Falcons consider 1-9 Bucs ‘dangerous’

Falcons will sport their throwback uniforms on Sunday against Tampa Bay. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

The Falcons will sport their throwback uniforms on Sunday against Tampa Bay. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

THE BRANCH – From most accounts, the Tampa Bay situation is hot mess.

Head coach Raheem Morris essentially fired his defensive coordinator, Jim Bates, last Monday. Former Falcons assistant Jeff Jagodzinski, the offensive coordinator, was fired earlier one day before the final preseason game.

It looks like Morris, 33, is trying to do too much or he either doesn’t trust his assistants.

Despite their leadership issues, the Falcons consider the 1-9 Buccaneers a dangerous team.

“I don’t think the record indicates what type of football team they are,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I think they are very talented on both sides of the ball. They have the strongest special team units that we are going to face all year long.”

The Bucs are 29th in total offense (270.5 yards per game), 32nd against the rush (168.9 yards per game and 31st in points allowed (29.4).

“In this league you can’t take anybody for granted,” Smith said. “Every week is a battle. They are going to come in here, they are a division opponent and they are going to be well prepared.”

Pro Bowl returner Clifton Smith is a threat.

“He’s very dangerous,” Smith said. “He’s a guy when he gets the ball in his hands he can take it the distance. He definitely merits the Pro Bowl selection he got last year.”

Rookie Josh Freeman became the second-youngest quarterback to win his first start since 1970, when he beat Green Bay in Week 9.

“Freeman is coming along well,” Smith said. “He’s a big, strong kid who can make all of throws. The other thing that he adds is a dimension running the ball. He’s a guy that has taken off in scramble situations and has gotten some yards fro them.”

FALCONS-BUCCANEER CONNECTIONS

Michael Turner will be a game-time decision. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Michael Turner will be a game-time decision. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

• Buccaneers QB Byron Leftwich spent the 2007 season with the Atlanta Falcons.

• Bucs coach Jim Bates worked as the defensive coordinator for the Falcons in 1994.

• Bucs offensive line coach Pete Mangurian worked on the Atlanta Falcons coaching

staff as the offensive line coach (2001-02) and offensive coordinator (2003).

• Atlanta president Rich McKay served as Tampa Bay’s general manager for nine

seasons and built the Buccaneers Super Bowl XXXVII championship team.

• Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey served as the Buccaneers quality

control coach in 1994 and tight ends coach in 1995.

• Defensive line coach Ray Hamilton worked in the same capacity for the Bucs in 1991.

• Falcons director of athletic performance Jeff Fish was a strength and conditioning intern for Tampa Bay in 1997.

• Bucs DE Kyle Moore attended Houston County High School in Warner Robins,

Georgia and was a member of the AJC’s Super Southern 100 squad.

• Tampa Bay long-snapper Andrew Economos competed for Georgia Tech and was a three-year

letterman in football, basketball and baseball at Marist High School in Atlanta.

• Falcons WR Michael Jenkins was born in Tampa, Florida.

• Falcons LB Stephen Nicholas competed for South Florida located in Tampa, FL.

51 comments Add your comment

Eric P.

November 27th, 2009
11:46 am

Go Falcons! Whip the Bucs!

Falcon 8211

November 27th, 2009
12:11 pm

i just hope we get pressure and our corners got coached up this week. play the ball not the wr don’t let the rookie look like payton manning and do not loose containment because he will scramble

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 27th, 2009
12:13 pm

EP: got that fixed

Falcon 8211: All that needs to happen. Coach Smith said the coaches have to do a better job of coaching up the DBs to play the ball in the air. Said it’s a learned behavior, not just instinctive reactions.

Trainwreck

November 27th, 2009
12:28 pm

Yea… if we lose this game… I’m not only saying goodbye to the playoffs but also goodbye to back to back winning seasons

DHunt

November 27th, 2009
12:44 pm

You forgot two falcons waterboys went to Tampa for spring break in 2008 and lost their virginity.

