Falcons: Meet the Burn Unit

Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, Todd McClure, Justin Blalock and Sam Baker (at least part of his head).  (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

The Burn Unit: Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, Todd McClure, Justin Blalock and Sam Baker (at least part of his head). (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

THE BRANCH — One of the fun parts of being a sports writer is coming up with nicknames.

Had a youth league player who decided that it was his day — finally — to go ahead and use those shoulder pads and tackle somebody like we’d taught him. He was dubbed the “Hitman.”  Don’t believe that he’s hit anybody since, but the lovely little kid is still called the “Hitman.”

I think we’d have to call him a coverage linebacker.

Since nobody is kicking around the Falcons offensive line after last season, they are perhaps worthy of their

Right tackle Tyson Clabo. Member of the Burn Unit. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Right tackle Tyson Clabo. Member of the Burn Unit. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

very own nickname. When you pave the way for a 1,700-yard back, cut your sack totals in half (darn it, got to look up a stat) — cut your sack totals by 30 (from 47 to 17) — and kick sand in the face of weakling defenses, then you need a nickname.

This one came to me last night.  Back in the day, O.J. Simpson was called the Juice — back when he was just known for his football playing — and his line was the “Electric Company.” They turned on the juice, the electricity. Get it?

Well the Falcons running back is Michael “The Burner” Turner, so his guys up front are henceforth and forever more now known as “The Burn Unit.”

Maybe a little corny, but that’s Ok.  Corny works in the nickname game.

We’ll have to see if center Todd McClure buys in. If he’s in, he’ll sell to the rest of the Burn Unit.

FOUR THINGS TODD McCLURE HAS IN HIS DORM ROOM TO HELP HIM GET THROUGH TRAINING CAMP:

1. I brought my flat screen that Mike (Turner) and Matt (Ryan) brought for us at the end of the season last year.

2. My cell phone so I can talk to my wife and kids. That helps you keep your mind off of camp.

3. I guess my anti-inflammatories.

4. Then the guys. The three guys in my room. We just hang once we get out of meetings. We just get a few laughs in. That makes camp fun. (Tyson Clabo, Brett Romberg and Harvey Dahl are McClure’s roomies.)

Polled the media members. While Lady GaGa is hip. The media wants to hear more Taylor Swift at Training camp.

Polled the media members. While Lady GaGa is hip. The media wants to hear more Taylor Swift at Training camp.

LADY GAGA FOREVER: One of the tunes they blare out of the speakers while the fans are walking up to practice in the morning is Let’s Dance by Lady Gaga.

Better get out to practice.

(NOTE TO THE BLOGGERS: Oh yeah, by the way. I need to remind some folks that this is a football blog. A Falcons football blog. We don’t need to talk about players who no longer play here. Politicians or radio hosts. Let’s keep focused on the Falcons and football. My training camp routine is falling back into place and will be stopping by more often to keep those zany folks from interrupting our ramp up to the season.  Moderation is a good thing. –DOL)

116 comments Add your comment

RKCola

August 11th, 2009
9:09 am

Jason Haynes

August 11th, 2009
9:45 am

Any word on how Thomas Brown is doing in camp? I haven’t seen anything yet.

Nancy Pelosi

August 11th, 2009
9:48 am

Yes, do what DOL says, interrupting the earnest thoughts of regular bloggers would be “un-American”!

Ken

August 11th, 2009
9:50 am

Good question Jason, and all the other dawgs as well.

Alex H.

August 11th, 2009
9:51 am

D-Led, great article as usual. I think the name sounds appropriate. Those guys look bad to the bone!

Jacket Attack

August 11th, 2009
9:53 am

How is Vance Walker doing? Can he make into the DT rotation? Is he behind Trey Lewis?

Jacket Attack

August 11th, 2009
9:53 am

My parts like Lady Gaga

chc4

August 11th, 2009
9:54 am

We need to keep the starting 5 healthy b/c the depth is shaky. Romberg can play the inside but not sure we have anyone to fill in at LT/RT. Ojinnaka looked overmatched last season.

Hooff Hearted

August 11th, 2009
9:58 am

How about the “Grady Babies”? Grady hospital is reknowned for their burn center…or maybe the “Blunts” or “Fatties” for the Burner.

FalconUGAFan

August 11th, 2009
9:59 am

Wow how big is that dorm room? Those are some beefy boys. Oh, great name BTW. Approved.

wronskain

August 11th, 2009
10:01 am

I think “The Match” is a better name. They light “The Burner”.

Ryno

August 11th, 2009
10:01 am

Love the Burn Unit nickname. Also works well with the “Fire and Ice” play on words…

Burner Turner and Matty Ice – these are good days to be a Falcons fan.

mark

August 11th, 2009
10:05 am

GOOD ADVICE D-LED LET,S JUST TALK FOOTBALL. I LOVE THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. GO FALCONS. OH YEAH BURN UNIT I LIKE IT!

