Archive for July, 2010

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 1 — Special Teams

Falcons punter Michael Koenen will also handle the kickoff chores. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons punter Michael Koenen will also handle the kickoff chores. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Birdland – The players report this morning, after moving in and going to a series of meetings, they’ll hit the field at 8:30 a.m.  Friday.

Who is going to be the team’s primary return man in 2010?

  • Harry Douglas
  • Brent Grimes
  • Dominique Franks
  • Jerious Norwood

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This is the 10th and final installment of a position-by-position analysis in the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.”

We’ve already looked at the defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, offensive line, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs and quarterbacks.

The key special teams players are up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can kicker Matt Bryant beat back a challenge from Steven Hauschka?

Last season, the kicking situation was problematic and led to the eventual retirement of Jason Elam, the former Brookwood High alum who had an historic and extremely …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 1 — Special Teams »

Falcons Q & A: Smith gives Jamaal Anderson update

Jamaal Anderson is expected to play half of his snaps at end and the other half at tackle. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Jamaal Anderson is expected to play half of his snaps at end and the other half at tackle. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

On the eve of training camp, one of our regular commenters, BJK, wanted me ask head coach Mike Smith a few questions.

Q: (BJK) HOW MUCH TIME WILL JAMAAL ANDERSON SPEND BETWEEN TACKLE AND END?

A: (SMITH) Jamaal reps will be very similar in terms of what we did last year. In our base defense, we spent about half of the time in base defense and half of the time in sub defense. You have about 1,000 snaps a year on average, Some where between 950 and a 1,050 offensive snaps a year. We end up playing half of our snaps in base defense and half of our snaps in sub, give or take a couple of percentage points. He will continue to play left defensive end in our base package and then depending on what the offense does either by down and distance or by personnel . . . we have to play in sub, we are going to reduce him down and have him play some tackle for us.

We …

Continue reading Falcons Q & A: Smith gives Jamaal Anderson update »

Falcons “unoffcial” training camp depth chart

UNOFFICIAL TRAINING CAMP DEPTH CHART

OFFENSE

QB – 1. Matt Ryan, 2. Chris Redman, 3. John Parker Wilson.

RB – 1. Michael Turner, 2. Jerious Norwood, 3. Jason Snelling, 4.

Antone Smith, 5. Dimitri Nance.

FB – 1. Ovie Mughelli. 2. Dan Klecko.

WR – 1. Roddy White, 2. Harry Douglas, 3. Kerry Meier

WR – 1. Michael Jenkins, 2. Brian Finneran, 3. Eric Weems

Others: Ryan Wolfe, Troy Bergeron, Tim Buckley, Brandyn Harvey and Andy Strickland.

TE – 1. Tony Gonzalez, 2. Justin Peelle, 3. Keith Zinger

Others: Colin Peek and Michael Palmer

LT – 1. Sam Baker, 2. Will Svitek.

LG – 1. Justin Blalock, 2.Mike Johnson

C – 1. Todd McClure, 2. Brett Romberg, 3. Joe Hawley

RG – 1. Harvey Dahl, 2. Quinn Ojinnaka, 3. Jose Valdez

RT – 1. Tyson Clabo, 2. Garrett Reynolds,

C/G – Blake Schlueter, Rob Bruggeman.

DEFENSE

RDE – 1. John Abraham, 2. Lawrence Sidbury, 3. Emmanuel Stephens

DT – 1. John Babineaux, 2. Vance Walker, 3. Trey Lewis

DT – 1. Peria Jerry, 2. Corey Peters, 3. …

Continue reading Falcons “unoffcial” training camp depth chart »

UPDATE: Weatherspoon contract watch is underway

00509 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach Greg Pires works with first round draft pick rookie linebacker # 56 Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, during day 3 of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010.   Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

00509 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach Greg Pires works with first round draft pick rookie linebacker # 56 Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri, during day 3 of minicamp in Flowery Branch on Sunday, May 9, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

UPDATE

Wed. 10:54 p.m.

Progress was made during the negotiations on Wednesday, with a push Thursday morning, Falcons first round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon could be signed in time to report with the rest the squad and been ready for team meetings in the evening.

*    *    *

With the Falcons due to report less than 24 hours from now, the “Weatherspoon Watch” is under way.

Another first-round domino dropped this morning, when cornerback Devin McCourty agreed to terms with the New England Patriots, according to his agent Andy Simms.

“Patriots 1st rounder Devin McCourty has agreed to terms this morning and will be at the facility when the full team reports today,” Simms tweeted at 7:20 a.m.

McCourty and Dallas’ Dez …

Continue reading UPDATE: Weatherspoon contract watch is underway »

Countdown to Training Camp: Day 2 — Quarterbacks

Pro Bowl Roddy White has been working underneath a lot. Do the Falcons need to send him deep more often? (Brian Williams/AP)

Pro Bowler Roddy White has been working underneath a lot. Do the Falcons need to send him deep more often? (Brian Williams/AP)

Birdland – Some of the players started to show up at the team’s facilities yesterday.