Really though, the connections stuff is kind of a stretch, dontcha think?

Is Jerious playing or not? I got Snelling in my gantasy league (top five scorer last week) and it would be nice to know if he’s gonna get most of the carries.

Greg

November 27th, 2009
1:03 pm

Even if we’re flat for this game (and it wouldn’t surprise me if we were), we should win easily. Everything is going wrong for the poor Bucs, and many of their players seem to be just playing out the string. We out-talent the Bucs, just as the Eagles and the Giants and the Panthers out-talent us. Naturally anything can happen, but the odds are very long that the Bucs will prevail Sunday.

Falcon 8211

November 27th, 2009
1:46 pm

dol, see if owens is going to get some playing time at cb this week also is jerious back or what. have you talked to c. houston about his play @ cb. he needs to know all eyes on him this week. thanks dol.

TMoney

November 27th, 2009
1:51 pm

From ESPN: “Norwood (hip) fully participated in practice again on Thursday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. “Jerious is definitely ahead of Mike,” coach Mike Smith said referring to the fact that Norwood is currently doing more at practice than Michael Turner.”

TMoney

November 27th, 2009
1:53 pm

Full week 12 injury report (From CBSSports):

Sam Baker – Elbow – Limited practice. Questionable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay
Erik Coleman – Knee – Full practice. Probable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay
Brian Finneran – Knee – Did not practice. Questionable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay
Curtis Lofton – Knee, groin – Limited practice. Questionable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay
Jerious Norwood – Hip – Full practice. Probable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay
Michael Turner – Ankle – Limited practice. Questionable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay
Roddy White – Knee – Full practice. Probable for Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay

The Thin Guy

November 27th, 2009
2:14 pm

Last week the Falcons lost to the NY Giants in overtime. The G Men were thoroughly whipped by the Denver Broncos. This doesn’t look good. But if you can’t beat Tampa Bay you don’t belong in the league. Have the Falcons beaten anyone with a winning record?

TMoney

November 27th, 2009
2:27 pm

The Thin Guy

November 27th, 2009
2:14 pm

Last week the Falcons lost to the NY Giants in overtime. The G Men were thoroughly whipped by the Denver Broncos. This doesn’t look good. But if you can’t beat Tampa Bay you don’t belong in the league. Have the Falcons beaten anyone with a winning record?

Unfortunately, no. The Falcons have played 4 teams with winning records (New England, Dallas, New Orleans, New York Giants) and lost to all 4. The one thing that might make it not look as bad is that all 4 games have been on the road, and 2 against teams coming off of a bye.

And I wouldn’t read too much into the Giants getting whipped last night. They had to travel Wednesday, meaning they pretty much only had 2.5 days at most to prepare for the game. Denver’s wasn’t much better, but any extra time, plus home field, can be enough of an advantage.

buick59

November 27th, 2009
3:19 pm

would not be suprised to see them lay an egg. Has happened many times over the years. Remember the Colts game in either ‘85 or ‘86. They were winless, hapless, blocked a Falcons punt and won the game at the end. Seen it all too many times

Kenny D

November 27th, 2009
3:21 pm

I hope the defense and Matt Ryan show up for the BUCs. The Falcons need to run the ball in the Red Zone. As we know Matt, passing the ball on 1st , 2nd and 3rd down isn’t so good in the red zone. I hope Next year the Falcons can beef up the Secondary. Also, the Falcons need a kicker (Bad). Go Falcons!

