Archive for February, 2010

Atlanta Falcons win coin toss, get 19th pick in draft

HEY 19!: Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham could be available with the 19th pick.

HEY 19!: Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham could be available with the 19th pick.

Indianapolis — The Falcons won the coin toss!

The team will select 19 in the 2010 NFL  draft.

It wasn’t a heads or tails deal.

It was a coin that had the Falcons logo on one side and the Houston Texans’ logo on the other.

The early a.m.p came up Falcons.

This makes general manager Thomas Dimitroff 2-0 in coin tosses.

He also won the coin toss for the No. 3 — which was used to select Matt Ryan — in 2008 draft.

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons win coin toss, get 19th pick in draft »

NFL combine: Graham faced Morgan, Lawal

Miami's Jimmy Graham played basketball and one season of football for the Hurricanes.

Miami's Jimmy Graham played basketball and one season of football for the Hurricanes.

Indianapolis — Miami tight end Jimmy Graham played only one season of football for the Hurricanes after finishing his basketball career.

He’s had to block Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan and during his basketball days, he tried to outrebound Georgia Tech center Gani Lawal.

“They were both very different,” Graham said. “Derrick Morgan is a very elusive defensive end. Lawal is a long, long player. Very different, but I attacked it the same way.”

Graham makes a point that he’s physical enough make in the NFL as a tight end and notes that he fouled out often as a basketball player.

Continue reading NFL combine: Graham faced Morgan, Lawal »

NFL combine: Holla McGhee addresses his Tech transfer

Alabama tight end Colin Peek working radio row at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)

Alabama tight end Colin Peek working radio row at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)

Indianapolis – Alabama tight end Colin Peek doesn’t plan to reprise his MTV role of Holla McGhee for the NFL scouts at the scouting combine.

But he did know that he’d have to address why he transferred from Georgia Tech.

“There was no room for a tight end in the system,” Peek said on Thursday. “(Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson) had never used a tight end in the system before so it was just an inevitable thing that would happen. . . I wanted to be an NFLesque tight end.”

Peek said he met with Johnson about his role in the offense.

” Just going over that you sort of quickly realized that Georgia Tech wasn’t the right place for me and the right position for my future,” Peek said.

He said he met with Johnson a couple of times and that the Tech head coach wanted him to stay through spring practice.

“I actually went to his office and asked him how he was going to use me,” Peek …

Continue reading NFL combine: Holla McGhee addresses his Tech transfer »

NFL combine: Gailey has intel on Tech players

Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey has a nice file on his former. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey has a nice file on his former players. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

INDIANAPOLIS — Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey is settling into his new job.

He’s at the NFL scouting combine with a decided advantage over every team in the league when it comes to the Georgia Tech players.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan, wide receiver Demayius Thomas and running back Jonathan Dwyer are all potential first round draft picks. Gailey recruited them all.

“I can’t talk detached about them, because I’m attached to them,” Gailey said on Thursday. “I know where they came from and I know their families. They are great athletes and great human beings. They understand work ethic. They understand toughness.

“They are going to be very good professional football players. All three of them. I don’t want to get into the strengths and weaknesses because that’s proprietary information.”

Gailey believes that Dwyer has helped himself by dropping 17 pounds before the …

Continue reading NFL combine: Gailey has intel on Tech players »

Atlanta Falcons to scout top 5 CBs at NFL combine

South Florida cornerback Jerome Murphy is Mike Mayock's 5th rated cornerback in the draft.

South Florida cornerback Jerome Murphy is Mike Mayock's 5th rated cornerback in the draft.

Heading into the NFL scouting combine, it is reasonable to conclude that the Falcons will take a cornerback with the 19th or 20th pick in the draft. (BTW: The coin toss is Friday.)

Which cornerback should the Falcons take with their first round draft pick?

  • Devin McCourty, Rutgers
  • Patrick Robinson, Florida State
  • Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
  • Jerome Murphy, South Florida
  • None of the above, take a defensive end or linebacker.

View Results

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Several of you all want a pass rushing defensive end. Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham was the selection in Mock Draft 1.0 last Friday.

But there is some cornerback homework to complete.

Also, if the Falcons believe that better coverage would have given John Abraham that extra second to get to the

Perrish Cox has interviewed with the Falcons at the Senior Bowl and wants to come to Atlanta.

Perrish Cox interviewed with the Falcons at the Senior Bowl and wants to come to Atlanta.

quarterback, then they’ll …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons to scout top 5 CBs at NFL combine »

Should the Falcons try to reunite Tomlinson and Turner?

How would LaDainian Tomlinson look in Falcons' red?

How would LaDainian Tomlinson look in Falcons' red?

