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 come back twice from the injury, but was knocked out of both of those games.
Also, quarterback Matt Ryan missed two games and most of another with a turf toe injury.
The Falcons are the only team in the league with director of athletic performance. The trainers and doctors report to Jeff Fish, the team’s director of athletic performance.
Medlin was only the third head athletic trainer in team history.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Medlin was the assistant athletic trainer for the Cleveland Browns from 1989-93.
He served an internship with the Falcons for six seasons in the 1980s. He holds a bachelor’s degree from N.C. State and a master’s from Memphis.
EX-FALCON SCHAUB HEADED TO PRO BOWL: Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, who was the first alternate at quarterback in the AFC, was selected to play in the Pro Bowl after New England’s Tom Brady pulled out.
Schuab passed for 4,770 yards last season, the sixth-highest total in league history.
Schaub, Peyton Manning of Indianapolis and Philip Rivers of San Diego are the AFC quarterbacks.
It was Schaub’s third year in Houston, and the Texans have gone 25-23 since he joined the club.
Schaub was drafted in the third round (90th overall) of the 2004 draft by the Falcons. He served as Michael Vick’s backup before being traded to the Texans on March 22, 2007. They Falcons moved up two spots in the first round and received second round picks in 2007 and 2008 from the Texans.
The timing was horrendous. If they’d held on the Schaub until closer to the draft, they might have hard the rumblings coming out of Virginia.
A little over a month after the trade, on April 25, 2007, police were serving a warrant on Vick’s farm in Surry, Va. The police and animal-control officers stumbled on the Bad Newz Kennel operation.
BIRDLAND — Over the last decade, there have been three Pro Bowlers selected in the 19t h slot and just one in the 20th position.
So the pressure will be on general manager Thomas Dimitroff to win another toss for the team.
The Falcons have to flip with the Houston Texans during the NFL Combine in February. The team’s last coin flip turned out fine, with Dimitroff winning and the Falcons getting the No. 3 pick. They used that selection to take quarterback Matt Ryan.
Perhaps the best 19th pick of the last 20 years was wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in 1996. Harrison, an 8-time Pro Bowler, has some other issues right now.
Also, tackle Todd Steussie was selected by Minnesota with the 19th pick in 1994. He played for 14 seasons and went to two Pro Bowls.
Historically speaking this has not been an area in the draft where the Falcons have struck football gold.
The Falcons had the 19th pick (from Green Bay in the Brett Favre deal/fleecing) and selected running back Tony Smith from Southern Mississippi in 1992. He played for three seasons, but never developed.
In 1990, the Falcons had the 20th pick and selected running back Steve Broussard from Washington State. He had a nice nine-year career as a backup running back and return man.
Back in 1977, the Falcons selected Wilson Faumuina, a defensive tackle from San Jose State, with the 20th pick. He played five seasons for the Falcons and made 24 starts.
2009 – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia: Had a productive rookie season and appears to be a keeper.
2008 – Jeff Otah, T, Carolina: Was off to a promising start before going on injured reserve last season.
2007 – Michael Griffin, FS, Tennessee: Considered one of the top young defensive backs in the league.
2006 – Antonio Cromartie, CB, San Diego: Made the Pro Bowl and was first team All-Pro in 2007.
2005 – Alex Barron, T, St. Louis: Has had a rough time with the Rams since coming out of Florida State.
2004 – Vernon Carey, T, Miami: After bouncing around early in his career has settled in at right tackle for the Dolphins.
2003 – Kyle Boller, QB, Baltimore: Was a back-up in St. Louis last season.
2002 – Ashley Lelie, WR, Denver: Bounced around the league, including a stop with the Falcons in 2006. Was out of the football last season.
2001 – Casey Hampton, NT, Pittsburgh: A four-time Pro Bowler and anchor of the Steelers defense.
2000 – Shaun Alexander, RB, Seattle: A three-time Pro Bowler, who helped lead the Seahawks to Super Bowl XL in 2006.
2009 – Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit: Had a fine rookie season going until he suffered a knee injury on Thanksgiving.
2008 – Aqib Talib, CB, Tampa Bay: Talks too much trash, but is a solid player. He needs to shut up and deal.
2007 – Aaron Ross, CB, New York Giants: Started as a rookie in the Super Bowl. Went on IR late last season
2006 – Tamba Hali, DE, Kansas City: Has been solid since coming out of Penn State. Has played both defensive end spots.
2005 – Marcus Spears, DE, Dallas: Has started for most of his pro career since coming out of LSU.
2004 – Kenechi Udeze, DE, Minnesota: Played four years with the Vikings before being diagnosed with Leukemia. He retired last July.
2003 – George Foster, T, Denver: The former University of Georgia Bulldog is out of football after stints in Denver, Detroit and a very brief stop in Cleveland.
2002 – Javon Walker, WR, Green Bay: One-time Pro Bowler out of Florida State.
2001 – Adam Archuleta, SS, St. Louis: Made 86 career starts with the Rams, Redskins and Bears. Is out of the league.
2000 – Stockar McDougle, T, Detroit: Played for the Lions, Dolphins and Jaguars. Is out of the league.
The expected heavy junior exodus from the college ranks did not happen. A record-tying 53 players entered the draft, but that was well below most expectations . The fear of a rookie pay scale being imposed during the latest rounds of labor negotiations was supposed to drive more players into this draft.
Now, the Falcons were hoping that super large junior turnout would end up pushing a really good player down to them at 19 or 20. That may still happen, but would have been more probable with even more underclassmen entering the draft.
The number of players granted special eligibility for the NFL Draft the past 10 years:
Year Players Granted Special Eligibility
2010 – 53
2009 – 46
2008 – 53
2007 – 40
2006 – 52
2005 – 51
2004 – 43
2003 – 47
2002 – 38
The players declared eligible are:
Player Pos. College
Kevin Basped, DE , Nevada
Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee
Jahvid Best, RB, California
Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Dezmon Briscoe, WR, Kansas
Antonio Brown, WR, Central Michigan
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Bryan Bulaga, T, Iowa
Morgan Burnett, DB, Georgia Tech
Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia
Anthony Davis, T, Rutgers
Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
Dominique Franks, DB, Oklahoma
Clifton Geathers, DE, South Carolina
Thaddeus Gibson, DE, Ohio State
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
Everson Griffen, DE, Southern California
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
Joe Haden, DB, Florida
Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
Kareem Jackson, DB, Alabama
Chad Jones, DB, Louisiana State
Reshad Jones, DB, Georgia
Linval Joseph, DT, East Carolina
Darius Marshall, RB, Marshall
Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Joe McKnight, RB, Southern California
Shawnbrey McNeal, RB, Southern Methodist
Mitchell, Carlton, WR, South Florida
Joshua Moore, DB, Kansas State
Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
Jerell Norton, DB, Arkansas
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
Brian Price, DT, UCLA
Dennis Rogan, DB, Tennessee
Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi
Amari Spievey, DB, Iowa
Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
Earl Thomas, DB, Texas
Donvan Warren, DB, Michigan
Damian Williams, WR, Southern California
Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse
Jason Worilds, DE, Virginia Tech
Major Wright, DB, Florida