Falcons: 5 things we learned from the Rams game

Looks like another long season for the Rams. At least they have The Arch.

Looks like another long season for the Rams. At least they have The Arch.

OVER THE ARCH – The “Shootout in St. Louis” for the No. 3 quarterback position was a toss up.

After Matt Ryan retired, D.J. Shockley and John Parker Wilson got chance to impress the coaching staff. Chris Redman, who did not play, is apparently safe as the backup.

“It is a competition,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We wanted to evaluate those guys.”

Both had interceptions and a missed protection led to a Shockley fumble. Both led the team to field goals.

ESPN Chris Mortensen and his bus rolled through Flowery Branch last week.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen and his bus rolled through Flowery Branch last week.

“We had two really unfortunate turnovers,” Smith said. “They were touched by our receivers. I thought both of those guys had good learning experiences.”

Shockley got a chance to play with the first-team offensive line.

“I felt like I could have played better,” Shockley said. “There were situations when I was trying to make something happen and may have forced some things. Overall, there are a lot of things I can learn from this game.”

Ryan and Redman figure to spilt the action against San Diego on Saturday.

In the exhibition game finale against Baltimore, Shockley and Wilson may get another shot to impress to settle the No.3 spot.

“I think it’s a situation where you have to be ready . . . the biggest thing is being prepared when your number is called and you have to make the most of your opportunities,” Shockley said.

Shockley hit a nice pass down the field to tight end Justin Peelle, but some of

NFL.Com's Steve Wyche and 790 The Zone's Mike Bell do the Bell and Pollack show from the Branch last week.

NFL.Com/NFL Network's Steve Wyche and 790 The Zone's Mike Bell do the Bell and Pollack show from the Branch last week.

passes seemed telegraphed and drew crowds of Rams.

“I was ready to go,” Shockley said. “It felt good to go in the game early.”

Shockley was glad he did get a chance to guide the offense to a field goal on his last series.

“It was a big plus in that situation,” Shockley said.

Here are the five things we learned in the St. Louis game:

1. Who’s No. 3?: There’s a battle for the No. 3 quarterback spot.

2. Grimes a keeper: Brent Grimes is the starting left cornerback. We just need a formal announcement. “I wish I could have made the interceptions,” Grimes said. “I think I did pretty well.”

3. Romberg Rumbles: Backup center is in good hands with Brett Romberg. He started for Todd McClure (leg strain). He enjoyed the two touchdown drives.

“They looked stellar,” Romberg said. “That was one thing we really wanted to focus on, coming out explosive.”

4. Run defense can stop backup running backs: The run defense shut down a slew of backup running backs – Samkon Gado, Antonio Pittman and Kenneth Darby. Steven Jackson only had three carries before getting the night off.

“It was very alarming on the first play of the game to give up a nine yard run,” Smith said. “We settled down and had some nice (run) fits.”

5. No huddle is back: The Falcons flashed their no-huddle on the second series.

“We knew on that second drive that we were going to go to our no huddle offense,” tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “The defense dictates to us what we are going to do. Matt (Ryan) is out there calling his own plays.”

This is where the "World's Greatest Show on Turf" used to play. Former Falcon exec Billy Devaney is charged with turning around their fortunes and getting fans back in the seats. The Dome was only about half full for the game.

This is where the "World's Greatest Show on Turf" used to play. Former Falcon exec Billy Devaney is charged with turning around their fortunes and getting fans back in the seats. The Dome was only about half full for the game.

72 comments Add your comment


August 22nd, 2009
9:58 pm

First. Take that SB. I agree about Grimes and feel bad for DJ. He could have lookked better. One good pass play negated by penalty.

Bill Heller

August 22nd, 2009
10:09 pm

The Falcons will be just good enough to break our hearts.

Ken Strickland

August 22nd, 2009
10:45 pm

The thing that’s so encouraging about our DT situation is we’re getting such good play out of players like JJefferson and TJohnson, who were fringe players before training camp started. I think it’s all but official that CDavis has replaced JAnderson at DE. The question is, will he be traded, moved to DT, or used as a situational player at both positions.