Lank

November 27th, 2009
3:50 pm

It’s a home game, Falcons win. They beat TB, Philly, lose to NO, win the rest and go 10-6 to get the 6 seed. Ryan had a good game against the giants. Turner may be coming back and snelling is playing great. Just don’t throw to Jenkins or try to kick a field goal from outside the 10.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 27th, 2009
4:05 pm

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons running back Micheal Turner was listed as “questionable” on the team’s injury report that was released on Friday.
Turner, the team’s leading rusher, suffered a high ankle sprain against Carolina and did not play last week against the New York Giants. He has been limited this week in practice.
Also, Brian Finneran (knee) will not play on Sunday.
Other players on the injury report include left tackle Sam Baker (elbow, questionable), wide receiver Marty Booker (not injury related, questionable), middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee, groin, questionable), running back Jerious Norwood (hip, questionable), right tackle Tyson Clabo (knee, probable), safety Erik Coleman (knee, probable) and wide receiver Roddy White (knee, probable).

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 27th, 2009
4:09 pm

D.HUNT — Got to think Snelling is carrying the load with some Norwood sprinkled in there. Doesn’t make any sense to play Turner this week.

FALCONS 8211 — They might as well get Owens out there. I did talk to Houston and he said he has to make plays on the ball. Smith also said the coaches needed to stress to the DBs the importance of making plays on the ball. He called it a learned skill. (I thought it’s more instinctive, but he shot down that little theory!).

Wildebeast

November 27th, 2009
4:44 pm

Smitty needs to yank Houston the very nano-second he fails to turn and look for the dang ball. Heck I learned technique in 5th grade. Not to mention it’s illegal in coverage to not turn your head. And cough!

metric man

November 27th, 2009
5:19 pm

The Falcons handle their business Sunday and win against the Bucs. Here’s why.The Falcons five wins come against teams with a combined record of 20-30, while their five losses come against teams with a combined 35-17. They are one of three NFC teams that are undefeated at home, where they are 12-1 since last season. Translation: they beat bad teams (and lose to good ones) and they win at home. The Bucs are 32nd in the league in rushing defense, giving up an average of 168.9 yards per game. Jason Snelling, Jerious Norwood (probable) or Michael Turner (questionable) will go well over 100 yards and the play action will set up some nice plays down the field. Not only will the Falcons be hungry for some prey, but the fans will too. Look for the domefield advantage to play a part. Falcons win and cover.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 27th, 2009
5:52 pm

Does it really matter?

- The division is locked up

- Green Bay is 7-4

- Philly is 6-4 (they will destroy this paper defense and the Eagles
corners are licking their chops.

- Dallas is 8-3 (owns tie breaker)

- Giants are 6-5 (owns tie breaker)

- The Jets beat New England (who whipped Atlanta)

- The Saints are going to land another whipping

The CHOKE’s game ending pick against Carolina & game changing fumble against the Giants have sealed their fates.

The only thing the Falcons have to look forward to is the draft and off season. Speaking of drafts, the brilliant Dimitroff can really pick ‘em, with Jerry & Moore – way to waste a NUMBER 1 & NUMBER 2 pick, with damaged goods and don’t forget the 2010 NUMBER 2 pick going to Kansas City.

So it will be 2 seasons and no playoff wins – I think the LOSER Mora took the team to the championship game in his first season ironically.

SHOTYME

November 27th, 2009
6:49 pm

All I want for christmas is to get on the Falcons blog, without seeing “MAN CRUSH” and his pathetic little thoughts on our team {GO TO THE EAGLE BLOG PLEASE}.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 27th, 2009
7:21 pm

SHOTYME

November 27th, 2009
6:49 pm
All I want for christmas is to get on the Falcons blog, without seeing “MAN CRUSH” and his pathetic little thoughts on our team {GO TO THE EAGLE BLOG PLEASE

“And the Easter Bunny & Peter Cotton Tail says hello” :)

hooper

November 27th, 2009
7:36 pm

I know this is off topic but I can’t believe the cakewalk the NFL has handed the Saints this year. My gosh, they play their hardest opponents at home and now they’re coming up on their second Monday Night, AT HOME! WTH??? We had to play 4 teams coming off of byes and had to play our most difficult games on the road. Oh well. Maybe we’ll get the easy road next year.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 27th, 2009
8:10 pm

hooper

November 27th, 2009
7:36 pm
I know this is off topic but I can’t believe the cakewalk the NFL has handed the Saints this year.

