Archive for March, 2011

NFL LOCKOUT: Week two, Owners to meet in New Orleans

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has written a letter to the fans, but has not been as vocal as some of the league's other owners during the labor dispute. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has written a letter to the fans, but has not been as vocal as some of the league's other owners during the labor dispute. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

The NFL owners started gathering in New Orleans on Sunday.

The meetings, which will have a decidedly labor tone, will run through Tuesday.

The NFL owners meeting comes after more than 100 players, including Falcons player representative Coy Wire, from the NFLPA met in Florida last week for their annual meeting.

In addition to more comments on the labor situation and the league’s desire to return to negotiations, the league’s competition committee will propose major changes to kickoffs and use of instant replay.

Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, and Falcons president Rich McKay, the chairman of the competition committee, held a teleconference last week to preview the changes.

PLAYER FINES: Anderson made it clear that repeat offenders will face suspension. …

Continue reading NFL LOCKOUT: Week two, Owners to meet in New Orleans »

Falcons held cheer squad auditions on Sunday

Atlantans Cindy Lin (325) and Kristin Paouncic (326) join about two hundred other participants as they rehearse a routine. This is Lin's first tryout and second for Paouncic. Vino Wong / vwong@ajc.com

Atlantans Cindy Lin (325) and Kristin Paouncic (326) join about two hundred other participants as they rehearse a routine. This is Lin's first tryout and second for Paouncic. Vino Wong / vwong@ajc.com

More than 300 women were on hand for the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders auditions at the Georgia World Congress Center on Sunday. Here are some photos.

It was tough work serving as one of the judges on the panel.  Here’s a look at Sara D’s diary.

During the prelims, they had six cheerleaders performing at once and you had to vote either yes or no, based on

appearance/physical fitness, Dance/cheer ability and showmanship (Smile).

If they weren’t smiling, they probably didn’t get a “Y” vote from this judge in the prelims. I’ll be looking for more dance precision in the semifinals.

Each candidate will be judged by their appearance, physical fitness, dance and cheer ability and showmanship. Vino Wong / vwong@ajc.com

Each candidate will be judged by their appearance, physical fitness, dance and cheer ability and showmanship. Vino Wong / vwong@ajc.com

The women had to learn the first routine and about half of them …

Continue reading Falcons held cheer squad auditions on Sunday »

Mock Draft 3.0: Falcons select DE Aldon Smith

Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. (Associated Press)

Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. (Associated Press)

BIRDLAND – The top of the draft is in a state of flux.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes there is a group of eight players worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.

Who should the Falcons select with the 27th pick in the draft?

  • Missouri DE Aldon Smith
  • Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod
  • Pittsburgh WR Jonathan Baldwin
  • Trade out of the first round and amass picks

View Results

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“Everybody is all over the place on who the No. 1 player should be or who the No.1 player is,” Kiper said. “Blaine Gabbert certainly would (be worthy). You can make an argument for Cam Newton.”

Kiper also believes that LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers and Texas A&M linebacker …

Continue reading Mock Draft 3.0: Falcons select DE Aldon Smith »

Meet the Troy Flash: WR Jerrel Jernigan

Troy wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (3) and Terrell Bailey (9) celebrate the Trojans first touchdown against LSU during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Troy wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (3) and Terrell Bailey (9) celebrate the Trojans first touchdown against LSU during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

BIRDLAND – The bat phone rang early Wednesday morning.

It was a call about the Falcons’ private workout with Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan.

He is moving up on a lot of draft boards and there is some concern that he might not be available with the Falcons pick in the second round.

It’s reasonable to conclude that the Falcons are going defensive end with the 27th pick in the first round.

But Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey don’t show up for everybody’s private workout unless the player is getting serious consideration. They were all at Jernigan’s workout on Wednesday.

During the combine, in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith said he …

Continue reading Meet the Troy Flash: WR Jerrel Jernigan »

Ovie Mughelli named world’s No. 2 Eco-Athlete

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli (34) celebrates with teammate Sam Baker (72) after his second quarter touchdown against Tampa Bay. AP

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli (34) celebrates with teammate Sam Baker (72) after his second quarter touchdown against Tampa Bay. AP

BIRDLAND — Falcons Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli has been rated the No. 2 Eco-Athlete in the World, according to Planet Green.com.

