Abe’s absence will help young D-linemen

John Abraham shaking owner Arthur Blank's hand at mini-camp. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

John Abraham shaking owner Arthur Blank's hand at the recent mini-camp. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

BACK TO OTA TOWN — The Falcons returned to Organized Team Activities on Tuesday.

The rain pushed them inside, according to a tweet from their Web site writer J. Michael Moore. (The “media” isn’t allowed at all of the practices.)

We’ll have to update everyone tomorrow if defensive end John Abraham, tight end Tony Gonzalez and cornerback Chris Owens are participating.

Gonzalez is expected to do some of the workouts. Owens has to wait until his class graduates from San Jose State.

Abraham is likely just doing his offseason core maintenance program. He’s found a workout plan that works for him and is sticking to it. He knows what he’s doing by now and problem doesn’t really need the OTA activities.

Also, with Abe missing OTAs action, the Falcons can give more snaps to Jamaal Anderson, Kroy Biermann, Chauncey Davis and fourth-round draft pick Lawrence Sidbury.

“John is one of the smartest guys in the league,” defensive line coach Ray Hamilton said. “We are just going to hold John. We drafted a guy in the fourth round. We just want to look at some of these young guys.”

Hamilton is pleased with the offseason work of defensive tackle Jonthan Babineaux.

“We have to be sudden with all of our moves and Babineaux is one of the quickest guys in the league,” Hamilton said. “He has very quick feet and hands. He’s started to get more violent also. I hate to say violent and good in the same tense, but he has a pretty good violent side. That’s a big part of being a defensive lineman.”

Hamilton is stressing versatility.

“We coach guys on every position,” Hamilton said. “They have to know all of the positions. We do drills were they have to know what the end does, what the tackle does, As a defensive lineman, besides being violent, quick, nasty and all of that stuff, how smart you are the better off you are going to be.”

Also, first-round pick Peria Jerry was not practicing with the team last week after suffering a mild knee sprain in mini-camp. Hamilton can’t want to get him on the field.

“We saw an aggressive player,” Hamilton said. “A quick and disruptive player. In our scheme, that’s how we play. That’s what we need. . . . We saw a good combination of run (stopper) and a good pass rusher. We saw all of that in him. We were very happy that he was there when we got our chance to pick.”

IN THE COMMUNITY . . .

Ryan pumping some offseason iron. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Ryan pumping some offseason iron. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

LEARN HOW TO THROW LIKE MATTY ICE: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is holding a young football clinic on Saturday, June 6 at Centennial High School in Roswell.

He’s bringing along guard Justin Blalock and tackle Sam Baker for the event which is sponsored by Topps.

The non-contact clinic is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 14 and will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

There is a $99 cost. Additional information and registration is available online or call 513-793-CAMP.

BLANK FAMILY OF BUSINESSES AND PARK PRIDE TEAM UP: Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Mayor Shirley Franklin will attend the grand opening ceremony for Vine City Park on Friday.

More than 100 volunteers from the Blank Family of Businesses and Park Pride will move to three area parks for a day of community service. Throughout the morning, the volunteers will provide a helping hand to revitalize and beautify nearby Vine City Park, Washington Park and Cleopas Johnson Park.

Among the volunteers, Falcons head coach Mike Smith and president Rich McKay will lead their team in renovations to Cleopas Johnson Park (Fair St. and Northside Dr.), and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff will work at at Washington Park (Ollie St. at Lena St. NW). The renovation projects at all three parks will begin at 9:15 a.m. and end at approximately 12:30 p.m.

So let’s get back to some Falcons football. Is Babineaux ready to turn in a monster year? Happy that Abe is working on his core in the offseason? How about the Sidbury kid, is it a good thing that he’s getting extra reps? Worried about Jerry’s injury?

220 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

May 26th, 2009
9:02 pm

HA – no one can come on and post that stupid “first” comment!! Please childish ones stop doing that.

Sarah B

May 26th, 2009
9:07 pm

welcome to the Bird Cage folks!

The Grinch

May 26th, 2009
9:19 pm

I’m glad to see the young guys getting extra reps. Abe doesn’t need them, and considering his injury history prior to last season he needs to repeat whatever program he did to keep him healthy the whole time. I don’t know Jerry well enough yet to be worried about him, but the quicker he learns the scheme the quicker he can start. We need all the help we can get on D.

jason

May 26th, 2009
9:22 pm

Good read DOL. The absence of Abe is going to pay huge dividends on Sidbury and Biermann. More one on one instruction, and with the first unit. If there is one at moment. Get a great education on fundamentals and techniques.

jason

May 26th, 2009
9:36 pm

JJ

May 26th, 2009
6:54 pm
The Atlanta Falcons are the final stop in our series of team-by-team mailbags.

