Matt Ryan returns to New England as a star

Matt Ryan, the former Boston College star, is set to talk to the New England media today. Tom Brady is not returning the favor to the ATL media. He's running faster than he did from ESPN's Suzy Kolber. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

Matt Ryan, the former Boston College star, is set to talk to the New England media today. Tom Brady is not returning the favor to the ATL media. He's running faster than he did from ESPN's Suzy Kolber. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

TRYING TO GET TO THE BRANCH – Hoping I can make it out to practice today.

The plan is to leave extra early and drive really slow. Wednesdays are always big days for the media and the team.

They’ll start installing the game plan for New England. After giving up 308 yards passing to Jake Delhomme, the defense will likely be extra sharp about their coverage responsibilities. The Falcons certainly need to crank back up the pass rush after the defensive line didn’t record a sack last week. They registered four sacks in the opener against Miami with John Abraham and Kroy Biermann getting two each.

I don’t believe  the plan calls for letting Tom Brady sit comfortably in the pocket, while looking for Randy Moss, Wes Welker, et al.

There was some flag waving at the Georgia Dome last Sunday. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

There was some flag waving at the Georgia Dome last Sunday. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC) Welker et al.

Offensively, the Falcons have to fine tune some things. They get another crack at trying to run the ball at a 3-4 defense. Miami held Michael Turner to 65 yards by walking the outside linebackers up to the line of scrimmage and creating an old-school 5-2 look.

However, none of the outside linebackers on New England’s roster resemble Joey Porter or Jason Taylor. Adalius Thomas has been slowed by a foot injury. But  this Pierre Woods kid is huge at 6-5, 295. The bigger concern might be nose tackle Vince Wilfork. He’s listed at 325, but one NFL scribe said he appears to have swallowed Grady Jackson and is much heftier. Former Georgia Tech standout Gary Guyton is starting at inside linebacker for the Patriots

Throwback uniforms were a hit. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Throwback uniforms were a hit. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

BRADY DISTRACTED: Brady and super model Gisele Bundchen are being sued by a couple of photographers. Maybe this will be a distraction as he prepares for the Falcons. The Patriots elected not to provide Brady to the Atlanta media today. Instead, we’re getting former Georgia tight end and star of the Buffalo game, Ben Watson. The Falcons  could have been spoil sports and let the New England media talk to backup tight end Keith Zinger. But they are classy and gave the New England Matt Ryan. So not only has Brady blown of Suzy Kolber on national television. He’s also too “Big” to talk to the Atlanta media.

To stay on top of the Patroits as they prepare for the Falcons you can check out the Boston Herald’s Ian Rappaport’s The Rap Sheet or hit him up on twitter at “@rapsheet.”  You can catch me at “DorlandoAjc.” You Alabama fans might remember him from his days covering the Tide for the Birmingham paper.

Gisele Bunchen and Brady are being sued. (

Gisele Bunchen and Brady are being sued. (

AROUND THE NFC SOUTH: Let’s take a quick look around the Division. There’s turmoil in Tampa. Borderline disaster in Carolina. New Orleans is off and flying on the arm of Drew Brees.

SAINTS ARE MARCHING IN: No one is surprised by the 45 and 48 points the Saints have put up. Or Drew Brees’ 75 percent completion rate. The Saints, with new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, have seven takeaways. Former Packer/Viking Darren Sharper leads the way with 3 interceptions. With a defense, the Saints could be scary.

PANTHERS MUST AVOID 0-3 START: They play Dallas on Monday night. After going 12-4 last season, folks are

"The Bird" helmets had never faced the Panthers before. The Panthers weren't around inthe 1960s. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

"The Bird" helmets had never faced the Panthers before. The Panthers weren't around inthe 1960s. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

starting to wonder if they should have brought Jake Delhomme and Julius Peppers back. Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler caught up with Jon Beason on his off day and the stud linebacker was blaming himself for the defeats to Philadelphia and Atlanta.

PHILLIPS OUT FOR THE YEAR: Tampa Bay’s safety/linebacker Jermaine Phillips was placed on IR with a broken thumb. The former Roswell High and University of Georgia star was hoping that the Falcons attempted to sign him this offseason when he was a free agent. His phone didn’t ring and he re-signed with the Bucs in March.