Most of the players are expected to arrive back in town at some point today. They have to report Thursday morning.

This is the ninth in a series 10  position-by-position looks at the Falcons  in the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.”

The players will hit the field for the first practice Friday.

We’ve already looked at the defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, offensive line, tight ends, wide receivers and running backs.

The quarterbacks are up today.  Also, here’s the Sunday cover story on Ryan with some interesting comments from assistant head coach/quarterbacks Bill Musgrave.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can Matt Ryan make a big jump up the NFL quarterback ladder in his third season?

In 2009, Matt Ryan battled back from injury to guide the franchise …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: Day 2 — Quarterbacks »

Falcons working at feverish pace to get Weatherspoon signed

The Atlanta Falcons hope to have linebacker Sean Weatherspoon signed by the start of training camp. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

The Atlanta Falcons hope to have linebacker Sean Weatherspoon signed by the start of training camp. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

The Atlanta Falcons are pulling out all of the stops to get first round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon signed and into training camp on time, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

The negotiations picked up on Monday with the Falcons talking directly with David Dunn, the chairman and chief executive officer of Athlete’s First, the California-based firm that represents Weatherspoon.

“I’m very confident that we are going to have things done and that he’ll ready to go at the beginning of camp,” Dimitroff said on Tuesday before speaking to the Atlanta Press Club.

Players are due to report to Flowery Branch on Thursday and scheduled for their first practice on Friday morning.

“When I talked to David Dunn and his representatives yesterday, we were very clear that we want to have him here day one,” Dimitroff said. “We’ve been fortunate . . . I think we have …

Continue reading Falcons working at feverish pace to get Weatherspoon signed »

Douglas, Jerry and Williams medically cleared for camp

Wide receiver Harry Douglas has been cleared to return to practice.  (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Wide receiver Harry Douglas has been cleared to return to practice. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Wide receiver Harry Douglas, defensive tackle Peria Jerry and cornerback Brian Williams have all been medically cleared to participate in practice when training camp opens on Friday, Falcons head coach Mike Smith told the Atlanta Journal-constitution on Tuesday.

“They will start on a limited basis and we’re going to monitor them and manage them throughout training camp,” Smith said. “They will not be involved, to start with, in two-a-days. They will be practicing once a day and we’ll bring them along very, very slowly.”

All three players suffered season-ending knee injuries last season.

Douglas suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Aug. 5 and was placed on injured reserve the next day.

Douglas is expected to add some pop to the receiving corps if he can fully recover.

In 2008 as a rookie, he played in all 16 games and caught 23 passes for 320 yards, …

Continue reading Douglas, Jerry and Williams medically cleared for camp »

Countdown to Training Camp: Day 3 — Running backs

tlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) heads for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

tlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) heads for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Birdland – The players are due to report for training camp on Thursday. The first practice is slated for Friday.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been taking a quick look at a position group in the  “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.”

We’ve already looked at the defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, offensive line, tight ends and wide receivers.

The running backs are up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can a slimmed down Michael Turner turn in another mega-season while carrying a lighter load?

Over the offseason, the Falcons finally attributed Michael Turner’s slow start in 2009 to him being out of shape.

He’d rounded  into shape and appeared  primed for another mega-season when he suffered what was essentially a season-ending high right ankle sprain against …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: Day 3 — Running backs »

Falcons to place single-game tickets on sale Thursday

GEORGIA DOME CHARTThe Falcons will place single-game tickets for the upcoming season on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Single-game tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.atlantafalcons.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can be ordered by phone via Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. To purchase tickets in person, fans may visit Ticketmaster outlets located throughout the metro Atlanta area. Single game ticket prices range from $55-$150.

The team has other packages available.

Two Game Packs, Food and Ticket Combo Packs and Pre-Game Tailgate Packages will also be on sale.

Season Tickets, Half Season Packages, and Group Tickets of 15 or more are available for purchase now and can be purchased by calling 404-223-8444 or at www.atlantafalcons.com. Season Tickets start at $290 and Half Season Packages start at $195.

Continue reading Falcons to place single-game tickets on sale Thursday »

Falcons making final moves before reporting

Coach Mike Smith making sure the fields at Flowery Branch are ready for action. (Atlanta Falcons)

Coach Mike Smith making sure the fields at Flowery Branch are ready for action. (Atlanta Falcons)

Birdland – The players and coaches are making their final preparations before reporting for training camp on Thursday.

Coach Mike Smith was out checking on the fields today.

Also, safety Erik Coleman, the latest Falcons to join us out there on twitter.com, got in his final workout today. His twitter handle is: ErikColeman26.

“Just finished up with a tough workout. Now its time to shut it down til Friday!!! I can’t believe training camp is almost here!” – Coleman tweeted today.

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

Continue reading Falcons making final moves before reporting »