Archive for May, 2010

Falcons Q&A: Arthur Blank pleased with offseason moves

100509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, and team owner Arthur Blank, right, confer on the field during day 3 of the team's minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010.   Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

100509 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, and team owner Arthur Blank, right, confer on the field during day 3 of the team's minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons owner Arthur Blank, fresh from his wedding anniversary trip to Paris, took in the final practice of minicamp on Sunday.

Sporting a red Tommy Hilfiger sweater vest, black shirt and gray slacks, Blank, near the end of practice, talked about

100509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank checks out the arm brace of outside tackle # 72 Sam Baker during day 3 of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010. Baker, drafted by the Falcons 21st overall in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, has been battling injuries.    Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

100509 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank checks out the arm brace of outside tackle # 72 Sam Baker during day 3 of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010. Baker, drafted by the Falcons 21st overall in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, has been battling injuries. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

the team’s offseason moves, the draft, season ticket sales and the collective bargaining negotiations. Below is the Q & A.

Q: Are you pleased with …

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MC Day 3: Weatherspoon working out at both OLB spots

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is learning both -- weakside and strongside -- outside linebacker positions. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is learning both — weakside and strongside — outside linebacker positions. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The energy level was high during the Falcons last practice of the minicamp on Sunday.

After the team finished stretching, there were yells and other assorted noises of glee as they ran to their drill stations. Most clearly sensed the end of minicamp and were thinking about those plane trips to a variety of destinations.

Rookie wide receiver Kerry Meier, who suffered a hamstring injury on Saturday, was held out of practice. Also, defensive end Chauncey Davis suffered a mild right knee injury and was also held out.

The rookies will be brought back for a four-day minicamp that will be held May 17 through the 20. The team’s organized team activities will start on May 25.

Here’s a look at a few of the highlights from the final practice:

  • Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon spent time working at the weakside and …

Continue reading MC Day 3: Weatherspoon working out at both OLB spots »

MC Day 3: Special Mother’s Day edition

The field is not a save place for the children. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

The field is not a safe place for the children. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons have made their way to the practice fields for the last practice of minicamp on this Sunday Mother’s Day morning.

They have been going just over two hours each session.

Owner Arthur Blank is expected to be in attendance this morning.

FAREWELL J. MIKE: One of the truly good guys in the business is moving on to a new venture. J. Michael Moore,

J. Michael Moore

J. Michael Moore

who’s blogged for the last three years for the Falcons, is leaving AtlantaFalcons.com.

I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this e-mail with you all.

“After three unforgettable seasons with the Falcons, I’ve decided to pursue a new opportunity at Emory University. I’m going to miss interacting daily with the friends and colleagues I’ve made in Atlanta and around the NFL and related businesses. I hope this isn’t the end of our working or personal relationship but a new beginning.

“Thanks to each of you for the …

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MC Day 2: Meier suffers slight injury; some highlights

Tight ends AJustine Peelle and Leroy Banks signing autographs after Saturday's second practice. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Tight ends Justin Peelle and Leroy Banks signing autographs after Saturday's second practice. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons received a slight scare in the afternoon practice when wide receiver Kerry Meier, the team’s fifth round draft pick, pulled up while running a reverse.

He appeared to suffer a minor upper leg injury and the trainers rushed over to evaluate him. He was walking fine later.

The final practice will be held Sunday morning at 10:15 a.m. Here are some of the highlights from the second day of the Falcons’ minicamp:

  • Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, the Falcons first round pick, made two sensational pass breakups while defending against running back Dimitri Nance in coverage.
  • Meier was having a big day before suffering the injury. He went high to snag a Matt Ryan pass near the sideline on one play. He had at least three super catches.
  • Brandyn Harvey continues to dazzle with this sharp route running and his ability to separate from …

Continue reading MC Day 2: Meier suffers slight injury; some highlights »

MC Day 2: Ryan’s precision passing returns

The Ice Man heated up a great deal on Saturday. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

The Ice Man heated up a great deal on Saturday. (Curtis Compton/AJC).

FLOWERY BRANCH –  After tossing five minicamp interceptions on Friday, quarterback Matt Ryan bounced back with a sharp  Saturday morning practice.

During the seven-on-seven drills, he completed 7 of 8 passes.

Quarterbacks Chris Redman, D.J. Shockley and John Parker Wilson also threw passes during the drill. Overall, the group completed 12 of 16 passes.

Ryan best throw was to Troy Bergeron, who had slipped behind cornerback Christopher Owens on and out-and-up route along the left sideline.

Ryan hit him in stride for a touchdown.