Can you really go to jail for shooting yourself in the leg?

45 comments Add your comment


September 23rd, 2009
7:59 am

funny story: i just got bak in town and hadnt seen the falcons-panthers game yet and had to go buy a computer at a local electronics shop, all the while plugging my ears to avoid any spoilers. well while im shopping trying to make a decision on which computer to buy I look 10 feet to my left and….”holy crap it’s matt ryan” and all the sudden i didnt know what to do. i wanted to go up and congradulate him on his prior game, but i couldnt, not knowing how it ended up…..was wierd, i have never been star-struck in my life til today.

An Observation

September 23rd, 2009
8:12 am

Congrats to Matt Ryan (a class act) and the Falcons as they head to NE for the game. Hopefully Brady will be seriously distracted by all of his off field issues and that the D-Line & CBs will have a great game.

Obviously the answer is “YES” you can go to jail in NY for shooting yourself in the leg especially when it’s an illegal gun (not registered – violating the city’s strict gun laws), when the bullet narrowly misses someone else, and when politicians like Bloomberg get involved calling for Burress to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Being a celeb obviously didn’t help either.

Bill Heller

September 23rd, 2009
8:13 am

Can you really go to jail for shooting yourself in the leg? You forgot to add that he did it in a crowded bar, so – THANK GOD PEOPLE CAN GO TO JAIL FOR IT! The public needs to be protected from such idiots.

Blue Fender

September 23rd, 2009
8:15 am

Dang, Robert. Talk about your “bro-mance”.


September 23rd, 2009
8:43 am

Dayum. Let’s go back to the red helmets permanently.


September 23rd, 2009
8:44 am

Yes sir some how you end up doing 2 years in prison. It’s a goofy world were living in 2 years for popping yourself in the leg and a few months for killing someone with a car. Almost makes it sound better to be DUI.

Great Article DOL… BTW Can you hook me up with some Falcons tickets? You can drop them off in the Branch that’s were I live. Hey, you never know till you ask!


September 23rd, 2009
9:06 am

Orlando, is Trey Lewis 100% — I was suprised he was inactive the first two weeks.


September 23rd, 2009
9:11 am

The Patriots are not longer a 3-4 defense. They switched to a 4-3 defense this year.


September 23rd, 2009
9:13 am

scratch the comment. My apologies. I was thinking of another team


September 23rd, 2009
9:44 am

Remember that Plaxico confessed to the crime in front of the Grand Jury without a prior plea agreement, which every legal expert I heard or read said was the worst thing he could have done. Obviously you can go to prison for being stupid.
BTW, he wasn’t charged with shooting himself; he was charged with discharging an unregistered firearm in a public place. The fact he managed to hit his own leg was immaterial.

GO BIRDS!! Love the old unis!

Legal Wizard

September 23rd, 2009
10:09 am

You can go to jail for bringing an unlicensed firearm into a public establishment where you could have just as easily shot someone else. The law is there for the public’s safety, not just your own.

Ken Strickland

September 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

The closer we get to Foxboro and the more I review the last 2 performances of the Patriots and the Falcons, the more I start to believe the Patriots are in for a big surprise. Our DL has done well against the run over the last 2gms, as well as our LB’s and safeties. If our CB play improves, we will have the upper hand, because our OFF is better than theirs, even though it’s been inconsistent so far.

Their OFF is totally dependent on the arm of QB TBrady, while our OFF has options like the legs of RB MTurner or the arm of QB MRyan.


September 23rd, 2009
10:31 am

I am interested in seeing what Trey can do


September 23rd, 2009
10:33 am

Thanks for the update DLed. Brady looked very “beatable” in that first game win. Yeah he got a couple of TD’s late but Leodis McKelvin’s goof saved Brady’s bacon. A Falcons road win in Foxboro will be huge!


September 23rd, 2009
10:53 am

They still got the man in the hoodie on the other sideline, so the Pats are still going to be tough to beat.

