OTAs: Erik Coleman has been team’s second top tackler

Falcons safety Erik Coleman getting an interception against New Orleans' Drew Brees during the 2008 season. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Falcons safety Erik Coleman getting an interception against New Orleans' Drew Brees during the 2008 season. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

The Falcons will hold their second session of their organized team activities today.

This will be the first of four sessions that will be opened to the media and you can expect that all eyes will be on second-year safety William Moore, who returned to action on Tuesday after missing the mandatory minicamp with a pectoral injury.

During training camp last season, Moore, a second-round pick from Missouri, was expected to make a bid for a starting position. His bid was derailed by  hamstring and knee injuries.

He played in only two games and was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 27.

Safety Erik Coleman has been a mentor to the team's young secondary players. He could be in a battle for his starting spot. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Safety Erik Coleman has been a mentor to the team's young secondary players. He could be in a battle for his starting spot. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

The Falcons have revamped their secondary this offseason and now will get to see if Moore can challenge Erik Coleman for the starting strong safety position.

Coleman has been extremely productive over the last two seasons. In 2008, he was the team’s second leading tackler (127) while playing free safety. Last season, he was moved over to strong safety and was the team’s third leading tackler with 139.

Only Curtis Lofton (268) has more tackles than Coleman (266) over the last two seasons.

HAMLIN GETS TRYOUT: According to my man Rodney McKissic of the Buffalo News, Buffalo wide receiver Brett Hamlin has a tryout with the Falcons.

Hamlin, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, caught 185 passes for 2,190 yards and eight touchdowns over his career.

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by D. Orlando Ledbetter, ATLHOMER. ATLHOMER said: Atlanta Falcons – RT OTAs: Erik Coleman has been team’s second top tackler: Falcons safety Erik Coleman gettin… http://bit.ly/dhNGsx #AJC [...]


May 26th, 2010
7:19 am


May 26th, 2010
7:21 am

it will be hard for moore but i hope he wins. if he can beat out coleman then we know we have real talent at the position and the depth it adds as coleman plays fs and ss and would be excellent relief


May 26th, 2010
7:26 am

or if coleman is really that good we could swing swing him at both positions and keep him on the field and switch decoud and moore out a little more. the only concern there would be it could hurt the progression of the younger players. how long is left on colemans contract?


May 26th, 2010
7:28 am

i almost got it 1st

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 26th, 2010
7:41 am

If Moore can get on the field. That would give the secondary jcoaches some options for some funky coverage packages. DeCoud could drop down and take on some big receivers (I’m thinking N.O.’s Colston) and they could play a three safety, 2 CB nickel package. Wonder if BVG will ask me to draw it up for him today!


May 26th, 2010
7:55 am

The Falcons are getting a little love in this B/R article. Check it out and let me know what you think.


D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 26th, 2010
8:04 am

Got any OTA questions for Coach Mike Smith? Talking to Ryan, Gonzalez and LB coach Glen Pires today, too.


May 26th, 2010
8:23 am

how many years does Hamlin have in the league ? Is he a slot guy or a field stretcher ? Any return skills ?


May 26th, 2010
8:36 am

DOL ask about c wire is always a good st with spoon is he om the bubble
and what about james and spencer.

The Real Falcon

May 26th, 2010
8:47 am

Who is running at first team DE opposite Abe?

Smyrna Jacket

May 26th, 2010
8:52 am

S. GA Dawg- Hamlin is from UNIVERSITY of Buffalo.


D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 26th, 2010
8:53 am

South Ga. Dawg fan — University of Buffala. He’s a college free agent. Looks like a possession guy from his stats. Only eight TDs in four years.

Duker64 — I have all those questions in the notebook all ready. We’re covered there.

The Real Falcon — Rotation of Jamaal, Biermann and Sidbury is working opposite of ABE. Will try to keep track of that rotation for you today and see who gets the most plays.

Smyrna Jacket

May 26th, 2010
8:53 am

stop me if you heard this one-

please change the uniforms. We look like an expansion team.


