Archive for December, 2009

Friday Injury report; Clabo in last game as a Falcon?

Burn Unit

Falcons tackle Tyson Clabo could become an unrestricted free agent if a new CBA is reached.

FRIDAY INJURY AND PRACTICE  REPORT

Questionable (A 50-50 chance will not play)

DT Thomas Johnson (knee)

RB Michael Turner (ankle)

TE Tony Gonzalez (calf)

WR Eric Weems (head)

S Charley Peprah (hamstring)

LB Curtis Lofton (shoulder/hamstring)

QB Matt Ryan (toe)

K Matt Bryant (right hamstring)

P Michael Koenen (head)

DE Jamaal Anderson (chest)

DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder)

T Sam Baker (elbow/hamstring)

Did Not Participate in Practice

DT Thomas Johnson (knee)

RB Michael Turner (ankle)

WR Eric Weems (head)

S Charley Peprah (hamstring)

Limited Participation in Practice

(Less than 100% of normal reps)

TE Tony Gonzalez (calf)

LB Curtis Lofton (shoulder/hamstring)

QB Matt Ryan (toe)

K Matt Bryant (hamstring)

P Michael Koenen (head)

DE Jamaal Anderson (chest)

DT Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder)

T Sam Baker (elbow/hamstring)

  • The Falcons also signed punter Danny Baugher to the practice squad. …

Continue reading Friday Injury report; Clabo in last game as a Falcon? »

Did Pro Bowl voters stick it to the Falcons?

Tony Gonzalez dunks after a touchdown against Chicago.

Tony Gonzalez dunks after a touchdown against Chicago.

THE BRANCH – Were the Falcons robbed in the NFC “Chicago Style” Pro Bowl voting?

Yes.

At the very least, tight end Tony Gonzalez should have made it. You can make cases for  wide receiver Roddy White, linebackers Curtis Lofton and Michael Peterson and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux.

Free safety Thomas DeCoud, who knocked three players out of games with his big-hitting, turned in a good season and has to be the next season’s “Pro Bowl Watch List.”

Got a couple of theories on what happened:

  1. Winning helps. The Falcons are 8-7 and only overpowered one team this season, San Francisco.
  2. The offense and defense are not ranked in the top half of the league. The offense is ranked 17th overall and the defense is ranked 23rd. The Falcons are 12th in the all important points category (22.9) and tied for 10th in turnover differential at plus-4.
  3. The Falcons were under-whelming in their prime time …

Continue reading Did Pro Bowl voters stick it to the Falcons? »

Ex-Ravens Hauschka signed to kick for Falcons

Falcons defensive end # 71 Kroy Biermann got a chance to perform kickoffs with injuries to the Falcons normal specialists. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons defensive end # 71 Kroy Biermann got a chance to perform kickoffs with injuries to the Falcons normal specialists. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

UPDATE

Kicker Steve Hauschka, who was released earlier this season by Baltimore, was signed by the Falcons on Tuesday.

Also, starting right guard Harvey Dahl (ankle) and left cornerback Chris Houston (hamstring) were placed on injured reserve.

Linebacker Robert James, was elevated to the roster from the practice squad.

Kicker Matt Bryant suffered a hamstring injury against the Bills on Sunday and experienced a death in his family.  He remains on the active roster.

Hauschka played in 17 games for the Ravens and converted 10 or 15 field goals and 27 of 28 extra points.

He was cut by the Ravens after nine games this season and four missed field goals.

Bryant pulled his hamstring in the third quarter on Sunday while punting for Michael Koenen, who’d suffered a concussion making a tackle earlier in the game.

THE BRANCH – …

Continue reading Ex-Ravens Hauschka signed to kick for Falcons »

Go to the Live In-Game Chat; Gonzalez close to 1,000-catch mark

090424 Atlanta - Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and his wife October Gonzalez as he is introduced at the Arthur M. Blank Office in Atlanta, Friday, April 24, 2009. October will have her say on when Gonzalez decides to retire. CURTIS COMPTON / ccompton@ajc.com

090424 Atlanta – Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and his wife October Gonzalez as he is introduced at the Arthur M. Blank Office in Atlanta, Friday, April 24, 2009. October will have her say on when Gonzalez decides to retire. CURTIS COMPTON / ccompton@ajc.com

Friday’s injury report

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who has a turf toe injury, was limited in practice on Friday and was listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game against Buffalo at the Georgia Dome.

Running Michael Turner did not practice all week, but is listed as questionable. Cornerback Chris Houston did not  practice all week and is listed as doubtful.

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson (chest), defensive tackle Jonthan Babineaux (shoulder), left tackle Sam Baker (elbow, hamstring), guard Harvey Dahl (ankle), linebacker Curtis Lofton (shoulder, hamstring) and safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring) were all listed as questionable.

Also, Anderson and Peprah did not practice on Friday.

Continue reading Go to the Live In-Game Chat; Gonzalez close to 1,000-catch mark »

Matt Ryan, Mike Turner miss practice

090426 FLOWERY BRANCH Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff  and head coach Mike Smith introduce their NFL draft pick, Peria Jerry, Ole Miss defensive tackle, during a press conference at their facility in Flowery Branch Sunday morning. KENT D. JOHNSON / kdjohnson@AJC.COM

090426 FLOWERY BRANCH Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith introduce their NFL draft pick, Peria Jerry, Ole Miss defensive tackle, during a press conference at their facility in Flowery Branch Sunday morning. KENT D. JOHNSON / kdjohnson@AJC.COM

UPDATE

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, in order to rest his turf toe injury, did not practice on Wednesday.

Also, running back Michael Turner (right high ankle sprain) did not participate in practice.