LR in Warner Robins, Ga., writes: Who you think will be the Atlanta Falcons starting Strong Safety, DeCoud or Moore?

Pat Yasinskas: Too early to tell right now. This is going to be one of the more interesting battles in training camp. In the recent minicamp, Thomas DeCoud worked with the first team and William Moore with the second. But it’s common to open minicamp with the guy who’s been around ahead of the rookie. The Falcons used a second-round pick on Moore and that means they think he can probably start. But that’s not a given. DeCoud can win this job if he has the better preseason.

——————————————————————————–

Steve in New Haven, Conn., writes: hey Pat, love the blog, while you were at camp, did you take a look at the CB’s? It seems Houston is going to be our RCB, but at LCB we have an open competition. Who do you think will be the other starter? Grimes, Hutchins, Jackson, Owens? I’d like to see Jackson starting, Owens in the nickel, and Grimes or Hutchins fightin for the 4th CB spot. Anyways, how do you think it’ll play out??? Thnks

Pat Yasinskas: I think the Falcons definitely view the cornerback spot opposite Chris Houston as an open competition. In this case, I think that’s a healthy thing. They’re going to throw Brent Grimes, Von Hutchins, Chevis Jackson and Chris Owens out there and see who rises up. They’re high on Jackson after what he flashed as a rookie and they see Owens as a guy who can be a starter at some point. If Jackson and Owens have solid preseasons, they could join Houston in the trio of top cornerbacks.

——————————————————————————–

Niklas in Aarhus, Denmark, writes: Hey Pat! Who do you see as next year’s breakout candidates on the Falcons squad, and why?

Pat Yasinskas: I’ll go with linebacker Stephen Nicholas. I think his skills fit what coach Mike Smith wants from the strong side and Nicholas has had time to develop. I know the Falcons lost Keith Brooking and Michael Boley after last season, but I think the linebacker corps can be better than it was a year ago.

——————————————————————————–

Ben in Macon, Ga., writes: How long do you give the rest of the NFC South fans before they start REALLY hating the Falcons? All this national media attention, combined with media darling Matt Ryan, has to be grating on them. Am I right?

Pat Yasinskas: Wow, I’ll leave that one up to the NFC South fans to decide. But there’s no question the Falcons are becoming somewhat of the media darling of the division and Ryan is at the center of it all. Kind of amazing how much more respect the Falcons are getting than they did this time a year ago. They earned that respect with last season. But now they’ve got to keep that respect by playing well.

——————————————————————————–

Dash in Nashville writes: Do you think there’s any chance the Falcons can get any team to trade for Mike Vick? Even if it’s a 7th rounder for next year?

Pat Yasinskas: Doubt it. I just don’t see teams willing to give up a pick for a guy who’s going to be cut anyway. If Thomas Dimitroff somehow gets anything for Vick, he’s even more of a genius than I already think he is.

——————————————————————————–

DBell in Rome, Ga., Writes: With Tony Gonzales giving the Falcons a serious TE threat, how will Ovie Mughelli’s role at FB be affected? The Falcons paid him more than any other FB ever, and I feel he’s been under-used. Do you think he’ll now see less time with the Falcons likely to use more two-TE sets?

Pat Yasinskas: Don’t sell Mughelli short. The guy played a huge role as a blocker for Michael Turner last season. Yeah, he doesn’t get to catch or run the ball very often, but his role as a blocker is an important part of Atlanta’s offense. Yes, you’ll see some sets where the Falcons use two tight ends and have Mughelli on the sidelines. But I think he’ll be on the field for a lot of running plays and to help protect Ryan on passing downs.

jason

May 26th, 2009
9:39 pm

jason Your comment is awaiting moderation.

May 26th, 2009
9:15 pm
JJ, excellent article. Mow take those questions and give your own opinion on them.

DeCoud or Moore. I think Moore, because DeCoud can play both safety positions. He will be an important back up who will see the field alot.

Who do you think will be the other starter? Grimes, Hutchins, Jackson, Owens? I’d like to see Owens starting. When you have a man of TD’s stature observing and watching for at least 2 years, that says alot. However, being realistic I see Hutchins. He was starter at Houston, and would have been in ATL if not for injury. I do see Owens taking over at some point this season.

Who do you see as next year’s breakout candidates on the Falcons squad, and why? Hard Question. I am going to go both offense and defense. On offense, I see Norwood. I know easy pick. Not really when you consider he is backing up Pro Bowler Turner. I see Norwood topping 1000 in total yardage. KOs, Receiving, and rushing. He will spell Turner even more this year and with that garner more touches.
On defense, I have to agree on Nicolas. He has the size/speed that ATL craves for their LBs. Now he might not be on the field early on for passing downs, but you won’t be able to get him off the field once he starts producing and building confidence. He might end up being ATL’s best overall LB pass rusher.

