Archive for October, 2010

John Abraham elected to go against 3-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas

Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (71) and linebacker Matt Roth (53) tackle Falcons running back Michael Turner. Associated Press

Browns defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (71) and linebacker Matt Roth (53) tackle Falcons running back Michael Turner. Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Falcons defensive end John Abraham outplayed Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowler. Abraham had five tackles, two sacks, three tackles for losses and three quarterback hits.

Abraham had the option of rushing over tackle Tony Pashos, a less-heralded player, but took the more challenging route to the backfield.

“I felt more comfortable on the right side going against Joe Thomas,” Abraham said. “I just thought my game worked better because the quarterback can’t see me. On Pashos’ side he can see me.”

Abraham moved into sixth place on the Falcons‘ all-time sacks list with 40.5, passing Don Smith, who totaled 38.5 in six seasons from 1979-84.

Abraham sacked Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace in the first quarter. With that sack, Abraham posted his 39th sack as a Falcon, passing Don Smith (38.5) for sixth in …

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Wide receiver Michael Jenkins is inactive with shoulder injury

Falcons receiver Michael Jenkins. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons receiver Michael Jenkins. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

CLEVELAND – Falcons wide receiver Michael Jenkins, who returned to practice two weeks ago, was declared in active for the fifth straight game on Sunday.

He suffered a shoulder injury on Aug. 6 and returned to practice near the end of the four to six week projection. He has not played in a game this season.

Jenkins was listed as questionable for the game in the team’s injury report with a shoulder.

The other inactives included: cornerback Dominique Franks, running back Gartrell Johnson, tackle Garrett Reynolds, guard Mike Johnson, defensive end Lawrence Sidbury and defensive tackle Trey Lewis.

John Parker Wilson will serve as the third quarterback.

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Injury report: Delhomme 50-50 for Sunday’s game

Hey, is that Brian Sipe? No, it's Jake Delhomme. (Mark Duncan, Associated Press)

Hey, is that Brian Sipe? No, it's Jake Delhomme. (Mark Duncan, Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH –  There’s a 50-50 chance the Falcons will see old foe Jake Delhomme at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Delhomme, who played the last 12 seasons with New Orleans and Carolina, was injured in the season opener on Sept. 12, and is listed as questionable on the Browns injury report. He is trying to come back from a high right ankle sprain.

In 12 starts against the Falcons, Delhomme  posted a 6-6 record. He averaged 224 passing yards, threw 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Seneca Wallace as been starting for the Browns and guided them to a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

For the Falcons, linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (ankle) and wide receiver Mike Jenkins (shoulder) are all questionable.

Lofton and Weatherspoon fully participated in practice on Friday. Jenkins was limited.

The Falcons (3-1) figure to be at full …

Continue reading Injury report: Delhomme 50-50 for Sunday’s game »

Falcons at Browns: 3 key matchups

Falcons defensive end John Abraham walks off the field following a first-quarter San Francisco 49ers score. Associated Press

Falcons defensive end John Abraham walks off the field following a first-quarter San Francisco 49ers score. Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are the three key matchups for the game:

Falcons DE John Abraham vs. Browns LT Joe Thomas: Abraham started his career in the AFC. He has 10.5 sacks in the past nine games against AFC teams. Abraham’s 91.5 sacks since 2000 are the second most in the NFL. Thomas, the third player taken in the 2007 draft, has been to three consecutive Pro Bowls. He anchors Cleveland’s line and helps to power their rushing attack.

Falcons SS William Moore vs. Browns TE Ben Watson: Moore, the Falcons‘ second-round pick in 2009, will make his fourth career start. He has faced tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Vernon Davis in his past two games. He will see another quality tight end in Watson, a former Georgia standout, who leads the Browns in receptions with 18. Watson has amassed 185 yards and scored one touchdown. Watson is shooting for his third …

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Video: 3 keys vs. the Cleveland Browns

Continue reading Video: 3 keys vs. the Cleveland Browns »

Roddy White learned how to go hard in the paint

Atlanta's Roddy White (84) tries to get out of bounds after catching a pass in the final minutes of the game. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Atlanta's Roddy White (84) tries to get out of bounds after catching a pass in the final minutes of the game. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCHRoddy White and Brian Finneran were reflecting on the good old days this week.