“He did go through the walk through this morning,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We had anticipated that if he was going to play, that would be  the course of action that we would take. It’s not a setback. It was a course of action that we were going to take.”

THE DRAFT AND COMPENSATORY PICKS — FALCONS COULD HAVE 9 PICKS IN THE 2010 DRAFT

THE BRANCH –  There’s indeed a method to the workings of Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s madness.

You have to give it to him, for being way …

Continue reading Matt Ryan, Mike Turner miss practice »

Brent Grimes redeems himself against the Jets

Atlanta Falcons' Brent Grimes, left, tries to escape from New York Jets' Braylon Edwards, right, after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Falcons beat the Jets 10-7.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Atlanta Falcons' Brent Grimes, left, tries to escape from New York Jets' Braylon Edwards, right, after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Falcons beat the Jets 10-7. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK – Cornerback Brent Grimes snuggled Mark Sanchez’ third interception as he went down to the turf.

It was his second of the game and he now leads the team with four.

“I just read the receiver and made a break on the ball,” said Grimes after the 10-7 victory over the New York Jets.

Grimes was playing right cornerback for Chris Houston. He’s been in out of the lineup this season.

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes. (Kathy Willens/AP)

He opened the season playing outside in the nickel package after Brian Williams was acquired. When Williams went down, Grimes started there fulltime before the team started shuffling him, Tye Hill and eventually rookie Christopher Owens.

Grimes got a chance …

Continue reading Brent Grimes redeems himself against the Jets »

In an Empire State of Mind

Have the Falcons been naughty or nice? Who's getting a lump of coal and who's getting tha I-pod nano?

Have the Falcons been naughty or nice? Who's getting a lump of coal and who's getting that I-pod nano?

(UPDATE THREE: Made it to New York !!!! In an Empire State of Mind. Will put up a new Beat Blog  after the game.  Read about the trip here and chat live during the game with Schultz. –DOL)

(UPDATE TWO: LET’S CHAT — Jeff Schultz and I had to fly to Boston to have a shot at making the game. Schultz pulled the Boston move early and is already on a train to New York. I’m at the South Station in Boston waiting for the 9:45 p.m. train that gets to Penn Station at 2:20 a.m.  So if anybody is out there and want to chat some football. Fire away! I put the Gameday info below and you all can update me on the Dallas at New Orleans game. — DOL)

(UPDATE: Falcons coach Mike Smith said decisions to play Matt Ryan and Michael Turner won’t turn on Dallas game on Saturday night. Invoked the “Best Chance to Win” doctrine. Dallas win over Saints = playoff elimination for Falcons. Ryan and …

Continue reading In an Empire State of Mind »

Matt Ryan, Michael Turner return to practice

FLOWERY BRANCH –  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner both returned to

Ryan returned to practice on Thursday. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Ryan returned to practice on Thursday. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

practice on Thursday.

Both have missed the last two games. Ryan suffered a turf toe injury and Turner re-injured his right ankle sprain on Nov. 29 against Tampa Bay.

Both are hopeful that they will be able to play against the New York Jets on Sunday.

“Nobody likes to have to sit down, but it’s something that you’re going to have to deal with at different points in your career,” Ryan said.

Turner originally was injured against Carolina on Nov. 15. He tried to play two weeks later against Tampa Bay and was re-injured.

“You just want to try to get back out there and be productive,” Turner said. “It’s very important to see where I’m at, to see if the soreness will go away and things like that. I need to see if I can really handle, playing and cutting.

Michael Turner returned to practice. If he doesn't have a reaction to the work, he's said, "there's no question" that he'll play on Sunday. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Michael Turner returned to practice. If he doesn't have …

Continue reading Matt Ryan, Michael Turner return to practice »

Mike Mularkey being unduly criticized for masterful game plan

Atlanta Falcons cornerback # 20 Brent Grimes intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for wide receiver # 17 Robert Meachem during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Officials ruled pass interferance on the play awarding the Saints an automatic first down. Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons cornerback # 20 Brent Grimes intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for wide receiver # 17 Robert Meachem during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Officials ruled pass interferance on the play awarding the Saints an automatic first down. Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

BIRDLAND — Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was praised league-wide for his work last season.

The Falcons were able to win 11 games and reach the playoffs in part because of the fine job that Mularkey and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave did with a rookie quarterback and the powerful rushing attack lead by running back Michael Turner.

Without either of his main weapons against New Orleans he came up with a masterful game plan. He’s getting unduly

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

criticized by the reactionary fans.

Against the Saints, the Falcons had to come up with a creative game plan. They had to “Zig” when the Saints were expecting …

Continue reading Mike Mularkey being unduly criticized for masterful game plan »

Without Matt Ryan, Falcons nearly pull off shocker

SO CLOSE - This long bomb to Falcons wide receiver # 12 Michael Jenkins is just off his finger tips for a sure touchdown as it falls incomplete during 1st half action against the Saints at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009.    Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

SO CLOSE – This long bomb to Falcons wide receiver # 12 Michael Jenkins is just off his finger tips for a sure touchdown as it falls incomplete during 1st half action against the Saints at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

LAST ONE AT THE DOME – They have scrubbed the Falcons logo off of the Georgia Dome floor and are hanging some black curtains on the field.

It looks like they are setting up for some graduation. But they could be because the Falcons playoffs hopes are dead.

We have been getting a lot of Tweets about the two play calls by offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey. It seems that there is a little uprising over the reverse on first down that resulted in a 12-yard loss and the check-down by Chris Redman to Jason Snelling, who wasn’t able to pick up the first down on fourth-and-2.

“We had an opportunity to possess the ball twice in the fourth quarter,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We had the interception where …

Continue reading Without Matt Ryan, Falcons nearly pull off shocker »