How long do you give the rest of the NFC South fans before they start REALLY hating the Falcons? This question is a non issue. As we all know ATL gets no respect, and no LOVE from anyone except the die hard fans that bleed RED-n-BLACK. We are making some noise. But until first we have the back to back winning seasons, and we become a perennial play off contender… Then we will have arrived. We will have garnered that respect.

Do you think there’s any chance the Falcons can get any team to trade for Mike Vick? I am holding out hope that ATL can get a mid round pick at best. I know this may sound cruel, but if I have Ryan entrenched as my starter; I let MV sit the bench all season if it takes. I would not give in and let him walk without anything in return. What about the possibility that he will become a cancer to the locker room. Well put him of the roster and don’t even let him show up. He’s under Atlanta’s contract, they should be able to do as they seem fit.

With Tony Gonzales giving the Falcons a serious TE threat, how will Ovie Mughelli’s role at FB be affected? Ovie Mughelli is an important part of the process that ATL likes to do on offense. He goes unnoticed, because he doesn’t carry the ball or catch passes. Smitty and co. know how important a member to the team he is. Yes the will run different formations and such, but the bread and butter of this team is still power football with a lead blocker.

That’s all I have for now…

BigSkee

May 26th, 2009
9:46 pm

Im excited to see the young guys getting reps. We need these guys to boost our pass rush off the edge. Im intrigued about our D this season, but I honestly dont forsee us being any worse than last year. With some support for Abe with Babs And Mr Jerry, our D-Line is gonna be a very solid unit. Hip Hip Hooray, if I may say so

D3

May 26th, 2009
9:52 pm

Great Evening Bird-Cage Bro’s & Sis’s! Had to take a little bit of a break from the computer over the holiday weekend. Back and ready to go with some meat and potatoes, actual football talk which we love. Glad to wash our hands of the other topic. So pumped to be back in the ‘Cage. To Falcons & Football……..

DOL – back in your “sweet spot” as they like to say in baseball. This is what gets us football junkies here in the ‘Cage frothing at the mouth. We understand that right now is the deadest of dead times for NFL and Falcons Football and we appreciate the nuggets when we can get them. Thanks for a job well done! Can you shed some light on the deal with Chris Owens? Why would he have to wait to graduate when there are so many juniors declaring who obviously don’t have that problem.

Abe – if TD, Smitty, & Co. are comfortable with Abraham no participating in these OTA’s than I’m in full support of it. The guy just came off a 16.5 sack year, one of his best of the year, d@— near Pro-Bowl worthy, IMO. As long as he shows up in shape mentally and physically and ready to go, than I don’t see the harm in it. I look for Abe to get a lot of help this year not only with our new look DT Rotation, but also with Biermann, El Sid, and C.Davis(assuming JA starts at RDE). Remember, we need to preserve his longevity as much as possible because we got him for another 3 years. I think his heart is in the right place.

Three Missing? – if there are only three players missing from OTA’s , and two of them are Pro-Bowl vets, and the other legally can’t attend than I see that everyone is buying into this team and know what they have.

Babs & Sugar Bear – Absolutely LOVE to hear that Babineaux is stepping up as a true leader of our defense. We only have a chance at any championships if guys like Babs, Coleman, & Peterson step up to mentor these young guys. Great to hear Sugar Bear talk about “violent and nasty”, because that’s what championship defenses are all about: hit first, hit hardest, hit longest. Also great to hear about the versatility training that Smitty has preached since day 1. Expect all kinds of crazy formations this year such as 3-4, 3-5-3, and maybe even a 1-5-5 nickel. Great news.

P.Jerry – can’t wait to get him on the field. A tad worried about durability, but the guy is tough and a man-child on the field. It will be very interesting watching that Peria Jerry vs Trey Lewis battle this pre-season. We shouldn’t assume that Jerry will start just b/c he was a first rounder, but he definitely has the inside track.

Community – many people love to criticize Blank and his management style, etc. but no one can ever argue the work he almost demands of his players and of himself to committ to service to the betterment of the City of Atlanta. Goes right in line with that character attitude that we’re drafting for. One reason I KNEW Vontae Davis would not be wearing Red & Black on draft day. I know all NFL teams do it, but it truly is great to see Blank and the Falcons participating in Community Service.

Great to be back in the ‘Cage. A menu of Roster-Spot Analysis’ and Weekly Opponent Breakdowns (the Hated Patriots this week) coming for the Bird-Cage faithful. And on that note………..