I also think TLewis will quitely take over at DT, next to JBabineaux, barring any lingering health concerns. The starting LB and safety positions are set, and BGrimes and COwens will likely be our starting CB tandem. This is going to be one lightning quick and fast DEF.

People that have issues with the Falcons, including some fans and so called experts, are fond of using our DEF as an excuse for predicting doom and gloom. Well, last yrs DEF didn’t stop us a limited OFF, especially the 1st half of the season, from making the playoffs with an 11-5 record. Why would anyone be stupid enough to believe this yrs quicker, faster, younger, deeper and more athletic DEF will stop us from going even further, especially with a much improved more balanced OFF.

The Atlanta Falcons have reached the point, talent and organization wise, where they no longer have to worry about the teams on their schedule. Fact is, the teams on their schedule now have to worry about them. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Falcon 8211

August 22nd, 2009
10:55 pm

I thinl BGrimes has ability but I also remember the game last year where Mushin ( Carolina’s Receiver) schooled him. Just hoping it will be different this year

Falcon 8211

August 22nd, 2009
10:56 pm


August 22nd, 2009
11:00 pm

Five Things I Learned:

1) 3rd QB spot will be for a project. Shockley was given the opportunity to prove he was backup material. He failed miserably. Peace, DJ. The rotation is Ryan, Redman, Wilson. Shockley will be released soon.

2) First team defense stopped the run AFTER the starting running back left the game. Doesn’t take a football genius to see how this is going to play out in the weeks ahead.

3) First team offense looked exceptional. Watching Ryan and Gonzalez is going to breathtaking some weeks.

4) Grimes is athletic, but he WILL get burned by tall, strong receivers. Hope they have plans to take him out in red-zone situations.

5) Ryan will NOT suffer a sophomore slump. He has an obvious hard work ethic and extremely smart. I’m glad we have him on our team.

Falcon 8211

August 22nd, 2009
11:04 pm

Hey B I agree BGrimes can’t play with big receivers. Think maybe get Chris McAllister for a year to help bring along Chris Owens and Chris Middleton

Falcon 8211

August 22nd, 2009
11:05 pm

also will add leadership


August 22nd, 2009
11:16 pm

Were you guys watching the same game I was? L. Robinsons was treating Grimes like a cheap suit. Had It not been for an over thrown ball Robinsons beats him for six after a missed jam.


August 22nd, 2009
11:22 pm

Hey Ledbetter, where were the quotes from the interview with Wilson … if you even took the time to perform one. Next time don’t be so one-sided! What a joke.

Robert Reagin

August 23rd, 2009
12:54 am

Why the 22 hour delay on post. Looked all day for a blog on the game. Oh well…

The offense will be a force to be feared. Defense still has questions. Grimes while a great leaper is too small in the red zone. Falcons’ front pushed back at the snap on running plays and the sacks were from coverage, very little immediate pressure on the QB. That said this defense could really surprise the naysayers.

Shockley failed to produce. Didn’t expect it but JPW looks like the one with more experience and a shot to excel.


August 23rd, 2009
1:05 am


I am shocked! Did you watch the same game we all watched?

Brent Grimes did NOT look like a starting CB. He looked bad more than good and we need help at the CB position…………I personally think this is the weakest position on the team by a huge margin. Chris Owens looks like a keeper, but he is not ready just yet……..are there any starting caliber free agent CB available or does anyone expect any starting cailber CB to be cut for salary cap problems?

Shockley also looked VERY ugly. He watches only on target and the entire defense knows where the ball is going on most pass plays. He also tried to force WAY too many passes into tight spots (sometimes double and triple coverage!!). This is not an example of the decisions we want our QB to make on a consistent basis. The Rams could have had 4 INT’s if they had held onto the ball. He should be MUCH better by now. Solid character and a very good person, but it looks like the Falcons need to cut him and move in a different direction; unless he is willing to change positions…………he is very atheletic and could develop into a solid player at a number of spots (He could also be our emergency #3 QB and open up an extra spot on the 53 man roster if he can contribute meaningful minutes at a position other than QB). Can Shockley play CB? Ha Ha If only he could, because Lord knows we really need help at CB………..

