Archive for July, 2010

Countdown to Training Camp: Day 4 — Wide Receivers

Roddy White will try to put together his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season.

Roddy White will try to put together his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season.

Birdland – Just four days left to the players report!!!!

This is the seventh of 10 installments in the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.”

Each morning until Training Camp starts, we’ll take a quick look at a position group before the players report for camp on Thursday. They will hit the field for their first practice next Friday.

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

The wide receivers are up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can Harry Douglas make a comeback after knee surgery and become a threat out of the slot?

Roddy White came up 47 yards short from posting his third consecutive 1,200 yard season. He did amass a career-high 11 touchdowns and went to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.

He will remain the main prong in the passing attack from the wide receiver position.

The under-appreciated Michael Jenkins caught 50 passes …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: Day 4 — Wide Receivers »

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 5 — Tight Ends

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88).  (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88). (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Birdland – This is the sixth of 10 installments in the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.”

Each morning until Training Camp starts, we’ll take a quick look at a position group before the players report for camp on Thursday. They will hit the field for their first practice Friday.

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

The tight ends are up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can Tony Gonzalez continue to perform at a high level at his age?

It was easy to see the statistical impact that Tony Gonzalez had last season.  He caught 83 passes for 867 yards and six touchdowns.

But his real impact can’t be measured in just receptions.

When he’s on the field, defenses have to be aware of him and in some instances have two players to follow his routes. What that does is open things up for other receivers.

Justin Peelle is a savvy veteran at the No. 2 …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 5 — Tight Ends »

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 6 — Offensive Line

Tyson Clabo (right), Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure are back to anchor the offensive line. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Tyson Clabo (right), Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure are back to anchor the offensive line. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Birdland – We are just five days away from the opening of the training camp.

Each morning in the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010“  we’ll take a quick look at a position group.  The players report for camp on Thursday. They will hit the field for the first practice at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Flowery Branch facilities.

We’ve already looked at the defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties.

The offensive line is up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can Harvey Dahl bounce back from his ankle injury and continue to improve?

Center Todd McClure is back for his 12th season and will continue to anchor this unit.

McClure has started 128 consecutive games, which is tied for a team record.

Guard Harvey Dahl and tackle Tyson Clabo are expected to anchor the right side again. Dahl missed five games last season. About a week after the season, he went …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 6 — Offensive Line »

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 7 — Safeties

Safety Thomas DeCoud "congradtulating" Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Monday Night Football on Nov. 2. The hit led to a Falcons touchdown.

Birdland – This is the fourth of 10 installments in the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.”

Each morning until Training Camp starts, we’ll take a quick look at a position group. before the players report for camp on Thursday, July

When will William Moore break into the starting lineup?

  • Week One
  • Week Four
  • Week Eight
  • He won’t. He’ll be a reserve all season

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29. They will hit the field for their first practice next Friday.

We’ve already looked at the defensive line, linebackers and cornerbacks.

The safeties are up today

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Will William Moore be able to battle his way into the lineup?

Thomas DeCoud had a breakthrough season at free safety last season and strong safety Erik Coleman was the team’s second leading tackler.

William Moore, who was selected in the second round of the 2009 draft, spent most of last season on injured reserve. The Falcons can’t wait to see if he can stay healthy and mount a …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 7 — Safeties »

Falcons Idol: Voting closed in National Anthem contest

Whitney Houston has set the standard on how to perform the National Anthem.

Whitney Houston has set the standard on how to perform the National Anthem.

The 10 finalist have been named in the Falcons and DAVE-FM’s National Anthem contest. You have until  5 p.m. today to cast your votes.

You can go here to listen to the 10 finalists and then vote on the winners.

Actually four of the 10 finalist will be invited to sing the National Anthem at a home game this year.

The winners will be announced tomorrow on the team’s website.

Continue reading Falcons Idol: Voting closed in National Anthem contest »

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 8 — Cornerbacks

Atlanta Falcons cornerback # 20 Brent Grimes intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for wide receiver # 17 Robert Meachem during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Officials ruled pass interferance on the play awarding the Saints an automatic first down.   Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons cornerback # 20 Brent Grimes intercepts a Drew Brees pass intended for wide receiver # 17 Robert Meachem during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Birdland – This is the third of 10 installments of “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP 2010.

Each morning for the next week, we’ll take a quick look at a position group before the players report on July 29. They will hit the field for their first practice on Friday, July 30.

The cornerbacks are up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Who will start opposite of Dunta Robinson?

