Falcons Q&A: Meet sixth round pick Shann Schillinger

Stephen F. Austin running back Romonté Hampton is tackled at the Griz 2-yard line by free safety Shann Schillinger after being stripped of the ball by Griz linebacker Alex Shaw (not pictured) during the first quarter on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Missoula. (Associated Press)

Stephen F. Austin running back Romonté Hampton is tackled at the Griz 2-yard line by free safety Shann Schillinger after being stripped of the ball by Griz linebacker Alex Shaw (not pictured) during the first quarter on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2009 in Missoula. (Associated Press)


POSITION: Free safety

SCHOOL: Montana (Baker, Mont.  High School)

HT, WT: 6-foot, 202 pounds

DRAFTED: Sixth round, (171 overall)


Q: How do you pronounce your name?

A: “It’s Shann, just like Can, I guess.”

Q: What was it like getting drafted by the Falcons?

A: “It’s truly a great organization. It’s truly an honor. Mr. (Thomas) Dimitroff has done a tremendous job. Coach (Mike) Smith has done a great job down there. I’m honored to be a part of the program and part of the franchise. I’m going to do everything in my power to try to help them win games. I’ll do everything that I can to be successful and hopefully that will result in a lot of wins.”

Q: Have you talked to Kroy Biermann yet?

A: “I have not reached out to Kroy. We’ll probably get in touch (soon). But I know him and being down their and being successful has helped to give me this opportunity. So I’m thankful for him and guys like him from Montana who have opened the door for me.”

Q: Could you tell us about the Grizzlies and how exciting it was getting the FCS national championship game?

A: “We had a great group of guys. We all brought into the system. We were probably not the most talented team, but we were well-coached and disciplined. We got hot at the right time, but unfortunately we fell one game short. It’s something that I’ll never forget. It was a good run, but I’m excited about the new chapter that’s opening up in my life.”

Grizzly Cheer Squad.

Grizzly Cheer Squad.

Q: What other schools recruited you coming out of high schools?

A: “To be honest with you, a few of the Dakota schools and Wyoming. Coach (Bobby) Hauk was here, but now he’s at UNLV. I’m from a small town in Montana that probably a lot of people never knew about. I’m thankful that he gave me an opportunity to go to Montana and be successful. . . I owe a lot to him. I wasn’t recruited by a ton of schools, but Montana is where I wanted to go. They recruited me and it worked out great.”

Q: What’s the name of your hometown?

A: “Baker, Montana. It’s about 1,800 people, probably. It’s not real big.”

Q: Born and raise there?

A: “Yes.”

Q: Did your high school team play eight-man football?

A: “No, we played 11. We were in the smallest 11-man division. It was close, but we played 11.”

Q: What are some of the things you can maybe improve on and what are some of your strengths?

A: “I feel like I’m very coachable. Whatever these coaches tell me to do, I’ll do. . . I want to get in there and get in the weight program and put some weight on. I feel that I can always improve on my technique, my back pedal and all of that stuff. I’m willing to do whatever I can. As far as my strengths, I’m coachable. I understand the game. I’m going to study and do whatever I can. I feel like I’m a fairly smart player. I try to put myself in the right situations.”

Q: Did you workout for the Falcons?

A: “I went into Atlanta for a visit. I got to meet all of the coaches and get a feel for the scheme. I love their DB coaches and the defensive coordinator. I feel that it’s a good fit for me and I’m excited about it.”

Q: What was your first impression of Coach Smith?

A: “Awesome guy. Down to earth. I could tell that he wants to win, but that he cares about his players. Truly, he seems like a really good guy. Obviously, what he’s done in only a couple of years there is remarkable. I’m excited. It’s an honor to learn from a guy like him.”

30 comments Add your comment

Falcon fan

April 29th, 2010
7:25 am

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 29th, 2010
7:27 am


April 29th, 2010
7:29 am

Gotta like these guys from Montana-hope he is as motivated as Bierman.


April 29th, 2010
7:35 am

Good Luck Shann! I am sure this guy is a baller. The jump to this level may be overwhelming at first, but it is still football.


April 29th, 2010
7:56 am

Medium size fish in a very small pond.Who played against average competition.Assuming that, the things that are transferable.Athleticism,character,football sense,speed,technique.Drafting not a confirmed science.I wish the best for Shann and the Falcons.

D. Bell

April 29th, 2010
8:07 am

Have I missed the Q&As with Hawley and Franks? Or have those not ran yet?

Mike Jay

April 29th, 2010
8:18 am

Got a feeling this kid is going to be one hell of a good speacial teamer. Might not see the field otherwise but you have got to have players like this to win championships.