Beautiful Monte

August 23rd, 2009
1:58 am

DOL must have been hanging with D.J. at da club.

That would explain:

1) The lengthy delay in the appearance of this blog

2) The one-sided nature of the No. 3 QB “story”

The only surprise is that DOL didn’t find a way to blame D.J.’s pick on Keith Brooking.

Uncle Dave

August 23rd, 2009
6:07 am

**Beautiful Monte**(aka **BM**): Don’t drag a classy guy like Brooking into your smelly point of view. It was Brian Finnerin and the rest of the offense who looked terrible for the first two possessions when DJ was in the game. They dropped passes, ran poor routes, committed stupid penalties, and negated first downs… **then** DJ started trying to force things and looked very bad. That may be his last stand, which would be a sad end for a guy who never got much of an opportunity to prove himself. He had never a chance in that game. His teammates seemed to sense that it was important for him to look good and they tensed up. I heard the announcer say that Finnerin is a good friend of DJ’s… and I am sure he feels lousy about dropping that first down pass. I have to agree with **GT Grad** about Grimes… he looked like a rookie out there and the Falcons are in serious trouble at that position because of it. A good quarterback (which the Rams do not have) will do some serious damage with Grimes in the game. Why did they let Foxworth go without getting anybody to take his place? His impact last year was huge.


August 23rd, 2009
6:58 am

i know john Abraham is saving himself for the season. seeing someone else get two sacks was very relieving. if that line fixes their pass rush issues then our linebackers safeties and corners improve or have a little more time to improve. and grimes, ill take him over jason webster any given day all due respect. this is a guy that was on pace to match courtland finnegans deflection total despite an almost inexistent pass rush to his side of the field. finnegan has that tennesee line and to compare grimes to foxworth, grimes had eight tackles less and four deflections less despite getting hurt.

Falcons Reality Check

August 23rd, 2009
7:02 am

5 things I learned
- Grimes can stay on special teams, but should never be allowed to play D again
- C. Owens is very raw
- If they can get something for J. Anderson, great. Otherwise, he needs to go. He can’t make plays and does not hustle.
- D.J. had some bad luck, but did not play well.
- I wish we had kept L. Robinson.


August 23rd, 2009
7:12 am

oh yah chris owens is shorter than grimes so that big tall strong receiver crap applies to owens too who is 5′9

Falcon 8211

August 23rd, 2009
8:41 am

I just hope TD is looking @ the wavier wire for CB because ours has not showed their up to the task. DL will get tested this week against LT but so far they have not showed anything. our offense will just have to out score people. TD check out McAllister see if anything is in the tank


August 23rd, 2009
8:46 am

I agree that CB is our weak link this year, and will cost us games. Shockley played better than his stats, though he did force and telegraph some… Receiver drops for interceptions and penalties killed any chance of momentum for his drives. Wilson looked like an ok game-manager with a weak arm but good decision making.


August 23rd, 2009
9:42 am

Any news on AARON KELLY?


August 23rd, 2009
9:46 am

John Parker looked much better than Shockley. Shockley continued to make bad decisions and throw into crowds. He’s lucky he didn’t have four or five interceptions.

Brian Hunt

August 23rd, 2009
9:47 am

DJ, unfortunately, will be cut. When you have had at least three years in the league at a developmental position and you don’t look better than a street free agent brought in to compete with you, you aren’t even. You get cut because the other guy will be kept on the idea that he has more potential, while you’ve hit your ceiling. DJ should not still be showing poor mechanics and staring down his receivers. The UFL awaits and the playing time would help him get better.


August 23rd, 2009
9:53 am

OK, give DJ another shot, stupid penalties, and multiple dropped passes helped him look horrible. He needs to pay attention and mirrow what Matt does in this offense. He’s looked good B4, everyone has bad games. Make it happen next time DJ, focus buddy!

Jamal Anderson is still a kid in his mind, he is unimpressive, and I agree does not make plays or hustle. UNACCEPTABLE!!!! Trade him and see if we can get an shut-down corner. I’m not convinced Terrel Owens, OchoCinco, Roy Williams, etc. are not going to have stellar games against Grimes. He’s a good football player, but I am always gonna be hoping that the other teams don’t throw the ball deep on his watch. I am a former cornerback myself. I played at 6 feet 195, and I was small guy that played big. Brent plays scrappy but will get burnt too much on post’s and anything in or pass the deep edge of the flats. Hope that I am wrong.