Things I expect:

1. Randy Moss is gonna have a big day, but we can’t allow him to go crazy.

2. Mike Peterson will do an excellent job patrolling the middle and helping out with Welker, who is sneaky quick.

3. Michael Turner and Snelling should be able to really lean on the Pats and move the chain.

4. Beerman! Looking for him to get a sack or two as the Pats will probably double Big Abe.


September 23rd, 2009
11:17 am

So you’re insinuating that if you violate NY state law by carrying a concealed fire arm in a public venue, then you should be exempt from it if you’re stupid enough to shoot yourself?? Hmmm…

Our pass defense matched up against the Pats pass O is definitely cause for concern. Gotta keep pressure on Brady with the pass rush… The Saints are downright scary this year. Should be a much hyped matchup of two division rivals fighting for 1st place when we meet them in N.O. later this season on Monday night. Really looking forward to that one.


September 23rd, 2009
11:31 am

The Jets kept Brady off-balance by blitzing. I feel we need to blitz Brady, but I’m afraid that will expose our our CB’s and leave the middle of the field open for short routes. We will have depend on the DL to get pressure off the edge. 3-0 Go Falcons!

GT Falcon

September 23rd, 2009
11:32 am

Thanks for calling out the golden child for blowing off Suzy Kolber on live national TV. I thought that was a very classless act. Its part of your job to talk to the media. Especially if you are the team leader. If it were anyone else the national media would have made a bigger deal of it. Not a brady fan at all. Big baby.


September 23rd, 2009
11:33 am

D-Led…ok it Wednesday, and just the Falcons, its time to start my preparation for the Pats. A really big game, given that we can go into our premature break at 3-0…get some people healed, etc. In order to be effective in Mass this weekend, we MUST do a few things:

(1) First, we have got to get this LB/DB mesh right…or close to being right. While our LBs have been tight, the only that seems to get a hand on balls is Peterson (who should be NFC defensive player of the week). This may be a product of having a 2nd year middle LB.

(2) My man Burner has GOT to hit the hole quicker. Seems to be laboring. See Jason Snelling. He came in for a couple of plays and HIT the hole. While Snelling rarely falls forward (testament to his rust), he should get a couple of carries…and Burner has to hit it quicker.

(3) Elam will be a factor on Sunday. We need points on the majority of our drives, so the old man must be in the zone. Meaning: no Coors Lites this trip buddy. Lock in and focus.

(4) BLITZ. Brady will sit back and pick us apart. I’m not talking about the blitz from a CB coming from across the field…I’m talking about zone blitzes with various combinations of #54, 53, 50 and 26. Dial it up this trip Van Gorder. Brady with time + Houston one on one with Moss = Strike up the BAND

(5) Speaking of Houston…while he redeemed himself on the interception, I need him to keep improving and TACKLE this weekend. I want to see Trey Lewis too…just make a pile big man.

More as I continue to break the film down. LOL…

“F” to the “B” to the “D”

Nite Owl

September 23rd, 2009
12:20 pm

I am loving the indepth analysis.

First, I lost some respect for Brady after he blew off Kolber. It’s easy to appear classy when things are going your way.

Now he can’t talk to the media? What a freakin’ baby. He DESERVES to be Giselle’s gofer.

Coach Smith is the smartest coach in the league other than Belichick. Can’t wait to see what we do scheme-wise.

Nite Owl

September 23rd, 2009
12:28 pm

Oh, and the other guys covered your legal question, but I figured you were mostly kidding.

I thought the guy was on probation at the time, too. I could be wrong. But that would be a problem as well.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 23rd, 2009
12:29 pm

Just got out of open locker room. Trey Lewis is 100 percent. Said he’s ready to go. He’s just waiting his turn. Smitty announced Thomas Johnson as the starter on Monday.

Didn’t see Jerious Norwood in there. Will have to wait for Coach Smith to give us an update after practice.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 23rd, 2009
1:07 pm

TERRY BRADSHAW just stopped by the media room. He was wanted to know when they letting the media eat lunch. Fox has the game this week.

Nite Owl

September 23rd, 2009
1:21 pm

I hate it for Jerry, but it’s amazing how we’re still nine deep on the D line.

Trey is a beast, and Vance Walker will keep learning and be the inactive guy now.

And our fifth DE is Sidbury. What a difference an offseason or two can make.


