D.J. Shockley thinks UFL is his best option

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

Quarterback D.J. Shockley, who was recently waived by the Falcons, will take part in the Omaha Nighthawks minicamp, which opens on Friday.

The Nighthawks are the newest team in the United Football League.

“I still feel as though my abilities are good enough to play in the NFL, but sometimes you have to take another road,” Shockley said. “So hopefully this great opportunity to play in the UFL and with the Nighthawks helps me get better as a quarterback.”

Shockley, the former Georgia and North Clayton High standout, was waived by the Falcons on July 9. Shockley, a seventh-round pick of the Falcons in 2006, never played a regular-season game for the team.

“When you play quarterback, it’s hard to get into somebody’s camp, especially this late,” Shockley said. “Then you’ve got to learn the system. You’ve got guys who’ve been there the whole offseason. It may be just harder to get into somebody’s camp than going here. Hopefully, this is a little better situation where I get a chance to compete and all of that kind of stuff. Right now, it seems like the best option.”

The Nighthawks are coached by former Falcons assistant coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

Quarterback DJ Shockley, a former Georgia standout, was a seventh-round draft choice by the Falcons in 2006. He served as the team's third quarterback in 2006 and 2008. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Quarterback DJ Shockley, a former Georgia standout, was a seventh-round draft choice by the Falcons in 2006. He served as the team's third quarterback in 2006 and 2008. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about him,” Shockley said. “I know he coached Matt (Ryan) at (Boston College).”

Shockley was the emergency quarterback for all 16 games in 2006 and 2008. He missed the 2007 season after suffering a preseason knee injury, missing an opportunity to play during the season in which Michael Vick was convicted of dog-fighting and the team used three different starting quarterbacks.

The Falcons will report to training camp on July 29 with starter Matt Ryan and backups Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson under contract.

“It definitely hurt, I’m not even going to lie,” Shockley said about being waived. “It hurt to be released and not get a chance to go out and compete and show what I can do in the preseason games. I was definitely devastated by the news and wondering why it happened and everything. But everything happens for a reason. This is business.”

Shockley’s camp hopes that he can win the starting job and get some film of him playing. They think that playing time right now will give him a chance to show NFL teams that he can play as opposed to going to another team and being their clipboard carrier.

The UFL was founded in 2007 and played it’s first season in 2009. The Falcons signed kicker Matt Bryant last season after he’d competed in the UFL.

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103 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sandtonyo wells, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: D.J. Shockley thinks UFL is his best option http://bit.ly/9xjFwH [...]

Asheville Dawg

July 19th, 2010
1:08 pm

First. I wish D.J. good luck.

DBO SR.

July 19th, 2010
1:18 pm

aint no way dj should be waived and you got parker-wilson and redman!!! come on redman!!!

SeenThisB4

July 19th, 2010
1:24 pm

All three of the signed QBs on the falcant roster should be sent packing to the UFL.

Wildebeast

July 19th, 2010
1:32 pm

Redman did an amazing job in relief last year!

James

July 19th, 2010
1:37 pm

D.J. never really got a chance to show his skills on the field he should still be with the falcons.

Go Figure!!

July 19th, 2010
1:53 pm

I am not at all surprised. With very few exceptions, this is par for the course for UGA football players drafted in the NFL – come in with great hype but fall flat – basically undercooked, immature product very much like their graduates in pretty much everything – studs in their own little pond but duds in the real world!!

lanier

July 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

Hope Ryan and Redmond stay healthy cause JPW is flat not an NFL QB. That said DJ was similar to Vick hence a good backup then but no value to the Falcons now

Jay

July 19th, 2010
2:01 pm

lanier

July 19th, 2010
1:54 pm
Hope Ryan and Redmond stay healthy cause JPW is flat not an NFL QB. That said DJ was similar to Vick hence a good backup then but no value to the Falcons now.

—-
Please explain how DJ was similar to vick because no one is like michael vick.

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

BlueEdwards

July 19th, 2010
2:27 pm

I am SHOCKED OUT OF MY MIND that DJ SHOCKLEY is stuck with having to play in the USFL. In my mind, that makes no sense whatsoever. Shockley is better than at least 25 of the 30 starting quarterbacks in the association and most deservedly deserves a starting gig. Its unfortunately for Shockley that he was, in my opinion, the most unluckiest player to ever play in college and also get drafted in the pros. IT CAME AS NO SURPRISE THAT SHOCKLEY COULD NEVER CATCH A BREAK.