Matt and the first team look great. He’s is a true quarterback, master of the game. I enjoy watching him be comfortable in any game situation, that’s what you want. It breeds so much confidence on your team. He’s that guy.

The defense came together this game as well. Sidbury is a beast, what if he got after it like that all game and then we have Abe on the other side? Johnson, Lewis, and Peria(even though he needs to step up, learn some quick stunts, be creative and get to the ball like he did in college, new transition but same purpose buddy) coming up the middle. NOW YOU HAVE A VERY POTENT NFL DEFENSIVE PASS RUSH1! That’s what you want.

That’s what you want……


The speacial teams looked good too.


August 23rd, 2009
11:11 am

Why is a mobile quarterback suddenly not mobile? Seemed to me that Shockley had to make major changes to the way he normally plays. Are we protecting him from injury? I mean come on, the guy normally runs the ball also. Seems like there were times when he could have run it that he didn’t and he made a poor throw. There was a lot of hesitation; this is why his throws were perfectly read by the defense. I’m not too thrilled with the offensive lines guys. Beyond those few starters it seems like we have a big drop off in talent.


August 23rd, 2009
11:12 am

As usual Ledbetter, a late blog and not really saying anything…just a headline as an opener….purely slanted view.


August 23rd, 2009
12:09 pm

Have we all forgotten that DJ Shockley missed a whole year when he tore his ACL against the Bills during last preseason? I think the Falcons will be making a big, big mistake if they cut the Shockmeister . . .sort of like when they (1) failed to take MLB Patrick Willis out of Ole Miss, (2)took Jamal (I can’t sack a bag of groceries) Anderson with the 8th pick in the first round (3)let Dominique Foxworth depart (4)missed out on drafting Adrian Peterson, who’s now tearing up the league with the Vikings (5) kept Keith Brooking about 2 years too long (6) invested $130,000,000 in Michael Vick, a quarterback who is barely 6ft. tall,…although I’m a big Vick fan, you never invest that kind of money in a quarterback who barely stands 6ft. and therefore can barely see downfield . . .


August 23rd, 2009
12:15 pm

P.S.- Also in defense of the Shockmeister, he’s never had back-to-back seasons in which to get his feet on the ground . . . UGA adored David Greene (a good quarterback who would have been better if he had been made to compete with the Shockman), . . . then, in Shockley’s senior year he took UGA to the SEC championship and beat, uh, I think, LSU . . . he then gets picked by the Falcons but blows his knee out in a meaningless game against my Bills . . . now he’s back, a little tentative, a little rusty. . . cutting him would be a big mistake…he will definitely come back to haunt the Birds…sort of like the Vickster might end up doing…


August 23rd, 2009
3:09 pm

I am impressed with all areas of the team except for CB and DJ Shockley. I think we have a chance to make a big run in the plaoffs if we stay healthy and find two starting caliber CB (fat chance on finding 2 starting caliber CB at this juncture – TD might be able to make it happen).

Trade J. Anderson if you can find a taker (for a solid CB even better!!).

Grimes is NOT taller than Owens………Falcons are simply being misleading regarding Grimes and his height.

I am surprised no one esle has noticed that Perry is consistently being handled by one (uno, single) offensive lineman two games in a row. Not what one would expect or hope for when talking about a 1st round draft pick. If you record the games and watch closely you will see he is a non-factor with no penetration and no threat…………Mike Smith indicated he was double teamed, maybe in practice, but I have not seen Perry double teamed in either of the two preseason games. I sincerely hope he improves quickly, but I am becoming concerned. Two 1st round D-lineman from the OVERRATED SEC who become busts for the Falcons will not help our chances of becoming a perenial contender.