[...] D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution introduces Atlanta Falcons to sixth-round safety Shann Schillinger. [...]

Walker, Texas Ranger

April 29th, 2010
8:34 am

Hawley & Franks, sounds like a comedy sketch team


April 29th, 2010
8:34 am

Nickname Proposal: ShannWow.

Catch ShannWow fever. He’ll be wiping opposing kick returners off the turf.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scouting Bureau and ATLHOMER, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Falcons Q&A: Meet sixth round pick Shann Schillinger http://bit.ly/d9SRVD [...]

Smyrna Jacket

April 29th, 2010
8:42 am

Move Babineaux to DE.
Change the uniforms (we look like an arena league team).


April 29th, 2010
8:47 am

I like these kids from Montana, there is no sense of entitlement in other conferences. They come out and just play and get coached up. Look at Biermann, way way way better than JA98. Schillinger could be a good hard nose Safety/Special Teamer, but either way a true Football Player. Good luck to Shann, bad thing is my Mother is named Shann.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 29th, 2010
9:11 am

D. Bell — I ran the Q&A’s for Hawley and Franks on draft day. Here they are: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/2010/04/24/nfl-draft-falcons-select-center-joe-hawley/

Falcon Devil

April 29th, 2010
9:58 am

Shann-wow is the best nickname ever lol


April 29th, 2010
10:03 am

Welcome to the ATL Falcons Shann Schillinger!

Glad to have you on board, I like what the rookie has to say, saying all the right things. If he works as hard as Kroy he will make the team and eventually contribute somewhere, nickel or special teams?

Mike is Back

April 29th, 2010
10:14 am

Another good pick by TD…good luck Shann!!

Row 3

April 29th, 2010
11:33 am

Often overlooked, special teams account for 1/3 of your teams success, or failure. I look at this as more of a luxury pick in the later rounds to improve our special teams play, and also providing depth at the safety spot…SHANN-POW!

Delbert D.

April 29th, 2010
11:52 am

I watched the 2nd half of Montana’s last 2 regular season games. Those guys were really well coached. Played their guts out.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by D. Orlando Ledbetter, Darryl Ledbetter. Darryl Ledbetter said: Falcons Q&A: Meet sixth round pick Shann Schillinger (Montana, free safety). http://bit.ly/atZ1JD [...]

South ga boy in the atl

April 29th, 2010
12:15 pm

This is another quality pick by TD. I don’t look at it as a luxury to take these type of players with late rd picks. I think it’s a necessary. It’s what elite GM’s do like say Bill Pollian of the Colts and of course our own TD. It’s called paying attention to detail. It’s called taking care of the (percieved) “little things.” Having guys like this that may block a punt, recover a fumble bcause they did exactly what they were taught and were in the right place at the right time are the kind of things that go overlooked but can win a playoff game down the road. These are the kind of players that won’t make a stupid unsportsmanlike penalty (see Meangelo) that kill a crucial drive or give an opposing team a first down. Of course, you have to have stars and atheletes at crucial positions but you also have to have “Shannwow’s” (that nickname will stick and credit to an earlier poster) to win Super Bowls. The patriots have had them sprinkled in among top talent and it won them 3 Super Bowls. “How bout them Cowgirls” don’t have any, just atheletes (not counting Brookings) and they have 1 playoff win in what 14 yrs. TD and Smitty, with backing of course from AB, are building a long term winner for us Falcon fans. All hail TD

Sly Ty

April 29th, 2010
12:51 pm

I agree with South GA boy. TD and Smitty have a true since of direction with this team now. Also, for the hundredth time, I am very sick and tired of people bashing JA98. No he isn’t a good pass rushing 4-3 DE, however his is one of the absolute best, if not the best 4-3 DE at stopping the run. That can’t be said of any of the other 4-3 DE I can think of off the top of my head, not even Jared Allen in Minnesota.

Section 108

April 29th, 2010
12:51 pm

Is it football season yet?? C’mon Already!! Let’s Go Dirty Birds!!!


April 29th, 2010
12:54 pm






April 29th, 2010
1:22 pm

Sounds like this kid has a Shann do Attitude!

Row 3

April 29th, 2010
1:35 pm

Looks like some of the Cheerleaders should have went out for the football team.


April 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

“Looks like some of the Cheerleaders should have went out for the football team.”

The Girls or the boys?


April 29th, 2010
4:13 pm

Looks like beefy and blonde is the style in Montana. Bigger girls need love too!


April 29th, 2010
4:56 pm

With the Hawks and the Braves playing the way they are, Falcons season can’t get here fast enough!

Brian Hunt

April 30th, 2010
9:43 am

Well said MaxxFalcon!