Falcons bring up Bush to take Schillinger’s spot

S.C. State safety Raefel Bush delivering a shot against Clemson. Bush is from the same school that produced former Steelers great Donnie Shell (1970-73).

S.C. State safety Raefel Bush delivering a shot against Clemson. Bush is from the same school that produced former Steelers great Donnie Shell (1970-73).

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons promoted safety Rafael Bush from the practice squad to the roster on Wednesday.

A roster spot became available when safety Shann Schillinger, who was playing on special teams, was placed on injured reserved with a fractured ankle.

The Falcons also added wide receiver Brandyn Harvey to the practice squad.

Bush, 5-11, 195 pounds, was signed as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina State by the Falcons after the 2010 NFL Draft.

Bush was waived as part of the NFL’s mandatory roster cut down on September 4 and signed to the practice squad on September 5.

Bush was voted the S.C. State’s most valuable player as a senior after finishing the season with 54 tackles and three touchdowns.

Harvey was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova by the Falcons after the 2010 NFL Draft. He was waived prior to the start of the season.

Harvey recorded 131 catches for 1,835 yards and 11 touchdowns in his colligate career.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter

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54 comments Add your comment

John Galt

December 29th, 2010
7:11 pm

Am I the first to express indifference?

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & TIred

December 29th, 2010
7:31 pm

Glad to see Brandyn Harvey at least back on the practice squad. Although he did not make the 53 man roster, he appeared to have lots of potential during the preseason games and during the preseason practices.

chipontheroad birdsrus

December 29th, 2010
7:32 pm

give em hell Raphael


December 29th, 2010
8:16 pm



December 29th, 2010
8:21 pm

If I remember correctly, Brandyn Harvey was banged up in the final preseason game, which was a factor in him not making the roster. His release was an injury waiver. By rule, that prevented the team from re-signing him until November.

And as good fortune would have it, the Falcons hadn’t had to make a single move, roster or practice squad, since late October. This was really their first opportunity to bring him back into the fold.

While I was partly expecting the team to use the opportunity to promote offensive line prospect Jose Valdez to the main roster, I’m very happy for Rafael Bush. He’s an old school, hard-hitting ball hawk type of defensive back, and I know D-Led enjoyed watching him in camp every bit as much as I did. I’m not sure there will be a roster spot for him to win next season, but he’ll work his tail off to make the decision a difficult one.

Bummer that we’re losing Shann for the postseason, but as Smitty says, one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. Dominique Franks will likely be activated this weekend (with Bush as one of the eight inactive players) and take Schillinger’s place on special teams.


December 29th, 2010
8:28 pm

Fudgie the Whale

December 29th, 2010
8:51 pm

Go get ‘em young man. You just got your big break, congratulations.

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December 29th, 2010
9:03 pm

Going into next this team #1 priority should be finding a deep threat. The reason we lost to the Saints is because we didn’t open up the playbook and were too conservative. But if you look at it the longest play run or pass is 55 yard run by Turner and the longest pass was a 46 yard reception by Roddy White. We have no speed and the guy that we think is speed is Harry Douglas and all he does is drop key passes. We need to have a Percy Harvin, Wes Welker, Deshawn Jackson type of burner that opens things up. Because our offense gets stale. Also we need to sign Champ Baily next year.


December 29th, 2010
9:05 pm

I wish the young man luck, we need all the help we can get in our secondary, but especially up on the line, B-man is too lite in the butt, to mount a pass rush.


December 29th, 2010
9:49 pm

Yeah for the falcons..
Why are we NOT talking about the Panther game..You think it’s a “gimme”????
Anything can & does happen in the NFL week to week..just ask the Eagles..don’t ya feel sorry for them? boo hoo!
I think Fox and the Panthers have a few supprises up their collective sleves for the “birds”..If the Birds think all they have to do is show up..THEY are in for a “Rude” awakening!!

