Archive for February, 2011

NFL COMBINE: Falcons met with Lockette the Rocket

Fort Valley State wide receiver Ricardo Lockette runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Fort Valley State wide receiver Ricardo Lockette runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS – Fort Valley State’s Ricardo Lockette came up a little short of his goal of breaking the NFL scouting combine record in the 40-yard dash.

The fleet wide receiver, who met with the Falcons on Friday night, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds.  That’s blazing speed for a 6-foot-2, 211 pound receiver. The record of 4.24 is held by Chris Johnson and Rondel Melendez.

Lockette was tied for the top time in the wide receiver group with Edmond Gates from Abilene Christian.

Lockette, of Albany Monroe High, was an NCAA national champion in the 200 meters and a three-time all-American.

Lockette had 23 catches for 262 yards. He averaged 11.4 yards per catch and caught on touchdown.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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NFL COMBINE: New E39 performance shirts worn

Auburn quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton wearing the new Under Armour E39 shirts. Associated Press

Auburn quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton wearing the new Under Armour E39 shirts. Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Several players, including Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green,  and Boise State wide receiver Titus Young worked out in a performance shirt named E39 and made by Under Armour.

The shirt is designed to measure precision and accuracy. It is a compression-fitted shirt with electronic touch points that track the players’ biometric signals and sends them to a wireless device that transmits the data.

It measures the athletes heart rate, breathing rate and core acceleration.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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NFL COMBINE: Cam Newton throws poorly

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton responds to a question during a news conference during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton responds to a question during a news conference during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(UPDATE)

INDIANAPOLIS – Of the top quarterbacks, Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) had the best day throwing the football on Sunday.

He displayed the strongest arm and was accurate in the first session.

Jake Locker (Washington) also had a solid day.

In the second session, Cam Newton (Auburn) had some shaky mechanics and that led to some wild passes. He was dropping back too slow and then rushing his passes. He was wildly off the mark on three straight passes on 10-yard out routes.

Overall, Newton completed 11 of 21 passes after helping out receivers in the across-the-field gauntlet pass-catching drill.

Newton was two-for-three on deep post-corner routes, his best throws of the day.

T.J. Yates (North Carolina, Pope) had a strong showing and threw his deep passes with accuracy.

” This is when we …

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NFL COMBINE: Falcons interested in Allen Bailey

Miami linebacker Marcus Robinson (56) and defensive lineman Allen Bailey (57) bring down Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon in the second half. (By J. Pat Carter -- Associated Press)

Miami linebacker Marcus Robinson (56) and defensive lineman Allen Bailey (57) bring down Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon in the second half. (By J. Pat Carter — Associated Press)

INDIANAPOLIS — Miami defensive end Allen Bailey, who is the player I had the Falcons selecting the Mockiavelli 1.o, has interviewed with the team.

“I talked to the Browns, the Chargers, Tampa Bay, the Falcons and the Chiefs,” said Bailey on Saturday.

He felt that his interview went well.

“I talked to the Falcons at the Senior Bowl also,” Bailey said.

He considers stopping the run to be the strength of his game.

“I’m willing to work on the things I need to correct,” said Bailey, who was measured at 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, had a wingspan of 82 ½ inches and a size 10 ½ hands.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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NFL COMBINE: Q & A with Georgia’s A.J. Green

If the Liberty Bowl is A.J. Green's last game at UGA, will he be remembered as the best receiver in school history? Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

If the Liberty Bowl is A.J. Green's last game at UGA, will he be remembered as the best receiver in school history? Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green spoke with the assembled media at the NFL combine.

He measured in at 6-3 1/2 and 211 pounds.

Here’s how his session went:

Q: Talk about your decision to leave school early for the NFL.

A: There is a small window of opportunity and you have to capitalize on it. I’m very close to getting my degree,

I just made the best choice for me and my family.

Q: You had some injuries throughout your career, are you worried about your durability?

A: No sir, I only had a grade-three separation in my shoulder and there was nothing else I had to deal with. Nothing serious.

Q: How did playing at Georgia help prepare you for the NFL?

A: Running a pro-style offense, had a chance to work with (Matthews) Stafford. He taught me a lot of stuff and just

helped me take my game to the next level.

