THE BRANCH – The injury bug is in the air.
One of the keys to the Falcons success last season was the lack of major injuries.
Just a few days into camp and Harry Douglas is done for the season and second round pick William Moore is out for a month.
The big battle to replace Lawyer Milloy is practically over before it got started. Go ahead and pencil Thomas DeCoud as the default winner. Moore will have to catch up when he comes back and show his
stuff on special teams.
The Falcons were the fifth-best team in terms of man-games missed by their starters last season, according to the Football Outsiders Almanac 2009.
Wide receiver Brian Finneran, who missed two seasons with a similar injury to Douglas, knew it was trouble when he saw Douglas go down.
“The way he went down, it was a bad feeling,” Finneran said. “It was a tough, tough deal there.”
FERGIE, FERGE and BOOKER: Wide receivers Robert Ferguson and Marty Booker have had their moments in the NFL, but have never reached major stardom.
The Packers had high hopes for Ferguson when he was selected in the second round (41st) overall in 2001. He showed flashes there, but never had the breakout season. He’s more noted for his downfield field blocking.
Now Booker, 33, was a third round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1999. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2002 when he had 97 catches for 1,189 yards and six touchdowns. He has more than 500 receptions despite that he’s played most of his career in quarterback-challenged offenses.
RODDY’S WORLD: Been trying to get some exact numbers on the rife in the White negotiations. Folks generally don’t go on the record with that info, but the rife is wide enough that the sides have dug in.
This one could get much uglier in the coming weeks.
The Falcons have some nice leverage in that White is under contract and growing up in Charleston, he’s been a longtime fan of the team. White will have to stay emotionally detached.
The Falcons know that $2.28 million is low for their Pro Bowl receiver. But how high do you go? Do you do a long-term deal and wrap him up? Do you do a short-swing deal like Arizona did with Larry Fitzgerald and Green Bay with Greg Jennings? Maybe if the Falcons would have moved faster to extend White, they could have set the market and instead of letting Green Bay beat them to the punch on the Jennings deal.
Stay tuned . . . .
LATE ROUND PICKS: Some of the Falcons late round picks are already making some noise in training camp. Last season, some of them – like Kroy Biermann – struggled early before coming on.
Defensive end Vance Walker (seventh round), tackle Garrett Reynolds (fifth round) and defensive end Lawrence Sidbury (fourth) have all drawn some praise from Coach Mike Smith.
WILDCATS VISIT: The Duluth High Wildcats football team visited practice on Wednesday evening.