So Many

December 29th, 2010
9:54 pm

They say there may be as many as 10 NFL head coaching positions open for next season. Won’t be any problem to fill them, as there are dozens of bloggers on the AJC that know how to win in the NFL.


December 29th, 2010
10:04 pm

We have reached a point with our current roster that we can draft for needs. Our board will be decided on how Sam Baker finishes the season and if Tony G shuts it down. Abe #55 is playing lights out so I’m sure he will get at least a three year deal (although he may never see the 3rd year of the deal).

1. rd. Tight End (I like Palmer but we will need a TE that can strecth the field)

2. rd Defensive End (Bierman should be coming off the bench on third downs, we have yet to see Sidbury in action so he must be a work in progress)

3. rd Wide Receiver (We already have a the kid from Kansas on I.R.) I actually like Michael Jenkins he is an excellent blocker and he made some clutch catches against the Saints. Don’t sleep on Jenkins another team would love to have him.

4. rd MLB/LB (Curtis Lofton has remained healthy however we need a suitable back up)

5. rd Safety (Coleman #26 will likely want to start elsewhere Shan Schillenger is not the answer)

6. rd Running Back (Not a major need but if we can get one here it wouldn’t hurt just in case Norwood isn’t back with the team) I personally feel we should keep J-roc. He is a beast on kick-offs, specail teams, and screens on 3rd down. We have to find a way to keep him healthy. Keeping J-roc wouldn’t cost the team much so I really don’t see him not being a Falcon next season.

7. rd Place Kicker (I know Bryant is having a good season this year but we need to be able to hit 50 yard field goals on a regular, the kid from Georgia gives us the best young place kicker available -he’s a weapon and very accurate) We will not have the luxury of sneaking up on teams next year. The closer the game the more important your kicking game becomes.

This Gets Old

December 29th, 2010
10:26 pm

@Mac If the Birds think all they have to do is show up..THEY are in for a “Rude” awakening!!

You’re not serious are you? Really? 2-13 and talking trash?


December 29th, 2010
10:46 pm

You can’t compare Vikings win over Eagles to Panthers Falcons game. The Panthers are not nearly as good as the Vikings. That Webb kid has a lot more talent than Jimmy Clausen. Man, that guy was hyped big time when he signed with Notre Dame but he has turned out to be nothing.


December 29th, 2010
11:31 pm

When are you sending out the Pro Bowl alternates out, D-Led? Alternate lists for a bunch of other teams are out already!!

tdawg in Stockbridge

December 29th, 2010
11:55 pm

The Falcons draft:

1. A legitimate left tackle to protect Ryan(Baker can’t handle big time players and s/b at right tackle-see Will Smith

2. Another running back(Demarco Murray)- M. Turner has been tip-toe’n for two years now. He needs some competition to light a fire under his butt.

3. A legitimate number 2 receiver to take pressure off of Roddy.(Jenkins is a 3 and Douglas is a 4 because he is too short)

4. A defensive end on the other side of Abraham.(We really can’t rush the qb without blitzing)

5. A young outside linebacker to take over for Peterson.

6. A young playmaker at tight end in the later rounds.

If these things are done, I think the Falcons will be a top team for years to come. Get ‘er done Dimitroff, that’s why you make the big bucks.


December 29th, 2010
11:56 pm

Black College Power Poll

1. Bethune (14)
2. SC State (12)
3. Albany St (4)
4. Texas Southern
6. Grambling (23)
7. FVSU (22)
8. Tuskegee
9. Morehouse (23)
10. Shaw (25)
(#) – Top 25 Ranking Coaches Polls, FCS, AFCA



December 30th, 2010
12:00 am

Orlando – the tackle in the photo is being made on Jacoby Ford, the stud rookie WR/KR for the Raiders.

Slippery when wet & 5150

December 30th, 2010
1:03 am

And Black college football matters why?

D Money

December 30th, 2010
1:39 am

@Slippery… Black college football matters because that’s where you find many of the greats (ie. Steve McNair, Jerry Rice, etc). Everybody do not want to go to UGA, Ohio, or Florida.


