Falcons safety William Moore cleared for mini-camp

Falcons owner Arthur Blank welcomes safety William Moore to last season's mini-camp, May 8, 2009.  (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

Falcons owner Arthur Blank welcomes safety William Moore to last season's mini-camp, May 8, 2009. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons safety William Moore has been cleared to practice  and will participate fully in the team’s mini-camp that opens on Friday and runs through Sunday.

“He’s ready to go,” Falcons coach Mike Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Moore’s first season was marred by hamstring and knee injuries. He was a second round draft pick in 2009 and played in just two games before being placed on injured reserve.

In August, he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He returned to practice on August 25.

He was inactive for the first three games and played on special teams against San Francisco and Chicago before being placed on injured reserve on Oct. 27 with a season-ending hamstring injury.

Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee), cornerback Brian Williams (knee) and wide receiver Harry Douglas (knee) will not participate in the mini-camp or offseason organized team activities, which start on May 25.

“They definitely won’t participate,” Smith said.

They are making progress and should be ready at varying points during training camp.

“Those three guys are doing well in their rehabilitation with our training staff,” Smith said.

“They are rehabbing and working out with the training staff.”

Some veteran players, who’ve had undisclosed offseason “procedures” will be limited to one practice a day.

S.C. State safety Raefel Bush delivering a shot against Clemson. Bush is from the same school that produced former Steelers great Donnie Shell (1970-73).

S.C. State safety Rafael Bush delivering a shot against Clemson. Bush is from the same school that produced former Steelers great Donnie Shell (1970-73).

“It’s very similar to what we do in training camp,” Smith said. “There are certain guys that are going to be on a one-practice-a–day-routine. We will go ahead and start that off in the mini-camp as well.”

Before suffering his injuries, Moore was expected to compete for the starting strong safety position.

But when he suffered his first injury, Erik Coleman was moved over to strong safety and Thomas DeCoud was inserted at the free safety.

Coleman, the teams’ third leading tackler (139 tackles) last season, is going to be tough to unseat and DeCoud, blossomed as a first-year starter last season.

Moore has been putting in major hours in the film room to get ready to mount a challenge.

He expressed to Falcons first round pick Sean Weatherspoon that he wasn’t happy with how his rookie season went and is seeking some atonement in year two.

At safety, the Falcons also signed Matt Giordano, drafted Shann Schillinger and signed Rafael Bush to a free agent contract. Bush, went to S.C. State, which produced one of the greatest undrafted free agent safeties of all time in Donnie Shell.

Shell was signed by the Steelers and went on to play strong safety for 11 seasons on the “Steel Curtain” defense. Shell won four Super Bowls and made five Pro Bowl trips.

90 comments Add your comment

Drew

May 4th, 2010
6:51 am

BirdDawg

May 4th, 2010
6:51 am

DJ

May 4th, 2010
6:52 am

Let’s hope he can stay on the field. The D has 3 new high draft bodies this year; 2 of them taking a starting job will be an improvement.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
7:01 am

Keep an eye on the Bush kid.

TampaGator

May 4th, 2010
7:07 am

DOL…if Bush is so good, why wasn’t he drafted? This is not 1970s and the evaluation process of prospects is much better than in Shell’s playing days.

Paul

May 4th, 2010
7:08 am

I guess you can never have enough players at one position, but man we have a lot of secondary personnel.

Gene Okerlund

May 4th, 2010
7:16 am

Thank goodness for Sidbury and Owens, or that 2009 Draft Class would have been a total killer. Hope the 2010 class looks better at the end of the season.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kay Kay and D. Orlando Ledbetter, ATLHOMER. ATLHOMER said: Atlanta Falcons – RT Falcons safety William Moore cleared for mini-camp: Falcons owner Arthur Blank welcomes s… http://bit.ly/9cMLMu #AJC [...]

Blaine

May 4th, 2010
8:05 am

Moore is a beast, if he can avoid the injuries he will start and make the secondary solid. SOme of these guys wont be ther on opening day. But Robinson, Williams, DeCoud and Moore with Grimes and Coleman backing them up is a great deal better than what we had last year.