May 26th, 2010
8:58 am



For Matt… Are you planning on throwing the ball down field more this year as opposed to last?

For Gonzo…Can you PLEASE stay another year past 2010?

For Coach…Are you truely pleased with our Def. frm a draft point of view? If so can we expect Off pick early in next years draft? (that’s really more for TD, but…)

Also for coach…Can we expect more blitzs from LB/DB this year?


May 26th, 2010
9:01 am

I understand all of the optimism concerning the D this year, as it really couldn’t get any worse than last year for the defense. But face it all 32 teams have the same optimism as we all show here. I though am not so optimistic about all the hype surrounding W. Moore (though he may be great in a few years) or the rest of the “revamped” defense as all the other bloggers. I don’t see how you can expect a huge difference than what you witnessed last season.
First off- I have read where people really believe Grimes belongs with us, not to mention the NFL. I realize he can jump and had a few INT’s last year, but how soon we forget how much his size and inability to check receivers caused him to get burned last year on more than a few occasions, everyone complained about the pass rush. Sorry- it is a two way street, you have to cover a few more seconds so the rush can get there.
Secondly- look at all the rookies that everyone is projecting on starting and they see improvement? There is going to be a huge learning curve for us, since we don’t have many seasoned (4 plus years vets I consider seasoned) on the defense. Stop and look at what I see people on here projecting as starters and how young they will be. How can the optimism be so high? I don’t see it; I truly hope I am wrong.
Projection’s from reading the blogs on the board.
DE- John Abraham- 11th season ( Vet)
DE/Tackle- Jamaal Anderson- 4th year (supposed to be a VET) plays like a rookie that is lost.
DT- Jonathan Babineaux- 6th year (sub) likely headed for suspension
DE- Krop Biermann- 3rd year Good player need more like him.
DT- Pieria Jerry- 2nd year. Missed nearly all of last year- Should be considered a ROOKIE, will play like a rookie
S- Thomas Decoud- 3rd year Good player
S- William Moore- 2nd year- missed all of last year too, should be considered a ROOKIE and will play like a rookie too.
LB- Sean Weatherspoon- Rookie
LB- Curtis Lofton- 3rd year- Good player
LB- Stephen Nicholas- 4thyear or
LB- Mike Peterson- 12th year (VET)
CB-Dunta Robinson- 7th year- (VET)
CB- Christopher Owens- 2nd year- Burned many times last year. Still learning not mush better than a rookie or
CB- Brian Williams – 9th year (VET) would be my pick for starting or
CB- Chevis Jackson- 3rd year- Burned many times last year young or
CB- Brent too short Grimes- 3rd year, said my peace about him or
CB- Dominique Franks- ROOKIE
This is my point, and there are many more players on the roster with a chance. But- These are very young players, I hope I am very surprised, but I can’t be as optimistic as some due to the likely defensive group that is going to be starting is so young and will be very mistake, missed assignments prone.

Like everyone else this is my opinion.


May 26th, 2010
9:02 am

Thanks for the info !!


May 26th, 2010
9:10 am

My opinion……..GO FALCONS!!!!!!


May 26th, 2010
9:23 am


I understand your ‘half empty’ opinion, but with last years our run D was 10th and pass D was 28th. Even if we maintained our run D from last year (which we can) Then really the arrow can only point up on our Pass D. If our overall D in 2010 just ranks 16th (middle of the pack) then again our arrow can only point up, because of the youth we’re installing now.

So yes you’re correct we are all optimistic and probably overly so, but it’s more about being excited about our future and not just 2010.
But hopefully 2010 is still going to be a good on Def as well


May 26th, 2010
9:32 am

maybe we can all chip in and get William Moore a hyperbaric chamber to sleep in or something… good to see the guy at practice.