December 30th, 2010
2:02 am

Reading so many armchair QB’s reasons as to “why” we lost to the Saints…..

Man, it was a classic game.. If Turner does not fumber in the 1 we win…

It was a game of 2 – 3 plays making the difference.. We WILL be in the NCF Championship game in 24 days.. But do not lose focus on the task at hand…. BEAT the Panthers Sunday!!


December 30th, 2010
4:51 am

colligate? try collegiate career…just sayin’…spell check would of missed it, due to the fact colligate means something else


December 30th, 2010
5:01 am

Yes, it was a classic game between these two teams, but some questionable play calling, in my opinion, made it more difficult for the Falcons to succeed. Running Michael Turner up the middle kept resulting in little or no gain, but getting him or Snelling outside the tackles appeared to have more success. That goal-line stand where Turner was separated from the ball at the 1 was indeed a turning point, and I wonder what difference it could have made to run him more outside at that point. With the intense rush the Saints kept applying, I would have tried a few screen plays here and there to keep them on their heels.


December 30th, 2010
7:27 am

that was an ignorant comment ….. although some explanation of the relevance as to why the BCF poll was posted would help. If he is trying to tie in Bush’s promotion to the 53-man roster and this years’ final top HBCU teams, then so be it. Glad to see a fellow HBCU alum make it to the top levels of any profession.

tdawg, agree with your projected draft needs, although not necessarily the explanation (specifically on RB/M. Turner). I would put a top WLB (eventual replacement for Petersen), DE (partner for Abe) or a speed RB (change of pace) as the top 3 needs, of course depending on who falls to us by a late 1st round draft position. I would put a replacement TE as need no. 4. Based on where we project to be (between pick 29-32), pickings might be slim for straight need so BPA could be order of the day.

I hate that we didn’t snag A. Hernandez or J. Graham in the middle rounds. I wanted both of them this past draft and look what they are doing now.


December 30th, 2010
7:48 am

falcons need a shut-down corner , they need a grady jackson on the d-line. they – need a deep threat wide reciever,defense played well mon nite.but you can bet brees and company are working on answers for the blitz.they will be better prepared for it next time. turnovers have got to stop.fumbling on 1 yd line, botched snap, especially the botched snap.running game never developed without it your defense will not get much rest between series. the best defense to play against the saints is keep their offense off the field .

Mike is back

December 30th, 2010
8:12 am

DLed, I agree with Howie’s assessment…our offense is predicated on our ability to run the ball…when we become stymied in the run game…that’s when we become more predictable…and easier to defend…it’s something that has to addressed.

I agree RWhite…better execution on offense and we win that game the way our defense was playing…I can’t blame it all on the O-line…sometimes…Turner is simply doing too much East and West…instead of getting North and South…the windows to get through those holes are going to be tight against top opponents…AND THEY GOING TO GET EVEN TIGHTER…in the playoff.

In those games it’s imperative that Turner get North and South as soon as possible…in just take what’s there…that’s keeps us in manageable third downs.


December 30th, 2010
8:15 am

Wow, we are 12-3, # 1 in the NFC, 7 players going to the pro bowl and there are people that obviously haven’t been following all year that think they know better than TD & Smitty. If after all the great moves they have made (starting with winning the toss to draft Ryan) and bringing this team to the precipice of greatness in only 3 years and people can’t recognize their professional suscess? Please go back to fantasy football and let the men run with the big dogs.

Smiling Jack

December 30th, 2010
8:23 am

At least 20 bloggers who post here are more qualified and capable than the 10 NFL coaches about to lose their jobs. Say it ain’t so…………….


December 30th, 2010
8:33 am

J-Man is absolutely right on target with no deep threat! When Norwood went down there went the offensive speed-period! We all knew that Norwood wouldn’t finish this season and too bad for him as he is an outstanding individual. the fault lies with Coaches and Management to even think Norwood would stay healthy-bad decision making on their part. No deep threat is going to cost us against strong defensive minded teams in playoffs, we are going to have to win with defense and not allow 11 play-90 yard drives in 4th quarter like we allowed the Saints to do to win the game in the Georgia dome none the less, what a wake-up call that our Falcons are beatable!