SavannahFalconsFan

May 4th, 2010
8:28 am

TampaGator, there are a ton of players that go undrafted still to this day that have better careers than those who are drafted. Scouts do not always get it right and some players from smaller schools can get overlooked. I would not be surprised if he does make an impact.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

May 4th, 2010
8:33 am

can a receiver (Douglas ) get his explosion back the first year after an injury like he had ? I know running backs seem never to be quite the same.
is Bush a big safety or more of a cover safety?

Chop Buster

May 4th, 2010
8:35 am

I wasn’t impressed with Coleman’s play at all last year. Many times he allowed TEs to get behind him, played out of position and was just plain slow to the ball. I would like to see our strong safety play with speed and punishing hits. How can you let the free safety out hit you?

[...] Falcons safety William Moore has been cleared to play in this weekend’s mini-camp, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by J. Michael Moore, Kay Kay and Darryl Ledbetter, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Falcons safety William Moore, a second round pick in 2009, is cleared for mini-camp. http://bit.ly/auKFMQ [...]

mr. zizzle!

May 4th, 2010
8:47 am

I’m interested in seeing Moore play this year. I really like Coleman! If Moore can take back the starting job, I know he must be a huge impact player cause Coleman played pretty solid last year. The key for the Falcons success this year lies with Peria Jerry, Harry Douglas and the developing outside pass rush with Sidbury and Biermann. The secondary (for once) looks deeper for a change with Brian Williams returning and the Dunta Robinson upgrade. Thomas DeCoud could be an All-Pro this year!!! Go Falcons! Watch out Saints! Your run is O-V-E-R!!!

Gary

May 4th, 2010
8:48 am

That Bush kid is really good….go look at his film. He is an excellent hitter/tackler. I hope he makes the team. If not a starter at safety he definitely would be great for special teams.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
8:50 am

TampaGator — There is still a big school bias. It’s 2010, but scouts still make a lot of mistakes. Brady (6th), Colston (7th), Kurt Warner (undrafted) . . .

Paul — The secondary was revamped.

Okerlund – You have to get the 2009 draft the benefit of the three-year rule. What happened in 2008 was not the normal deal.

South Ga Dawg — I saw Robert Books make it back from a similar injury with the Packers. He was fine.

Chop Buster — I didn’t see him out of position much. He’s assignment sure. Going to be tough to beat out.

SavannahFalconsFan — Good, strong points.

Chop Buster

May 4th, 2010
8:56 am

DOL what you mean you didn’t see him out of position MUCH? He was out enough to always run to the corner of the end zone after the player already made the touch down. He was always looking around like what happened. He was in there because we didn’t have anything better last year. Why do you think they brought in so many safeties this year? I believe I read somewhere that Smith was too high on the play of Coleman last year. Coleman lacks the instincts and aggressiveness that our coaches are looking for…bottom line.

Chop Buster

May 4th, 2010
8:58 am

That’s…Smith was NOT too high on the play of Coleman last year. He believes we can be better at the position.

Charles J.

May 4th, 2010
9:00 am

Blaine for some reason you left well I guess you made a mistake Chris Owens whom I think will be the other starter at corner. And as for William Moore I believe is why TD decided not to move into the 2nd round of the draft, in him we have what I hope is better than anything he could have gotten in the 2nd this year. So I’m hoping it shakes out like this D. Robinson, C. Owens, T DeCoud and W. Moore in the secondary. Let’s see about LBs. We’ve got C.LO. Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon and for our line you might think I crazy but what if you complete the move of Jamaal Anderson to DT with him and Peria Jerry then start ether Kroy Biermann or Lawrence Sidbury and John Abraham.

Tale of Woe

May 4th, 2010
9:04 am

Should we be concerned about Douglas and Jerry? I would have thought that they could have participated in OTA’s or mini-camp by now.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
9:06 am

Chop Buster — That’s the first I’m hearing of this. Coleman has gotten nothing but praise on and off the record. I’ll ask Smitty tomorrow when we talk. If he was running back to the corner he was probably trying to do too much and cover for the weak cornerback play. He’s a free safety by trade and was forced to play strong last year and did well with it. (I do need to look at the Giants tape again. Boss killed the secondary, don’t know it was Coleman or the backers.)