He was beaten out by race car driver Leilani Munter, who fights for clean, renewable biofuels in the racing industry.

Mughelli was cited for his work in helping the youth of Atlanta and Charleston tackle green issues. His foundation — The

Race car driver Leilani Munter.

Race car driver Leilani Munter.

Ovie Mughelli Foundation — provides football training camps. But once in the camp, Mughelli tries to educate the campers about the environment and recycling.

Next week, March 25-27, Mughelli will take part in Portland, Oregon’s  fourth annual Better Living Show at the Portland Expo Center, the Northwest’s largest sustainable lifestyle event.

New to the show this year, Mughelli will challenge kids through his signature “Recycle on the Run” …

Continue reading Ovie Mughelli named world’s No. 2 Eco-Athlete »

Falcons set to meet with Justin Houston

All-SEC outside linebacker Justin Houston (left) has 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss this past season. Some NFL teams consider him a defensvie end prospect. (Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com)

All-SEC outside linebacker Justin Houston (left) has 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss this past season. Some NFL teams consider him a defensive end prospect. (Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com)

BIRDLAND –  Justin Houston, one of the hot hybrid outside linebacker/defensive ends in the NFL draft, is set to meet with the Atlanta Falcons late next week, according to his representatives.

Houston, who skipped his senior season at Georgia to enter the draft, is considered the 28th ranked player in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com. He was an All-SEC outside linebacker last season, but is considered a scheme-fit for the Falcons at defensive end.

The Falcons pick 27th in the first round and have been looking at defensive ends and offensive tackles.

The Falcons like Houston’s ability to make plays in the opposition’s backfield. He had 10 sacks and 18 ½ tackles for loss last season. Houston’s 20 career sacks rank seventh on the school’s all-time list.

Houston bench pressed …

Continue reading Falcons set to meet with Justin Houston »

NFL Lockout: Blank sends letter to fans

Tony Gonzalez Day" - Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank honors tight end Tony Gonzalez with a pregame ceremony commemorating his 1,000th catch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Tony Gonzalez Day" – Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank honors tight end Tony Gonzalez with a pregame ceremony commemorating his 1,000th catch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons owner Arthur Blank contended that the owners bargained in good faith with the NFLPA in an open letter to fans, that is posted on the team’s website.

“As you probably know, last Friday the NFL’s mediated talks with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) ended without a new collectively bargained agreement, and on Saturday a lockout commenced,” Blank writes. “Neither of these events were desired outcomes, as commissioner (Roger) Goodell and our negotiating committee had worked diligently and tirelessly to reach a new agreement through the mediation process over the last three weeks.”

Blank address the fact that fans want to  know about the 2011 tickets that they have purchase and the investments they made during the playoffs for two …

Continue reading NFL Lockout: Blank sends letter to fans »

So you want to be a Falcons Cheerleader?

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

To heck will all of that talk about lockouts and decertification.

Let’s catch up with Ms. Chato Waters and the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders today.

The team is set to hold their 2011 cheerleading auditions on Sunday, March 20 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Several audition prep classes will take place leading up to the auditions. Also, cheerleader Sara D. has some nice advice in her blog.
For information about the prep classes, including dates, times, places and cost, visit atlantafalcons.com.
The Falcons completely revamped their cheerleader program in 2010 with a new look, including new uniforms, new

Here's the cover of the calendar.

Here's the cover of the calendar from the Cancun photo shoot last season.

logo and overall a new …

Continue reading So you want to be a Falcons Cheerleader? »

Video: Who shined at Tech’s Pro Day?

Continue reading Video: Who shined at Tech’s Pro Day? »

Thomas Dimitroff signs multi-year contract extension

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)

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has signed a multi-year contract extension, the team is set to announce.

Since being named the general manager on Jan. 13, 2008, Dimitroff has helped to shape the roster that has led to two playoff trips in three seasons. The franchise has posted three consecutive-winning seasons for the first time in its history.

“This extension of Thomas’ contract ensures that he and coach (Mike) Smith, whose contract was extended last month, will be able to continue to work together on solidifying the long-term sustainability and success of our football team,” said Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank.  “Thomas has proven himself to be a highly-skilled and talented general manager of our club, and I look forward to the Falcons reaping the benefits of his work for many years to come.”

Dimitroff, who …

Continue reading Thomas Dimitroff signs multi-year contract extension »