Archive for April, 2010

Falcons cheerleader finals set for Thursday

00411 - Atlanta -  Semi finalists line up to take the floor  for their final audition before the finalists are announced.   Several hundred hopefuls turned out for The Atlanta Falcons cheerleader auditions at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Finalists were announced after the second cut, and go on for additional interviews.  Sun, April 11, 2010  Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

00411 – Atlanta – Semi finalists line up to take the floor for their final audition before the finalists are announced. Several hundred hopefuls turned out for The Atlanta Falcons cheerleader auditions at the Georgia World Congress Center. Finalists were announced after the second cut, and go on for additional interviews. Sun, April 11, 2010 Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Birdland – The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are on notice.

The Los Angeles Laker Girls need to worry about their status, too.

The new 2010 Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders will be selected on Thursday at The View at King Plow and the goal is to put together the best professional cheer squad ever assembled.

The Falcons spared no expenses and brought in some heavy-hitters to help them pull this off.

100411 - Atlanta - Her hair flying, Nikky Williams, 28, from Atlanta, performs during her semi final audition. Several hundred hopefuls turned out for The Atlanta Falcons cheerleader auditions at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Finalists were announced after the second cut, and go on for additional interviews.  Sun, April 11, 2010  Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

100411 – Atlanta – Her hair flying, Nikky Williams, 28, from Atlanta, performs during her semi final audition. Several hundred hopefuls turned out for The Atlanta Falcons cheerleader auditions at the Georgia World …

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Maurkice Pouncey, Jermaine Gresham worked out by the Falcons

Florida center LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey had a private workout with the Falcons.

Florida center LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey had a private workout with the Falcons.

Florida center Maurkice Pouncey and Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham had private workouts with the Atlanta Falcons recently.

The Falcons worked out Pouncey at the University of Florida on Wednesday, March 31.  Gresham had his private workout and visit last Thursday in Flowery Branch .

Both are considered possible candidates to be selected by the team with the 19th pick in the NFL draft, which will be

Gil Brandt says Jermain Gresham is the next Kellen Winslow Sr.!!!

Gil Brandt says Jermain Gresham is the next Kellen Winslow Sr.!!!

held on April 22-24.

Pouncey, the Rimington award winner last season, is considered the top center in the draft. He also played some right guard for the Gators.

Pouncey first met with the Falcons during the NFL scouting combine and was impressive when they put him up on the chalkboard.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has stated that improving the offensive line will always be a focus in the draft. Other teams like to add and …

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Falcons to host local talent today

030911 - TUCKER, GA -- Tucker High School football stars, L-R, Thomas Brown, D.T. McDowell, Brandon Lang, and James Swinton on their practice field in Tucker today, Sept. 11, 2003. (LOUIE FAVORITE/AJC staff)

030911 – TUCKER, GA — Tucker High School football stars, L-R, Thomas Brown, D.T. McDowell, Brandon Lang, and James Swinton on their practice field in Tucker back on Sept. 11, 2003. (LOUIE FAVORITE/AJC staff)

BIRDLAND – The Falcons are set to host several players with local ties today at their facilities in Flowery Branch, according to several agents.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff confirmed that the team will have a locals day, but would not divulge the date or the participants.

“As you can image, it will be very structured,” Dimitroff said.

Troy defensive end Brandon Lang will be one of the players to take part in the workouts.

Lang, of Tucker High, is projected as a fourth or fifth round draft pick by Pro Football Weekly. If the Falcons don’t address the position earlier in the draft, Lang could be a mid-round target.

Last season, William Middleton, of Marist and Furman, was a participant on local prospect day. He was drafted by the Falcons in the fifth. He was …

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Mike Smith to host high school coaching clinic

Falcons coach Mike Smith (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Falcons coach Mike Smith (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

BIRDLAND – Falcons coach Mike Smith is set to host a coaching clinic for all Georgia High School Association head football coaches on Friday, April 16 at the team’s facilities in Flowery Branch.

The clinic, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., will include a tour of the football operation, dinner and specialized sessions with the coaches.

Smith, who used to recruit the Atlanta area as college coach, has found ways to give back to the high school coaches since being named the Falcons head coach.

Last December, Smith and the Falcons hosted a Salute to High School Football Luncheon for GHSA-affiliated head football coaches.

Last year’s coaches clinic was a success as more than 150 high school coaches attended. Smith stressed the importance of making a positive impact on the players.

You can follow the Falcons Beat and Falcons Fan blogs on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC …

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FOLLOW-UP: Jermaine Cunningham had strong workout

91031 Jacksonville, FL.  Georgia quarterback Joe Cox gets up after being sacked by Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL.   Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

91031 Jacksonville, FL. Georgia quarterback Joe Cox gets up after being sacked by Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL. Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

Florida defensive end/linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, of Stephenson High, had a fine showing at his pro day workout last week before suffering a first degree quadriceps strain.