The subject was about Roddy’s rise to Pro Bowl status and becoming one of the league’s top receivers. He had to learn how to play hard at all times. Here’s the link to “Hard in da Paint” by Waka Flocka Flame (instrumental only).

The work of wide receivers coaches George Stewart and Paul Petrino and White’s improved work habits finally came together during the 2007 season.

“I just wanted to be a better football player, then Paul (Petrino) was out there pushing me as hard as he could,” White said. “Ask (Mike) Jenkins. Paul used to put us to work everyday.”

White leading the party after the victory over the Saints in the Louisiana Superdome.  Associated Press

White leading the party after the victory over the Saints in the Louisiana Superdome. Associated Press

White was a first round pick out of Alabama-Birmingham in 2005. (For you folks …

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Singletary shows poor coaching etiquette, AGAIN

49ers head coach Mike Singletary complains to the officials in the first quarter. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

49ers head coach Mike Singletary complains to the officials in the first quarter. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith didn’t want to make a big deal of the slight.

When Mike Singletary’s name was brought up in the press conference about why there wasn’t a post-game handshake, Smith appeared uncomfortable and then eased into the next question.

But on Wednesday, Singletary, who was a candidate for the Falcons head coaching spot when Bobby Petrino was named, came out and admitted that he exhibited poor sportsmanship after what had to be an excruciating loss.

“That was poor sportsmanship on my behalf,” Singletary told the San Francisco media before practice Wednesday.

Here’s Matt Barrow’s blog for the Sacramento Bee on Singletary’s antics.

Falcons coach Mike Smith celebrates after Atlanta defeated the 49ers. But San Francisco coach Mike Singletary would not shake his hand. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Falcons coach Mike Smith celebrates after Atlanta defeated the 49ers. But San Francisco coach Mike Singletary would not shake his hand. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Center Todd McClure asked …

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Video: Falcons prep for trip to Cleveland

Continue reading Video: Falcons prep for trip to Cleveland »

Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini previews the game

Head coach Eric Mangini has the Browns playing tough, physical football. (Mark Duncan/Associated Press)

Head coach Eric Mangini has the Browns playing tough, physical football. (Mark Duncan/Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Cleveland Browns are 1-3, but like San Francisco last week, they pose a legitimate threat to the 3-1 Atlanta Falcons.

The Browns dropped their first three games by a total of 12 points.

“You go through steps with every team,” Cleveland head coach Eric Mangini said on the conference call with the Atlanta media on Wednesday.  ”One of them is being competitive and the other one is learning how to win. That’s an important step.”

The Browns won the Battle of Ohio last week as they outlasted Cincinnati, 23-20.

“You look at Atlanta and they’ve been in close games and they’ve been able to pull them out,” Mangini said. “Which I think is a testament to them.”

Here’s some of the highlights of the conference call with Mangini:

ON PEYTON HILLIS: “Peyton is a guy I played against when I was in New York and he was in Denver. . . He was tough to deal with. He was …

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Matt Bryant named NFC special teams player of the week

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) kicks the game winning field goal that defeated the 49ers 16-14 on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 inside the Georgia Dome. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) kicks the game winning field goal that defeated the 49ers 16-14 on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 inside the Georgia Dome. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons kicker Matt Bryant, who made his 11th career game-winning field goal against San Francisco on Sunday, was named the NFC’s special teams player of the week on Wednesday.

He kicked a 43-yarder with seconds left to help the Falcons defeat the 49ers, 16-14 and improve to 3-1.

In the previous game, Bryant kicked a 46-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 27-24 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints.

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