Farewell to Jason Elam, a standup guy

Falcons kicker Jason Elam was 2 of 3 making this one in the first half, good enough to help the Falcons survive the Buccaneers 20-17 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
Falcons kicker Jason Elam was 2 of 3 making this one in the first half, good enough to help the Falcons survive the Buccaneers 20-17 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

THE BRANCH – Farewell to Jason Elam.

He was a consummate professional to the media while with the Falcons. He didn’t run and hide in the cafeteria just because things weren’t going perfectly.

Even on Sunday, when he knew he’d played his last game for the Falcons, he talked the AJC’s Ken Sugiura.

“You always feel pressure,” Elam said. “I feel pressure in practice. If you don’t feel pressure, it’s a sign you don’t really care and you need to get out.”

During his slump Elam’s kicks were hooking to the left when the “operation” was not perfect. So when he lined up on the left hash mark to kick that 43-yarder on Sunday, you suspected that it was going to be wide. The offense could have helped him out by running something to the right side, but teams need their kickers to be near automatic from 48-yards on in, according to Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

“It’s been frustrating,” Elam said. “It really has been. I’m just trying everything I can, all these little mechanical things to make sure that I get the ball going straight and it didn’t happen again.”

Long snapper Bryan Pittman didn’t help Elam much. He was low on snaps and then he’d shoot a high and hard one back there. Long snapper Michael Schneck, who is out with cracked ribs, hit the same spot on just about every snap. He was near robotic.

“I didn’t notice the snap at all,” Elam said.

What about the timing?

“It was fine,” Elam said. “Again, it’s all about consistency and I’ve got to figure out a way to be more consistent, bottom line.”

Chris Redman
Chris Redman

THE BOOK ON REDMAN: Chris Redman was a longshot to make the team in 2007.  A series of injuries had him out of football and he was selling life insurance back home in Louisville.

Most thought he was just in camp to help Bobby Petrino install his offense. But Redman finished out the 2007 season as the starting quarterback.

He was a survivor of the season from the brink that saw former starting quarterback Michael Vick sent off to prison and Petrino leave for a college head coaching job at Arkansas.

So it was understandable that Redman was elated that someone he had a history with, Mike Smith, landed the Falcons head job. Redman wasn’t deterred when the Falcons selected Matt Ryan with the third pick of the 2008 draft.

He made the team, but didn’t play one single snap last season. This season, he played at the end of the San Francisco victory on Oct. 11 and took a couple of kneel downs.

Redman looked liked he’d been playing all season when he entered the Tampa Bay game last Sunday.

“You just have to be ready,” Redman said. “That’s just part of being a backup. When you don’t have that many practice snaps, you just have to take mental reps. It’s definitely different than getting out there and doing it yourself.”

Every pass wasn’t on the mark. There were even a few clunkers.

“During the game I could tell that some of the patterns were a little off between me and Roddy (White) and some of the guys, but everybody hung tough with me and we pulled through,” Redman said.

Smith credited quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for shifting to a workable offensive package in mid-game for Redman.

“Coach Musgrave is just so good on the sidelines,” Redman said. “He’s just so calming. He’s been there before. He knows what it takes to get a guy ready.

“We were just running through what we had been seeing and just staying positive. We knew that we had a chance.”

128 comments Add your comment

Growin Old

December 2nd, 2009
9:05 am

first?
Good luck Jason

PMC

December 2nd, 2009
9:09 am

Definately nice to have a terrific QB’s coach like Musgrave on our sidelines.

Smitty did a tremendous job putting his staff toegther.

ESPN Power Rankings

December 2nd, 2009
9:11 am

It’s tough to imagine the Falcons beating the Eagles without Matt Ryan.

IceFan

December 2nd, 2009
9:12 am

I’m sure Elam is a fine human being, but he only had one job and he couldn’t perform it consistently so I’m glad he’s gone. There is no room for sentiment or blind loyalty in the NFL. I wish him well in the future.

Here’s to hoping Redman can manage the game until Ryan returns.

MiltonDawg

December 2nd, 2009
9:19 am

Let’s just hope Bryant can make his FGs/XPs. No excuses.
DOL- on another note, how come TD never made a move on recently acquired DBs McKenzie/McAllister that the Saints picked up? Seems like they did a good job against the Pats.