66 DAYS AND COUNTING TO 2009 ATLANTA FALCONS TRAINING CAMP!!!!!

D3

May 26th, 2009
10:03 pm

Bird-Cage Faithful – how’s the following schedule look for this week to supplement DOL’s discussions. Honestly, I don’t know if I have the will-power to continue the division/team predictions. What do you guys think?

Weekly Menu

Wednesday
Game #3 Analysis: Falcons Defense vs. Patriots Offense
Roster Spot Analysis RB#3

Thursday
Falcons Offense vs Patriots Defense
Roster Spot Analysis TE#1

Friday
Falcons vs Patriots game details and Final predictions
Roster Spot Analysis TE#2

Sat/Sun
Weekend Mash-up (various stories from around the NFL)
Roster Spot Analysis TE#3

WR

May 26th, 2009
10:09 pm

D-Led, nice piece, all is forgiven once we here some real Falcon talk. Not overly concerned with Abe missing camp, very intrigued by the fact that Babs is showing more nastiness and violence, if he’s any better than last year the line will already be improved. You gotta figure the only piece of the D-line that was lost is Big old Grady and he’s being replaced with youth and speed sounds like an improvement to me already.

D-Led, when you get a chance could you get some feedback on how Jamaal Andersen is looking this offseason, I expect the light bulb to turn on this year and if it does as I imagine, this line could easily move into the top spot in the NFC south and probably be one of the tops in the NFL.

Finally, the cage is reopened for business, D-Led you the man, well as long as you are talking current football and current football players,LOL (j/k or maybe not)

jason

May 26th, 2009
10:44 pm

Roster Spot Analysis RB#3: This is going to be a battle. Snelling vs. Brown vs. Haynes. Snelling showed some potential, and versatility last year. Could wind up a starter later in his career with more experience. He has nice size along with good speed for his size. He catches decently out of the backfield. He is versital to play RB, and FB. He also was reliable on STs. The knock on Snelling is he seems tneetive to hit the hole with a burst. I don’t know if it is vision or hesitation. Although he is going into his third year.
Thomas Brown a local from the UGA is trying to bounce back from a knee injury to claim the third RB spot. Always know as a hard worker. Has considering how small he is. AT UGA he was pound for pound the strongest player on the team, squatting over 400 lbs. on his 185-190lb. frame. Excellent reciever out of the back field. Is not afraid to run inside between the tackles. Is fearless, sometimes to a fault considering questions about his durability. Brown’s best chance to claim this spot is the versatility he brings to the team. Along with being a third down specialist, he can also return kicks.
Verron Haynes, the elder statesman brought in to provide a veteran pressance to the backfield. He can do a little bit of everything at a pro level. While not a superstar, he is a true “Blue Collar” worker. Another player who can play both RB and FB. The chances of Haynes making the team are not good unless Snelling really blows his oppurtunity.
After looking at the competiters for the third RB spot, I have to say that this will be a close and hottly contested battle between Brown and Snelling. This will probably be one of the last positions settled before ATL breaks camp. I have to give the edge to Thomas Brown. The reasons are speed and versatility. By that Brown has the ability to make a team impact on STs. If ATL decides they need to carry a fourth, then Snelling will make the team as a back up to Mughelli.

D3

May 26th, 2009
11:24 pm

j-man – love your enthusiasm brother. Had to take a break, but I’m ready to go now. Do you think we should continue our division/team analysis? I think I bit off a little more than I could chew with that one. Do you think that between OTA’s/Roster Spot Analysis/Weekly Opponents/NFL News that we’ll have enough juice to keep us rolling through the summer drought season?

Sarah B – how was the memorial day weekend? Any Sol’s or Bud Lts? I put a mean burger on the grill from the Messiah of Grilling Bobby Flay. I’ll share it soon.

WR – what’s up my brother? Had to follow suit with you on taking a little bit of a break. I think the blog monster/House CEO & CFO(my little buddy) needed some serious fam time. Plus the whole last blog just wasn’t that appealing. But DLed delivers us some great juicy bits to stew on for awhile. Without question could be THE best D-Lines in the NFC South. Panthers: shell of their former self. TB: please. New O: maybe improved w/ healthy Sedrick Ellis, but my UGA boy Charles Grant is somehow involved in a messy murder case down in South Georgia(at least I think so). Great to be back! Have you tried the New Belgium Fat Tire yet? They only sell them in douce-douce’s for now, but WOW one of best brews EVER!!!!

jason

May 26th, 2009
11:33 pm

D3, It’s your show. I know what you mean about the family. Here’s an idea. Let’s just continue on with the Atlanta roster, and look at their opponets. If there is something of interest as far as other NFL teams and players; just thow it out there and we will talk about it.
I’m like alot of people in that I am a Falcon/ Geaogia sports teams homer. I would rather talk about ATL, UGA and my syrupmakers over anything else. I am still looking for that perfect DAWG blog, similar to this one.

