Dunta Robinson on list of Falcons’ top 10 offseason moves

Cornerback Dunta Robinson was signed as a free agent this offseason.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson was signed as a free agent this offseason.

BIRDLAND – The release of quarterback D.J. Shockley last week was likely the team’s last move before the players report for training camp on July 29th.

So here’s a list the Falcons’ top 10 offseason moves:

Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave talks with D.J. Shockley as they walk off the field after losing to the Ravens at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.    Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave talks with D.J. Shockley as they walk off the field after losing to the Ravens at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

1. Signing cornerback Dunta Robinson: He will help solidify the secondary. He worked on the left side over the offseason. The Falcons will be tempted to put him on the opposition’s top receiver.

2. Naming Tim Lewis secondary coach: He’s been a defensive coordinator and comes highly recommended. Perhaps the few holdover secondary members will respond to his coaching style.

3. Trading cornerback Chris Houston: He played hard, but could never elevate his game. He conceded too many receptions and wasn’t feisty enough for the position.

4. Drafting linebacker Sean Weatherspoon: Not really sure where he is going to play or how he’s going to help during his rookie campaign, but you know he’s a football player.

5. Signing right guard Harvey Dahl: He is back to help anchor the right side of the line.

6. Re-signing right tackle Tyson Clabo: A victim of the NFL labor situation. He could have been an unrestricted free agent and signed a big-time deal this offseason.

7. Signing Chris Redman to a two-year contract extension: He won a lot of respect in the locker room and in the coaching offices with his gutty 300-yard passing performance against New Orleans last season.

8. Signing punter Michael Koenen: His directional punting and kickoff ability is the key to having top quality special teams units.

9. Signing running back Jason Snelling: He showed what he could do last season.

10. Signing running back Jerious Norwood: While he’s been hurt every season, he has the one thing coaches can’t teach . . . speed.

Here’s a list of all of the moves:

January

• 25 – Named Tim Lewis secondary coach

• 12 – Did not renew contract of assistant head coach/secondary Emmitt Thomas

• 11 – Signed DL Dan Klecko to a futures contract

• 4 – Signed C Rob Bruggeman, WR James Swinton, QB D.J. Shockley, WR Andy Strickland, C Blake Schlueter, DE Maurice Lucas, RB Antone Smith and G Jose Valdez to reserve/futures contracts

• 1 – Signed P Danny Baugher to the practice squad

February

• 16 – Named Bill Musgrave assistant head coach/quarterbacks

• 11 – Re-signed WR Brian Finneran

• 8 – Waived DE Maurice Lucas and DB Eric Brock

March

• 22 – Named Mark Collins defensive assistant

• 16 – Signed S Matt Giordano and released CB Tye Hill

• 15 – Confirmed a revision in Chris Houston trade, changing swap of picks in 2010 NFL Draft to a conditional selection in 2011 NFL Draft

• 9 – Signed CB Brent Grimes to exclusive rights contract and released WR James Swinton

• 8 – Traded CB Chris Houston to the Detroit Lions for a sixth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and a swap of fifth-round selections

• 8 – Re-signed LS Joe Zelenka

• 6 – Announced the signing of free agent CB Dunta Robinson

• 5 – Announced a contract extension with QB Chris Redman

• 4 – Announced a contract extension with CB Brian Williams

• 4 – Announced the retirement of LS Mike Schneck

April

• 29 – Signed undrafted free agents DT Trey Bryant and DE Rajon Henley

• 26 – Announced the signing of undrafted free agents TE Leroy Banks, WR Tim Buckley, S Rafael Bush, CB Dominique Daniels, S Gabe Derricks, LS Justin Drescher, WR Brandyn Harvey, LB Weston Johnson, K Garrett Lindholm, RB Dimitri Nance, TE Michael Palmer, TE Colin Peek, DE Emmanuel Stephens, WR Ryan Wolfe and LB Bear Woods.