Pete Prisco

December 2nd, 2009
9:29 am

Matt Ryan won’t play this week, which means Chris Redman will have their playoff hopes on his right arm against the Eagles. Can he play as well as he did last week, now that they know he’s coming?

ns

December 2nd, 2009
9:30 am

Thank you Elam for your dedication to the Falcons. We fans in Atlanta wish you the best!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 2nd, 2009
9:35 am

MiltonDawg: I know the Falcons were aware of the veteran FA corners. But when building a young team, TD and Smitty are particular about who’s in the locker room.

Absolute

December 2nd, 2009
9:36 am

You’re welcome

Row 3

December 2nd, 2009
9:41 am

It was good to hear that Matt Bryant had been kicking in the other League, though last week. He won’t be coming in after a long layoff from last year.

midnite

December 2nd, 2009
9:44 am

Why don’t you two “teachers” move on and get a life, it’s a sports blog! SMH

Too bad for Elam, but it was time to go. Maybe the earlier hamstring issue affected his confidence. I can’t imagine the mental challenges of kicking. Seems like kickers cannot work their way out of a slump without changing teams. I feel sure he will be able to get himself corrected with another NFL team soon. Good luck!

TMoney

December 2nd, 2009
9:44 am

As much as I appreciate what Elam did for us last year, it was time to make this move. The only thing I wonder is, with TD going with the veteran Bryant instead of a younger player, does he see someone in the upcoming draft that he really likes?

SPS

December 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

With a full week of practice, Redman is the least of my worries for Sunday. Defense is the key to this game.

FOX News is the Devil

December 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

I like elam but you have to keep it professional it is never personal. I think we need a YOUNG CB and a YOUNG pass rusher and I say give up picks to get one. We are young but you have to have good vets to push them along I think no I hope owens is the truth because if he is and Williams can come back healthy that will give us a year or so to develop but now is not the time to develop corners this team is a corner and pass rusher away from going deep. I love the way the backers have shut down the run. A pleasant suprise. OH! FOX NEWS IS THE DEVIL!!!

FOX News is the Devil

December 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

And O’ Reily is one of his imps!

midnite

December 2nd, 2009
9:55 am

Redman is tough, he took a licking and kept on ticking. He took a viscious hit on a keeper and was sacked, what 5 or 6 times. He never appeared to get rattled either. The O line needs to step up give him some extra protection against the Eagles.

pilgrim

December 2nd, 2009
9:57 am

d-led: I know the Falcons were aware of the veteran FA corners.

Glad to finally get some info on this.

midnite

December 2nd, 2009
10:01 am

Derogatory? Thin skin much? Maybe the knitting blog or librarians blog would be more appropriate for you.

Absolute

December 2nd, 2009
10:09 am

midnite, I think he is just saying…why delete posts correcting his own “LIVE” work but keep a post from a person talking down about the people posting the corrections.

D-DawgDavis

December 2nd, 2009
10:09 am

That’s great that they were trying to stay “within the locker room,” but our Secondary is the weakest link and the two guys that New Orleans picked up would have been definite upgrades. There needed to be a sense of urgency before Ryan went out, now we just need to keep the ship upright.

Absolute

December 2nd, 2009
10:12 am

D-DawgDavis,

I totally agree with you. We needed the help in the worst way and watched our biggest rival improve their team while we just stood and watched them. It’s like the NBA when a team who is contending goes out and makes a big trade deadline move. We were like the team who knows they aren’t going anywhere and said maybe next year. I hate that.

Row 3

December 2nd, 2009
10:14 am

D.O. Jason was on the injury report for the most part of the season with a hamstring injury. I never heard Jason, or the Coaching staff relate his problems to this hamstring issue. Was there more to this being injury related than we know?

PROSKILLpat

December 2nd, 2009
10:18 am

It is a shame that the AJC pulled its High School blog site off. It seems like you did it because you do not have an Atlanta team in the playoffs anymore. Two, wheres the continuing coverage for the ghsa playoffs?

The truth

December 2nd, 2009
10:26 am

No…….Obama is the devil.

Trainwreck

December 2nd, 2009
10:35 am

I’d never really wish harm on anyone… but if McNabb and Kolb could come down with a mysterious 1day illness and can’t play on Sunday…. yea yea I know, SUPER wishful thinking and people might blast me because “Noone cares about Vick” but man to face Vick as a starting QB in the dome would be really thrilling especially against Redman who actually probably owes his new life as a QB to Vick’s mistakes… Anyway… glad the Falcons finally did something about the kicking game and hope mistakes get corrected. Sorry for the Vick talk but anyone who says they wouldn’t be even a little excited about seeing that is in denial.