“After a season of”

- Detroit

- St. Louis

- Oakland

- Kansas City

And you are complaining?

The Boss

November 27th, 2009
9:44 pm

“Choke”, damn it man the people waiting in the drive thru are upset from a long wait again. Can you please get back to work and take care of your customers? Oh yea, that beep you just heard means the fries are ready! Stalk the Falcons blog on your own time.

cdog

November 27th, 2009
10:27 pm

with that mess the falcons have in the secondary you bet the bucs are dangerous. matter of fact, any team the falcons have on their schedule is dangerous. anybody that steps on the field in the secondary for the falcons plays like they have never played in the secondary before.might as well start chris owens and moore if he was not scared.he’s been faking injuries the whole season. that grimes and houston couldn’t cover a turtle. what are they doing in the NFL?makes you wonder what is the problem.coaching?or just plain laziness and lack of heart and pride

Singletary

November 27th, 2009
11:32 pm

Wow, the Vent is looking paltry, and I want more Falcons coverage before the long half year of misery (meaning no football.). Give me postings and good news, like Burner will be back next week. Sunday’s coming, people. It’s not to early to speculate on the top DBs likey to come out in the draft.

Rocky Mountian Falcon

November 27th, 2009
11:42 pm

All I can say is, The Falcon’s Secondary BETTER show up on Sunday. If we lose to the Bucks, then our season is finished.

Back in Dome vs. the Bucs | The Bird Cage

November 28th, 2009
9:46 am

[...] Georgia Dome on Sunday and have to take care of business against a team in pure rebuilding mode. (Check out DOL’s new blog on the Falcons mindset vs. the Bucs). There really is not much satisfaction in doing what needs to be done against the Bucs, but dropping [...]

The truth

November 28th, 2009
11:02 am

Some had way to high of expectations at the beginning of the season and now are ready to throw the towel in. Real fans….????????????

Jamaal

November 28th, 2009
1:21 pm

WE NEED a pass rush and Matt Ryan to do his job and we’ll be fine.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Chris Owens has to get the starting job at left corner. Grimes is scrappy, but he gets burned by the bigger receivers.

Coach Smith might have “all the confidence in the world” in Elam the kicker, but I don’t. Falcons need to try out another 4 kickers if they have to. Somebody get the job over this loser who can’t even decide which foot to put forward first when he’s about to kick the ball.

John Abraham is no longer a pro bowler. When is the last time he got a sack? I sure miss that rookie Peria Jerry. He was a bruiser. Whatever happened to Trey Lewis? Did he move in with Grady Jackson? That must be it, now neither one can get out the door, not even in single file.

Matt Ryan looked pretty composed against the Giants. He may just tear the Bucs apart.

Jerious Norwood is healthy again and will be nothing but trouble for opponents. Until he gets injured again, that is.

Go Falcons.

Eric C.

November 28th, 2009
2:10 pm

DOL…Thanks for the blog update. I hope Turner doesn’t play in this game…would be good to get him healthy for the tougher games.

Eric C.

November 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

Ha…remember the 10-0 Jets in 1986??? They finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs. Just a random thought for Saints fans.

Unfortunately, the Falcons started 4-0 that same year and finished 7-8-1 including a miserable loss to the winless Colts.

Eric C.

November 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

“Choke”…if the Falcons finish 10-6 and finish 3-1 against NFC teams with win over the Eagles…that should put them in the playoffs.

Eric C.

November 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

“Choke”…I know how hard you pull for the Falcons and figured that would make you feel better.

6 - 10

November 28th, 2009
3:49 pm

Bucs 17
Us 10

:(

SHOTYME

November 28th, 2009
7:28 pm

must be an imposter, aint no way thats “MAN CRUSH” saying go Falcons. What happened? your Matt Ryan hating got stale.