September 23rd, 2009
1:43 pm

I CANT BELIEVE he went to jail for SHOOTING HIMSELF people. Not only is that sad its FUNNY!!! HOW!!! i mean, when i forget his name KILLED a mexican in a car accident WHILE HE WAS OVER THE LIMIT and settled outta court… This is just to funny.


September 23rd, 2009
2:03 pm

Ken S,

Don’t go to sleep on the NE running game. They were 6th in the league last year (only10 yds / gm less than us) AND added Fred Taylor. And with Brady still finding his legs, we’ll get a BIG dose of the run if we can’t stop it.


September 23rd, 2009
3:24 pm

Packers release top pick

Aaron Rouse, 6-4, 227, S just released. Has the metrics, I’d bring him in for a good once over.


September 23rd, 2009
4:27 pm



September 23rd, 2009
4:28 pm

Wow tyger?! I didn’t see that. That is surprising to me. He was just starting for them this past week.

Cawmmon Cents

September 23rd, 2009
4:37 pm

I see Moss, Welker and Brady having a FIELD DAY. The offense better have there track shoes on…we are gonna need to score “Saints Style” to win this oone


September 23rd, 2009
5:39 pm

as a saints fan i hate to pull for the falcons but i hate the pats, not as much as i hate dallas tho. good luck sunday birdz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 23rd, 2009
5:48 pm

D Led……….good article. But seriously, how many times do you see any pro football player want to talk to a reporter, on the field, immediately after a very, very emotional loss. I can’t remember ever, ever seeing it. The only reason Kolber went after TB right after the game is because, well, he’s Tom Brady. He did do his postgame press conference as he always does, win or lose. And I would think the reason the pats didn’t make Brady available to the Atlanta press is that, well, after his performance this past sunday, I would hope he’s working hard on getting his timing and rhythm down… least he better be. Oh, one more thing, all this crap Jets fans were spewing about Belichick not shaking hands with Mark Sanchez and barely shaking hands with Rex Ryan on the field right after the game…….let it be known that Belichick sought out both of them immediately after the game in the tunnel to congratulate them and shake both their hands. At least you falcon fans (most of you) aren’t like Jet’s fans, they are the worst ever. Please don’t act like them if you guys win sunday.

Man, I’m really struggling with who to root for sunday. I want to see matty have success and even see the falcons do well, but how can I root against my hometown pats. HELP.

I’ll say this about the game this sunday though. If the Pats get Abraham blocked all day it could be a long day for the falcons D. If they don’t get Abraham blocked, it could be another long day for the Pats and Brady. Can’t wait for the game…..I’m already biting my nails. Ya gotta love it.

GT Brill

September 23rd, 2009
5:56 pm

At the beginning of the year, I had this game chalked up as a loss, now I feel like we have a realistic chance to win this game. Mike Peterson is looking really good and disruptive. And on a lighter note, wish we could wear the throwbacks permanently. Those red helmets look great and the new uni’s look like Arena Football League or something, blecch !


September 23rd, 2009
6:14 pm

agreed with GT those old helmets and logo look so much better than the new ones. same for the pats, broncos, bills. guess i just remember my dad and me watchin those games in the 60’s & 70’s


September 23rd, 2009
6:56 pm

can’t wait for this game, this would be huge to go into the bye at 3-0, it’s an early bye though, almost like that breakout game is coming, like going to green bay last year, and not knowing how the team would do. I wanna see brady hit all day, disrupt his pampered a$$ , love to see the birds finally getting some national media love, can’t stand berman though , go birds


September 24th, 2009
9:30 am

D.O.L. say what ????


September 24th, 2009
10:10 am

Enter your comments hereHey Bedwetter, I saw the article you co wrote wher you predicted the Falcons to lose and score only 17 points. Your a douche, I guess the AJC found their replacement for the other douche, Terrance Moore. I wish the AJC. would hire a real beatwriter for the Falcons, one that knows something about football. Oh Yeah the article also says that the Patriots will run the ball and grind it out against the Falcons. This is the same team that has thrown the ball 100 times in the last two games!!!!!!

