Archive for July, 2010

Jonathan Babineaux avoids jail time in drug case

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux to avoid jail time. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux to avoid jail time. (Curtis Compton,ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, in a plea deal reached last Wednesday, will avoid jail time in a drug related case.

Babineaux’s felony charge of marijuana possession was reduced in Gwinnett County Court to three misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, according to his agent Jack Bechta and his attorney Patrick McDonough.

Bechta, in an e-mail to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said Babineaux pled no contest and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and a $1,500 fine on one count. The other two counts were suspended and will not be prosecuted if Babineaux completes the probation.

“He pleaded no contest, was direct, forthcoming and cooperative with the DA’s office,” Bechta said. “Jon, told me that he ‘was embarrassed’ by the incident, it was a bad decision and that he will become a better person for it. He said he will accept the consequences, move on …

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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 …

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Smiths, Gatorade offer tips to “Beat the Heat”

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and his wife, Julie, help out at the “All Associates Community Day” last year. (Falcons phot)

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and his wife, Julie, help out at the “All Associates Community Day” last year. (Falcons photo)

Over the next few weeks, football players, cheerleaders and band members will be out in the scorching heat getting ready for their respective seasons.

From the professionals all the way down to the little 5-year olds, folks are set to hit the practice fields around the state and country. (ASIDE: The Mighty Smyrna Spartans of the Northwest Georgia Youth Football League, ages 5 to 12, start practice next Monday, July 26.)

For the second season, Falcons head coach Mike Smith and his lovely wife, Julie have partnered with Gatorade in a “Beat the Heat” campaign designed to warn parents and athletes about heat related issues.

The Smiths want folks to remember “the four Ps” to help them beat the heat. Plan, Prevent, Prepare and Proper hydration (drinks lots of Gatorade).

“I think one big thing is that you don’t ever wait to be thirsty,” Julie Smith said. …

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UFL: Next stop for D.J. Shockley?

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)

BIRDLAND – Former Falcons quarterback D.J. Shockley will attempt to revive his career in the United Football League with the Omaha Nighthawks, according to an internet report by the National Football Post.

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.

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

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Morgan Burnett agrees to 4-year deal with Green Bay Packers

Former Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the Green Bay Packers

Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett meets the press after his pro day workout. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)
Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett meets the press after his pro day workout. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

today, according to his agent Kevin Conner.

Burnett, who played at North Clayton High,  was selected in the third round by the Packers. During some of the offseason workouts, he lined up with the first team defense and is believed to have a chance to start as a rookie.

The Packers are set to play the Falcons this season at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 28

“Yeah, I look forward to that,” Burnett said. “It will give my my parents a chance to see me. But I’m just looking forward to just really going into camp and physically be a part of the NFL. It’s like a dream come true.  I want to try my best to play as long as I can.”

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

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UPDATE: Video of Falcons cheerleader swimsuit calendar shoot

Ms. Waters (third from left) and some of cheerleaders at the airport this morning.  (TWEETPIC by FalconsInsider Nikki Noto).

Ms. Waters (third from left) and some of cheerleaders at the airport this morning. (TWITPIC by FalconsInsider Nikki Noto).

UPDATE

Some video from the first two days of the swimsuit calendar photo shoot.

You can find some photos of the shoot here.

BIRDLAND – Falcons cheerleader coordinator Ms. Chato Waters and her squad left this morning for Cancun, Mexico.

Cover of the Falcons 2002-2003 cheerleader swimsuit calendar.

Cover of the Falcons 2002-2003 cheerleader swimsuit calendar.

They will spend the next four days at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun working on the squad’s 2010-2011

swimsuit calendar.

The Falcons last created a cheerleader calendar in 2002, back when Waters was cheering.

Of course, we’ll pass along more details when the calendar is ready for sale. The team also plans to make a behind the scenes DVD available for the public.

You can follow them this weekend through several of the team’s social media options.

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

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Ex-Falcon Terance Mathis to hold elite football camp

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis, celebrates after catching a TD pass in the first quarter of play against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, November 19, 1995 in the Georgia Dome. The catch made the score 7-0. (AJC photo/Jonathan Newton)

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis, celebrates after catching a TD pass in the first quarter of play against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, November 19, 1995 in the Georgia Dome. The catch made the score 7-0. (AJC photo/Jonathan Newton)

BIRDLAND – Former Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis will hold the Elite 1 Performance Blue Chip football camp from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Woodward Academy in College Park.

The free camp is for high school football players, college athletes, and NFL players. You can register for the camp by going to: www.Escconnect.org

“We want this blue chip camp to be a different experience for the participants,” Mathis said. “There will be position specific drills and not only will high school athletes gain more experience so will the invited college and NFL players.”

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Darnell Walker, right, tackles Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 27, 1998, in San Francisco. The 49ers won 31-20. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Darnell Walker, right, tackles Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 27, 1998, in San Francisco. …

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Are you afraid of the Fierce Falcons wall graphic?

Fathead's Fierce Falcon.

Fathead's Fierce Falcon.

BIRDLAND – Fathead has come out with a new wall graphic of a Fierce Falcons.

What do you all think of the graphic?

They also have logos, Michael Turner and Matt Ryan wall graphics.

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Ovie Mughelli takes a tour of the Gulf Coast oil spill

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli took a tour of the Gulf Coast oil spill today.  (Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli took a tour of the Gulf Coast oil spill today. (Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)

BIRDLAND — Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, the team’s environmentally savvy activist,  slipped behind enemy lines as part of a delegation of professional athletes to visit the Gulf Coast to explore the oil spill today.

Deep in the heart of New Orleans Saints territory, the boat Mughelli was on left from Myrtle Grove, Louisiana.

The group took a tour of the damage caused by the spill.

“On the whole boat ride you could see the booms trying to protect the coast, the wetlands and the marsh, but they weren’t doing the job,” Mughelli said via phone. “It wasn’t working 100 percent. There was still oil in the marsh. You can see where the oil had got into the pits of the marsh and devastated it. You could already see the process of where it was eroding the soil.”

Mughelli knows there are more environmental problems than what he could see from the boat.

Race car driver Leilani Munter.

Race car …

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UPDATE: Kerry Meier signs 4-year deal with Falcons

Kerry Meier holds the Kansas school record for most career receptions.

Kerry Meier holds the Kansas school record for most career receptions.

BIRDLAND – Falcons wide receiver Kerry Meier, a fifth round draft pick, has signed a four-year contract worth $1.947 million with the Atlanta Falcons.

Meier was the 165th player taken in the 2010 NFL draft. Of the 38 fifth round picks, 28 have signed.

Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Kerry Meier catches a pass during the NFL football team's minicamp in Flowery Branch, Ga., on Sunday, May 9, 2010. (Curtis Compton)

Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Kerry Meier catches a pass during the NFL football team's minicamp in Flowery Branch, Ga., on Sunday, May 9, 2010. (Curtis Compton)

The Falcons have signed five of their six draft picks. First round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon is the remaining unsigned rookie.


With the players set to report for training camp on July 29, Weatherspoon’s deal could go down to the wire.

Meier, 23, began as a quarterback at Kansas, but was switched to wide receiver in 2007. The 6-foot-2, 224-pound receiver set career (226) and single-season (102) receiving marks for the Jayhawks.

After the draft, Meier was asked about his favorite …

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