Dawg '94

July 19th, 2010
2:30 pm

dtruth

July 19th, 2010
2:31 pm

DJ was not wanted by the Falcon management. If he came into camp and did well it would get in the way of their plans which involve traditional drop back passers. They cut off any possible future conflicts by making this move. I can’t say he would have performed better than Redmond because Redmond had done well when needed, but JPW is a different story. Wish DJ well, bu it is a business, and he did not fit their plans.

Dog Man

July 19th, 2010
2:31 pm

DJ was horrible. He couldn’t read a defense and he looked like he was panicking every snap. He had the lowest rating of any, I mean any quarterback that played in a preseason game last year. He would scramble and compete 1 pass out of 10 and people would be talking about how great he looked. People that think DJ was best QB Atlanta had, have to be Democrats.He is the OBAMA of QBs.

WinnieMatheson

July 19th, 2010
2:33 pm

Shockley had more upside potential than Michael Vick, Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell combined, however DOGFIGHTER VICK is still playing in the league. Mike Vicks best work came as a starter on the prison football league, while Russell may possibly get another chance from the CFL or the Arena football league. Leaf for the time being is completely done and will never resurface again.

BJ

July 19th, 2010
2:41 pm

I’d love for him to lead a team in the UFL. To be honest, he did have opportunities with the Falcons. He got to play with first stringers in the preseason last year, and made some bad decisions; he just didn’t look good. I’d love to see him play on Thursday nights on the Versus channel, or whoever has the rights this Fall.

Vick=Dog killing thug

July 19th, 2010
2:43 pm

All the best to DJ. He’s a DGD and I would love to see him back in the bigs. I would also love to see Vick back in prison but that’s another story.

Bill

July 19th, 2010
2:44 pm

They might have done him a favor. He will get playing time, and if he is NFL caliber, he will get an opportunity in a year or two.

bat hunter

July 19th, 2010
2:44 pm

Shockley is still my hero and always will be…Holler! UGA should make him the next AD!

Billy Ray Valentine....Capricorn

July 19th, 2010
2:46 pm

@BlueEdwards: If Shockley is indeed better than 25 of 30 starting qb’s in the “association”, then why in the world aren’t all of those teams beating a path to his door? Could it be that professional scouts, talent evaluators, GM’s etc might have a better eye for talent than you do? Your argument is absurd on its face, and is not helped by your apparent lack of command of English. This is a blog, so many grammar rules and acronym interpretations are relaxed, but “USFL”, the “association”, “its”, and most unluckiest are killing you. Most unluckiest would mean of all the people that are the unluckiest, and by definition, there can only be one who is the unluckiest, Shockley is more unlucky. Dude, Shockley was a good college qb and a great guy, but is in no way an NFL qb.

Levi Palin

July 19th, 2010
2:50 pm

Dog Man, ur full of crap….What does football & politics have to do w/ the price of butter in Texas. If I were as dense as you I would post a statement that says “Dog Man must be a Tea Party Planner”

JB FALCON

July 19th, 2010
2:53 pm

I agree with Bill. Shockley was the coach’s son in high school and politics was with him as he grew up but all in all, the system weeded him out as not meeting the muster of the NFL. If he does good and proves himself, he will have another chance but he will have to do it on his own through his own personal skill.

JF McNamara

July 19th, 2010
2:53 pm

@Dog Man,

Do you realize this is a sports column not a politics column? It you can’t contain your political fanaticism to Cynthia Tucker columns, then just don’t comment. I want to be read about sports and not have to deal with that garbage.

Big B

July 19th, 2010
3:04 pm

Guys i’m a huge DJ and Bulldog fan but when DJ was given a chance he didnt get the job done. The best he has looked was before he got hurt and he hasnt performed well ever since. Sorry guys but that’s the truth. Now John Parker didnt do much better but that’s another story. You have to make the best of any opportunity so I hope he kicks butt in that UFL

Mark

July 19th, 2010
3:07 pm

@ dogman………..Dude are you just ignorant or were you born that stupid?

