Archive for September, 2010

Video report: Bring on the World Champs

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WR Michael Jenkins returns to practice

Falcons receiver Michael Jenkins after practice on Saturday. He was explaining to the media why the defense appears to be ahead of the offense. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons receiver Michael Jenkins after practice on Saturday. He was explaining to the media why the defense appears to be ahead of the offense. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons wide receiver Michael Jenkins, who missed the first two games with a shoulder injury, returned to practice on Wednesday.

Wide receivers Eric Weems and Harry Douglas have started in Jenkins’ spot. Douglas started against Pittsburgh and Weems made his first career start against Arizona.

Jenkins injured his shoulder in the team’s scrimmage at North Gwinnett High School on Aug. 6.

With Jenkins out of the lineup, Roddy White has gotten off to a fast start this season. He’s tied for the league lead with 20 receptions.

White believes that teams are going to start rolling coverage his way, which should open up things for other receivers.

Jenkins is entering his seventh season in the NFL. He was originally drafted by the Falcons as the second of two first round picks in …

Continue reading WR Michael Jenkins returns to practice »

Snelling named NFC player of week; candidate for FedEx Ground award

00919 Atlanta - SNELLING TOUCHDOWN - Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling runs through a tackle attempt by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the first of his two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.      Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

00919 Atlanta – SNELLING TOUCHDOWN – Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling runs through a tackle attempt by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the first of his two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons running back Jason Snelling was named NFC offensive player of the week after amassing 186 total yards and scoring three touchdowns in the 41-7 rout of the Arizona Cardinals.

He scored two rushing touchdowns and one receiving, while racking up 129 yards on 24 carries and 57 yards on five receptions.

His career best rushing and previous all-purpose yardage totals came in the 2009 season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he logged 147 rushing yards and 168 all-purpose yards.

Snelling is also a candidate for the FedEx Ground player of the week hones.  Snelling is in the running against Philadelphia’s …

Continue reading Snelling named NFC player of week; candidate for FedEx Ground award »

Do the Falcons really catch a break with Bush out?

Saints running back Reggie Bush has some time to mend fences with Kim Kardashian.

Saints running back Reggie Bush has some time to mend fences with Kim Kardashian.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Yeah, Reggie Bush is hurt, but so what?

He really hasn’t done much against the Falcons since he’s been in the league. All his broken leg really means is that the Falcons will get to see more of the hard-charging Pierre Thomas.

However, while Bush is out with a broken leg, he is 6-0 against the Falcons, thanks mostly to his teammates. He was only a factor in one of the six games.

Bush, the disgraced Heisman trophy winner, was drafted in 2006. The Falcons have played the Saints eight times and are 1-7 against them over that period.

In the Falcons 34-20 victory on Nov. 11, 2008, Bush didn’t play. He also didn’t play in the Saints 34-14 victory on Dec. 12, 2007, which turned out to be Bobby Petrino’s last game.

In the first meeting in 2007, Bush caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees with 5:15 left to play  and ran for the two-point conversion in the Saints 22-14 …

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Meet new Falcons running back Gartrell Johnson III

Gartrell Johnson at the 2009 NFL scouting combine.

Gartrell Johnson at the 2009 NFL scouting combine.

UPDATE

FLOWERY BRANCH – Running back Gartrell Johnson III has the locker across from Michael Turner.

He was understandably nervous before his first practice with the team on Wednesday.

“I got the call on Monday to come in a take a physical,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t sure if they were going to sign me or not.”

He was drafted by San Diego is 2009, but was later released.

“I was picked up on waivers by the New York Giants,” Johnson said. “I played there on special teams last year. I got a few carries. I’m just trying to move forward and become an NFL player.”

He was in training camp with the Giants, but was released. He was working out in Atlanta and living with his father.

He doesn’t know what his role will be yet.

“Pretty much, I played against the Falcons last year,” Johnson said. “I was on special teams so we had a feel for each other. I just know this is a good opportunity.”

Johnson played on the kickoff, kickoff …

Continue reading Meet new Falcons running back Gartrell Johnson III »

Snelling moves up depth chart released for Saints game

00919 Atlanta - SNELLING TOUCHDOWN - Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling runs through a tackle attempt by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the first of his two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.      Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

Did you add Snelling to your fantasy team? Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH –   Understandably, running back Jason Snelling has moved up to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart released for the New Orleans Saints game.

With Jerious Norwood out for the season, Gartrell Johnson was added to the roster and slotted as the No. 4 tailback. Antone Smith is the No. 3.

There is nobody listed behind Ovie Mughelli at fullback, but Snelling would take over the backup fullback role if necessary.

