Archive for February, 2011

The 2011 Mockiavelli: Falcons to take DE 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)

The plan is to debut “The 2011 Mockiavell” next Friday right here.

We’ll have my Mock draft every Friday right up to draft day, they we can turn our full attention to the NFL Labor madness. (Split up the $9 billion and keep it moving!) You all like the Mock Draft so much last year that I had to give it a corny nickname! Hope you like!

Since we didn’t do a full review, I’m going to take some time pat myself on the back. Last year’s final Mock was super strong.  I correctly had the Falcons selecting  Sean Weatherspoon on the Friday before the draft. I even went on

Maryland's Torrey Smith is projecting as a DeSean Jackson type game breaker. (Richard Shiro/associated Press)

Maryland's Torrey Smith is projecting as a DeSean Jackson type game breaker. (Richard Shiro/associated Press)

ESPN on Tuesday and nailed the pick on national television.

But I’d gotten a call about the Falcons holding a late workout …

Continue reading The 2011 Mockiavelli: Falcons to take DE Allen Bailey »

Erik Coleman thanks the fans for ‘3 great years’

New England running back Sammy Morris got loose on a third down and Erik Coleman saved a touchdown. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

New England running back Sammy Morris got loose on a third down and Erik Coleman saved a touchdown. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons safety Erik Coleman, one of the classy players on the team, was released on Wednesday.

He was always pleasant to deal with. Even after he was demoted, he was available to the media and tried to help out the younger players.

After he was released, he tweeted a farewell to his Falcons fans.

“I’d like the thank the Atlanta Falcon organization and the fans for 3 great years! I appreciate all the love and support and I def(intely)  won’t rule out returning one day. I’m looking forward to what the future will bring… God Bless,” Coleman wrote.

From that last line, it sounds like the Falcons wanted him to take a pay cut from the $3 million base salary he was set to make in 2011. By getting released, he can shop for a deal that would recoup the money. If he doesn’t find one, he appears to be laying the foundation for a return at a lower …

Continue reading Erik Coleman thanks the fans for ‘3 great years’ »

Thomas Dimitroff named NFL’s executive of the year

Thomas Dimitroff on the NFL Network set down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

Thomas Dimitroff on the NFL Network set down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was named the NFL’s executive of the year by the Sporting News on Wednesday.

The magazine surveyed 47 general managers, assistant general managers,  owners, personnel men and head coaches for the executive of the year award. In voting done before the playoffs, Dimitroff received 13 votes, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli came in second with eight, and Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik was third with seven.

The Falcons finished 13-3 and won the NFC South last season. Of the Falcons 22 starters, 10 were acquired by Dimitroff via draft, trade or free agency.

Dimitroff’s has attempted to make system-specific drafts that have been augmented by timely trades and free agent signings.

Offensive starters acquired by Dimitroff include quarterback Matt Ryan (draft), left tackle Sam Baker (draft), tight end Tony Gonzalez (trade) and running …

Continue reading Thomas Dimitroff named NFL’s executive of the year »

Erik Coleman released, Coy Wire re-signed

In the wildcard game on Jan. 3, 2009, Falcons safety Eric Coleman levels Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who had 6 catches for 101 yards and a score. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

In the wildcard game on Jan. 3, 2009, Falcons safety Eric Coleman levels Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who had 6 catches for 101 yards and a score. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons’ offseason evaluation is completed and safety Erik Coleman will not return next season.

Coleman was released and reserve linebacker Coy Wire was re-signed to a two-year contract on Wednesday.

Special teams maven Coy Wire.

Special teams maven Coy Wire.

We reported back on Jan. 27 that a couple of likely targets included safety Erik Coleman and possibly defensive end Jamaal Anderson.

Coleman has switched agents. He replaced Doug Hendrickson with Drew Rosenhaus. He’s hoping that Rosenhaus can find him a new team.

Coleman was set to make $3 million in base salary for 2011.

Coleman was a fifth round pick by the New York Jets out of Washington State in 2004. He signed a four-year contract with the Falcons on March 1, 2008 as part of general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s first free agent …

Continue reading Erik Coleman released, Coy Wire re-signed »

Hines Ward on White House’s initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders

Continue reading Hines Ward on White House’s initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders »

Falcons sign Smith to 3-year extension

The Falcons have reached agreement with coach Mike Smith for a three-year contract extension.

