FLOWERY BRANCH – Blog-cation was awesome.
Found that Palm tree to relax under. Plenty of frothy beverages. Watched some old episodes of Rockford Files. What else can you ask for.
Hit the OTA scene and with just one more open session, the Falcons appear to be ahead of schedule compared to last year. But that was to be expected now that the coaching staff has a year under its belt.
Would not worry too much about all of the dust-ups at Wednesday’s session. They were mostly low-level rugby scrums. When you get those helmet-swinging fights, those are the ones to be concerned about. Helmet-swinging shows a clear intent to do bodily harm to a teammate.
There’s not need to worry about the pushing and shoving deals with a little jabbering
“I like the way they are working,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “It’s really difficult to see where we are because we are not really playing the game off football. We are in helmets and shorts and it’s really non-contact work.”
An emphasis has been placed on improving the passing attack during the OTA sessions.
“I think we’ll be ahead of where we need to be in the passing game in terms of what we’ve installed,” Smith
said. “In the running game, we have to get out and work in pads and that will come here in August.”
RYAN LAUDED: Fox named Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, 24, the NFL’s top franchise player under 30.
TWO-MAN WEDGE: One of the major offseason rule changes involves the formation of two-man wedges on kickoff returns. The idea is to keep players from getting injured while trying to bust up three- and four-man wedges.
Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong is adjusting to the new rule.
“With a two-man wedge you are going to be little more simple with your game plan toward wedges,” Armstrong said. “You won’t have to adjust as much for kickoff coverage. Kickoff return-wise you’ve got to change a little bit.”
GONZALEZ BOOK: An advanced copy of Tony Gonzalez‘ book arrived in the office recently. It’s entitled, “The All-Pro Diet: Lose fat, build muscle and live like a champion.”
Gonzalez authors the book with Mitzi Dulan, RD (Registered Dietitian). Will get back to you all with a review later, but on the flip through saw some interesting recipes. One was for Fish Tacos and another for a Black Bean Burger.
Also, part of the All-Pro workout includes jumping rope 600 to 1,000 jumps total, 100 jumps per set, 30 seconds of rest between sets. This helps to develop quick feet.
SACKMASTER NEEDS HELP: The Falcons are looking for some help in the pass rushing department for John Abraham, who had a franchise-record 16.5 sacks last season. The battle for left end with Jamaal Anderson, Kroy Biermann and Chauncey Davis will interesting to watch in training camp.
Anderson, the No. 8 pick in 2007 draft, has two sacks in 31 starts. Biermann got two sacks in a reserve role last season as a rookie. Davis had a career-high four sacks last season, but has just eight overall in four seasons.
“It would be nice to get another guy to get into the six, seven sack range,” Smith said. “If we get two of those guys (in the six, seven sack range) I think we’ll be very efficient rushing the passer.”
OLINE LOOKING FOR DEPTH: Offensive line coach Paul Boudreau is looking to create some depth along the line.
“We are still in underwear, so we can’t hit anybody,” Boudreau said. “Compared to last year, we are ahead of the process in terms of communication and being able to work together as a unit. There is more chemistry. Even with the young guys, they are ahead of schedule. Last year we were trying to teach them all of the things and we were just trying to break the huddle at the same time.”
CHEERLEADER CORNER . . .
A-TOWN DANCER TRYOUTS: Our good buddy Jason “Jake” McDonald of I-Light Media at www.ilightmediaws.com was kind enough to send along two very nice slide shows from the A-Town Dancer tryouts. We know they work for the Hawks, but we can scout for the Falcons cheer squad here.
Looks like our good friend Sam Crenshaw of Channel 11 had a difficult time serving as one of the judges.
IN THE COMMUNITY . . .
DAVIS TAKES ON BULLYING: Defensive End Chauncey Davis, DeKalb Juvenile Court Judge Desiree Peagler,
DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May spoke to nearly 100 youth at the Browns Mill Road Recreation Center on June 5 as part of a special anti-bullying campaign.
“Something has to be done to combat this reckless behavior of bullying and to help build the self-esteem of both the person being bullied and the bully,” said Davis, who started the Chauncey Davis Foundation to address health and wellness related issues in the community. “As adults, if we don’t intervene now, we will hear more and more reports of suicides, gun violence, depression, drug/alcohol abuse, higher dropout rates and more with our young people.”
ROBISKIE, MILES TO HELP OUT YOUTH: Falcons wide receiver coach Terry Robiskie and inebacker Edmond Miles will be joined by four Falcons cheerleaders and PGA Tour pros DeWitt Weaver and James Mason at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw for the inaugural Tee Off For Tykes charity golf tournament Friday and Saturday to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The public is invited to attend the event and meet the Falcons and PGA pros. Pinetree Country Club is located on McCollum Parkway in Kennesaw.
FUNDS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: At the annual Verizon Wireless golf tournament with the Atlanta Falcons recently, attendees raised $24,670 for Partnership Against Domestic Violence.
This was the fifth annual Verizon Wireless Network of Champions Gold Tournament, which was held at The River Club Golf Course in Suwanee. At this annual celebrity event, attendees were able to meet current players including Matt Ryan, Brian Finneran and Michael Turner, former players Steve Bartkowski and
Hall of Famer Emmit Thomas as well as the Falcons leadership including head coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and president Rich McKay.
So are you worried about the OTA fights? Do you believe Ryan is the top franchise player under 30 in the NFL? Will Jamaal Anderson turn into a double-digit sack guy in year three? Is the Hawks cheer squad going to step up and help them get deeper in the playoffs? Happy to see Davis tackling a timely issue of substance in the community?