Misses Mike Kenn

July 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

I like DJ a lot and wish him the best in the UFL. That said, it was obvious last season that JPW was a better option as the 3rd QB. The 3rd QB is a developmental position. JPW played as well as DJ, who was in his second year in the system and was in his fourth year. If you’re a four year vet and even with a rookie street FA, you’re out of a job. That’s the business of football. JPW cost less money and was just as good. DJ had hit his ceiling, but JPW may yet be able to improve and show us something. I wish it had been different, but it’s not.

Jay

July 19th, 2010
3:12 pm

Mark

July 19th, 2010
3:07 pm
@ dogman………..Dude are you just ignorant or were you born that stupid?

—-
Both. You can’t take slime like him anywhere.

Joey

July 19th, 2010
3:21 pm

Actually, it is a terrible comparison. DJ was a star in the SEC. Obama has never done anything.

Bluto

July 19th, 2010
3:26 pm

“Shockley is better than at least 25 of the 30 starting quarterbacks in the association and most deservedly deserves a starting gig.”

Well at least you did not say EARNED a starting gig.
As William Munny said “Deservings Got Nothing to do with it”

Troy Taylor

July 19th, 2010
3:27 pm

@Billy Ray Valentine….Capricorn: That was hilarious! ROTF!!

jroc

July 19th, 2010
3:31 pm

DJ almost signed with the Albany Panthers of the southern indoor football league. He was signing autographs before the game and attended several events that weekend. I thought to myself why would DJ come all the way to Albany Georgia just to promote a sorry indoor football league.The guy loved football that much that he wanted to play in the indoor league.Thats just sad man and it hurts his brand.And signing with the UFL still won’t garuntee him a spot on an nfl roster. Hey DJ go into coaching at the college or high school level and forget about being a superstar.Well maybe going to a team outside of the state of Georgia will help you to recognize that.

jimmymack

July 19th, 2010
3:53 pm

good luck d.j

gdg73

July 19th, 2010
3:57 pm

What has JPW shown us, be it at Alabama or with the Falcons? Am I missing something here? This might be the best landing spot for D.J. however. Sometimes you have to take a step back before you take a big leap forward. Take advantage of the reps you’ll be getting. If you have NFL talent, you will make it back to the league. Just sad to see the guy have to take such a route, while the St. Louis Rams brass is about to annoint broke shoulder Sam Bradford with $50 million in guaranteed money.

Hamp

July 19th, 2010
4:01 pm

DJ had a fair shot. He could not get it done. He looked like he was lost sometimes. I would have liked to seen the kid from richmond compete against JPW but I guess he did not show enough upside for them to keep him around. We will need another arm for camp I think who could that be?

Old Dawg

July 19th, 2010
4:08 pm

Like most young professional QBs, DJ needs time in the film room and time on the field. Playing QB in the NFL is one of the most difficult positions in sports. It’s a toss-up as to who can and can’t make it as a starter.

That being said, a lot of QBs who play in the Canadian and arena leagues for several years turn out to be good or great NFL players.

I really don’t how politics entered this conversation, it’s completely out of line.

Football Bat

July 19th, 2010
4:09 pm

DJ – Hope you make the UFL and give me a reason to watch it! You have always been a class act and deserve to play somewhere. Good luck Dawg!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 19th, 2010
4:09 pm

How does Obama make it to the Falcons blog. He plays basketball and can’t bowl very well.

TXDawg

July 19th, 2010
4:28 pm

What about the other QB from Southwest DeKalb that the Falcons picked up earlier this year? What happened with him?

Catherine

July 19th, 2010
4:35 pm

I know this is a little off topic TXDawg, can anyone suggest a good website to find houses for sale by owner in Atlanta?

Falcon Devil

July 19th, 2010
4:36 pm

Hey DOL, your boy Pouncey was on the take at UF!

Matt the Brave

July 19th, 2010
4:37 pm

I honestly feel if Shock hadn’t blown out his knee the season Vick was in jail, we might not have gotten Matt Ryan. So, fair trade.

jroc

July 19th, 2010
5:02 pm

TXDAWG- I hope you are not talking about Quincy Carter.

mike

July 19th, 2010
5:02 pm

Blue Edwards: I don’t know what you benn smoking, but I want some. It has to be good to think that DJ is better than any starting QB except (my top five) Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Rivers.