May 26th, 2010
9:36 am

DLed , when will we know about Babineaux suspension? What is taking so long? His infractions were last year. It took no time for a suspension on Rothlisberger, why is the NFL holding the Falcons hostage. If he gets a significant suspension we need to address it through a vet FA before the season starts. Don’t want a primary rotation of Peria (not fully recovered) and Peters (rookie) Jamaal (serviceable at best), or the host of marginal NFL players we have for depth. Without Babs the line is way too thin. So we need to know now, right?


May 26th, 2010
9:45 am

I like Coleman. My only beef is that he is not playmaker. Just a tackler. Is it ok that he has to make many tackles as a safety? I do not think so. I believe and hope that Moore is a sure tackler AND playmaker. If he is as good as TD thinks he is, then he should be able to take the starting SS role from Coleman at some point this upcoming season. I agree that Coleman would then provide excellent backup/depth at both FS and SS. We also should be able to make some creative packages. Is BVG up for this? We have the players, now I want to see more blitzing. Let’s take it to them and stop sitting back and waiting for them ALL THE TIME. Why do you think the Jets D is rated so high? BTW, Falcons win the South. Hands Down!!

PS — When is Coleman’s contract up?

Deborah Hall

May 26th, 2010
9:48 am

TO Jeff: You are entitled to your opinion, but the short reference to Grimes is unnecessary, you are just a motivator to him. Please have an enjoyable football season, that is if you are a true fan.


May 26th, 2010
10:25 am

Jeff– The reason the Falcons and their fans are optimistic is because we lost no one of any importance in free agency and only gained better players. Peria Jerry being back, whether you consider him a rookie or not, is still an upgrade over Trey Lewis and Jamaal Anderson. With Corey Peters now in the fold the Falcons have addressed depth concerns and basically have a younger version of Babs. William Moore is faster and better in coverage then Erik Coleman. I live in Missouri and have had the pleasure of watching young Mr. Moore, live and in person, and I can say that this kid can really go. We’ll keep Coleman for another year and then cut him and replace him with someone young. The same can be said for Abe. His replacement is going to be Sidburry.
What we are seeing is a team that isn’t just built to win this year but for years to come! Need I mention the much softer schedule this year? With the schedule the way it is then we can allow some of those young guys to stay on the field, late in games, and earn some experience. Yes, they will make mistakes but so do veterans. Do you remember Keith Brooking’s last play as a Falcon? Did he or did he not get burnt by a second tier tight end? Did Mike Peterson not look like the opposing team’s best player when he dropped into coverage at the end of the season? So, yes, kids like Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore, Peria Jerry, Chris Owens and even Corey Peters provide us with hope. Teams like Carolina, Kansas City, Cleveland, Oakland and Tampa Bay, just to name a few, don’t have the same hope as the Falcons. No, that hope is held for teams like Philly, Dallas, San Diego, Indianapolis, New Orleans and New England. Those are all teams that are close to doing something special. I’m not sure if the Falcons should be in the same breath as those teams but I feel they are close.
Yes, there is a lot of young players in Atlanta but where do we really have holes? Our number 2 corner? Depth on the lines? Pass rush? For each one of those I can point to a young player that has been put into place to answer all of those concerns. What I see is a younger version of the Colts here in Atlanta. Can they put it all together this year? I don’t know but I believe they could. Isn’t that what you really want from your team right now? Hope?


May 26th, 2010
10:27 am

Infamous-I,too, would like to see more blitzing. DOL would you ask if we will see more? Also ask if we will see more screen passes to slow the pass rush down.

I want to ask the bloggers a question about our last playoff game. Arizona’s, not too good defense, kept Matt Ryan on his heels the entire game. I feel they were antisipating the count. Good coaches see this and go to long counts or hard counts. My question is, are our coaches capable. OFF & DEF seem to lack in plays and schemes.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 26th, 2010
10:35 am

Made it to the Branch. About to hit the field. I’ve got all of the questions on my list.

Birdman — I keep hearing around training camp for Babe’s situation. Been trying to check in with his lawyer about the case.

Infamous — Erik Coleman has two years left on his contract, 2010 and 2011 (lockout/strike possible).