• 24 – Announced the re-signing of P Michael Koenen and RB Jerious Norwood and the retirement of TE Jason Rader

• 24 – Drafted S Shann Schillinger in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft

• 24 – Drafted CB Dominique Franks and WR Kerry Meier in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft

• 24 – Drafted OL Joe Hawley in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft

• 23 – Drafted DT Corey Peters and OL Mike Johnson in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft

• 22 – Drafted OLB Sean Weatherspoon in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft

• 15 – Signed G Harvey Dahl, T Tyson Clabo, RB Jason Snelling and OL Quinn Ojinnaka to restricted free agent tenders

May

• 13 – Released TE Leroy Banks

• 10 – Signed undrafted free agents DB Daylan Walker and QB Eric Ward

June

• 19 – Signed third round pick Mike Johnson

• 15 – Signed fourth round pick Joe Hawley and fifth round pick Dominique Franks

• 15 – Released cornerback Dominique Daniels, long snapper Justin Drescher, kicker Garrett Lindholm and defensive tackle Trey Bryant.

• 9 – Signed sixth round pick Shann Schillinger

• 9 – Released QB Eric Ward

• 8 – Signed third round pick Corey Peters

• 8 – Hired Steve Sabo as an area scout

July

• 9 – Released QB D.J. Shockley

• 8 – Announced that the NFL has suspended linebacker Robert James four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

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51 comments Add your comment

I did it

July 13th, 2010
7:43 am

Mike from London

July 13th, 2010
7:44 am

Mike from London

July 13th, 2010
7:45 am

[...] Dunta Robinson tops D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s list of the Top 10 Atlanta Falcons moves this [...]

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London Falcon

July 13th, 2010
8:42 am

Another Londoner! Lets get the Falcons to Wembley!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Reid Adair

July 13th, 2010
8:48 am

I would agree with that list for the most part, although I’m not 100 percent sure about re-signing Jerious Norwood. Personally, I have always thought D.J. Shockley was better than John Parker Wilson; apparently, the folks in Flowery Branch see things differently.

rekingball

July 13th, 2010
8:52 am

Are you there in Flowery Branch everyday?

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

July 13th, 2010
8:55 am

I think norwood makes all fans nervous , but it sure is nice to see him stretched out and the defenders behind him getting smaller and smaller as he daylights them.
what are the chances that williams and douglas will be somewhere close to 100% by the time the first real game starts ?

Stephen W.

July 13th, 2010
8:59 am

Until Sean Weatherspoon proves his value on the football field, we will never know. Based on the prior recents drafts though, the Falcons have chosen some quality players. Jerious Norwood may have speed, but he is always hurt and gets tripped up or tackled too easily. Go birds!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2010
9:03 am

reid – I understand about Norwood. He just doesn’t seem to do well after initial contact. But he has to be accounted for when he’s on the field.

rekingball — Nobody is there right now. Folks are on vacation. I’ll be there everyday once training camp starts. I have a cubicle (with a view) in the media room. I have to drop by to see Coach Smith on Monday.

Stephen W. — I’m agreeing with you on Norwood. Would love to see some more determined running.

Hamp

July 13th, 2010
9:06 am

One day closer! I sure hope jerry and douglas are ready we need them!!
GET HEALTHY JERRY!!!

PMC

July 13th, 2010
9:09 am

Healing Harry Douglass should be on that list DOL.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2010
9:11 am

PMC — I guess healing HD could be a transaction.

Golden Tornado

July 13th, 2010
9:14 am

Worst move…..Did not draft Dwyer

SeenThisB4

July 13th, 2010
9:17 am

Title to the column is wrong, should be “Ten off season reasons why falcons will fail in 2010.”

Paddy

July 13th, 2010
9:21 am

Reid Adair…..being a DAWG fan I would love to see DJ make the roster. But the Falcons have now released him 3 times and no other teams seem the least bit interested. Think it is time for him to work on that 2nd career.

