Archive for August, 2010

What’s wrong with the Beer Man?

Defensive Kroy Biermann has missed the last two days of practice. He might have "tweaked" something.

Defensive Kroy Biermann has missed the last two days of practice. He might have "tweaked" something.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Defensive end Kroy Biermann did not practice on Sunday or Monday.

He looked fine and wasn’t wearing a brace, boot or sling.

He might be just getting some rest and might not be injured at all.

Or he could have “tweaked” something, but we’ll never know.

Falcons coach Mike Smith is not announcing injuries until he has to release a league-mandated injury report on Wednesday before the first game. He said he would continue to announce major injuries as they occur.

So, since we don’t have an announcement on Biermann, we can reasonable conclude that the sackmaster of  the preseason will be a game-time decision on Thursday with some ailment or another.

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

Continue reading What’s wrong with the Beer Man? »

Johnson, Giordano released to make it to 75

Falcons coach Mike Smith after the 16-6 win over Miami. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons coach Mike Smith after the 16-6 win over Miami. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Update

FLOWERY BRANCH – Defensive tackle Thomas Johnson, who started 10 games last season for the Falcons, was waived injured on Tuesday.

Also, safety Matt Giordano was terminated with an injury settlement in order to reduce the roster to 75 per the NFL rules.

The Falcons, who play at Jacksonville at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, will have to reduce their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Johnson was slowed in training camp by an Achilles injury. He played in 13 games last season and had 27 tackles, two sacks and a force fumble.

Giordano was signed by the Falcons as a free agent on March 16, 2010 after spending the 2009 season with the Green Bay Packers. Giordano was originally selected in the fourth round (135th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

Here’s a look at the roster:

Quarterbacks (3)

Locks: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman and John Parker …

Continue reading Johnson, Giordano released to make it to 75 »

Falcons ready for Jacksonville game

Atlanta Falcons running back Dimitri Nance (30) does a little "Dirty Bird" dance in the endzone after scoring a 1-yard touchdown run for a 17-3 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs during 4th quarter action in the exhibition season opener at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons running back Dimitri Nance (30) does a little "Dirty Bird" dance in the endzone after scoring a 1-yard touchdown run for a 17-3 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs during 4th quarter action in the exhibition season opener at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons released their final preseason depth chart on Sunday.

It will undergo some major restructuring before the season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 12.

There are a couple of things of note.

Kroy Biermann is still listed as the third left defensive end behind Jamaal Anderson and Chauncey Davis.

Stephen Nicholas is still listed as the starting strongside linebacker, despite that rookie Sean Weatherspoon has started the last two exhibition games at the spot.

Against Jacksonville, the reserves will get to play a lot. One of the most interesting battles will be at backup running back. The Falcons probably don’t have the luxury of …

Continue reading Falcons ready for Jacksonville game »

Is the NFL’s enhanced schedule good for the game

Falcons safety Erik Coleman getting an interception against New Orleans' Drew Brees during the 2008 season. He is the Falcons NFLPA representative. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Falcons safety Erik Coleman getting an interception against New Orleans’ Drew Brees during the 2008 season. He is the Falcons NFLPA representative. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Former New York Giants owner Wellington Mara, who passed away in 2005, was one of the pillars of the NFL.

He had a simple guiding principle when the league faced a major decision. All he wanted to know was if the change was “good for the game.” He wasn’t worried about partners, sponsors, shareholders or TV executives.

Most current owners agreed that adding two games to the league’s schedule is a good business move. The league could charge more for TV rights and create more incremental revenue.

Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay invoked Mara’s principle at the owner’s meeting held Wednesday at the Ritz-Carlton.

“I go back to what one of our wisest founders thought about, ‘Is it good for the game,’” Irsay said. “To me you always get back to that. … You have to focus on that and make sure that it is.”

Falcons …

Continue reading Is the NFL’s enhanced schedule good for the game »

Falcons waive OL Ortmann, CB Derricks

The Falcons waived Mark Ortmann.

The Falcons waived Mark Ortmann.

The Falcons released offensive lineman Mark Ortmann and cornerback Gabe Derricks on Saturday to move their roster count down to 77. The team must cut down to 75 by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Ortmann, 6-foot-6, 284 pounds, was signed by the Falcons as a free agent last Monday. Ortmann was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Carolina Panthers on April 24, 2010. He was later waived on June 17, 2010.

Derricks, 6-3, 202 pounds, was originally signed by the Falcons as a rookie free agent on April 26, 2010. He was waived on July 31, 2010 and later re-signed by the team on August 15, 2010.

Here a story on how the roster is shaping up.