Anakin Joe

August 11th, 2009
10:07 am

How many CBs will the Falcons carry on the roster? Is Hutchins strictly a CB or can he play a little safety?

Bluestreak

August 11th, 2009
10:07 am

So that would make V-I-C-K a four letter word in the old Dirty Bird Bloggosphere. ‘Bout time!!

Go Falcs!!

Woof

August 11th, 2009
10:12 am

I kind of like it, DOL, however there aren’t many non-disturbing descriptions concerning a burn unit that fit a typical football offensive line, i.e. trauma, charring, melted flesh, etc. Perhaps a descriptive phrase that is a little less disgusting would be a better “nickname”.

mitch

August 11th, 2009
10:22 am

Nice going, RKCola. Any relation to RC Cola? I played ball with him a few years ago. Me and Sonny Clusters.

GMAN

August 11th, 2009
10:24 am

D.O.L. you hit the nail on the button, i like it
it should catch, ill do my part

Greg from Marietta

August 11th, 2009
10:28 am

“The Burn Unit” is cool but what about bringing back an oldie, “The Gas House Gang”? Get it? The Burner can’t burn without the gas!! Well, at least I thought it made sense….Good article DOL.

FalconDawg

August 11th, 2009
10:34 am

THE BURN UNIT= YARDS+MATTY ICE =TOUCHDOWNS+TURNER=WINS+RODDY “THE FLIGHT” WHITE=PLAYOFFS+DEFENSE=SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO FALCONS!!!!!

rainman

August 11th, 2009
10:41 am

Since the line has become quite large, we could call them ‘the beastie boys’

I thought I saw a blog where someone said Trey Lewis’s knee had been swelling up – any truth to that?

Rickster

August 11th, 2009
10:42 am

What do you use to light a burner?? I think “The Ignitors” would be better than the “Burn Unit.”

MiltonDawg

August 11th, 2009
10:44 am

DOL- how are the new WRs coming along? Anyone looking better than the other.
What about the DIRTY BOYS- as a nod to the DIRTY BIRDS and for the OL’s style of play- esp. Dahl & Clabo

Bort Sampson

August 11th, 2009
10:51 am

The Burn Unit makes no sense. The Electric Company made sense because there was no “juice” without them. The Burn Unit is where you go after you have been burned.

Charles Dimry was a member of the Burn Unit.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

August 11th, 2009
10:56 am

DOL…what a shame about the rookie SS. What is the injury? Do you think that he will be back? I was hoping to see him ALOT this year.

I have been clammoring about letting our FORMER #19 (Robinson) go for almost NOTHING (see previous blogs). Well, we see that our young guy went down (#83) and that Robinson is STARTING IN ST. LOUIS. Of some things that I did NOT like about the Reeves’ tenure, I DID like the fact that he put a premium on keeping good football players…even if they all were Tight Ends.

This might be one of Dimitroff’s first mistakes…simply because Robinson was not “his guy” he got gone…and we could REALLY use his skills now.

So…how does DeCoud REALLY look??? Who do we have that can replace Douglas’s underneath route running skills?

Nookah

August 11th, 2009
10:59 am

D Led, I love the name. Let’s hope that the defenses will feel the burning this year.

Go Falcons!!!

Gatorzone

August 11th, 2009
11:03 am

Dled, that was a joke. No need to cut it off.

yo mama

August 11th, 2009
11:03 am

with the oline in tact, and a good wall of protection for matty ice, and the addition of gonz, the birds have about the most balanced attack since the days of andrews and cain, bart, and miller. throw in roddy, the birds offense will fly in 09. only injuries can take this team down.

yo mama

August 11th, 2009
11:06 am

d led answer some questions bro….we need info, how is t brown doing?

Unca' Bob

August 11th, 2009
11:23 am

D-Led,

The Fire Wall?

yeahwhatever

August 11th, 2009
11:26 am

Burn Unit? I’d rather we keep Matty safe in the “icebox”…

Stirg d'Nahsif

August 11th, 2009
11:27 am

I like that one, Unca’ Bob: “The Fire Wall”.

I also like “The FireFighters”.

“The Burn Unit” aint bad either.

Stirg d'Nahsif

August 11th, 2009
11:28 am

Lets roll with “The Fire Wall” (credit Unca’ Bob). Any seconds?