[...] Falcons | ajc.com – [...]

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 27th, 2009
12:13 am

Hello all in the Bird Cage! Up watching hoops. Bad night for my Cavs. Have to admit that I spent part of the Memorial Day weekend watching the Food Network. That Bobby Flay kid does some nice stuff on his “Grill It” show. Dude loves putting bleu cheese on everything. Did a little grilling, but I’ve got a ways to go to get into Bobby Flay territory.

D3: NCAA rule on Owens. It’s about the only time Quarters vs. Semesters comes into plays. Can’t tell when they graduate: http://info.sjsu.edu/home/schedules.html
He needs to get all of the work he can if he’s going to win the starting cornerback spot.

WR: Thanks. Had to get that out of the way and bring us closer to blog closer on former players. May just ignore the release/trade and let Bradley and Schultz have at it. Jamaal keeps getting good reviews on and off the record from coaches. So he doing his job without racking up stats is the best way to explain it. It’s just common sense the he should stumble into or say, five or six sacks, with Abraham chasing from the other side.

Good night. Have to get ready for OTA’s tomorrow.

WR

May 27th, 2009
12:32 am

D-Led thanks for the update, good luck at OTAs tomorrow or should I say later today. As far as the Cavs, at least its been a good series, this is the first NBA playoff in a while that has had a really good final four. With the Hawks long gone I find myself pulling for the underdogs because its the popular opinion to want to see a Lebron,Kobe final, I say if their teams earn it I’m all for it, if not let the best teams play.

D3, ya had to get away for awhile needed the fresh air and serenity of the beach more so than the sun. Its just something so relaxing and calming listening to the ocean as you drift off to sleep. Hopefully with D-Led back at OTAs we can get things cranked up again, seems like a quiet night tonight, maybe tomorrow the birdcage can get back to full bloom. Later cage

Loyal Falcons Fan Since 1966

May 27th, 2009
1:03 am

[ This comment is awaiting moderation. ]

Manny

May 27th, 2009
1:38 am

Ledbetter, what’s the word on Trey Lewis? 2 years ago he was playing so well as a rookie for the Falcons that they let go of Grady then came the knee injury.

I still think Trey has a chance to be special.

JJ

May 27th, 2009
6:00 am

What a beautifull morning! As I sip on my coffee, trying to wake up, I fire up the computer to check out my fellow fanaticals and…..we have a new blog!!!

D3: I agree on cutting back to our boys and our opponents.

Jason: Your summary and conclusion are right on with rb#3, but I just can’t see losing Snelling. Brown gets the edge for ST;s, but I still like both! How sound is the knee? It’s going to be a fierce battle on the field and on this blog! lol

Off to work early, will check back this afternoon…ps…someone tell purdue he can quit praying!!!!!(for h2o)

Big Ray

May 27th, 2009
8:14 am

Skipped the last blog for what should be obvious reasons.

I sure hope Peria Jerry can get healthy and stay that way. This makes two good young defensive linemen, two years in a row, with health problems. We need both of them up and running. Especially with our top defensive lineman already ailing!

I’m excited about Sidbury and Moore, and hope that Owens can get into the thick of things, despite getting behind, due to school stuff.

Unca' Bob

May 27th, 2009
8:40 am

D3,

Division/team predictions: First. We all want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into this blog to date. On a personal level, I feel your time would be better spent chasin’ your “Critter” around the house( future HOF’er ). Let’s simply show it the backdoor and carry on.

jason

May 27th, 2009
8:47 am

JJ, you are right on about Snelling. I think they try and keep both if they can.

jason

May 27th, 2009
8:52 am

Tra Battle has been released by the Cowboys. Might he be a signing to bolster the competition at DB? He was listed as a CB, but played safety at UGA.

Unca' Bob

May 27th, 2009
9:26 am

Dallas is extremely deep at safety after the draft, and at 5′11/173 Battle wasn’t a realistic option on defense. He may resurface as special teams help.

jason

May 27th, 2009
9:29 am

backfields in the NFL Story Highlights
San Diego ranks No. 1 with Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson
Deep stable of running backs help Dallas Cowboys crack the top three
Recent injuries, unmet expectations to blame for bottom two backfields

By John Mullin, Special to SI.com

San Diego QB Philip Rivers and RB LaDainian Tomlinson lead the NFL’s top backfield.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
General managers, coaches and fantasy footballers rank 1-2-3 (though not necessarily in that order) as talent evaluators for quarterbacks and running backs. And they need to be good at it because jobs and bragging rights are at stake when it comes to those positions.