Continue reading MC Day 2: Ryan’s precision passing returns »

MC Day 2: Q&A with coach Mike Smith

Falcons coach Mike Smith used a message from former David Lipscomb coach Don Meyer in his talk to the team Thursday night practice. He noted that there were three things that you can never work too hard on: 1. Attitude. 2. Effort. 3. Technique. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Falcons coach Mike Smith used a message from former David Lipscomb coach Don Meyer in his talk to the team Thursday night. He noted that there were three things that you can never work too hard on: 1. Attitude. 2. Effort. 3. Technique. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Mike Smith was upbeat after Saturday morning’s practice.

He spent part of the practice discussing matters with general manager Thomas Dimitroff. He also payed close attention to new secondary coach Tim Lewis working with the defensive backs during the installation period.

Here’s his  media briefing after practice.

Q: How did things go for you this morning?

A: It went very well. The weather cooperated. We got a nice front come through and the weather was nice. We had a spirited practice and I thought the guys learned from some of the mistakes they made on day one. Especially some of the rookies. We definitely saw already, them progressing in the direction that we want them to go.

Q: Any of …

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MC Day 2: Q&A with Michael “The Burner” Turner

Michael "The Burner" Turner after practice on Saturday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Michael "The Burner" Turner after practice on Saturday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH –  Falcons running back Michael Turner has been powering through the drills and looking real sharp during the team’s minicamp.

After Saturday morning’s practice, we caught up with the Burner for a few questions:

Q: Can you update us on your offseason and recovering from you ankle injury?

A: I was just rehabbing, taking my time with it. There wasn’t any rush since we didn’t have any games.  We took a longer process of letting it rehab and letting it heal before I did any running or pounding on it.

Q: Have you lost some weight?

A: I’m still the same, it just looks different. I just moved it around a little bit to all the right places a little bit. (He’s listed at 244 pounds, same as last season)

Q: What has been the focus of your workouts?

A: I’ve been here doing a little extra cardio. I changed my eating habits a little bit. Some typical stuff.

Q: Did you talk to Tony Gonzalez …

Continue reading MC Day 2: Q&A with Michael “The Burner” Turner »

MC Day 2: Q&A with Parkview’s Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer is off to a good start at the Falcons minicamp.

Michael Palmer is off to a good start at the Falcons minicamp.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Tight end Michael Palmer, who starred at Parkview High and Clemson, is off to a good start at the Falcons minicamp.

He was signed as an undrafted college free agent. He answered some questions after the team’s Saturday morning practice.

Q: How are things going for you here?

A: It’s going good. It’s fast. I’m starting to pick up the offense more and more every day. It’s only been a day and half, but I’m starting to learn it. It’s always good when it’s cooler out here.

Q: Did you family come out to practice today?

A: They are coming out this afternoon. I think them and a bunch of friends are coming out to watch. We’ve got a bunch of Falcon fans in the family and some friends so this is definitely something that they are excited about it.

Q: Are you over the fact that you weren’t drafted?

A: It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t drafted, but in recruiting I only had one offer. It was Clemson. I’ve learned …

Continue reading MC Day 2: Q&A with Parkview’s Michael Palmer »

MC Day 2: Fans are starting to arrive for practice

Saturday's practices are open to the public. (D.Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Saturday's practices are open to the public. (D.Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons minicamp is open to the public today.

The fans are starting to arrive.

We will have some updates after the first practice, which starts at 10:15 a.m. They went 2 hours and 5 minutes yesterday, so check back after 12:30 p.m. or so. Gates open for the afternoon practice at 3:15 p.m. Practice starts at 4:15 p.m.

Also,  you can follow updates on twitter.com at AJCFalcons.

Continue reading MC Day 2: Fans are starting to arrive for practice »

Minicamp: Norwood, Johnson held out of practice

Day one of minicamp is in the books. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Day one of minicamp is in the books. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Running back Jerious Norwood and defensive tackle Thomas Johnson suffered minor injuries and were held out of the afternoon practice on Friday.

“They will be re-evaluated in the morning,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “There was a little soreness and we wanted to keep them out of practice.”

The Falcons were also monitoring the practices of some of the older players.

Center Todd McClure and linebacker Mike Peterson practiced in the morning and had the afternoon practice offe.

Tight ends Tony Gonzalez and Justin Peelle had the morning practice off.

PEEK AND PALMER SHOW: Free agent tight ends Colin Peek and Michael Palmer both made some nice catches.

Peek, who started his career at Georgia Tech before transferring to Alabama,  had a one-handed catch that drew some praise. Palmer, of Parkview High and Clemson, made several nice catches.

“It’s very difficult to evaluate and tight end is one of the …

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