Gary

May 4th, 2010
9:11 am

Where do you see Bush playing if he makes the team DOL? Do you think he could start over DeCoud? Don’t forget about Dominque Franks…he is an excellent pick and will help on the return game. Also that kicker we signed that kicked a 64 yard field goal in college

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
9:12 am

Tale of Woe — An old football writer, Jim Montgomery, taught me the rule on knees. To fully heal and rebuild the muscles around the knee it takes a full year. So I wasn’t expecting any of the knee guys back until a year after the injury. Small knees (Douglas & Williams) will come along faster than bigger knees (Jerry). I’m not a doctor, but I stayed in a . . . .

Gary
— He’s a hitter on special teams and backup strong safety if he makes the team. He would slide into Antoine Harris specials teams role. Bush would have to REALLY impress to land a starting role.
Franks is a returner and cornerback. The kicker has some really stiff competition in Bryant and Hauschka.

D Money

May 4th, 2010
9:16 am

I like how you think Charles J. I think our defense will look much better this year and should be deeper if someone gets injured. I still would like for the Falcons to look for a wide receiver though. After White, there are a bunch of question marks in our receiver corp. Maybe Patrick Crayton if he’s released by Dallas.

TheManMike

May 4th, 2010
9:27 am

After watching some video and doing a little research, I am not so concerned about the receiving corp – Not ideal, I don’t think, but not as concerned; I like the rookies we picked up.

Watched this video of Rafael Bush…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJYwfR_XWSs….

…He looks like a big hitter, with speed. Keeping my eye on him.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
9:29 am

Just did some YOUTUBE scouting on Bush. Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJYwfR_XWSs

The Real Falcon

May 4th, 2010
9:31 am

If you listen to the commentary of games last year it was pointed out on several occassions that Coleman took the fake and was caught out of postion on many long pass plays. He is fine in the box but struggles in pass defense. Bring on the competition!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
9:41 am

The Real Falcon — I don’t listen to the commentators. Half of them don’t know what’s going on. I listen to the coaches, especially after film review. But competition is good!!!

Chop Buster

May 4th, 2010
9:44 am

Also, Coleman was burned for 6 TDs last year–tied for worst safety in the league. He is solid in the run but his coverage ability is absent. He is a backup at best–not a starter. I’m not trying to pick on the guy, his game is just not as complete as some on this site would have you believe.

truth

May 4th, 2010
9:51 am

Agree with you Real Falcon. Coleman can still be of use. However, like you said…..”bring on the competition.”

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
10:05 am

Chop Buster — He was playing with the worst tandem of corners in the league. I’m pushing that over to them. He’s a football player. Competition will be good, however. If the coaches say a guy is not playing well, I usually figure out a way to get that information to you all. There’s nothing on the tape recorder negative about this guy. You’re seeing things or have bad intel.

[...] D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that 2009 second round pick William Moore has been cleared to participate in the Falcons upcoming minicamp this weekend. Moore was limited to only two appearances last season after undergoing knee surgery in August, and then suffering a hamstring injury during the season which forced him onto injured reserve. [...]

Rex

May 4th, 2010
10:12 am

A safety’s job is to read the play and arrive before, or at the same time as the ball. It’s hard to say that Coleman’s coverage ability was the reason for so many missed plays, when the opposing quarterbacks often had all day to pick a target. If you give quarterbacks in this league that much time, even Troy P. in Pitt. is going to get beaten half the time… So in this case I give Coleman the benefit of the doubt, until we see solid play from our D-line.

Rcky_Mtn_Falcon

May 4th, 2010
10:14 am

Yeah Tampa Gator the draft was also 14 rounds long back in the 70’s

That’s why every year after the draft now there’s a free for all over the remaining “priority” free agents that went undrafted.

suwaneefalcon

May 4th, 2010
10:14 am

I truly believe our secondary will be much improved this year, but in the NFL it comes down to a pass rush. You can not goive quality pro receivers over 4 seconds to get open. You will get burned more then you make a play. Am I wrong here people?

Supes

May 4th, 2010
10:21 am

Can’t have too many DB’s. Good to have William Moore back.