Overall, I have a positive outlook, but obviously I have some serious concerns. Our entire Offense and Special Teams look great. Most of the defensive positions look VERY good, but we need help at CB and I am a little concerned about Peterson at Linebacker (he has looked really slow thus far). Vance Walker might just be a better defensive lineman than Perry…….only time will tell. Fortunately, we are very deep at DL so Perry has some time to develop. Babs and Trey Lewis look to be the obvious starters as long as both stay healthy, but we need 4 or 5 legitimate defensive lineman to allow for steady rotation.

Go Falcons!!


August 23rd, 2009
3:14 pm

you people are idoits the only quater that really mattered was the first and second quaters and the d play very well then most of the players after that will be washing cars for a lioving when the real season starts and anyone who thinks someone would give us a lock down corner for J Anderson i have a old junk ford in my back yard that I will sell you for only $50,000 hell after all its an antique lol

now that's funny

August 23rd, 2009
4:50 pm

Why all the negativity? The Falcons basically had their way with the Rams. Wow!!! The offense is going to be a force of nature. I think the defense was much improved. Look, all we need is for the defense to make some hustle stops, because our offense is going to take control of games. We have a real, legitimate chance to go the the Super Bowl!!!

For the record: Grimes will lead the team in picks this year.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2009
6:01 pm

L-Dogg: Didn’t interview Wilson. The story was Shockley stinking. JPW didn’t stink as bad. Wasn’t worthy of an interview.

StatesBurr: You’re ungrateful. Only had to write 4 different stories on deadline. Blogged when I felt I had something to blog about.

Everybody is not down on Jamaal. My comrade Jim Thomas wrote that Anderson had a couple of good plays in Justin Smith, the No. 2 player in the draft.


D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 23rd, 2009
6:03 pm

Smith gets first start and a test vs. Falcons
By Jim Thomas

When you draft someone with the No. 2 overall pick, the expectation is that he will be a starter for a long time. With that in mind, the Jason Smith era began Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome.

Smith made his first Rams start as a result of Alex Barron’s knee injury. He started at right tackle on a revamped offensive line, with Adam Goldberg moving over to left tackle. With left guard Jacob Bell out with a concussion, Mark Setterstrom got the start there. So three of the five offensive line positions had different starters than one week ago against the New York Jets.

After a solid start, Smith had a rough time with Atlanta defensive end Jamaal Anderson on the Rams’ third offensive series. On first and 10 from the Rams’ 44, Anderson got around Smith and hit quarterback Kyle Boller just as he released his throw. The hit affected the throw, and the ball fell incomplete.

On the next play, Anderson beat Smith inside, and Smith was called for holding and a 10-yard penalty. Two plays later, the Rams were forced to punt.


August 23rd, 2009
6:05 pm

How does anyone expect the Falcons to trade Jamal Anderson for a quality CB with all the negative comments about his play? Jamal improved last year but is still lacking. We have coaches and managers now who can truly evaluate talent and potential and if he doesn’t improve in the next two preseason games he’ll probably be released. The younger pick-ups seem more hungry than Jamal, maybe to make the team, but will they sustain throughout the season. The CB position is going to take a year of seasoning to be a great defensive backfield. They are all young and I’d play these guys instead of searching for a quick one season guy imprpovement. Brent Grimes is shorter than desired but he wants to be better and he’s very athletic. Do you remember a guy named Darrell Green? Not saying BG is another Darrell Green but he’ll improve barring injury. He can harass a taller receiver.
DJ Shockley was out all last season with an injury but he’s still better than the kid form Alabama. He’s having to learn the new offense and just needs the repetitions. Keep DJ and put the guy form Alabama on the practice squad. It’ll be beneficial to them both.


August 23rd, 2009
6:12 pm

CORRECTION. DJ was there and didn’t get any gametime repetitions. But neither did Chris Redman. I still say keep Redman and DJ and put the kid form Alabama on the practice squad.


August 23rd, 2009
6:48 pm

I was disappointed by DJ’s play. He needs more time on the field than the lesser impressive and much less talented Wilson. After watching Falcons practice it’s obvious Wilson has all the agility of Joe Tereshinski III. I don’t know what game the rest of you were watching, but the only difference in the Falcon’s game between DJ an JPW was the latters incredibly lucky moments. Won’t hold up. Let him be put aside to rust like DJ has, and you will see some sad performance from the lad.


