intramural Team Is Aggressive

April 13th, 2009
2:44 pm

I’d take the Chiefs 4th round pick (#2 in the round) + Gonzo for the second round pick.

KC in Smyrna

April 13th, 2009
2:53 pm

I like that trade I.T.I.A.
Chiefs – Falcons 2nd round
Falcons – Gonzo and Chief’s 4th round.

Great trade for the birds, but I wouldn’t accept that if I ran the Chiefs.

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
3:05 pm

Still don’t like it. If Gonzalez was floating out there on the FA market and would work for cheap, then yes, but trading opportunities for good future players in return for, in NFL terms, an old player is a bad move. The Falcons would get a year or MAYBE two out of Gonzalez, making 50-60 catches in an offense that doesn’t throw to the TE much, whereas they could get adequate production out of a 3rd round pick for at least four years in Casey, Coffman, et al. The thing the Falcons need at the TE spot that would help their overall offensive performance (already top 10 in the league last year) is a player who can provide matchup problems for defenses coming off the end of the line. Gonzalez definitely presents matchup problems… 2004. But not now. Man, I’m hoping this story fades away quietly.

Reno 911

April 13th, 2009
3:08 pm

“…in 2004″ I meant to say. Trading future contributors 9which 2nd rounders almost always are) for has-been all stars is bad policy. For those who love the idea, I suggest checking out the Redskins. They’ve been torturing their fans with just those kinds of moves for years.