D3

July 13th, 2010
9:29 am

Great Job DOL! — Guess you’re back from vaca’ and ready to roll. Falcons and Football just around the corner. Not surprised one bit that DJ was released. Actually figured it would happen sooner rather than later. Honestly was kind of shocked when he was placed on the Practice Squad instead of being released outright when JPW beat him out in Camp last year. Any word on why they kept him around? One thing this does do is open up another valuable practice roster spot for all these talented UDFA’s to keep around.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

July 13th, 2010
9:42 am

Good stuff Bruh. I feel like we are starting to get ready for training camp. I agree with all of these…just not the order. (1) is signing #23, (2) is the secondary coach and (3) is re-signing Jason Snelling.

Trust me DOL and bloggers, J. Snelling will be the glue that holds this ship together. First, he will allow Norwood to play slot and run “situational” plays. We wont need to hand off to Norwood in between the tackles to give the Burner a break…Snelling will take those carries. This will keep Norwood healthy. Second, this will allow Douglas to take some snaps at WR if Jenkins tanks again. The logic is consistent: Norwood to the slot, Douglas on the outside, Jenkins to the bench. Third, Snelling is a heck player in his own right (see NY Jets, Tampa games). The Birds will again run through the NFC and have one of the top rushing offenses in the league.

One move that was not listed or implemented: upgrade at WR.

DOL, do you think TD will pull the trigger before/after camp on Vincent Jackson or some other veteran WR (other than Marty Booker, Alfred Jackson, Alfred Jenkins, Terrence Mathis)?

FBD

Mack1124

July 13th, 2010
9:50 am

Can you enlighten us on your background? What was your path in becoming the beat writer for the FALCONS? To have a cubicle at the training facility and travel with the team has got to be one of the best gigs ever.

TMoney

July 13th, 2010
9:51 am

The off season has the looks of being another good one for TD, Smitty and the birds. I agree with FBD, I think Snelling is a major diamond in the rough for us. Almost makes me want to run a Pro style backfield with him and Turner.

Fall can’t get here soon enough.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Falcon57

July 13th, 2010
10:11 am

I think Peria Jerry and Harry Douglas are the more pressing needs/hopefulls to recover from last years injuries and play well. Brian Williams is solid and his play speaks for itself but the books still out on William Moore. Saftey and corner seem to be deeper than d-line and slot reciever. Out of these 4, Douglas would make the biggest impact coming back on offense and Jerry likewise on defense.

If Sean Weatherspoon, Corey Peters and Meirs can contribute in their respective areas we should be much improved, assuming the injured players are back to form.

Can’t wait to find out!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2010
10:33 am

Falcon57 — Technically, those are not transactions. Those people were already here.

Joe Tess Fish House

July 13th, 2010
10:43 am

Yeah. Trade Jenkins and JA 98 for Jackson.

truth

July 13th, 2010
10:50 am

Ok, I get it. Let’s trade two quality players for a guy who will be suspended and is a prima donna. Yea…..makes sense to me. “roll eyes”

Falcon57

July 13th, 2010
11:03 am

Hey DOL, I was actually referring to “Fredicks” post more so than the ‘transactions’ but thanks for paying attention.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & TIred

July 13th, 2010
11:37 am

As most have stated…the jury is still out on many of the moves that were made during the off-season. I just hope they prove to be good moves.

However, I am one (along with a lot of other folks) who continues to stated that Mularkey HAS YET to effectively utilize the talents of Norwood. He is not a between the tackles consistent type of RB. The offense rarely uses screens, slants over the middle, etc. I’d just like to see Norwood get an opportunity to really show what he is capable of doing on the field, but Mularkey’s offensive play-calling so far is not a good fit for Norwood’s abilities.

The Falcons’ football season is starting real soon…..GO FALCONS!!!!!