The Burner in his old powder blues.

The Burner in his old powder blues.

GENERAL MANAGER’S VILLE — The San Diego Chargers released running back LaDainian Tomlinson Monday, after nine seasons.

The Falcons plucked away his backup, Michael Turner, two seasons ago in free agency.

Turner is currently backed up by Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling. Both are set to become restricted free agents. Norwood will be one if a labor agreement isn’t reach by March 1.

Snelling, who played strong last season, finshed with a 147-yard rushing effort against Tampa Bay. He’ll be a restricted free agent no matter what.

Tomlinson did not appear to have that same explosion over the last two seasons. He has rushed for 12,490 yards in nine seasons and rushed for 138 touchdowns.

Last season, he rushed for 730 yards and averaged a pedestrian 3.3. yards per carry.

Should the Falcons try to reunite Turner and Tomlinson?

10 small college players to watch at the combine

Birdland — There …

Continue reading Should the Falcons try to reunite Tomlinson and Turner? »

Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons select Brandon Graham

BIRDLAND – Let’s get at it.

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, wheres the same number as John Abraham.

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, wears the same number as John Abraham.

This is our first Mock draft for this season. Mock Draft 1.0!

We will update it each Friday leading up to the April 22, 23 and 24 draft.

For starters, we have the Falcons winning the coin flip with Houston and selecting 19th overall.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will step to the podium and announce, “With the 19th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham.”

Under this scenario, based mostly on post-season college games, conference calls with draft analysts Mel Kiper (ESPN) and Mike Mayock (NFL Network) and some reporter chatter, the Falcons will have a tough decision.

Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson, Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox and Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will all be available.

This is more of the Kiper scenario where a really good player is going to fall to the Falcons, and while they may need …

Continue reading Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons select Brandon Graham »

Musgrave talks about his promotion to assistant head coach

BIRDLAND — Bill Musgrave, the Falcons’ new assistant head coach, doesn’t expect his role to change much after receiving a new title this week.

Bill Musgrave and Matt Ryan (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Bill Musgrave and Matt Ryan (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)receiving a new title this week.

He will remain in his role as the quarterbacks coach, continuing to work on the development of Matt Ryan, John Parker Wilson and D.J. Shockley. Chris Redman, last season’s backup, could become an unrestricted free agent on March 5.

“Well, I’m very appreciative of Mike Smith and his loyalty that he showers upon all of us on the staff,” Musgrave said. “We have a fantastic staff of men that I work with. I’m very thankful for being a part of the Atlanta Falcons, I know that.”

The Falcons promoted Musgrave after he was heavily pursued in January by the Houston Texans. They wanted to reunite Musgrave with quarterback Matt Schaub. They worked together at Virginia and with the Falcons.

There were also overtures from the Chicago Bears and the …

Continue reading Musgrave talks about his promotion to assistant head coach »

ESPN’s Kiper recommends Kyle Wilson or Brandon Graham

Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson comes up with an interception against Idaho at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow last November. (Joe Jaszewski/The Idaho Statesman)

Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson comes up with an interception against Idaho at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow last November. (Joe Jaszewski/The Idaho Statesman)

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper was in draft day form for the national media today.

He did a two hour conference call, taking questions from writers from around the country. Kiper was pretty strong throughout.

I was caller No. 12 in the first half hour and asked him about the Georgia Tech kids and who might be available when the Falcons select in the first round.

“I think Kyle Wilson, the cornerback from Boise State would make a lot of sense at that point,” Kiper said. “Considering

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, wheres the name number at John Abraham.

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, wears the same number as John Abraham.

the way that he played at Senior Bowl practices. He’s another kid with great character. He studies the game. He’s a very hard worker.

“Certainly, he would be in the mix. (Defensive end)  Brandon Graham from Michigan would be another guy to consider there. Where they …

Continue reading ESPN’s Kiper recommends Kyle Wilson or Brandon Graham »

Tim Lewis hard at work, revamping the secondary

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)

Last week, Falcons head coach Mike Smith gave the assistant coaches Friday off.

They’d be grinding pretty hard and the extra day would give them a chance for a four-day weekend .

But the Falcons new secondary coach Tim Lewis, with his wife and kids still back in Seattle, went to work on his “off day.”

Lewis while with Seattle.

Lewis while with Seattle.

“I’m trying to get a chance to learn what we are doing,” Lewis said. “Jump right into it. It’s not like they are going to stop their offseason projects and teach Tim all of the defenses. No, it’s not going to work that way.”

One thing is certain, there will be some changes in the secondary under Lewis.

“We didn’t get it done, but hopefully we tweak some things, change some things, …

Continue reading Tim Lewis hard at work, revamping the secondary »