BlueEdwards

July 19th, 2010
5:08 pm

I read somewhere on the blogs today that DJ had a fair shot. DJ NEVER HAD A FAIR SHOT at anything related to the quarterback position, whether in college or in the pros. Remember that when DJ was at Georgia Shockley had to WAIT THREE YEARS behind David Greene before shockley had a shot at starting. By that time it was too late and DJ didnt have much of a prayer to develop in time for the pros. When shockley made it to the Falcons, DJ kept getting placed in the 3rd or 4th string position and should have been seded way ahead of jailbird Mike Vick, particularly when Vick was in the slammer. When DJ had a chance to come into a game, the Falcons were either getting blown out and dj came in for token minutes, or when we had were ahead by 4 or 5 touchdowns, which was rare, we gave shockley incidental minutes after the 2:00 minute warning gun had already gone off. DJ just never had a fair chance to prove that he was capable of being a hall of fame quarterback. I guess if shockley makes it in the arena league, maybe shock can become the MVP of the arena league. Some consolation price for the guy I felt had the worst luck of any collegian or pro ever to suit up in football gear

Jay

July 19th, 2010
5:12 pm

BlueEdwards

July 19th, 2010
5:08 pm
I read somewhere on the blogs today that DJ had a fair shot. DJ NEVER HAD A FAIR SHOT at anything related to the quarterback position, whether in college or in the pros. Remember that when DJ was at Georgia Shockley had to WAIT THREE YEARS behind David Greene before shockley had a shot at starting. By that time it was too late and DJ didnt have much of a prayer to develop in time for the pros. When shockley made it to the Falcons, DJ kept getting placed in the 3rd or 4th string position and should have been seded way ahead of jailbird Mike Vick, particularly when Vick was in the slammer. When DJ had a chance to come into a game, the Falcons were either getting blown out and dj came in for token minutes, or when we had were ahead by 4 or 5 touchdowns, which was rare, we gave shockley incidental minutes after the 2:00 minute warning gun had already gone off. DJ just never had a fair chance to prove that he was capable of being a hall of fame quarterback. I guess if shockley makes it in the arena league, maybe shock can become the MVP of the arena league. Some consolation price for the guy I felt had the worst luck of any collegian or pro ever to suit up in football gear
—–
Huh. DJ has never played a single minute in an NFL regular season game.

Jay

July 19th, 2010
5:14 pm

Catherine

July 19th, 2010
4:35 pm
I know this is a little off topic TXDawg, can anyone suggest a good website to find houses for sale by owner in Atlanta?
——
it’s called craigslist. becareful nothing but scam artists on that site.

BlueEdwards

July 19th, 2010
5:15 pm

Jay: that proves my point emphatically that DJ had the worst luck of anybody. It seems i wanted dj to make it so badly that i was IMAGINING that dj was getting into games when all the while the guy could catch a break to save his life. ONCE AGAIN, DJ HAD THE WORST LUCK OF ANYONE WHO EVER HAD ON AN NFL UNIFORM. DJS UNIFORM WAS SPOTLESS AND NEVER GOT SOILED.

BurningRedBleedingBlack

July 19th, 2010
5:21 pm

I’m a huge UGA fan and falcon, however DJ looked just horrible in pre-season falcon games, he accuracy just was not there. He looked un comfortable most of the time, there no question he has talent, some guys just don’t adapt to NFL game speed, happens all the time. I appreciate what DJ did for us at Georgia. But we are talking Falcons now, and i’m very pleased with Matt Ryan and what he’s done for us so far.

jroc

July 19th, 2010
5:23 pm

BlueEdwards-DJ got his shot and led the Dogs to an SEC title.Charlie Ward had to ride the bench and when he got his shot he won national titles and the pros didn’t give him a sniff.The same thing happened with Frazier at Nebraska.And also to Crouch.Matter of fact DJ got his shot in the nfl and Ward,Frazier and Crouch got totally direspected and was told to play running back or d.b. and they had way more talent than dj had coming out of college and high school.Blue i am sorry to say this but you are a complete homer for dj he got his shot and should be happy with the experiences he got with the Falcons and use it to become a coach at the college or high school level.Anything else would be a complete waste of time.

dawg qb nfl flameout

July 19th, 2010
5:32 pm

DJ Shockley & David Greene combined have as many NFL regular season passing yards and touchdowns as Reggie Ball – goodness, CMR can really coach his qb’s up for the pros!!!!
(BTW that would be goose-eggs all the way ’round)