Poppa Razzi

September 24th, 2009
10:39 am

D.O. – You say that Tom Brady is being blown OF Suzy Kolber on national television. Does this mean what I think it does??? Wow!!! That’s just the distraction we need prior to this game. I’ve looked for the video link of this but can’t find it yet. I’m sure this will be huge news soon.
Thanks for the info and tip. Great reporting.

SUPER MAN IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 24th, 2009
10:46 am

Eagles have “extensive” package of plays for Vick

Posted by Mike Florio on September 24, 2009 7:35 AM ET

As Eagles quarterback Mike Vick prepares to make his official return to football for the first time since December 2006, ESPN’s Sal Paolatonio reports that the team is working on an “extensive” package of plays for the man who spent the last two football seasons doing something other than playing football.

The package, per Paolantonio, consists of shotgun and Wildcat formations.

Regarding coach Andy Reid’s coy approach to Vick’s status on Sunday, Paolantonio was blunt.

“Don’t believe it,” Paolantonio said during a SportsCenter segment. “Too much time and emotion has been invested by Vick, this franchise, and this city to get Vick to this point and not have him play.”

So of the four quarterbacks on the Philly roster, Vick is the only one whose name can be added in ink to the list of guys the Chiefs can expect to see. As to Donovan McNabb (rib), Kevin Kolb, and Jeff Garcia, Kansas City can’t rule out any of them, and thus must prepare for each of them.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 24th, 2009
11:04 am

ERIC: What is a Douche? Is that a good thing? Should I be proud to be called a Douche? The home team guy gets to make the prediction. Don’t pin that one on me. There’s a lot of talk about the Pats trying to run because their passing is not all the way synced up and Welker is not 100 percent. Watch for the 5 keys to the game later this week.

POPPA RAZZI: No, no. no. Get you’re mind out of the Joe Namath gutter.


September 24th, 2009
11:59 am

You can go to jail for shooting yourself IF you are a black male celebrity.

If you are a WHITE male celebrity, the law does not apply.

Next question: If Obama does all the things Bush/Cheney did, will he:

A) Go to prison for LIFE after he leaves office
B) Be exiled to a remote snake, alligator infested island away from the United States
C) Be forced to pay for his Secret Service protection once out of office
D) Have his record as President erased from the record, leaving no indication, other than memory, that a Black man was once President of the United States

When you answer, remember the Plaxico Burrus case. Rules for Black men are different.

That is all.

Poppa Razzi

September 24th, 2009
3:22 pm

I’ll say it again and hopefully the idiot that writes for this napkin’s website won’t delete it again -
What does shooting oneself and being a celebrity have to do with breaking the law no matter what color you are. I challenge you to let me know what other PERSON of any color or status has recently ejected a firearm without a license in NYC and hasn’t been prosecuted.
Finally – what does this have to do with the Falcons. No wonder D.O. leaves your posting. He needs it. HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL OR THE FALCONS.


September 24th, 2009
7:33 pm

Poppa Razzi,

Give it a rest and answer my questions.


September 24th, 2009
10:47 pm

Poppa Rozzi, I think that since this website, blog, and paper in general is beneath you, you should definitely stop posting here. That, and I feel our collective IQs lowering everytime your fingers hit a keyboard.

Poppa Razzi

September 25th, 2009
7:15 am

Ok, JD – Which I’m assuming is an acronym for Just Dumb, I’ll TRY to answer your ‘Next Question’ although it was the only question and is beyond unrealistically hypothetical.
First of all, when you say ‘All the things Bush and Cheney did’ what do you mean? Start a war? Make moronic weekly statements that have become pop culture humor and highlights for late night talk show hosts? Shoot your hunting buddy? (which I would think is where you may be going with this as it is the closest to your Plaxico reference but honestly, JD, you don’t make much sense so you’ve got me?)
Second, and again, unable to truly answer this rhetorical question because, while YOU may be, Obama is neither as stupid as Bush, nor as conniving as Cheney.
So let me send it back to you since you enjoy this type of fodder:
A. If Obama and Bush played one on one, who would call the first foul?
B. Since they both enjoy a drink from time to time, if Bush drank as many beers as Obama did at his annual Superbowl party, would he be able to drive his tractor? .