In an effort to help all three groups with their evaluations, we’ve ranked the NFL’s quarterback-running back pairings. Notably, two of the top nine QB-RB packages play in the NFC North (And here’s a hint: Neither employs Brett Favre or plays indoors.)

Some notes on the measurements used:

• If a team’s backup is an active ingredient in the mix or is arguably good enough to start for a number of other teams, that backup factored into the rating. This was not the case for every team.

• Since few teams use a true fullback in their schemes, we didn’t fold that position into the backfield lineups.

• Rookies are difficult to rank, for obvious reasons, and quarterbacks particularly so. But we viewed some (Matt Stafford in Detroit, Mark Sanchez in New York) as positives because they likely can’t be worse than what they’re replacing.

• Additions and subtractions via free agency and the draft affected some backfields more than others, even if those additions or subtractions weren’t quarterbacks or running backs. Changes at various positions, even on defense, have clear trickle-down potential for quarterbacks and running backs.

• Rankings are based on more than skills and numbers alone. Joe Montana, for example, may not have been the NFL’s top passer in his prime, but he was arguably its best quarterback.

With that in mind, here’s how the 32 NFL backfields rank:

jason

May 27th, 2009
9:30 am

7. Atlanta Falcons
Who: QB Matt Ryan; RB Michael Turner

Add/subtract: Trading for TE Tony Gonzalez gives Ryan a new, experienced toy.

Questionable: The Falcons went 11-5 and to the playoffs with a rookie QB and LT. How much better can they be if Ryan and Sam Baker avoid any sophomore jinx?

The Thought: This team thought it was so solid on offense that it spent its first five draft picks — and seven of eight — on defense

jason

May 27th, 2009
9:32 am

Apparently, he doesn’t know how good Norwood is.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 27th, 2009
9:33 am

Morning, all! Is this where I spas about Ms. Abraham missing workouts? He has his own “offseason core maintenace program”? Give me a freakin’ brick… You mean to tell me every swinging so-and-so made the activity except Abraham; and you fellows are cool with that? I can take Owens absence (league rules); I’ll even take Gonzo’s absence (I just moved into a house less than two months ago and I’m still unpacking; I can only imagine the stress on a move from Kansas City to Atlanta, with a family). But Ms. Abraham? No! I’m not going to prentend that he earned the right of non-participation because of 16.5 sacks. He gets to do his own thing because “he knows what he’s doing” on the field. Well, so does White and Turner, who made it to the Pro-Bowl; but, they participated. And why can’t anyone answer my question, that I’ve been asking for weeks. Why YOU don’t think Abraham made it to the Pro-Bowl last year, with 16.5 sacks?

I got a position for Abe to play. What about left-out?

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 27th, 2009
9:34 am

Y’all been waiting for that, heh WR?

jason

May 27th, 2009
9:36 am

Unca’ Bob, Just a thought to bring in some more competition. He waould be a ST warrior. He has blazing speed, but is a tad undersized.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 27th, 2009
9:52 am

D3, What’s up, buddy? I don’t want to be the one to say “I told You so”; but, “I told you so”. I applaud your efforts, brother, but that has got to be a lot of work to keep up with (division by division analysis). My little linebacker is pulling my leg right now, trying to grab my attention (I thought the Wonder Pets would do the trick). So, I know you’ve got a handful with your little wide receiver over there.
Still, I think analyzing our weekly opponents will lead us right into training camp.

I have another idea for you. I’ve noticed a number of us have started pasting writings/works from other websites. If we start copying and pasting the reviews, stats, write-ups, blogs, updates, articles and all the web-media that pertain to the Birds, we’ll have enough disscusion in our off time. That’ll also elimate the need for us to have five and six windows open for every article on the Falcons. If anyone of you are as a Falcon novice as I am, then you currently have a window open for AJC.com, AtlantaFalcons.com, ESPN.com, YahooSports!, CBSSports, National Football Post, NFL.com, etc., etc. If we all take what we read and paste it into our little blog here, we can all come here and catch up on all the news. Good work, JJ, jason and Unca’ Bob!

Unca' Bob

May 27th, 2009
10:01 am

This is a piece of a post by Pat Yasinskas, ESPN, NFC South. Good read but was too long to post here. That could be, in part, of the blog monster problem. Volumn.

But, remember, this is a run-first offense. The Falcons attempted 560 rushes last year — most of them with the bruising, yet explosive Michael Turner. But do not discount what Jerious Norwood brings to the table. Turner logged a ton of carries last season, and the Falcons should give Norwood more touches for the betterment of all. Turner can pound defenses into submission and both runners are a big play waiting to happen. This excellent run game also forces extra defenders into the box and enhances the chances of excellent coverage matchups for Ryan to exploit.