Here are the vitals:

  • Nine feet, 10.5 inches in the broad jump.
  • Thirty-five inches vertical jump.
  • The Stephenson High product ran a 1.57 seconds in the 10 yard split, which is a super time.
  • He ran a 4.92 seconds in the 40-yard dash, suffering the strain while running.
  • After pulling the quad, he didn’t run the cone drill.
  • Cunning did well in the linebacker drills and defensive end drills as he fought through the quad injury.

A total of 20 teams were on hand for his workout. Some of the teams included Miami, Minnesota, New York Jets, Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Kansas …

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Mock 7.0: Dimitroff ramps up for NFL draft

BIRDLAND – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff took a break last week to give us an update on the ramp

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 Sunday morning. KENT D. JOHNSON / kdjohnson@AJC.COM

up to the draft.

The Falcons are set to have a “Locals” day on Monday for some structured workouts.

“We are encouraged and we know that there are going to be some very fine opportunities in this draft to acquire more players that are going to continue to help us in our quest to be perennial playoff contender,” Dimitroff said.

The Falcons are one of the busier teams in bringing in players and putting the finishing touches on their draft board. The idea is to get a consensus in the room with regards to the system-specific players.

“I’m definitely a believer in collaboration,” Dimitroff said. “We take all …

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Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon takes ATL by storm

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon celebrates after making a tackle against Bowling Green during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Columbia, Mo. (Associated Press)

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon celebrates after making a tackle against Bowling Green during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Columbia, Mo. (Associated Press)

BIRDLAND – Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon made it to town late Wednesday for his visit with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons worked him out last month in Columbia, Mo. and this is more of a meet-and-greet.

He was in New Orleans before making it to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The New Orleans Saints will pick 32nd in the 2010 NFL Draft, which will be held April 22-24.

“Coach (Gregg) Williams and (coach Joe) Vitt said they see me playing the WLB (weakside linebacker) in (their)  system,” Weatherspoon tweeted.

He was excited about coming to Atlanta in part because he’d get to see his former Missouri teammate William Moore.

“Heading to the ATL to see my boy Willy Mo25 and them dirty birds!!!,” Spoon tweeted about 6 p.m.

Hartsfield-Jackson caught …

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Atlanta Falcons to workout Everson Griffen, Brian Price

BIRDLAND – In their quest to improve the defense, the Falcons are set to workout a couple of West Coast prospects.

UCLA's Brian Price is one mean and nasty defensive tackle.  (Jeff Lewis / Associated Press)

UCLA's Brian Price is one mean and nasty defensive tackle. (Jeff Lewis / Associated Press)

Gil Brandt, the Cowboys former pro personnel man wrote in his blog on NFL.com, that the Falcons are set to workout UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price and USC defensive end Everson Griffen on Saturday.

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is due in for a visit today and Thursday, but he was stuck in Memphis Tuesday night due to airplane issues.

The Falcons are showing some significant interest in a pair of standouts from Los Angeles. Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton will work out UCLA DT Brian Price and USC DE Everson Griffen on Saturday morning.

Defensive line is a need area for the Falcons, and they are one of the most active teams in the pre-draft workout circuit. Price and …

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Jermaine Cunningham set for his private workout

91031 Jacksonville, FL.  Georgia quarterback Joe Cox gets up after being sacked by Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL.   Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

91031 Jacksonville, FL. Georgia quarterback Joe Cox gets up after being sacked by Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL. Brant Sanderlin bsanderlin@ajc.com

Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, of Stephenson High, has recovered from shoulder surgery and will hold a private workout for NFL teams at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Gainesville.

He suffered a torn labrum in practice. The injury forced him to  miss the Senior Bowl and he couldn’t work out at the NFL scouting combine.

“I feel 100 percent,” said Cunningham, who started 38 of 45 games over his college career.

Cunningham had surgery on Jan. 5. Dr. James Andrews did the surgery and projected a full recovery.

Cunningham is 6-foot-3 3/8 and 266 pounds. Some teams consider him a defensive end and others like him as an outside linebacker.

“To me, it’s all the same,” Cunningham said. “I see myself as a football player. As long as I get on the field, when the ball is …

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Rolando McClain, Sean Weatherspoon to visit this week

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon celebrates after making a tackle against Bowling Green during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Columbia, Mo. Associated Press

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon celebrates after making a tackle against Bowling Green during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, in Columbia, Mo. Associated Press

BIRDLAND — While the rest of the world’s attention is on Augusta, it’s linebacker week for the Falcons.

Alabama all-American Rolando McClain is set to visit today.

Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon is set to visit on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Falcons have spent a great deal of time analyzing the linebackers eligible for this draft, which will be held April 22-24. The Falcons currently hold the 19th pick in the first round.

Few are projecting McClain to last until the 19th pick. The Falcons appear to be doing their due diligence. Perhaps, if they like McClain enough they will move up to get him.

Will Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain (25) be clapping it up in the Falcons huddle next season?  (Associated Press)

Will Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain (25) be clapping it up in the Falcons huddle next season? (Associated Press)

Or if there is a draft run at a particular position, …

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