Archive for March, 2010

Under new OT rule: Falcons still make Super Bowl XXXIII

 Minneapolis, MN - Atlanta Falcons' coach Dan Reeves does the 'Dirty Bird' with teammates Jamal Anderson (32) and Rau Buchanan (34) after accepting the NFC trophy at the Metrodome Sunday, January 17, 1999. (DAVID TULIS/AJC staff)

Minneapolis, MN – Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves does the 'Dirty Bird' with players Jamal Anderson (32) and Ray Buchanan (34) after accepting the NFC trophy at the Metrodome Sunday, January 17, 1999. (DAVID TULIS/AJC staff)

BIRDLAND — It will be interesting to see how the new modified sudden death rule plays out in the playoffs next season.

The strategy will be absolutely intriguing.

Under the rule, which was passed 28-4 on Tuesday at the NFL league meetings in Orlando, a team could win on the first possession of overtime by scoring a touchdown, but if the team scores a field goal, the opposing team would receive the ball with a chance to tie with a field goal or win with a touchdown.

If the second team ties with a field goal, the game would revert to the first-to-score  sudden death rule.

If the score is tied after both teams have a possession, the team next scoring by any method shall be the winner.

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis believes that coaches will gamble more on …

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New NFL overtime rule passes with Falcons support

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank celebrates on the sidelines after a field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. The Falcons defeated the Buccaneers 20-10. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank celebrates on the sidelines after a field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. The Falcons defeated the Buccaneers 20-10. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

The Atlanta Falcons voted yes to approve the new overtime rule for the playoffs at the league meetings in Orlando on Tuesday.

The rule, a form of modified sudden death,  passed 28-4, with only Baltimore, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Buffalo voting against the rule.

The NFL competition committee, of which Falcons president Rich McKay is co-chair, proposed changes to the overtime rules for the postseason.

Under the plan, a team could win on the first possession of overtime by scoring a touchdown, but if the team scores a field goal, the opposing team would receive the ball with a chance to tie with a field goal or win with a touchdown.

If the second team ties with a field goal, the game would revert to the …

Continue reading New NFL overtime rule passes with Falcons support »

Brent Grimes, Thomas DeCoud earn extra cash

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes, who led the team with six interceptions. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes, who led the team with six interceptions. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Thomas DeCoud were in the top 25 players league-wide to receive additional salary as part of the league’s “Performance-Based Pay” program, the National Football League announced on Tuesday.

Grimes received an additional $282,484, which ranked 15th in the league.

DeCoud received an additional $250,401, which ranked 23rd in the league.

Minnesota center John Sullivan earned the top figure in the league at $397,555.

The system was created as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement extension with the NFL Players Association. The amount is arrived at by a formula that compares playing time to salary.

Here’s how the formula is calculated:

“Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a ‘player index,”‘ according to a league press release. “To produce the index, a player’s regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, …

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Quarterback market drying up on Michael Vick

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is stopped by Atlanta Falcons' Kroy Biermann, and Jamaal Anderson after rushing for a short gain in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Atlanta. The game was Vick's first in Atlanta since serving a prison sentence for dogfighting. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is stopped by Atlanta Falcons' Kroy Biermann, and Jamaal Anderson after rushing for a short gain in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Atlanta. The game was Vick's first in Atlanta since serving a prison sentence for dogfighting. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

In the ramp up to the 2010 NFL draft, several teams have made some very interesting moves at the quarterback position.

None of the moves have involved Philadelphia’s Michael Vick, who appears relegated to being a third-string Wildcat quarterback for the Eagles again next season.

Who will Michael Vick play for during the 2010 season?

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  • Carolina Panthers
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Vick expressed in two separate radio interviews that he wouldn’t mind playing for Carolina or St. Louis. Those two teams don’t appear interested.

The Panthers did release Jake Delhomme, but appear set …

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Falcons hire Mark Collins as defensive assistant

Mark Collins  (The University of Georgia)

Mark Collins (The University of Georgia)

The Falcons hired Mark Collins to serve a defensive assistant coach on Monday.

Collins has spent 11 years coaching in the college ranks.

He coached the safeties for Louisiana-Monroe last season after serving as a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia in 2007.

Collins, a 1998 graduate of East Tennessee State, has had coaching stints at East Tennessee State, Michigan, Elon and Georgia Southern.

Collins was the defensive coordinator at Elon and worked under Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder while at Georgia Southern. He coaches the linebackers at Georgia Southern.

Collins was named as The Citadel’s defensive coordinator in February.

Collins will work closely with VanGorder, but will not be assigned a specific position group to coach.

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Falcons awarded two compensatory draft picks

Michael Boley's signing with the Giants should bring the Falcons a pretty high compensatory draft pick.

Michael Boley's signing with the Giants likely was responsible for the Falcons receiving a fifth round compensatory draft pick.