Michael

August 11th, 2009
11:28 am

If you want to talk nicknames Thomas browns nickname while we played together at tucker and henderson middle was TB. From what I hear from the local buddys that still keep in touch with TB is he is doing great and feeling as good as ever. Now lets hope some cheap play wont take him out for the season before the real one even starts

Falcon Devil

August 11th, 2009
11:29 am

“darn it, got to look up a stat” — Wow life is rough for a beat writer! I don’t come onto these blogs with the purpose of being negative however that quote perfectly sums up my opinion the AJC’s Falcons coverage. Not only do they lack meaningful content such as stats, they are filled with fluff. Lets take another quote “I need to remind some folks that this is a football blog. A Falcons football blog. We don’t need to talk about players who no longer play here. Politicians or radio hosts. Let’s keep focused on the Falcons and football.” Lady Gaga and Beyonce or Jessica Simpson arnt football realted topics they are pure space filling fluff. Seems D3’s amazing work in the birdcage has brought my standards up to expect real sports journalism (Pretty sad considering he isn’t even a professional journalist!!!!).

Michael

August 11th, 2009
11:29 am

what about the Hot Boys

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 11th, 2009
11:30 am

Just got off the field from morning practice.

JASON HAYNES & YO MAMA
: Thomas Brown is looking real good. All running backs look good when you can’t get tackled. We’ll have to see in games. I expect to see the Bulldog set — Shockley, Haynes and Brown — at some point against Detroit.

NANCY: Thanks. You are a “True American!” Makes sense to talk football in the Falcons football blog.

JACKET ATTACK: Vance Walker is doing great. Coach Smith keeps bringing up his name. He did a hump move in the one-on-one drills and impressed the veterans with it. He threw the guard out of the way and everybody started cheering, “We got a humper!!!” The hump move was popularized by Reggie White.

CHC4: Will Svitek looks like a Todd Weiner clone. He crushed Kroy Biermann on a block today.

WRONSKAIN: Now, I like “The Match” but it takes too much explaining. I’ll run that by McClure, too.

FDB: Hope all is well with you, Friend! Moore has his knee scoped. Is out two to four weeks. Looks like he’s going to back up Erik Coleman at strong safety this year and bust heads on special teams.

MILTONDAWG: The wide receivers are sure-handed pros. Don’t think they can stretch defenses any more, but Fergy Ferge and Booker could add some quality depth to the unit.

J. Clearwater Tungstenaverage

August 11th, 2009
11:49 am

I dunno, D. The Burn Unit sounds like a really scary and sad place at a hospital. What about something far more corny, like “The Stove Top” or “The Oven Range” or something goofy like that? Personally, I like:
Michael Turner as The Burner
Matt Ryan as Matty Ice
Ovie Mughelli as The Ignition Source
The O-Line as The Oven
The D-Line as The Pressure Cooker
Roddy White as The Holdout
Jason Elam as The Leg
and finally…
Arthur Blank, T-Dim, and The Coach as The 3-Headed Genius

Dave

August 11th, 2009
11:58 am

“Ignition System”…it all starts with the O-line. The burn unit is our opponents sideline after ‘The Burner’ burns them.

kappellmeister

August 11th, 2009
11:58 am

I like “Firewall” best. Or something with ‘talons’. Burn Unit kinda leaves out Ryan and Norwood…

Dave

August 11th, 2009
12:02 pm

‘Pyromaniacs’: the uncontrollable impulse and practice of setting things on fire. Sounds like Clabo and Dahl to me.

Suldog

August 11th, 2009
12:35 pm

Burn Unit is nice but how about something simple “The Wall”

Jim P.

August 11th, 2009
12:47 pm

I like the Burn Unit, for the O line, I like The Burner Turner, I like Mattie Ice, so I think we need to rename the Ga. Dome to the Ice House.

Jim P.

August 11th, 2009
12:49 pm

Or rename the Ga. Dome “The Fire and Ice House”

froggy

August 11th, 2009
12:56 pm

The Fire Wall is the best of these, IMHO

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 11th, 2009
1:01 pm

Sammy

August 11th, 2009
1:54 pm

D.O.L. You’ve written a fine article as usual. There are some great names being mentioned. How about the Liberators? They set free (or clear the way for) Fire and Ice on the path to destruction. I think VanGorder’s D oughta be called the “Rowdies.” It’s good to hear Tech alum Vance Walker making some noise. Four days to go before we go a slap around those Lions.

MrJ

August 11th, 2009
2:01 pm

The Fire Wall get’s my vote!

Shadyman

August 11th, 2009
2:30 pm

Sorry D-Led but the nickname has failed and we have decided to go with The Bruise Brothers. Thanks anyway.

YuleeFalcon

August 11th, 2009
2:38 pm

To add to wronskain’s ” the Match”…how about the “Match-men” . I also like the “kerosene crew” or the “kerosene kids”
“fuel Line” or the “pipe line”

just some ideas.. Thanks