Archive for February, 2011

Should the Falcons pursue Georgia legend Champ Bailey?

These two former UGA superstars, Herschel Walker and Buck Belue, probably wouldn't mind Champ Bailey landing with the Falcons. Belue (r) interviewing his Walker recently at the Super Bowl in Dallas. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

These two former UGA superstars, Herschel Walker and Buck Belue, probably wouldn't mind Champ Bailey landing with the Falcons. Belue (r) interviewing his Walker recently at the Super Bowl in Dallas. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

It almost makes too much sense.

Should the Falcons sign Champ Bailey?

  • Yes, pull out all the stops
  • Yes, if the price is right
  • No, he’s not worth the money
  • Undecided

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

Champ Bailey, the former Georgia star, appears set to part ways with the Denver Broncos, who are in full rebuilding mode.

If he wants to compete for a championship, the Falcons would figure to be a natural landing spot.

Josina "Jo Jo" Anderson, Fox 31 Sports in Denver.

Josina "Jo Jo" Anderson, Fox 31 Sports in Denver.

As Josina Anderson of Denver’s Fox affiliate reported, Bailey has put his home up for sale. (You can follow Anderson on twitter: @JosinaAnderson.

Here’s her tweet: “Full Champ Bailey quote: “I am putting my Littleton, (CO) house up for sale. It will be officially …

Continue reading Should the Falcons pursue Georgia legend Champ Bailey? »

A.J. Green picks NFL powerhouse CAA agency

aj-green
Georgia’s A.J. Green’s is considered the top wide receiver in the NFL draft. Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green has signed with Creative Artists Agency, the home of super agents Ben Dogra and Tom Condon.

CAA also represents several Falcons, including quarterback Matt Ryan.

Green, of Summerville, S.C., is being projected to go in the top 10 of the draft.

“A.J. is going to be a fine addition to an NFL team and a major impact contributor in this league,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said.  “Giving his combination of size, athleticism and big-play making ability, he’s going to do some excellent things in this league.”

The Falcons select 27th and will not have a shot at Green, who was a three-year starter at Georgia and ranks third in school history in receptions (166) and receiving yards (2,619) and second in touchdown catches (23).

It would be pretty costly, but should they trade up to get him?

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta …

Continue reading A.J. Green picks NFL powerhouse CAA agency »

Cheerleaders, players set to visit hospital in Marietta

101024 Atlanta - The Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders wear hot pink for cancer awareness during the game against the Bengals at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010. To learn more about breast cancer screenings it nfl.com/pink .   Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

101024 Atlanta – The Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders wear hot pink for cancer awareness during the game against the Bengals at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010. To learn more about breast cancer screenings it nfl.com/pink . Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Several Falcons and the cheerleaders are set to visit some terminally-ill cancer patients and families at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.

The group will participate in different activities such as card and board games.

The players set to make the visit are: linebacker Curtis Lofton, defensive end Kroy Biermann, defensive end Jamaal Anderson, cornerback Christopher Owens, offensive guard Jose Valdez, safety Shann Schillinger and wide receiver Kerry Meier.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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

Continue reading Cheerleaders, players set to visit hospital in Marietta »

AJC Poll: Bratkowski would have to go to runoff

Bob Bratkowski has agreed to become the Falcons new quarterbacks coach. (Associated Press)

Bob Bratkowski has agreed to become the Falcons new quarterbacks coach. (Associated Press)

The polls are closed and in Georgia, Bob Bratkowski would have to go to a runoff.

The Falcons new quarterbacks coach won the poll, but didn’t carry it with 51 percent of the vote.

To the question, “Do you like the hiring of Bob Bratkowski as quarterbacks coach?” More than 2,300 folks responded.

Here’s the breakdown.

* Yes (38%, 890 Votes)

* Undecided (33%, 776 Votes)

* No (29%, 679 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,345

Bratkowski replaces Bill Musgrave, who left to become the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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

Continue reading AJC Poll: Bratkowski would have to go to runoff »

Falcons don’t plan to use their franchise tag

Tyson Clabo (right), Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure and Justin Blalock (Sam Baker not pictured) received kudos from Coach John Madden. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Tyson Clabo (right), Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure and Justin Blalock. Clabo, Dahl and Blalock are set to become free agents. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

The Falcons, who have 14 free agents, do not plan to use their franchise tag.

“We haven’t made our final decision,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “But at this point, our plan is not to use it.”

Several teams have used the franchise tag. New England has tagged guard Logan Mankins, the New York Jets ILB David Harris, San Diego WR Vincent Jackson, Philadelphia QB Michael Vick, Baltimore NT Haloti Ngata and Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning.

The list is expected to grow by the Wed, Feb. 23 deadline.

By putting the “franchise” tag on a player, the Falcons would have the right to match any offer the player receives in free agency or receive two first-round picks as compensation. The player is guaranteed a one-year contract worth the average of the top five players at his position or a 20 percent increase over his 2010 …

Continue reading Falcons don’t plan to use their franchise tag »

Poll on Bratkowski: Thumbs up or down?

Bob Bratkowski (Associated Press).