Sports Review

July 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Ken Strickland

July 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

What I like most about this team is it’s youth and depth. We spent a boat load of money to bring FA CB DRobinson here. But, if he went down with a season ending injury, like BWilliams did last yr, we can just plug COwens in at LCB and keep on trucking, just like we did the 2nd half of last yr.

We also know we can maintain our rushing attack if MTurner goes down again, and our run DEF and pass rush if DE JAbraham, DT PJerry or JBabineaux, OLB MPeterson or SNicholas, or FS EColeman go down. The Atlanta Falcons are fully loaded, with plenty of reserve ammo, and ready to go hunting in the NFL.

willdave

July 13th, 2010
12:11 pm

DOL, I certainly wouldn’t argue with your top ten. Looks like the front office still has these Falcons moving in the right direction.

On a personal level, I regretted hearing that DJ had been released from the team for a third time, although I fully understand that it was the right move to make professionally. He was such a great QB at Georgia. We can only speculate what he might have accomplished if he hadn’t suffered that injury during the 2007 preseason, when the Birds’ starting QB position was up for grabs.

Anyway, if Shockley can succeed in this league, he’ll never be able to show that by riding the bench. I hope he ends up on some roster where he can play. Best wishes, DJ.

BIll

July 13th, 2010
12:12 pm

D. Led

Let’s hope a few of the draft picks beside “spoon” wind up making list when you look back on it!

Scott Case

July 13th, 2010
12:53 pm

D Led, which of the Falcons’ unrestricted rookie free agents do you think have a good chance of making the team?

[...] Falcons Top 10 Off-Season Moves [...]

FSJR

July 13th, 2010
1:03 pm

Number 1 move for me was secondary coaching (Tim Lewis for Emmitt Thomas). Our guys albeit short didn’t seem like they were coached to do anything more than run alongside receivers and bring them down after the catch (if they could). Even the little talent MeAngelo had regressed under Thomas. I hate to bag on Thomas but our best corners were already developed free agents because he didn’t develop any draft choices.

Joe Tess Fish House

July 13th, 2010
1:22 pm

Getting Jackson for Jenkins and JA 98 is good. Both are huge busts. Jenkins drops every ball thrown to him and JA 98 has like 2 sacks and all that money.

Nice guys finish last and I am tired of the Falcons finishing last.

Birdword

July 13th, 2010
1:48 pm

Good point FSJR our guys had their backs to the ball way too often.

DJ Sniper

July 13th, 2010
2:21 pm

I am so psyched for the 2010 season! I think this is the year that the Falcons take a giant step towards becoming one of the elite franchises in the NFL. Here is what I believe will happen this year:

1. Mike Mularkey takes the shackles off of Matt Ryan and gives him full control of the playbook. We all know Ryan is a smart player, and his off-season studies of other elite QB’s will help him immensely. I have no doubt he can execute whatever play is drawn up.
2. Michael Turner returns to his 2008 form. We all know that he was out of shape last year, and now that he’s addressed that issue, look for #33 to bust through holes and drag half of the defense along with him on the way to first downs and touchdowns.
3. The receiving corp will step up big time. We all know that Roddy White will have a great season, and if Harry Douglas can rebound from his injury, that should open up things for Michael Jenkins, provided he can overcome his dropsies. We also have more depth at that position this year. Kerry Meier will give us some tough catches over the middle, and I see either Brandyn Harvey or Ryan Wolfe making the squad.
4. The defense will do a much better job of getting to the QB. I think we have excellent depth at the DT position. Even if Peria Jerry is slow to come back from his injury, we still have Jonathan Babineaux, Corey Peters, Vance Walker, Thomas Johnson, and Trey Lewis. Those guys will be able to give us a push up the middle.
5. The Beerman will make several deliveries in our opponent’s backfield. I do feel that Kroy Biermann will earn a starting DE spot and proceed to rack up sacks at an alarming rate.
6. I think that we will end up having a young, talented trio of LB’s in Curtis Lofton, Stephen Nicholas, and Sean Weatherspoon.
7. The addition of Dunta Robinson and new secondary coach Tim Lewis will cause that unit to look completely different than it did last season. I think they will be more aggressive and they will not give up nearly as many big plays as last year.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2010
3:00 pm