Bangkapi Ajarn

May 26th, 2010
11:10 am

Wonder if the commish will get involved in this, considering his character crackdown:

“National Football League star Albert Haynesworth is being sued for $10 million by an exotic dancer who claims he impregnated her and then abandoned her, the New York Post reported Wednesday.”



May 26th, 2010
11:29 am


May 26th, 2010
7:55 am
Fun to read but can you take him seriously when he lists the Steelers @ better odds to
reach the big game…………..?? There is a good chance that franchise will implode. Especially
after we open up a can on them 9/12/10……..!!! 109 days and counting……..!!!


May 26th, 2010
12:05 pm



May 26th, 2010
12:12 pm

If enough people agree, how about Smyrna Jacket and Talon start a write in campaign about the Uni’s? Blank says he listens to fans. If we get enough people raising the issue, he will do something next year (too late for this season). Will be another chance for them to make money on the new (old) jerseys and such. International Soccer teams change jerseys almost every year so you have to buy a new one to be up to date.


May 26th, 2010
12:31 pm

No to the old uniforms. Once or twice a season is good enough. Maybe the old logo, but the mystique assoicated with the old uniforms will be lost if they become the regular uniforms

F-105 Thunderchief

May 26th, 2010
12:46 pm

Red helmets, red jerseys, silver britches, just like Bartkowski and Alfred Jenkins used to wear.

Sly Ty

May 26th, 2010
1:06 pm

F-105 Thunderchief, you have the coolest name ever, but please let the uniform thing go. Pray for good team health, not new team uniforms. LOL. Also the Thud wasn’t exactly a sexy fighter bomber, it just kicked some butt. Just like our falcons, in their current uniforms.


May 26th, 2010
2:52 pm

DOL — Nice job of keeping updates going for us. You know you have a rabid fan base when fans love updates from OTA’s.

Coleman —
I was also in the camp of really believing that William Moore could very well replace Coleman this year, but all that speculation and talk should be permanently extinguished until Moore can prove he can stay on the field for more than 2 days. Perhaps he just got hit by some bad luck regarding injuries, but always having something wrong (weight training injury?) is starting to make many of us fans worry that TD’s top two picks are on the road to being Injury-Busts.

Maybe Coleman had some issues converting to a new position and that’s the reason why his play declined somewhat. He ranked 43rd out of 88 safeties according to ProFootballFocus.com. He had a very good run support rating, but a very poor coverage rating (which was pretty easy to see last year). Coleman looks to have a pretty firm grasp on the position right now because William Moore can never stay healthy long enough to even make it a race. Notice that TD didn’t draft any injury risks this year.

Whopper Dawg

May 26th, 2010
3:04 pm

I agree with Jeff. There are a lot of question marks on defense. Although that is understandable with the rebuilding that is going on, they are question marks none the less. Do we have a corner that can cover? Do we have two? Who are the starting safties? Can anybody rush the passer opposite Abraham? Can Abraham rebound to form? Will Anderson ever amount to anything at all? Will Spoon start? Can Jerry heal? Can he play? Can Moore stay healthy? Can he play?

There are really only three positions on D that are settled, MLB Lofton, DE Abraham and safety DeCoud. That can be viewed in several ways, one is that we have competition at a lot of spots which I think is true, another is that no one has separated themselves from the pack as a clear starter which I think also is true.

This year is a big year for the D, TD has spent more draft choices by far on defense than offense, and it is time for somebody(ies) to step forward and play. If that does not happen this year, you really have to start questioning his drafts on the D side of the ball.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 26th, 2010
3:15 pm

BA — Thanks for keeping us up to date on our “current events!” Can’t wait to read that.

— Thanks. OTA UPDATE: Will put up a new blog after I hit my print deadline. Some OTA highlights — Abraham was not here; Dominique Daniels had a death in the family and was not here; QBs hit on 14 of 15 passes in the 7 on 7 drills. Very spirited practice. They went for 1 hour, 55 minutes.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

May 26th, 2010
4:40 pm

What about Jerry?