Ken Strickland

May 27th, 2009
10:20 am

ORLANDO LEDBETTER-thanks for putting us Falcon fans back on track. If PJerry(6′2″ 299lbs) and JBabineaux(6′2″ 284lbs) are our starting DT’s, along with DE’s JAbraham(6′4″ 263lbs) & JAnderson(6′6″ 282lbs), we’ll have one of the smallest DL’s in the NFL, if not the smallest. However, we’ll also have one of the quickest, fastest and potentially most disruptive DL’s in the NFL as well.

I see where Las Vegas oddsmakers have us winning no more than 8 gms this ys, WOW. Aren’t these the same so calledexpert oddsmakers that caused so many to lose so much betting against the Falcons last yr with their predictions of us winning no more than 3-4gms? And now these clowns want everyone to believe that the 0-16 Lions have acquired enough talent, through the draft and FA’s, to fill most of their OFF/DEF weakness? They also expect us to believe that a playoff team that finished 11-5, and has definitely acquired enough talent though the draft and FA to fix its OFF/DEF weaknesses, will win only 8 gms. They’re saying their’s suddenly only a 3gm difference between the 0-16 Lions and the 11-5 Falcons. ANYONE STUPID ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THESE LAS VEGAS ODDSMAKERS SHOULD CONSIDER THIS: LAS VEGAS ODDS MAKERS DON’T MAKE MONEY WHEN YOU WIN, ONLY WHEN YOU LOSE.

Unca' Bob

May 27th, 2009
10:22 am

Strig,

I just bounced back from one of those “open windows” you were talking about. Good to hear from you again. It’s my understanding OTA’s are mostly spent classroom style, study playbook stuff. Very little time is spent with on field issues, run thru what you just read stuff. I feel Abe is on the same page as his teamates, and on most snaps, he pins his ears back and tries to get inside the backfield. If Coach Smith & Co. are comfortable with his progress, so am I.

jason

May 27th, 2009
10:26 am

Ken Strickland, That’s why I think Lewis starts over Jerry; at least at the beginning of the season. We have to have some beef inside. What id Babs back up is Jerry, and Lewis’s is Walker? That way you will have size and speed on the field at all times.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 27th, 2009
10:45 am

Unca’ Bob, I can understand why everyone is considering the irrelevance of attending OTAs. When Abe missed mini-camp, everyone defended is physicallity. Everyone suggested that he didn’t participate because of the risk of injury. So, are we now suggesting that he may get hurt in the classroom? He may fall asleep and slam his head on the desktop; that may cause a concusion.

All I’m asking, people, is that Abe show a little leadership and show up. Why single yourself out by conducting your own “maintenance program”. For years, Jerry Rice conducting his own workout program but he still participated in team functions. Allowing Absent-Abe to miss activities because “he knows what he’s doing” is kind of downgraging the efforts of the other veterans and players that contributed to our unbelievable season. Also, shouldn’t Abe be concerned about the emergence of Biermann and the arrival of Sidbury? He’s opening pandora’s box for himself by allowing someone else, younger and faster, to assume his position. If Sidbury or Biermann demonstrates the ability to rush, especially with the prosperity of Anderson, then Abe’s future can be in jeapordy. I don’t care how many sacks he had last year.

Can anyone explain to me why Absent-Abe did not make the Pro-Bowl with 16.5 sacks? I’ll wait…

WR

May 27th, 2009
11:37 am

Stirg, Abe didn’t make the Pro-bowl for the opposite reason that people think Jamaal Andersen is a bust. DE need to affect the game more than just from a sack point of view. Because Abe was not an everydown player some voters felt that his stats were overrated because he only had to concentrate on getting sacks not on being a complete disruptive force. Jamaal on the other hand is considered a bust because he doesn’t have any sacks to make his run support and overall play of holding up at the point of attack stand out. If you notice Abe was an all-pro which is voted on differently than the pro-bowl. Pro-bowl voting is a combination of fans,coaches and players. For a better understanding imagine if Lawrence Taylor only had to concentrate on getting sacks, he probably would have easily had 5 a game and he would hold the all-time sack record. But LT was a beast in all aspects of the game, whether that was chasing down QBs for sacks, tackling running backs in the backfield or dropping into coverage, he was the total package. The Falcons want Abe more as a sack specialist at this point in his career and considering his injury history, thats why you saw them sub so much for him last year and they will do the same for him this year. If Sidbury turns out to be the player he was drafted to be he will eventually step in as Abe’s replacement, but that may still be a couple of years away.