Q: What are …

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NFL COMBINE: Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers is hurt

Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers said he's no "one-year wonder" and wants to be the No. 1 pick. (D.Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers said he's no "one-year wonder" and wants to be the No. 1 pick. (D.Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Clemson defensive end Da’ Quan Bowers is considered the top defensive end in the draft.

He will not workout here because he recently had surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee in a game against N.C. State in October.

Bowers, who had 15 ½ sacks last season, plans to be ready to workout for the school’s pro  day on March 10.

Bowers said the top tackles he face in college were Alabama’s Andre Smith and Auburn’s Frank Ziemba.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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NFL COMBINE: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

NFL Network's Bucky Brooks and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

NFL Network's Bucky Brooks and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

INDIANAPOLIS — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff spoke to the media at the NFL scouting combine on Friday.

OPENING STATEMENT: Are we ready to go? Twenty-one combines, it’s still very fresh and I’m interested in every new class that comes along here. We obviously had some very positive things this year in Atlanta. We still have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of tweaking to do as far as our roster. We are always looking to get better at every position. I’m sure that will open it up for a number of questions.

Drafting philosophy, like Pittsburgh and Green Bay?: No question about it, I was very fortunate to come from the Patriots and see what we did in New England. Then when you look at the upstanding organizations that are led by great ownership on down to the general managers and on to the entire coaching staff and you see …

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Fort Valley WR Ricardo Lockette to interview with Falcons

lockette

Fort Valley's Ricardo Lockette said he wants to be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

INDIANAPOLIS – Fort Valley State wide receiver Ricardo Lockette has met with the Falcons and has an interview with team executives Friday night.

Lockette, of Albany Monroe High, originally committed to Auburn, but was an academic non-qualifier. He elected to attend Fort Valley instead of going the junior college route because of his family ties.

He’s scheduled to graduate and would be the fourth-generation family member to get a degree from Fort Valley.

He’s 6-foot-2, 211 pounds and has blinding speed.

In practice, he’s ran a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson ran the fastest combine 40-time in 2008 when he ran 4.24.

“I look forward to breaking Chris Johnson’s record this year,” Lockette said.

Lockette hopes to set a new mark. His fastest 100 meters time is 10.24 seconds and his fastest 200 meter time is 20.43 …

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NFL COMBINE: Yates, Boling, Carpenter check in

T.J. Yates, who starred at Pope High and set 37 records at North Carolina, at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

T.J. Yates, who starred at Pope High and set 37 records at North Carolina, at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates told the story about how he ended up becoming a Tar Heel.

North Carolina’s linebackers coach visited Pope High and was looking at the linebackers, but Yates kept dazzling him. By the end of the next week, Yates  had an offer from North Carolina.

Yates, who said he averaged 19 points a game, had a few FCS (formerly I-AA) basketball scholarships, but nothing for football.

He went on to set 37 school records at North Carolina.

He said he wants to show off his arm strength and prove that he can make the intermediate throws at the scouting combine.

Alabama tackle James Carpenter, who starred Augusta Hephzibah, at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Alabama tackle James Carpenter, who starred Augusta Hephzibah, at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Alabama tackle James Carpenter was officially measured at 6-foot, 4 ½ inches and weighed 321 pounds.

He originally …

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Panthers haven’t ruled out Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick

New Carolina coach Ron Rivera said, "Bring it on Falcons." (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

New Carolina coach Ron Rivera said, "Bring it on Falcons." (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

INDIANAPOLIS – “Team AJC” has arrived at the 2011 NFL scouting combine.

Today, the following position groups will stream through the interview room: Offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers and  tight ends.

Lucas Oil

Some team executives have been through already. Denver coach John Fox just finished. A. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz is finished. (I’m going to ask him about Chris Houston and Erik Coleman when he gets off the podium.)

Miami’s Jeff Ireland, Buffalo’s Chan Gailey and new Carolina coach Ron Rivera have already spoken to the gathered media.

Rivera didn’t rule out the Panthers selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, of Westlake High, with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

“There are  8 to 10  young men that we feel fit our needs real well,” Rivera said. “We’ll explore every avenue with them. We are going to try to keep an open mind with everybody we deal …

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