August 23rd, 2009
6:49 pm

Third string QBs are inactive for games, anyway. You don’t use a spot on the practice squad for a fourth QB. Shockley will be cut. He’s still learning the “new” offense that Matt Ryan took three months to master and used all last year?


August 23rd, 2009
6:54 pm

No he won’t. The present Coaches know talent, they will not be making a ‘Marion Campbellesque” mistake like that. Bye-bye, John Parker.


August 23rd, 2009
6:59 pm

Oh, forgot, GO BIRDS!! Much more impressive effort Friday night.


August 23rd, 2009
7:17 pm

OldBrave: I aintnevr bin an idoit…is that one of them docters in labe cots…what quater wuz yer fayvrite…Yu must bee drinkin…cawz we idoits are we really we use sentences and pumctuation and comoonikat cohenantly and we are not hittin the meth… mus t o f the tayme dam the turpeetoes viscostiy brakedown… sludj in yer enjine…muppet show tweezertime snorkle unliiikke the piple yu insolt in yore rambling incoherant spew. lol


August 23rd, 2009
7:27 pm

DJ needs to go, he has shown once again that he does not have what it takes to be taken serious in the NFL. I mean really DJ a QB rating of 15 after 2 games. Falcons can’t keep both Redman and DJ due to $$$$. Sorry DJ, but John Parker Wilson has taken the 3rd spot. He has a QB rating of 97 and has made DJ look like the clueless rookie.

#1. Matt Ryan
#2. Chris Redman
#3. John Parker Wilson

Maybe DJ can hang on to a special teams slot or something, but with the Michael Vick system gone, we need to part ways.

big worm

August 23rd, 2009
8:11 pm

there is a few vet cbs out there mcallister ,bly the one i like is P SURTAIN

Rockin Rod

August 23rd, 2009
10:07 pm

Mr. Ledbetter sir, I feel you’re getting a little bit carried away with one preseason game. And Shockley (5-of-11 passing, 63 yards, 1 pic) didn’t perform that bad. His improvisational skills (6-0¾, 222, 4.47 40) will be sorely missed if we make some crazy move to cut Shockley. You got to realize that he’s the only QB on staff with a conference championship ring to which he directed his college ball club to that title (2005 SEC). And remember the times when Shockley has shined. Remember his terrific game winning drive that led to a last second FG and preseason victory over New England during his rookie year? I thought you wouldn’t remember. Shockley is very, very safe with the ball if you’ll view his history. In 2005, he had a 24-5 TD/Int ratio. In fact, Shockley had a nice 1.6% interception percentage. Shockley eqauls ball security. I know he was off key against St. Louis, but his playmakers in college would have looked in several of the throws Shockley made Friday night. Even the pick, former UGA tightend Leonard Pope and wides Bryan McClendon, Sean Bailey or Mohamed Massaqoui would have come up with that ball. His receiver just had poor concentration. And Brian Finneran also lost the handle on an easy-to-grab ball that wiped out a drive. But if Atlanta gets rid of Shockley, they will damage the depth of our QBs. We won’t have a mobile QB any longer. And that means nobody to take over the practice team and simulate the NFL’s elite mobile QBs when we have to play against these teams. That doesn’t make sense. Does it? And, Mr. Ledbetter…..I question whether you keep up with football. John Parker Wilson? Everybody remembers his late season collapse of Roll Tide Alabama in 2007. Remember how they lost to Troy State at the season’s end to fall to 6-6? I don’t think you watch much football, sir. You really want to put these ineffective players behind Matt Ryan and get rid of the one QB on the team that is smooth? Redmon didn’t show me anything at all in the loss to Detroit last week. Again, it’s (St. Louis) one game. How can you put such a heavy analysis into one game, when Shockley has the ability to make a play when the play breaks down. I’ve seen him do it time and time again. And he’ll continue. He gives our Atlanta a second chance at being a winner if – Heaven forbids – Matt Ryan were to go down with a season-ending injury. Chris Redmon would be hard pressed to do so in my humble opinion. Defenses would just load up and tee off on the immobile Redmon. Remember Joey Harrington? Hey you send the brother, Shockley, on……and this debacle of a situation could happen.