If Jerry can’t go, or has an injury riddled career…man would it be a huge miss, considering that the Ravens took Michael Oher with the pick right after us! He sure would look on our O-line right now…

falcon

May 4th, 2010
10:22 am

One thing that helps Coleman is Chris Houston wearing a different colored uniform. Brent Grimes played pretty darn good at RC after taking over for Houston last year. DOL……..Will Dunta Robinson be at RC or LC?

Clemson2388

May 4th, 2010
10:22 am

So.. that picture… That SC State player is NOT laying the wood… That is Jacoby Ford who he is hitting… Smallest player on the field.. and still Jacoby Ford gets the better end of that hit.. I actually saw that play in person.. Bad picture to use..

Mr. Phil

May 4th, 2010
10:25 am

I would catergorize Coleman’s play as from passable to pretty solid. But an impact player he is not (at either safety). Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer solid over a few dead heads we have had at the SS.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 4th, 2010
10:34 am

falcon — Dunta is slotted on the RC, but the deal is if they will move him around to take the top WR or let him stay on his side. I don’t know that yet.

Clemson2388
— Your boy Jacoby got stuck!! It’s OK. It happens to the best of them.

(I did not know there was this much “unreadiness” about Coleman’s play. –dol)

gdg73

May 4th, 2010
10:48 am

Let’s evaluate our safeties once we get our defensive line squared away. Maybe Coleman would have made more plays in space if he didn’t have to help out on the run so much.

DJ

May 4th, 2010
10:51 am

Right DoL Coleman is a FS. The SS and the linebacker on his side (Nicholas) are responsible for the tight end. With upgrades projected at both positions (Moore, Witherspoon) I would expect Coleman and DeCoud to compete at FS. Question here is can DeCoud play QB of the secondary?

waynester

May 4th, 2010
10:54 am

DOL
Obviously, everyone on here is still concerned about injuries. What about a piece on the new training regimin and what we’re doing to try to prevent future disasters like last season? Thanks!….

vafalconfan

May 4th, 2010
11:12 am

Tampa Gator- the draft used to be 12 rounds and free agents still made rosters and became good players. With only 7 rounds teams with really good scoutng departments (that would be the Falcons and not the bucs) can have almost another draft. Bush has a shot to make this team and so do a few others. The next time you see Romo pass to Austin remember neither player was “drafted”..

DawgDad

May 4th, 2010
11:14 am

The good, no, great news is the Falcons now have real push competition for starting jobs in the secondary, and if everyone stays reasonably healthy there won’t be nearly as much drop-off when the second line players hit the field. Linebacking and DT looks solid, too, if the players can stay healthy. The defense should be expected to improve on all fronts this year, and there is a solid core of young players. Coming off two winning seasons accomplished with major holes on D, the future looks very promising and sustainable.

ernisTbass

May 4th, 2010
11:44 am

Oh what’s his name? That highly touted linebacker that used to play for the Falcons from that powerhouse Valdosta St., oh yeah Tuggle, sometimes scouts and Mel Kipper are wrong. Didn’t they all think Aundray Bruce was going to be a difference maker? Didn’t Tuggle come out the same time as Brian Bosworth? How’d that one play out?

Falcon Fan

May 4th, 2010
11:45 am

WATCH OUT FOR THIS KID FROM SC STATE BUSH. HE CAN REALLY HIT

Jeff

May 4th, 2010
12:06 pm

Is there a stat somewhere that you can find players that make the
pwo-bowl against where they were drafted and undrafted?
I belive there would be more low draft players and undrafted players that make that trip.
Too many players that get that guaranteed money end up busts. The owners don’t give them enough incentives.

JMO

Marcus (sometimes known as decatur g)

May 4th, 2010
12:07 pm

DOL,
as you can see, there is still the “small school bias”. Thanks for giving props to fellow MEAC mate Rafael Bush. Also see that a couple of other MEAC players got FA contracts after going undrafted, including both DB/KR Leroy Vann and OL Robert Okefor (FAMU). Sidenote: Miami DL Kendall Langford, STL DB Ron Bartell, IND DB Antoine Bethea, JAX DB Rashean Mathis, Falcons WR Eric Weems are recent players of note to come from the MEAC.