According to the depth chart, Eric Weems, who made his first career start last week at wide receiver, will take over the kickoff return duties for Norwood.

OFFENSE

WR 12 Michael Jenkins 83 Harry Douglas 14 Eric Weems

LT 72 Sam Baker 74 Will Svitek

LG 63 Justin Blalock 79 Mike Johnson

C 62 Todd McClure 61 Joe Hawley

RG 73 Harvey Dahl 79 Mike Johnson

RT 77 Tyson Clabo 75 Garrett Reynolds

TE 88 Tony Gonzalez 87 Justin Peelle 81 Michael Palmer

WR 84 Roddy White 86 Brian Finneran

QB

Continue reading Snelling moves up depth chart released for Saints game »

An ode to Jerious Norwood

In other news, Running back Jerious Norwood returned to practice and wide receiver Harry Douglas will play on Thursday vs. New England. Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

The electrifying Jerious Norwood, one of the nicest guys on the team, has had an injury-plagued career with the Falcons. Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Perhaps coach Mike Smith just didn’t want to jump the gun Monday. But we don’t know why he’s gone all Bill Belichick on the media over injuries.

It was already out that Jerious Norwood had a torn ACL. He was seen in the locker room on crutches. He sent an e-mail to an associate

Norwood is an avid fisherman.

Norwood is an avid fisherman.

stating that his ACL was torn, but that he was in good spirits. His family was already apprised of his status.

Smith said the team was still evaluating things and if there was a season-ending knee injury that an announcement would be made.

They made it today and announced some other moves.

Norwood suffered a torn ACL in his right knee on the opening kickoff of the 41-7 pasting of the Cardinals. He tripped on Shann Schillinger’s foot and his right knee slammed into the Georgia Dome turf.

The players already knew that …

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Turner, Dukes to celebrate ‘Keep Gym in School’ campaign

Running back Michael Turner to do some community work with the kids on Tuesday in College Park. - AP Associated Press

Running back Michael Turner to do some community work with the kids on Tuesday in College Park. – AP Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons running back Michael Turner and NFL Network analyst Jamie Dukes are set to help host a pep rally and minicamp for Camp Creek Middle School students to celebrate the “Keep Gym in School” program at 10 a.m. Tuesday in College Park.

The NFL Network and Comcast are the corporate sponsors.

The ”Keep Gyms in School”  campaign is a program to help boost fitness and physical education in America’s middle schools. It was developed for middle schools across the country who have been forced to cut physical education out of their daily curriculum.

The cuts come at a time when studies show that today’s youth are facing alarming rates of obesity and related diseases.

Each year, four middle schools nationwide are awarded grants to help supplement physical education for their students. This year, the NFL Network has recognized Camp Creek …

Continue reading Turner, Dukes to celebrate ‘Keep Gym in School’ campaign »

What the players were talking about after the game . . .

Sporting all-new outfits for the 2010 season, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders gather for a group photo for fans on the sidelines during a timeout against the Arizona Cardinals. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Sporting all-new outfits for the 2010 season, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders gather for a group photo for fans on the sidelines during a timeout against the Arizona Cardinals. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Here’s what the players were talking about after the game.

TYSON CLABO, right tackle

ON SNELLING: “He starts for a lot of teams. We don’t feel like there is a drop off at all. He’s an outstanding tailback.”

JASON SNELLING, running back

ON BEING READY: “You have to prepare like you’re going to be the starter, otherwise you are selling yourself short.”

BIG WIN?: “It meant a lot. Getting a win and defending the Dome. It was important with us going into New Orleans next week. We needed to get this win after a tough loss last week. We bounced back and played Falcon football.”

ON BIG HOLES: “In the NFL, holes are not too big. But they were pushing the line of scrimmage, they were pushing guys back and there were creases. When you get a crease from a lineman, the running …

Continue reading What the players were talking about after the game . . . »

Mike Smith elated with 41-7 smackdown of Cardinals

Falcons fans have plenty to cheer about on the way to a 41-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons fans have plenty to cheer about on the way to a 41-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons coach Mike Smith was upbeat during his post-game press conference.

He was clearly elated with the 41-7 beatdown the Falcons put on the Cardinals.

No one in the locker room wanted to be  on plane for New Orleans next Saturday with a 0-2 record.

Here’s what Coach Smith had to say:

OPENING STATEMENT: “Hey guys we talk all the time about starting fast, sustaining our level of intensity and our level of play for 60 minutes. We also talk about our ability to run the football and finish games. I thought it was evident today that we (followed) those three principles. I thought in all three phases of the game, we played well. With that being said, there are still a lot of things we have to get corrected. There were a lot of penalties. I think we had six penalties for 75 yards. Those are going to hurt you …

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