"Charles", The Original

November 28th, 2009
8:31 pm

Last Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons proceeded boldly to the land of the giants and applied the adversity test. At the end of regulation, four quarters of football, the score ended in a tie, 31-31. The Falcons had momentum on their side as they pushed the Giants around in the second half. A coin was tossed to determine who gets the ball first at the end of regulation. And the lot fell on the New York Giants. The Giants didn’t waste any time. They drove the football down the field and kicked a field goal for the win, 34-31. In the end, the Giants proved to be Manning enough to pass the adversity test like the Saint’s Brees and the Panther’s#2 Delhomme. As you know, Brady and Tony Romo abstained until a later date.

The Atlanta Falcons and their fans have much to be thankful for this season. Considering all things, the Falcons are in good shape as they fight for a position in the playoffs. After ten games, the Falcons have five wins and five losses. There are six games remaining on the schedule. The birds play the teams with the best records this season at the Georgia Dome, the Philadelphia Eagles 6-4 and the New Orleans Saints 10-0. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 1-9 and the Buffalo Bills are 3-7. The Falcons have lost one game in the Georgia Dome in nearly two seasons.

The remaining two games are on the road, the New York Jets 4-6 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-9. Everyone knows what the Falcons must do to get in the playoff and ultimately the Super Bowl, win baby win. On Sunday, look for the winning to begin. Young Bucs’ QB Josh Freeman will face adversity for the duration of the game. And for all intents and purposes, it should be practically over by half time as the Falcons make their initial thrust toward the playoffs and ultimately the Super Bowl.

Look for the Atlanta Falcons to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-14.

Jack Wood

November 29th, 2009
12:03 am

Dangerous? The Bucs? Comedy shows aren’t dangerous!

NWFan

November 29th, 2009
12:34 am

I don’t care what the Bucs record is they always give the Falcons fits. Unfortunately, until they deliver a consistent effort week in and week out they are capable of making any team look good.

Jonny

November 29th, 2009
1:44 am

Bucs beat the Falcons once and almost did 2nd time with a 2nd string QB. Packers were very much a team like Falcons when they played Bucs and Matt Ryan in his short career has not figured out a way to beat Tampa-2 scheme yet. Also when Falcons won 13-10 last December, Bucs were already that “bad/tired” defense that was giving up huge yardage against run and yet Falcons almost lost if not for that TB’s kicker that missed a FG that would have gotten them into lead.

Frank Wren

November 29th, 2009
12:05 pm

Caleb King just scored again

tom shoupe

November 29th, 2009
12:30 pm

If Elam misses a field goal today, I would like all the fans to get up and go use the restroom or get a hot dog. This would send a clear message to the Falcon’s brass. Empty dome for 10 min.

bob dylan

November 29th, 2009
12:53 pm

Is Washaun Ealey a viable fantasy option with Turner starting?

JSS

November 29th, 2009
4:33 pm

Congrads to Chris Redman, prepared, overcame horrible O-Line play, and made the big throws not just when it counted, but on a consistent nature…

JAMES

November 29th, 2009
4:36 pm

JP

November 29th, 2009
5:28 pm

Dear Mr. Blank, Please do us ALL a favor and stay OFF the field until the game is over, it look’s silly and you’re a distraction!! Thank you!!!

Joebrave

November 29th, 2009
6:46 pm

JP, Choke, Guys like you aren’t wanted, Mr.Blank owns the damn team, and can do whatever he damn well pleases! Like walk onto the field, or walk away from a sorry @ssed Dog Killer!

Joebrave

November 29th, 2009
6:47 pm

And maybe just maybe He will walk away from a Drunk @ssed placekicker tomorrow!

D Hall

November 29th, 2009
9:06 pm

I would like to know if its just me, but it is not only the LCB position that has a problem, everyone seems to pick on whoever plays for 2 seconds in that position. What are the coaches doing? Maybe we are looking in the wrong place and how does it help the moral of the players involved to be juggled every week.
JP – I like seeing Mr. Blank, that is when I know the game is almost over and we want have to actually have a coronary.