THE BRANCH — Most of the Falcons fans are so happy about training camp opening on Saturday, that they want to do the Halle Berry dance?
There hasn’t been this much anticipation since the 2005 season when the Falcons were considered Super Bowl contenders. That was the season after they reached the NFC title game in Jim Mora’s first season.
But there are a few pressing business matters.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and the team negotiators have signed seven of the eight draft picks, but still must reach a deal with first-round pick Peria Jerry.
Also, Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White would like to enter the season with his contract extension in his back pocket.
The Jerry situation might go down to the wire and there will be no one to blame but former Falcon Brett Favre. See, our old buddy and noted former Buckhead party goer is also represented by James “Bus” Cook. He’s working out the Favre’s situation with the Vikings and hadn’t gotten into deep discussions with the Falcons as of last week.
Once they decide to get down to business, the deal can be done in 48 hours. It’s not nearly as complex as last season’s deal with Matt Ryan, the No. 3 pick in the draft.
Last season, Ryan signed in May during the owner’s meeting in Atlanta. It was a strategic move to get a little buzz and beat back the tide of negative publicity in the wake of the Michael Vick guilty plea and Bobby Petrino’s back door move.
But the Falcons cut it too close last season in their dealings with offensive tackle Sam Baker. He agreed to a contract late Friday night, but the contract was not approved by the league in time for Baker to start practice.
Baker was upstairs in an office, dressed and ready to go.
Baker joined the team one hour and 12 minutes after the first practice started. He was selected with the 21st pick, three ahead of where Jerry was selected this season.
CHEERLEADERS ARE SET: The 2009 Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders have been selected and are all set for the season. Thanks to my FB friend and cheerleader Falcon Joie for the picture.
ROMANCE CORNER: First, Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson part ways.
Saints running back Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian have broken up, according to People.Com.
This football star and wannabe Superstar thing isn’t working out to well.
TRAINING CAMP BATTLES: Here’s a quick list of some of the battles that will take shape over the next few weeks.
STRONG SAFETY: Will second-year man Thomas DeCoud be able to hold off rookie William Moore?
RESERVE LINEBACKERS: Linebacker Coy Wire finished last season as a starter at strongside, but is approaching this season like he’s on the fringe. Here’s an article from our buddy Wyche on The Wire.
CORNERBACK: Can Brent Grimes, who opened last season as the starter at left cornerback, hold onto the position this season. Look for rookie Christopher Owens to make a strong bid.
TIGHT END: Not the No. 1 spot. Tony Gonzalez has that locked up. But the No. 2 spot could be in jeopardy. Ben Hartsock is battling back from a toe injury and Justin Peelle was solid last season.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE: My man Grady Jackson is gone to Detroit to gobble up blockers for the Lions. The Falcons will have a new look here. They’ll be sleeker and faster with either Jerry, Trey Lewis or maybe even Jamaal Anderson playing next to Jonathan Babineaux.