Falcon Devil

May 27th, 2009
11:46 am

Stirg – No problem exlaining it. It’s a popularity contest. Do you remember in 6th grade who got class president? It wasnt the qualified nerd, it was the popular kid who people all knew and liked. Julius Peppers made the pro-bowl. He had 14.5 sacks. Try sticking up for his leadership value!! He is demanding a trade and has been vocal about wanting to leave the Panthers for two seasons. However Peppers has been glorifed (not always unfairly) since he first made the probowl years ago. Then it was Justin Tuck, hmmm NY does have alot of Pro-Bowl voters. Alternate being Jared Allen, who is qualified and is also talked about on ESPN everyday due to his personality and some other things. Players from teams from huge markets have a huge advantage to making the pro-bowl and players who are in the news alot (Peppers, Allen) also have an advantage because alot of voters don’t know squat except they like their team.

Sarah B

May 27th, 2009
12:05 pm

Strig – OK that’s like 4 times you’ve asked why he wasn’t in the Pro Bowl. Here is the reason… He didn’t get enough votes. Did you vote on NFL.com I did.

JohnWaynesworld

May 27th, 2009
12:34 pm

I personally want “Abe” to show up to the practice facility on a diamelle-studded floatilla surrounded by beautiful fan girls (And manicure girls on each hand, Stirg) and yelling to coach Smith, “Hey Smitty, where’s my shade tree?”

JohnWaynesworld

May 27th, 2009
12:36 pm

16.5 NFL sacks and a full season in ‘08, Stirg. That’s why.

WR

May 27th, 2009
12:37 pm

JohnWaynesworld, thats some good stuff, Stirg you just made the woman come out of Sarah

WR

May 27th, 2009
12:38 pm

Can you say feisty, we have some spunk in the bird cage boys

Hamad Meander

May 27th, 2009
12:42 pm

I don’t have a problem with John Abraham missing OTAs, but I did have a problem with the report that he didn’t participate in mini-camp because of ‘injuries’. This team can be pretty decent on defense with a healthy squad. I really want to see how it looks with this lineup: Sidbury Jr, Babineaux, Jerry, and Abraham. That looks to cause some havoc in the NFL. The Falcons should be good enough @ linebacker and in the secondary to not have defense be a liability.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 27th, 2009
12:53 pm

Now Falcon Devil, you made a very valid comparison. Peppers produced less sacks and demonstrates no leadership; still, he makes the Pro-Bowl. I do suppose it is a popularity contest.

Yes, Sarah, I voted; I even voted for ole Absent-Abe.

Greg

May 27th, 2009
12:54 pm

A couple people have mentioned anticipating Sidbury and Biermann working at DE. Biermann is listed at 241—I love his motor, but I can’t see him as a functioning DE unless he has beefed WAY up during the off season. Even Sidbury—whom I can’t wait to see—at 266, is quite light going up against the 320lb tackles we’re going to see every week. I know, I know, Abe is also listed at 266…but Abe is a rush freak.

Stirg d'Nahsif

May 27th, 2009
1:02 pm

If Abraham is a situational player and can’t play every down, shouldn’t he be at OTA’s learning or preparing how to play every down? Oops, I forgot. He’s somewhere doing his own “core maintenance program”, at Hooters.

WR

May 27th, 2009
1:46 pm

If your not an every down player by the time you hit 30 or beyond chances are you won’t become one, the players understand that, good coaches understand that, but the fans who pay their money to watch teams continually lose because they have a coaching staff that feels like they do, can’t seem to get it. Good coaches put players in position to help the team win, funny how one of the best if not the best coach in the NFL,Bill Belichick, rarely demands much of his long in the tooth veterans especially in OTAs or minicamps, same goes for every coach that has won a superbowl over the past 30 years,except for Tom Coughlin who eventually figured out that Micheal Strahan didn’t have to be present to preform during the regular season and that was with considering a player who shyed away from actual training camp. Any who understands or has ever played football knows that OTAs are about the rookies and new players to the system as well as QBs and wideouts starting to develop chemistry. Hell, even in highschool thats how it was, the QBs and wide receivers, LBs and DBs had OTAs,passing drills as well as classroom work study you practied in skeletons and a helmet, the line on both sides of the ball pretty much did strength and conditioning training. That continued on to the college level and it pretty much is the case on the pro-level.

Falcon Devil

May 27th, 2009
2:08 pm

Abe is a freaking amazing pass rusher period. He won’t be expected to play the run ever. We resigned Chauncey Davis for 1st and 2nd down and to put Anderson on notice the grace period is now over. Our DE depth is exciting to me as is our entire DL. We have Trey Lewis for as a run stuffer when we want to commit to the run but our best D-lineman are nimble and we should be able to get a 4-man pass rush which will result in alot of picks. Babs and Jerry will penetrate the backfield consistently sending the scambling QB into the beartrap that Abraham and Anderson (hopefully).

Shamus Thacker

May 27th, 2009
2:36 pm

If we’re healthy, we’re gonna be a tough buncha SOBs to beat…