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

Continue reading Falcons waive OL Ortmann, CB Derricks »

Peria Jerry faced brother John Jerry for six snaps

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry played six snaps in the first half against Miami.  Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry played six snaps in the first half against Miami. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

MIAMI –  Defensive tackle Peria Jerry did not start, but entered the game on the second defensive series. He was going against his younger brother John Jerry, who was at right guard for the Dolphins.

Jerry, who had not played since the second game of last season because of a knee surgery, played six snaps in the first round.

Also, running back Jerious Norwood returned to action. He was used on three third down plays and the kneel down play to end the first half.

Norwood caught one pass for 8 yards in the first half.

Safety William Moore, who was making his preseason debut, played on special teams. He was a gunner on the punt coverage team in the third quarter and was on the kickoff coverage unit.

Moore got some action at safety in the third quarter.

Cornerback Brian Williams, who is coming back from major knee surgery, saw his first action of the …

Continue reading Peria Jerry faced brother John Jerry for six snaps »

What the players had to say after beating Miami

Atlanta Falcons line backer Curtis Lofton (50) forces Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne (7) to throw an incomplete pass during first quarter NFL preseason football action in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Atlanta Falcons line backer Curtis Lofton (50) forces Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne (7) to throw an incomplete pass during first quarter NFL preseason football action in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI — Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said “We’ve got to improve.”

Here’s some of the post-game chatter:

MIKE PETERSON

ON THIRD DOWN SUCCESS: “The whole offseason, getting off the field on third down has been a big emphasis. Going into this game, that was a big emphasis. Getting of the field on third down tonight, we were able to do that today.”

ON STOPPING RONNIE BROWN AND RICKY WILLIAMS: “They’ve got two great running backs. They can take it to the house on you. They can score in one big run. Stopping the run as well as getting off on third downs were our big goals going  into this game. We wanted to get some momentum going into Week One.

JERIOUS NORWOOD

ON MOVING THE BALL: “We did pretty good on offense. But as  a whole we still have a lot of …

Continue reading What the players had to say after beating Miami »

Q&A: Matt Ryan says offense needs to pick it up in practice

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) calls signals during first quarter NFL preseason football action against the Miami Dolphins in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) calls signals during first quarter NFL preseason football action against the Miami Dolphins in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was frustrated with the offense’s performance against the Dolphins.

In perhaps his most controversial statement in his young career, he said the players need to pick it up in practice and do a better job of getting on the same page.

Despite the need for picking it up practice, Ryan also felt like the offense is ready for the regular season.

Here’s what he had to say after the 16-6 victory over Miami on Friday.

Q: How do you think it went for you guys out there tonight?

A:  ”There were some things we did pretty well, but for the most part I think we had seven possessions in the first half and we came away with just 10 points. That’s a little bit frustrating. We were close. It’s something that we need to iron out in practice. We need to do a better …

Continue reading Q&A: Matt Ryan says offense needs to pick it up in practice »

Dunta Robinson scratched from lineup

Dunta Robinson is set to make his Falcons debut tonight. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Dunta Robinson was expected to make his Falcons debut against Miami. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

MIAMI – Cornerback Dunta Robinson, the Falcons prized offseason acquisition, was a late scratch from the lineup against the Miami Dolphins on Friday.

Robinson, who’s been nursing what has been termed a minor hamstring injury, was expected to play in the all-important third exhibition game.

“We made a decision and as I said all week long — really over the last eight or nine days — all the players that are injured are going to be game time decisions,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We thought it was just best to hold Dunta out. Anybody that has been to our practices knows that he has been a full participant in all of our practices. We just felt like it was in the best interest of our football team for the regular season to hold him out.”

Christopher Owens took Robinson’s spot in the starting lineup opposite of Brent Grimes.

Robinson was signed to a six-year, $57.5 …

Continue reading Dunta Robinson scratched from lineup »

Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury is making progress

091227 Atlanta - DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWN - Atlanta Falcons defenders begin to celebrate as defensive end # 90 Lawrence Sidbury hoists the football in the endzone as he takes it away from the Bills and returns it for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead during 2nd half action while Bills rookie quarterback # 4 Brian Brohm  looks on at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

091227 Atlanta – DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWN – Atlanta Falcons defenders begin to celebrate as defensive end # 90 Lawrence Sidbury hoists the football in the endzone as he takes it away from the Bills and returns it for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead during 2nd half action while Bills rookie quarterback # 4 Brian Brohm looks on at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury turned in a strong performance against New England and may be ready to see more action against first and second string players.

He finished with four tackles and one sack.

“I can explain it in one word, progress,” Sidbury said. “In this camp I feel myself getting better. I feel my teammates around me getting better as a unit.”

Sidbury, a fourth round pick in 2009, played sparingly as a rookie, but showed flashes of the destructive and explosive player he was at Richmond. While he dominated for the Spiders, he’s had to work on …

Continue reading Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury is making progress »