Who is going to start on the opposite side of cornerback Dunta Robinson?

  • Brent Grimes
  • Brian Williams
  • Chevis Jackson
  • Christopher Owens

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Atlanta Falcons' Chris Owens, right, intercepts a pass intended for Buffalo Bills' Terrell Owens, left, in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser)

Atlanta Falcons' Chris Owens, right, intercepts a pass intended for Buffalo Bills' Terrell Owens, left, in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, in Atlanta. (AP …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 8 — Cornerbacks »

Full Madden ratings are out on the Falcons

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhut, the Atlanta native and former Falcons and Georgia Tech standout, has a nice Madden look. (Entertainment Arts).

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhut, the Atlanta native and former Falcons and Georgia Tech standout, has a nice Madden look. (Entertainment Arts).

BIRDLAND — The full Madden 11 ratings are out for the Falcons.

Some of the highlights include Tight end Tony Gonzalez being rated near perfect with a 98.

Running back Michael Turner’s rating dipped from 95 to 90, while defensive end John Abraham’s rating dipped six points.

Overall, the Falcons are rated an 83. the popular game will be available in stores on August 10. Many stores are taking pre orders.

New Orleans saints quarterback Drew Brees is the cover guy this year and he’ll try to shake the curse.

Check out the ratings and let us know if the Madden folks have the Falcons properly rated.

Continue reading Full Madden ratings are out on the Falcons »

Thomas Dimitroff set to cycle 100 miles for Cancer Foundation

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, left, talks with head coach Mike Smith during the morning session on the second day of NFL football minicamp at the team's training complex in Flowery Branch, Ga., Saturday, May 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, left, talks with head coach Mike Smith during the morning session on the second day of NFL football minicamp at the team's training complex in Flowery Branch, Ga., Saturday, May 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

Once the season starts, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, an avid cyclist, has limited opportunities to get out and ride.

He has a stationary bike in his office, but that gets boring around Week 7 or 8 of the season.

So, as sort of his last ride before training camp kicks off next Thursday when the players report, Dimitroff will take off on an 100-mile ride for a good cause on Sunday.

He will take part in an event called “Pedal with a Purpose” to benefit Georgia Cancer Foundation (GCF), that will start and end at Milton High School.

Pedal with a Purpose offers four options for a wide range of cyclists, a six mile family ride, 30-mile ride, 62-mile ride and a 100-mile Dimitroff ride.

GCF provides education, early …

Continue reading Thomas Dimitroff set to cycle 100 miles for Cancer Foundation »

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 9 — Linebackers

Mike Peterson (53) chases down a play. (Phil Skinner / pskinner@ajc.com)

Mike Peterson (53) chases down a play. (Phil Skinner / pskinner@ajc.com)

Birdland – This is the second installment of “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP.”

Each morning for the next nine days, we’ll take a quick look at a position group before the players report for camp on July 29. They will hit the field for their first practice on Friday.

The linebackers are up today.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Where is rookie Sean Weatherspoon going to play?

During the offseason, we had to ask head coach Mike Smith if the Falcons had any plans to play some 3-4 defense. The thinking was that Mike Peterson, a former middle linebacker, and Curtis Lofton could play inside with Stephen Nicholas and rookie first-round pick Sean Weatherspoon playing the outside spots.

The Falcons don’t appear to have the ends to play the 3-4, but they do have four linebackers and some depth at the position. Smith re-stated his love for the 4-3 and discarded the notion of going to a 3-4.

Who are going to be …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 9 — Linebackers »

Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 10 — Defensive line

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux may not be facing a suspension under the league's substance abuse policy. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux may still be facing a suspension from the league. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Birdland – We can start the “COUNTDOWN TO TRAINING CAMP” today.

Each morning for the next 10 days, we’ll take a quick look at a position group before the players report for camp on July 29. They will hit the field for their first practice on Friday.

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can they get a push up the middle?

The Falcons felt their pass rush efforts last season were hindered by the lack of a push up the middle. They finished the

Who is going to lead the Falcons in sacks in 2010?

  • Jamaal Anderson
  • Peria Jerry
  • Jonathan Babineaux
  • John Abraham
  • Kroy Biermann
  • Lawrence Sidbury

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2009 season with 28 sacks, which ranked tied for 26th in the league with Tampa Bay and Seattle. Minnesota led the league with 48 sacks.

The Falcons were happy with their defensive ends and are banking on the return to …

Continue reading Countdown to Training Camp: DAY 10 — Defensive line »