Falcon 8211

August 23rd, 2009
10:37 pm

i’m with rockin rod lets get a vet @cb. hey rockin i think McAllister would be better because he has one superbowl ring in which the defense basically won for baltimore. people still talk about that defense today. I think he also played for mike smith there also so he should be familar with our defense

Big Ray

August 24th, 2009
12:19 am

I see it didn’t take long for the boo birds to come out…in a victory no less.

Shockley may not make it this year. He hasn’t played absolutely horrible, but he’s not playing better than a guy who is a walk-on, for lack of a better term.

The other issue is that you can’t count on him to stay healthy. It doesn’t look good for him, but he may get to keep a job for the simple fact that there is absolutely nothing impressive to date about Wilson. Unless of course, Wilson gets to play in the next game, and shows out fairly decent. In that case, bye-bye Shockley. A sad case for Shockley, but not entirely unexpected. Still, he may keep the job as 2nd quarterback. Apparently he can’t beat Redman for backup. Youch.

Brent Grimes is tough, dirty, grimy, and we can always do worse. But if you’re relying on your cornerbacks to stop the offense, you’ve got way bigger problems. The defense starts up front. Doing a better job of stopping the run and putting pressure on the passer solves a lot of problems. Most teams have “adequate” secondary coverage and good front line and linebacker play. That’s where the backbone of the defense is.

Stop worrying about Grimes and Owens’ height. How many teams have 6′2″ starting corners, eh?


August 24th, 2009
1:31 am

There i was in 1973 the day i became a fan of Atlanta Falcons . Iwas in the navy up in BrunswickME.the ole boy ,my bunkmate was a Redskins fan it was Sunday afternoon just so happen it was Skins. vs. Falcons. Ithink his last name may have been Key. Nobis at backer Humphery over there at DE Berry at QB. 36 years ago. So it goes without saying i’v been a Falcons fan since then.well boys and girls i’ve just been setting back reading all yalls comments ,well may as well add a few of my own. Remember last year when ESPN and NFL net. said the Falcons were going to be one of the worse teams in the NFL? Well those so called experts was just a little bit off As a fan of 36 years I think this team is going to be if not the best but one of the best WE have ever had. Before I go for now please heed the advise of Ignore The Trolls .


August 24th, 2009
2:28 am

Big Ray, you are the man! I have been reading through the blogs listening to everyone complain about Grimes and his height or lack there of. You are absolutely right, defense starts up front. People, think about the Giants and the most recent Superbowl that they won. Can anyone name anyone of their DB’s other than Gibril Wilson!

Big Ray

August 24th, 2009
5:49 am


Precisely. We’ll be fine. Dominique Foxworth was a good guy, and I think it would have been great to keep him. But he isn’t and wasn’t going to be the anchor of our defense. THAT guy’s name? Curtis Lofton. He’s the new sheriff in town, and John Abraham is a specialist hired gun.


August 24th, 2009
8:15 am

What 4 stories did you have on deadline? Do you moonlight for another newspaper? By my count you write about 1 crappy blog per week. The only new falcons related stories were written by chris vivlamore. The guy in the birdcage is killing you.

Unca' Bob

August 24th, 2009
8:29 am


B Romberg was another gem TD has found. He seems a good fit for our young Falcons.

I’ve been a big fan of the no-huddle Offense. M Ryan shows how hard work can pay off. His play calling has been very, very good. I look forward to more of the same.

Big Ray,

Your usual great post. Good to see you again.

Mr cosmo

August 24th, 2009
8:35 am

It looks like D J was getting a little home cooking from our blog leader here , but if you know anything about football,and you have eyes it really is a no brainer , Shockley has to go JP Wilson is the better qb , looks off receivers has an accurate arm .
I think they have to let Wilson play this week to compare them better. And maybe we can hear some quotes from him ( hint hint) about the game. sorry DJ but this is a different game than college , everyone runs a 4.5 forty here , so your attributes are countered and your pocket presence and decision making are the keys.
Thanks for the home cooking but its really not tasty , try to be fair next time.