The Falcons were awarded two compensatory picks for the 2010 NFL draft  at the owner’s meeting on Monday in Orlando.

The Falcons received a third and fifth round draft pick and will now have eight picks for the draft, which will he held April 22 -24 in New York.

Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it signs in a year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The picks are awarded on a formula developed by the NFL Management Council that is based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula does not cover every free agent.

In 2009, the Falcons lost four free agents in linebacker Keith Brooking (Dallas), cornerback Dominique Foxworth (Baltimore), Michael Boley (New York Giants) and Grady Jackson (Detroit).

The maximum number of compensatory picks a team …

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Falcons linebacker Coy Wire to speak on Sunday

Special teams maven Coy Wire to speak on Sunday.

Special teams maven Coy Wire to speak on Sunday.

FALCONVILLE – Falcons linebacker Coy Wire is set to speak at the Atlanta Girls’ School Celebration of Learning Day on Sunday.

Wire will discuss why it is important to give back to the community and why helping out in the community is important to him.

The Atlanta Girls’ School, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has a day long seminar for parents, staff and the broader community of Atlanta.

The cost is $15 for AGS teachers and students, $20 for AGS families and $25 for the general public. For more information visit our website at www.agstenth.org or RSVP at http://bit.ly/crjZYZ.

The Atlanta Girls’ School is a nondiscriminatory, nonsectarian college preparatory school for girls grades 6 through 12. Opened in August 2000, the school provides a challenging college preparatory program in a learning environment designed to allow girls to achieve their full potential. The school is located at 3254 Northside Parkway. For …

Continue reading Falcons linebacker Coy Wire to speak on Sunday »

Atlanta Falcons workout TCU duo of Washington, Hughes

Falcons worked out TCU linebacker Daryl Washington on Wednesday.

The Falcons worked out TCU linebacker Daryl Washington on Wednesday.

BIRDLAND — After the much publicized workout of Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon on Wednesday, the Falcons flew to Dallas and went over to Fort Worth to work out Texas Christian standouts Daryl Washington and Jerry Hughes, according to an associate of the Willis & Woy Sports Management Group.

Hughes, played defensive end in college, but was worked out as a linebacker.

TCU's Jerry Hughes played defensive end in college, but some teams, like the Falcons, think he's a linebacker.

TCU's Jerry Hughes played defensive end in college, but some teams, like the Falcons, think he's a linebacker.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith and linebacker coach Glenn Pires were on the trip, according to the associate.

The knock on Washington is that he’s a little light at 230, but it’s believed that with a proper diet he can pack on some pounds quickly.  He’s listed as 6-foot-1, 3/4. He played inside linebacker in the Horned Frogs’ 4-2-5 alignment.

The Falcons were looking at him as a weakside linebacker …

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Mock Draft 4.0: Spoon goes “Ham” for Falcons

 

Sean Weatherspoon runs with the ball after an interception during Missouri’s game against Southeast Missouri State. His play in pass coverage will make him the Falcons first round draft pick. ¦ CAT SZALKOWSKI/Missourian

Sean Weatherspoon runs with the ball after an interception during Missouri’s game against Southeast Missouri State. His play in pass coverage will make him the Falcons first round draft pick. ¦ CAT SZALKOWSKI/Missourian

BIRDLAND – As we inch closer to the draft, the picture is starting to come into better focus for the Falcons.

We know the Falcons are looking to draft a center, but the evidence is pointing away from LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey this week.

We have to factor in a couple of new variables this week:

1. The private workout for Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. (We’re also hearing that the Falcons are sniffing around Texas Christian linebacker Daryl Washington.)

2. The private workout set up for Boston College center Matt Tennant, who’s the fourth ranked center in the draft and could be available in the third round.

Everything went “fine” with Weatherspoon’s workout and meetings with the team.

Weatherspoon had this to say about his workout with the Falcons …

Continue reading Mock Draft 4.0: Spoon goes “Ham” for Falcons »

Jason Snelling to lead National Walk for Epilepsy

 Falcons running back # 44 Jason Snelling is tackled by Saints defensive end # 94 Charles Grant as he picks up yardage during 1st half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons running back # 44 Jason Snelling is tackled by Saints defensive end # 94 Charles Grant as he picks up yardage during 1st half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

SNELLING VILLE — Running back Jason Snelling was instrumental in helping the Falcons down the stretch last season.

His 147-yard effort in the season finale against Tampa Bay was key to the franchise posting consecutive winning seasons for the first time in team history.

Snelling, who has epilepsy, is set to lead the National Walk for Epilepsy for the second year in a row  on Saturday, March 27th on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Snelling wants to inspire youth with his condition.

In college, Snelling often suffered from migraine headaches and dizzy spells. He was diagnosed with epilepsy.

The National Walk for Epilepsy, hosted by the Epilepsy Foundation is a family-oriented, noncompetitive, two-mile walk in Washington, D.C. to raise money …

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