December 30th, 2010
8:48 am

Hey lets finsh out this year and then we can worry about next year in april. Bush has to make plays on special teams.Falcons will rebound after we blew that game monday. Saints won but we lost the game our selves, falcons are a better team than the aints.


December 30th, 2010
8:48 am

@ Smilling…. You did make me smile because I knew ur comment was a joke.

Falcon Fan

December 30th, 2010
9:27 am

Give’em he!! Bush…..make the most out of it.


December 30th, 2010
9:54 am

Agree we need to worry about this year first. Every team has a weakness, with salary cap you cant have a pro bowler at every position. Good coaching highlights your strength and hides your weaknesses. Having said that, there is only 1 position I believe we are often exposed, and that is DE. Yes Abe is league leader in sacks, but double team him in the playoffs and where will the pressure come from if we don’t blitz. With our linebacker speed I think we don’t abandon the blitz, let teams dink and dunk with slants and quick outs, as long as we keep their qb uncomfortable and dont give up big plays I think pressure will prove to be the proper plan.


December 30th, 2010
12:15 pm



December 30th, 2010
12:19 pm

When Turner fumbled on the one yard line, he had no where to go. There was no push by the offensive line – so Turner could move forward.


December 30th, 2010
12:36 pm

Man, it’s nice to cheer for a team where winning is now expected. . .

in the offseason, the only pressing needs are a speed-scatback type and a little more depth. The Falcons are now flat-out solid. That is why they don’t get as much publicity as other teams; it’s easier for talking heads to discuss the eagles or saints because you can focus on one or two players and don’t have to dig deep.

You have to watch the Falcons to appreciate them and how they have mastered controlling the pace of games and the clock. They don’t translate well into 30 seconds of highlights. We’ll just let everyone be surprised come early February.


December 30th, 2010
12:37 pm

A lot of people here have made some interesting comments concerning the future of the Falcons, some I agree with and some not so much… But the people who say we botched the game against the AINTS, and the people who criticize the play calling really frustrate me. Ask yourself what the odds are of wining against the defending world champions of any sport three times the following year is??? Smitty and T.D. have a job to do and goals in place, and I have all the confidence in the world they have a plan in place to accomplish their goals… Matter of fact I’m pretty sure their plan was put into action Monday night!!! So the sky is not falling, and the world is not ending. So come out of your bomb shelters and enjoy the rest of the season with a confidence and get ready for some post-season football as a Falcons fan we have a lot to cheer and be happy about…

(side note)
Given the opportunity, I recommend that you thank Mr. blank, Coach Smith, and Thomas Dimitroff…


December 30th, 2010
12:38 pm

And not to bust on Raphael Bush, but in that photo it looks like Jacoby Ford is about to break the tackle.


December 30th, 2010
1:15 pm


Falcons have been drafting O-Line..you will see.


December 30th, 2010
2:15 pm

And no more punting when we are down with 3 minutes left. Seriously WTF


December 30th, 2010
2:19 pm

Can we afford Larry Fitzgerald? I know Mike and TD prefer to develop talent but Fitz is ready to go out of the box… and he is quiet and hard working… the kinda guy they would like. Arizona has no future… he can’t possibly want to stay there. Fitz and Roddy at X and Z? Give me that. Also in the draft check out Matt Sczur from Villanova. He is the next Wes Welker/Danny Woodhead/Julian Edleman. Since we are trying to be the Jr. Patriots over here, he’s probably worth a look. K I will go back to fantassy football now.


December 30th, 2010
2:26 pm

@tpoole – Ever think that maybe the Falcons have managed to go 12-3 despite the poor play calling? No one will deny that this team has enough talent to win. I for one think the talent has been enough to overcome the play calling thus far. The problem with that scenario is that it rarely works out in the playoffs. I’m ecstatic with the job that TD has done and genuinely believe Coach Smith has what it takes to keep the team both motivated and grounded at the same time.