Go Birds!! (The Black and Red ones)

uga_b

December 2nd, 2009
10:37 am

Jason was making basic mechanical mistakes. His footwork would get off and he tried to steer (push at) the ball instead of driving through it. A lot of this falls to the snapper as well because he helped get the timing off. Let Jason spend some time with Morten and maybe he can kick for someone next year. With my Dawg ties, I wanted Coutu, but Matt Bryant is a standup guy who has hoed a tough road in the last few years.

pilgrim

December 2nd, 2009
10:56 am

Redman took vicious hits after throws, too. Be interesting to see what kind of game plan they put together for him. Includes Norwood better, I hope.

Question (and I really want to understand): Somebody explain to me how you can be a Vick fan and a Falcons fan – in the same game. If Vick gets the winning score, do you cheer?

Coach

December 2nd, 2009
11:05 am

Elam’s plant foot is off. When he plants to kick it is not where he wants it. Good luck.

Absolute

December 2nd, 2009
11:14 am

pilgrim,

That’s why I am a fan of the team and not individual players. It gets to trivial when this type of thing occurs. LOL!

uga_b

December 2nd, 2009
11:15 am

In Soviet Russia, blogs edit you!

Brooking kicked your booty

December 2nd, 2009
11:34 am

This team hasn’t been right since the GM thought Ryan could take over the leadership of the team from Brooking and Malloy. So we’re stuck with a QB who won’t play with a hurt toe and Favre played with a broken finger on his throwing hand. Not to mention Brooking played with a broken bone in his back. What a baby!

midnite

December 2nd, 2009
11:43 am

Actually Brooking showed his a$$ and made a fool of himself. Brooking did have a lot of tackles here…after 15 yard gains. NO class to mock a team that you’ve beaten. Just sayin’.

Warden Norton

December 2nd, 2009
11:53 am

It would be great for the Falcons if Vick played QB the whole game. His 50 rush yards and 40 passer rating for the whole season is awesome. Maybe the eagles should consider wearing orange jumpsuits Sunday, make Mikey feel at home.

George Holman

December 2nd, 2009
12:05 pm

I liked Elam and he was a big part of the 11-5 record last year (remember vs. Chicago and the last second field goal), but unfortunately this is a performance league and his performance this year was lacking. Best wishes to Jason, and let’s hope we can get the kicking straightened out for the rest of the year!

Gamer

December 2nd, 2009
12:13 pm

Switching fg/ept.kickers is a good move. Bye Elam!! Hello Bryant, it’s do or die!!!

The Falcons should try B. Grimes at FREE-SAFETY, considering his speed and leaping ability.

Redman will be fine, the Falcons shouldn’t lose that much at quarterback, considering Ryan wasn’t throwing deep balls with accuracy or with any zip on the ball. Redman might be a step up.

Falcons can still go 10-6. If they win the next three games then I like their chances of matching last year record!!

Go Falcons, control your own destiny!!!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 2nd, 2009
12:15 pm

The Falcons odds of beating the Eagles improved by the BENCHING of the CHOKE!

He is not injured, he FAKED the injury, just part of the CONSPIRACY of not looking like a fool when they get EMBARRASSED in the dome.

However, it’s going to back fire in the long term, because Redman will show that, the CHOKE was not the reason for the team’s SHORT LIVED success and he will create a qb controversy and as long as Redman doesn’t throw 10 PICKS in 5 games, he has already provided an UPGRADE.

“DUMP THE CHUMP”

“PUT THE ROPE ON THE DOPE”

“NEUTER THE POODLE WITH THE ARM MADE OF NOODLE”

ELVISINTHEHOUSE.

December 2nd, 2009
12:15 pm

Jason elam will go to another team and make history just like all the other players the sorry turdy birds let go do.Someone posted oboma is the devil when bush is responsible for all the parents children getting killed in his created war to please his needs.

Matt"choke"Ryan

December 2nd, 2009
12:17 pm

The GM again proves he has no clue………releasing Elam…..WHY??? Dimeadork aint gotta clue. Who is Matt Bryant any way? And whats up…..needing another Matt on this team. Isn’t one choke enough on this team.