“When we hired Mike Smith in 2008, we believed we had found the total package:  a head coach with strong leadership skills and experience and the track record to back it up, and a man of high character and integrity,”  Falcons owner Arthur Blank said.  “In his three seasons with us, Coach Smith has demonstrated all of these characteristics, and then some.

“We are pleased to extend Smitty’s contract, and we are very proud of the way he represents the Falcons through his coaching of our players, in supporting our club’s business goals, and through his caring for our fans and the community.”

Smith, the 14th coach in Falcons history, had had three consecutive winning seasons, a first in club history. His record is 33-15.

“I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the solid foundation we have in place within our organization and on our football team,” Smith said.  “I’d like to …

Continue reading Falcons sign Smith to 3-year extension »

Falcons sign Mike Smith to 3-year contract extension

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

Falcons coach Mike Smith signed a three-year contract extension on Thursday, the team announced.

There had not been any in-season discussions about an extension for Smith, but the team made the contract extension the first order of business for the offseason.

“I am looking forward to continuing to build upon the solid foundation we have in place within our organization and on our football team,” Smith said in a statement released by the team.  “I’d like to personally thank both (owner) Arthur (Blank) and (general manager) Thomas Dimitroff for their outstanding support and guidance.  We are going to continue to work as hard as we can to bring a championship to Falcons fans and to the city of Atlanta.”

Smith has guided the Falcons to a 33-17 record in three seasons and has made two trips …

Continue reading Falcons sign Mike Smith to 3-year contract extension »

SB XLV: Hines Ward exemplifies the black and yellow

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout goes to the NFL's Broadcast Bootcamp on the NFL Network. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla.(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward, the former Forest Park High and University of Georgia star, is set to play in his third  Super Bowl on Sunday.

Below are his quotes from media day at Super Bowl XLV as provided by the National Football League.

On this Super Bowl being a defensive or offensive game: “I want to win. Whatever it takes to win. Defensive, offense, how about we do it together?”

On Cowboys Stadium: “I don’t know how much it cost to build this stadium, but this is by far the best stadium in all of the NFL. All the amenities that they have, It’s just the wildest thing. I’m glad to be here. It’s a great stadium.”

On what’s more important: being MVP or winning: “Just the wins. A lot of guys, throughout their whole …

Continue reading SB XLV: Hines Ward exemplifies the black and yellow »

Tennessee gets permission to interview Mularkey

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

The Tennessee Titans have been granted permission to interview Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, according to a league source.  The interview has not been set up yet.

Mularkey, who was named the coordinator of the year by The Sporting News, interviewed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Denver was also granted permission to interview Mularkey, but he canceled the interview in order to focus on the Falcons’ divisional playoff game.

Mularkey has been a head coach before (Buffalo 2004-05).

Mularkey and assistant head coach/quarterbacks Bill Musgrave have been lauded league-wide for their fast development of quarterback Matt Ryan and for turning the Falcons’ offense into one of the league’s top units. The unit finished fifth in the NFL this season in points scored, at 25.6 per game.

Musgrave left to become the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 19.

Mularkey, who was 14-18 with Buffalo, had recently …

Continue reading Tennessee gets permission to interview Mularkey »

Housewives of Atlanta: Kroy Biermann is a TV star

Here's Kroy Biermann shooting his pick-up line at Kim.

Here's Kroy Biermann shooting his pick-up line at Kim.

Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann is a television star. Well, sort of.

(OK, I had to watch this show at gunpoint, but I survived.)

Biermann was on the season finale of the Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo.

They showed his pickup line to Kim Zolciak at the dancing with the stars event he participated in last spring.

This may have shot before Kim became with child, but she'll need to put the cigs down!

This may have shot before Kim became with child, but she'll need to put the cigs down!

She is with child and they are planning to move into a house together in June. (She probably shouldn’t be smoking and drinking so much.) I didn’t stay up to watch the baby shower they had for them on Bravo.

Well, the show is almost required viewing for the Falcons beat writer. Ed Hartwell and his wife Lisa used to be on the show. Bob Whitfield’s former wife Sheree is on the show.

The nicest person on the show this season (BTW, I’m not admitting to have watched) was Attorney Phaedra Parks, who has represented Falcons …

Continue reading Housewives of Atlanta: Kroy Biermann is a TV star »