But for 2+ years now we’ve seen the same predictable, ultra-conservative, mind-numbing play calling on offense. My 17 year old daughter easily calls out the plays from the formation. Run middle for 1 yard. Run off guard for no gain. Empty backfield, shotgun formation – gee, I wonder if they’ll pass on 3rd and long? BVG is showing progress with the defensive side, albeit slowly. I have to believe Smitty is influencing this success. However Mularkey is simply clueless with the offense and Smitty obviously doesn’t feel confident enough to intervene. Atlanta has completed 10 of 13 screen passes this season, and most were to WRs (and don’t work). And while that completion percentage sounds wonderful, the 10 completions netted only 51 yards and did nothing to slow down the pass rush or open up the running game.

If you want to keep drinking the Kool-Aid and think that the Falcons can plod their way through the playoffs with the play calling we’ve seen thus far, go right ahead. Be prepared for a huge disappointment though, because IF we manage to beat the Panthers and lock up the #1 seed, we’ll likely be playing Philly or NO again in a couple of weeks. Neither Andy Reid nor Sean Payton will not come in unprepared.


December 30th, 2010
2:28 pm

Mea culpa – “Neither Andy Reid nor Sean Payton will come in unprepared.”


December 30th, 2010
3:20 pm

For anyone who questions the relevance of Black College Football. Research the NFL Hall of Fame and count how many of those players come from the HBCU list above.

Rafael Bush played for a SC State – an HBCU powerhouse. Others who played for SC State you ask?

Donnie Shell, Harry Carson, Charlie Brown, Dexter Clinkscale, Shelden (Zeus) Hamilton, Robert Porchier, to name a few …this season expect 3-5 picks from their co-championship squad.

goto http://www.hbcuclassics.com – I’m working on an HBCU draft board now.

Calvin G. Sims, Sr.

December 30th, 2010
4:26 pm

I think we may have overlooked a great one in this kid. He has a lot of potential and he is a “BallHawk.” I look for him to get lots of fines for hitting “Too Hard.”

Also, the loss to N.O. may very well be the best thing to have happened for the Falcons. The Post season is a new season and it is sudden death. Better the Falcons not go in trying to preserve a consecutive win streak and concentrate on each individual game.

Besides, I am sure that the picture of the N.O. team and coaches (including a former Atlanta coach) posing on our team logo is plastered all over the Falcon’s locker room. Not too smart, New Orleans.

Go Falcons


December 30th, 2010
5:29 pm

@Monduj1 WOW!! armchair qb award goes to you….

wether you like it or not the Falcons are a run-the-ball team and the screen play softens the interior to set-up the run… Now I will agree that a fire needs to be lit under Turners A$$, possibly a smaller, quicker back to releave some of the load… but the screen is not a part of the overall scheme

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December 30th, 2010
7:55 pm

“…we need a deep-threat WR…” Do what? (I’m picturing a Mora beer commercial here.) R. White leads the league in receptions. And M.Jenkins is no slouch.

“…they keep running up the middle…” Last I heard that is a basic run play and it works if there’s blocking. It especially works (normally) if there’s blocking AND you have a bruiser RB like M. Turner. And that was so darn vanilla when we ran a three TE run play in the first half.

Be that as it may, the offense was pretty anemic against N.O.; the O only scored 7 points. Ya won’t win many NFL games with that kinda offensive output.

I agree with the few voices of reason: TD and CMS have turned this program around, and I too trust they know what the Falcons need.

Oh, and congrats to R.Bush for making the team.

So What?

December 31st, 2010
7:25 am

hbcuclassics- does anyone really care other than….black people? Way to show your support for schools who are still practicing segregaton. Tell me again why black people get “special no white people” schools? The continuation of divide and conquer by our so called “leaders” Black or otherwise. Get over yourself and your color and get to work on your rascist draft board. Idiot.