Archive for January, 2010

Brandon Lang could land with the Falcons

Troy's Brandon Lang (91) and Eugene Kinlaw (99) combine to drop Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFebvour during the GMAC Bowl on  Jan. 6, 2010 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.  (Mobile Press-Register, Chip English)

Troy's Brandon Lang (91) and Eugene Kinlaw (99) combine to drop Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFebvour during the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6, 2010 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (Mobile Press-Register, Chip English)

MOBILE – Troy State defensive end Brandon Lang is a player worth tracking for the Falcons leading up to the NFL draft.

If they go cornerback in the first round  — Boise State’s Kyle Wilson or Oklahoma State’s Perrish Cox — they would be back in the defensive end market.

Lang, of Tucker High, who had a strong week at the Senior Bowl, is trying to become the latest stud defensive end from Troy.

New York Giants’ Osi Umenyiora was drafted in the second round (56 overall) of the 2003 draft.

DeMarcus Ware went to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round (11th overall) of the 2005 draft.

“They went through this same process and made a name for themselves,” Lang said. “I just hope that I can do the same thing.”

Lang, who is represented by Atlanta agent Hadley …

Continue reading Brandon Lang could land with the Falcons »

DeCoud named to All-Joe team

Thomas DeCoud was named to USA Today's All-Joe team

Thomas DeCoud was named to USA Today’s All-Joe team.

Mobile — Falcons safety Thomas Decoud, a first-year starter, got some league-wide recognition on Wednesday when he was named to USA Today’s 18th annual All-Joe team.

Players on the team are picked for their high level of play. However, it’s required that they cannot have made the Pro Bowl. It’s sort of the lunch pail, up-and-comers team.

DeCoud, a third round pick from the University of California in 2008, was a special teams maven as a rookie.

Last season, he moved into the starting free safety position and Erik Coleman slid over to the strong safety spot.

DeCoud showed great range in coverage and striking ability while tackling.

He finished with 113 tackles (73 solo), two sacks for a loss of 18 yards, three tackles for loss, three quarterback hurries, three interceptions, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

The USA Today article read, “Second-year player took over as a starter and …

Continue reading DeCoud named to All-Joe team »

Falcons WR White added to Pro Bowl roster

Roddy White is doing back flips on his second  consecutive Pro Bowl trip.

Roddy White is doing back flips on his second consecutive Pro Bowl trip.

UPDATED after talking to Coach Mike Smith at the Senior Bowl

Mobile – Falcons wide receiver Roddy White was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster on Tuesday.

He replaces Minnesota wide receiver Sidney Rice, who has withdrawn from the game.

This will be White’s second straight Pro Bowl appearance.

“I’m excited to be heading back to the Pro Bowl for a second year,” White said ina statement released by the team.  “My teammates played a huge part in my success this year and I have to credit them as well.”

White, who started the season by holding out for six days in training camp, has his third consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season. After his brief holdout, White signed a six-year, $50 million contract extension with the team.

White led the Falcons in receiving yards with 1,153 on 85 receptions and became the second receiver in franchise history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. …

Continue reading Falcons WR White added to Pro Bowl roster »

Falcons hire Tim Lewis as secondary coach

NFL executives at the National Scouting weigh-in at the Senior Bowl on Monday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

NFL executives at the National Scouting weigh-in at the Senior Bowl on Monday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Mobile –The Falcons hired Tim Lewis as secondary coach on Monday.

Lewis, a former player, coach and defensive coordinator, replaces Emmitt Thomas on the coaching staff. Last season, he was the defensive backs coach on Seattle’s staff under former Falcons head coach Jim Mora.

Thomas’ contract was not renewed after the defense finished ranked 28th in the league against the pass.

Lewis was the 11th pick overall in the 1983 draft by the Green Bay Packers. He played four seasons with the Packers before his promising playing career was cut short after he suffered a neck injury.  Lewis had 16 interceptions in 51 games.

Nick Saban signing after the South's practice on Monday.

Nick Saban signing after the South's practice on Monday.

He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 1987. He went on to coach at Southern Methodist and later at his alma mater, Pittsburgh.

He has coached in the NFL since 1995 with …

Continue reading Falcons hire Tim Lewis as secondary coach »

Tebow steps into NFL spotlight at Senior Bowl

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow puts the move Georgia cornerback Vance Cuff for a long gain. Tebow broke Herschel Walker's career SEC rushing touchdown record of 49 with a 23-yard running TD in the second quarter. He would add another to start second half.  (Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow puts the move Georgia cornerback Vance Cuff for a long gain. Tebow broke Herschel Walker's career SEC rushing touchdown record of 49 with a 23-yard running TD in the second quarter. He would add another to start second half. (Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Florida’s Tim Tebow and the rest of the players started to arrive in Mobile for the Senior Bowl on Sunday.

“Most people think that he’s risking the most of any player coming to play this game,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “But I think it’s a brilliant move. He’s a guy that is arguably the best football player to play college football. Most NFL scouts would probably put him in the third round.”

(Sorry, but Ohio State’s Archie Griffin, the ONLY two-time Heisman Trophy winner has a much better case for the “best player ever”  tag. He just played in the pre-ESPN/daily highlights era.)