DJ SNIPER — GOOD ANALYSIS.
1. I expect that to happen, too.
2. Turner was not out of shape last season. He just didn’t work as hard last offseason. He was on pace for 1,500 yards and 20 TDs last season.
3. I think the receivers will step up too. I don’t see Harvey and Wolfe making the final 53. One could make it and the other could end up on somebody’s practice squad.
4. I think Abe has another double-digit sack season left.
5. I don’t think you can play ABE and BIERMANN on running downs. You’ll be a little too light (both are 255) against power run teams. Jamaal, Davis and Biermann will be a part of a rotation.
6. Mike Peterson is not doing down without a fight.
7. I concur here. Just want to know who’s going to land that other spot.

BILL – I’m afraid the rest of them will all be backups. Franks could win the return jobs and make a contribution that way.

hiramsaint

July 13th, 2010
3:00 pm

top 1 reason dunta was a bad choice– bunch of $$$$$’s for injury pirate.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2010
3:06 pm

SCOTT CASE — Harvey, Wolfe or Nance.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 13th, 2010
3:09 pm

willdave — Shockley has been nothing, but a true pro in his days with the Falcons. I suspect he’s going to get a look by another team or two. The problem is that the previous regimes he played under (Mora/Petrino) are not in the league right now.

DJ Sniper

July 13th, 2010
3:58 pm

DOL, I guess I should say that Turner was overweight vs. out of shape last year. He did start to pick up some steam when he had 3 straight 100 yard games, but then he got hurt.

Do you think that Brian Finneran and Eric Weems will still be on the team this year? Weems is a good return man, but he didn’t really take advantage of the chance to break into the lineup. Finn provides great leadership and I like the guy, but I wonder how his injury history will come into play.

I think that Abe will definitely bounce back from last season. I’m also interested to see how Lawrence Sidbury develops. I think he’s got the tools to become a starter once Abe leaves.

You are right that Peterson will compete hard for his starting job. Still, that trio of LB’s is our future.

It’s also nice to see that CB is not as big a liability as it was last season.

Rod

July 13th, 2010
5:07 pm

DOL, Keep us updated on Shockley and any teams looking at him. Chan Gailey up in Buffalo I would think he is very familiar with DJ.

PlanB

July 13th, 2010
9:43 pm

DOL – How many of the players read these blogs? Do Jenkins and Norwood? Might help motivate them.
Is anyone writing the names down of the flash in a pan Aints fans. Will be nice to remember them when they shy away after the season begins and the Falcons win that first one from them. They will be gone after we take the 2nd one.
I think all the guys talking about depth are right on. I feel better about all positions. Do any of our signed players have the option of not going to the practice squad?

hiramsaint

July 13th, 2010
10:26 pm

get out your pen and paper–HIRAMSAINT-7 of 8 soon to 9 of 10. remember when you found out there was really no easter bunny. thats how it’s gonna be when your fantasy season is over on jan.2

MaxxFalcon

July 14th, 2010
4:34 am

I like Mike Mularky, but I would like to see the screen game utilized more in our Offense, especially when it comes to a player like Jerious Norwood

MaxxFalcon

July 14th, 2010
4:35 am

Rod- I’m a Dawg fan too, but let’s be honest, D.J. Shockley will never be a starting caliber NFL QB

MaxxFalcon

July 14th, 2010
4:38 am

I agree with DJ Sniper and DOL. Funny thing is, DOL has written a blog about everything DJ mentioned on his list, so there was just basically a whole lot of confirmation going on there. I really hope B. Harvey makes the roster, he looks like a special player