Buzz

December 2nd, 2009
12:24 pm

I would be more willing to give Elam some slack if he actually looked upset about missing all those field goals!!! He always was trying to blame the snapper or holder. I know that had something to do with a couple of the misses but he never even looked like he cared… Redmond played really good last week being thrown into the game, I hope a week of first team practice can help him out even more and help the falcons win a muct WIN GAME!!!!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 2nd, 2009
12:26 pm

Dimitroff still a genius?

How do you draft a 5th year senior who threw 22 PICKS in the 1st round?

I mean if you don’t get it in 5 years, how in HELL do you expect him to get it, when he has to play at a higher level, with quicker and faster defensive backs.

Let’s not forget the brilliant move to CUT the WHOLE leadership on defense.

Oh he didn’t stop there, he gave up a future 2nd round pick for an aging tight end who hasn’t put a dent in the scoring average of the team.

But not to be out done, he drafted in the 1st & 2nd rounds, picks that were routinely injury prone.

If this is brilliance well then the CHOKE is a Hall of Famer :)

Ted Striker

December 2nd, 2009
12:26 pm

Always liked Elam. Personally and professionally. Still do.

Falcon in a down spin with Ryan (Patty Melt) ICE NOT

December 2nd, 2009
12:35 pm

mmmmm Start matt Ryan at field goal Kicker maybe he can do that A?

midnite

December 2nd, 2009
12:39 pm

The coward has arrived. Conspiracy, huh? My offer still stands, I’ll even give you my old Vick jersey(like new, on field style XXL)if you’ll agree.

Former Falcon Fan

December 2nd, 2009
12:39 pm

Huge mistake letting Elam go. We all saw Pittman roll the ball back to the holder on the first PAT on Sunday. It’s a miracle Koenen and Elam got that one through. Jason’s early seaon misses were clearly a result of his hamstring and hip injuries. He could barely walk. But, it was clear that on the recent misses that Pittman wasn’t snapping the ball when Koenen and Elam were expecting it. Jason has kicked tens of thousands of balls in his career — and all of a sudden he doesn’t know when to start his kicking motion? He can’t figure out where his plant foot should be? Are you kidding me?! Jason is too classy to blame anyone else for anything. But, I’m not. Jason didn’t cost the Falcons those 3 games. Pittman did. There, someone said it.

Personally, I hope the Falcons never win another game.

midnite

December 2nd, 2009
12:51 pm

Choke

Have you killed any more dogs lately like you have openly bragged about on these blogs before?

Your Paranoia can be treated with psychotropic meds.

Conspiracy? LMAO while SMH

Trainwreck

December 2nd, 2009
12:52 pm

If Elam was too hurt to be effective early in the season then he shouldn’t have been playing… either he said he was okay when he wasn’t which although is admirable, hurt the team. The long snapper business, I can’t comment too much about because I have never tried to kick a FG in my life and don’t know all the little nuances between the snap-hold-kick that ACTUALLY affect the kicker. All I know is when the ball was down and Elam put his foot to it, he missed SEVEN times ( why does that number sound familiar? lol) Something had to be done

BigHittas

December 2nd, 2009
12:55 pm

Sad to see Elam go out like this; one of the few stand up guys left. Good Luck Elam!

I like Redman, but I REALLY hope someone is twisting the ears of the O-line to be ready cause you know that philly is gonna be after Redman this Sunday. Our O-line is pretty good at run blocking but suffers with pass blocking obviously. Good luck Chris! (and get rid of it quick)

Choke is a joke

December 2nd, 2009
12:59 pm

Computer: $500
Internet Connection: $35/month
Reading Choke’s posts and realizing bat droppings have a higher IQ: Priceless.

tell like it is

December 2nd, 2009
1:13 pm

thier will be one less wild card pretender come sunday. Mcnabb will chew the falcons defence apart and end their season.Same old falcons just different year.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 2nd, 2009
1:22 pm

HOW TO PROVE YOUR TOUGHNESS:

- Brett Favre played with broken finger

- Matt Stafford played with separated shoulder

- Joey Flacco played with high ankle sprain

- Kyle Orton played with ankle sprain

- McNabb played with 2 broken ribs

CHOKE, in the biggest game of the year for the Falcons leaves his teammates out to dry because of a big toe “pinky” injury.

What a TEAM PLAYER!

“DUMP THE CHUMP”

“ROPE THE DOPE”

“NUETER THE POODLE WITH THE ARM LIKE A NOODLE”

**No worthless stinking dogs were harmed in the making of this post :)