Tebow will receive a great deal of scrutiny this week as he attempts to perform in an …

Continue reading Tebow steps into NFL spotlight at Senior Bowl »

Musgrave staying with the Falcons

Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave talks with D.J. Shockley as they walk off the field after losing to the Ravens at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.    Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave talks with D.J. Shockley as they walk off the field after losing to the Ravens at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

UPDATE

As expected, Falcons quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave is  staying put.

The University of Virginia had some interest in Musgrave returning to their program, but did not make an official request to interview him after it was made clear that he was not leaving Flowery Branch, the team confirmed.

BIRDLAND — At least one Virginia columnist would like to see Falcons quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave return to Virginia as the school’s offensive coordinator.

Tulane's Andre Anderson, a Stephensen High product.

Tulane's Andre Anderson, a Stephenson High product.

David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press believes that Musgrave would be a perfect fit for the Cavaliers and new coach Mike London.

Musgrave was Virginia’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and tight ends coach from 2001 to 2002. It was his only stint in the college …

Continue reading Musgrave staying with the Falcons »

Falcons part ways with longtime team trainer Ron Medlin

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 last April. KENT D. JOHNSON / kdjohnson@AJC.COM– The coin toss is set for late next month, but it's never too early to look at what's at stake.

UPDATE:

Ron Medlin, who had been with the Falcons for the last 16 seasons as the head athletic trainer, will not return for next season, the team confirmed.

In what was termed by the team as a football decision, Medlin was not retained because of philosophical differences.

Medlin, when reached by phone at his home in Suwanee, did not want to comment only stating that “this is part of the business.”

Last season, several starters missed more than 40 games as the team was beset with injuries. The most significant was a high right ankle sprain to running back Michael Turner, who played in just nine games. He tried to …

Continue reading Falcons part ways with longtime team trainer Ron Medlin »

Cowboys’ loss ends ex-Falcon Brooking’s season

Keith Brooking is set to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Are you rooting for Brooking and the Cowboys?

Keith Brooking is set to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Are you rooting for Brooking and the Cowboys?

UPDATE : Former Falcon Keith  Brooking and the Cowboys lost to Minnesota Sunday in the NFL playoffs.

PLAYOFF CENTRAL — Former Falcon  Keith Brooking has made the most of his move to Dallas.

He’s just eight quarters away from returning to the Super Bowl. To keep his hopes alive, he must help the Cowboys shut down the Vikings running game and silence that zany Minnesota crowd.

“We have pretty good experience facing a hostile crowd,” Brooking told reporters in Dallas this week. “The way you have to handle the situation is, obviously you can’t allow them to get the momentum going early in the game. You’ve got to go for their heart.

“If you can put a little doubt in their minds in the beginning, that can go a long way. We can’t allow the crowd to get into it.”

If the Vikings get the Metrodome rocking, they start incessantly pumping in that loud horn noise.

“We have to …

Continue reading Cowboys’ loss ends ex-Falcon Brooking’s season »

Clancy Pendergast headed our way?; TV ratings up

UPDATE

TWO QUICK THINGS

1. CLANCY PENDERGAST: We’re checking out this Clancy Pendergast to the ATL note. I know when the Falcons played Arizona in the playoffs last year, Coach Mike Smith had nothing but kind words to say about Pendergast and defense.

Don’t know what happened in Kansas City other than Scott Pioli is trying to put the New England band back together.

2.    FALCONS ARE TV DARLINGS:  For the second consecutive year the Falcons have seen a significant rise in TV ratings,  according to Nielsen TV ratings provided by the NFL Broadcasting Department.

Falcons game TV ratings have increased 57 percent since 2007, the largest increase among any other NFL team. Atlanta is also up seven percent in ratings from last year’s 11-5 campaign.

In 2009, Falcons games were viewed by an average of 498,000 homes each week while Atlanta ’s Sunday Night contest against Chicago at the Georgia Dome reached the highest audience for the team in a single regular season week …

Continue reading Clancy Pendergast headed our way?; TV ratings up »

Emmitt Thomas’ contract not renewed

091108  Atlanta - TURNER TOUCHDOWN - Falcons running back # 33 Michael Turner breaks away for a 58 yard touchdown and a 31-17 lead over the Redskins during 4th quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 31-17.   Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

091108 Atlanta – TURNER TOUCHDOWN – Falcons running back # 33 Michael Turner breaks away for a 58 yard touchdown and a 31-17 lead over the Redskins during 4th quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 31-17. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

UPDATE
Tuesday night

Longtime Falcons assistant coach Emmitt Thomas‘ contract was not renewed by the team.

“Everyone here in the Falcons organization has the utmost respect for Emmitt and we deeply appreciate his contributions to our team over the years,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said on Tuesday night. “We wish Emmitt the best in his future endeavors.”

Thomas, who served as the assistant head coach/secondary for the last two seasons under Smith, had served as an assistant under the last four coaches.

Thomas first joined the Falcons in 2002 under former head coach Dan Reeves.

He was responsible for keeping the team together when Bobby Petrino left during the 2007 …

Continue reading Emmitt Thomas’ contract not renewed »