Bob Bratkowski (Associated Press).

We haven’t heard from Matt Ryan since the end of the Green Bay game.

Do you like the hiring of Bob Bratkowski as quarterbacks coach?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Undecided

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

He left for the Pro Bowl and then when he got back, he took a trip out of the country. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear from him soon and get his feelings on the new quarterback coach Bob Bratkowski.

In addition to Carson Palmer, here’s a list of quarterbacks that the new Falcons quarterback coach has work with:

1989 at the U: Craig Erickson.

1991 at the U: Gino Torretta.

1992-’98, Seattle: Rick Mirer, John Friesz and Warren Moon.

1999-2000 Pittsburgh: Was the wide receivers coach.

2001-’10 Cincinnati: Jon Kitna, Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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

Continue reading Poll on Bratkowski: Thumbs up or down? »

Bob Bratkowski agrees to be new QB Coach

Bob Bratkowski has agreed to become the Falcons new quarterbacks coach. (Associated Press)

Bob Bratkowski has agreed to become the Falcons new quarterbacks coach. (Associated Press)

Bob Bratkowski, the son of former Georgia standout Zeke Bratkowski, has agreed to become the Atlanta Falcons new quarterbacks coach, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

“Obviously it’s a quality organization from the top down,” Bratkowski said when reach by phone. “It’s a winning organization. Obviously to coach a quarterback like Matt Ryan and be on a quality staff in the NFL is very attractive.”

The Falcons defeated the Bengals last season at the Georgia Dome.

“Anytime you win as many games as they have over the last three years they are doing a lot of things extremely right,” Bratkowski said. “That’s easy to be attracted to.”

Bratkowski served as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator from 2001 to 2010. He is credited with developing quarterback Carson Palmer.

He was fired after the 2010 season and Palmer has since requested a trade from the team.

Bratkowski …

Continue reading Bob Bratkowski agrees to be new QB Coach »

Bucky Brooks impressed by Cam Newton at private workout

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: The College Park native passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 64 to lead the Tigers to their first national title since 1957 and a 14-0 season. The Heisman Trophy winner had a passer rating 182.05, while throwing for 2,854 yards and 30 TDs. Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: The College Park native passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 64 to lead the Tigers to their first national title since 1957 and a 14-0 season. The Heisman Trophy winner had a passer rating 182.05, while throwing for 2,854 yards and 30 TDs. Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, of Westlake High, and Georgia’s A.J. Green will be the local players with the highest profiles at the NFL scouting combine.

Newton had a private media workout in California on Thursday.

“He was really good,” NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks said. “He was phenomenal. When you talk about form a pure talent perspective, it’s hard to find people at talented as he is at that position.”

Brooks, a former second round pick by the Buffalo Bills, was a regional scout for Carolina and Seattle. Here’s his video from the NFL Network.

“Big presence, big guy,” Brooks said. “Very athletic. Graceful in his movements. Strong arm. He can make all of the …

Continue reading Bucky Brooks impressed by Cam Newton at private workout »

Woods, Priest signed to futures contracts

Westin Johnson (left) and Bear Woods participate in a game of shuffleboard - complete with a Falcons logo. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Westin Johnson (left) and Bear Woods participate in a game of shuffleboard – complete with a Falcons logo. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons signed linebacker Jonathan Mark Woods and defensive back Rafael Priest to futures contracts on Friday.

Woods, who’s nickname is Bear,  played at Troy State. He made it to the final cutdown with the Falcons after being

Rafael Priest (Tom Pennington, Associated Press)

Rafael Priest (Tom Pennington, Associated Press)

signed as a rookie free agent last season.

He was added to the practice squad, but was waived on Sept. 21 after running back Jerious Norwood was placed on injured reserve and running backs Gartrell Johnson III and Shawnbrey McNeil were added.

Woods led the Falcons in tackles  with five and had a sack in the preseason finale against Jacksonville last season.

Priest was a four-year starter at Texas Christian University where he was named a third team All-American by Sporting News. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent last season.

Priest …

Continue reading Woods, Priest signed to futures contracts »

Several UGA, Tech players headed to NFL scouting combine

aj-green

Last year, all the talk at the NFL scouting combine was about how Florida’s Tim Tebow would project at quarterback. Auburn’s Cam Newton, of Westlake High, will be center stage at this year’s combine, which will be held February 23 through March 1, 2011.

Like last year, we’ll be there blogging live and will be pretty busy based on the list of Georgia and Georgia Tech players invited.

Falcons coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff usually speak at the main podium and make extra time for the AJC. (Which usually results in some great offseason information for you all.)

Below please find the Georgia Tech and Georgia players who will participate at the combine. Here’s a link to all of the invited players.

RUNNING BACKS: Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech and Shaun Chapas, Georgia.

WIDE RECEIVER: A.J. Green, Georgia.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES: Clint Boling, Georgia and Josh Davis, Georgia.

DEFENSIVE ENDS: DeMarcus Dobbs, Georgia and Justin Houston, Georgia.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS: Akeem …

Continue reading Several UGA, Tech players headed to NFL scouting combine »