Archive for March, 2011

Cam Newton shined on center stage at Auburn’s Pro Day

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

Here’s the story from Cam Newton’s workout. He put on a show.

PRE-PRO DAY POST BELOW

Quarterback Cam Newton will get another chance to impress NFL scouts at Auburn’s Pro Day today.

I’m heading over there and will update how theHeisman winner and Westlake High grad performs after the workout, which is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. I’m sure I’ll send out some live tweets. You can follow me @AJCFALCONS if you want those updates.

NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock is going to be there.

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)

More importantly, Carolina coach Ron Rivera is attending. The Panthers have the top pick in the draft. Rivera could have elected to attend Ryan Mallett’s Pro Day in Arkansas.

By now, you all know that …

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Falcons land new Radio and TV partners

Announcer Wes Durham (right) and Dave Archer (not pictured here) will continue on the Falcons' radio broadcasts. (By Jimmy Cribb/Atlanta Falcons)

Announcer Wes Durham (right) and Dave Archer (not pictured here) will continue on the Falcons' radio broadcasts. (By Jimmy Cribb/Atlanta Falcons)

CBS Atlanta will serve as the Falcons’ official preseason television partner, the team announced on Monday.

Also, Lincoln Financial Media, owner of STAR 94 FM and Sports Radio 790 The Zone, was named as the club’s official radio broadcast partner.

WXIA Channel 11 and DAVE.FM were the previous television and radio partners for the Falcons.

CBS Atlanta will also broadcast weekly pre-game and post-game shows during the regular season.

Dave Archer (left) and Wes Durham before the Falcons played the New York Jets on Dec. 20, 2009. (By Jeff Schultz/JSchultz@ajc.com)

Dave Archer (left) and Wes Durham before the Falcons played the New York Jets on Dec. 20, 2009. (By Jeff Schultz/JSchultz@ajc.com)

In addition, CBS Atlanta will air quarterly specials.

“Ratings for the NFL are the highest in television history,” said  Kirk Black, CBS Atlanta’s general manager in a statement.

Falcons broadcasters Wes Durham (play-by-play) and former Falcons quarterback Dave Archer (color …

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Roddy White checks in from ESPN The Weekend

White leading the party after the victory over the Saints in the Louisiana Superdome.  Associated Press

White leading the party after the victory over the Saints in the Louisiana Superdome. Associated Press

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White checked in from the ESPN The Weekend event for a quick phone interview today.

“It’s going good,” White said. “This was actually the first day that I’m out here doing stuff. We just got here yesterday. I had to go on “Stomp the Schwab” today. (A game show with Howie Schwab.) That was the first event I had to do today and I won because that what I do.”

White is participating in the eighth annual ESPN The Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort  on today through Sunday.

The event is a sports-themed weekend where fans have an opportunity meet White, several other players, sports figures and ESPN personalities.

“Later on, I have some interviews for ESPN,” White said. “We’ll do the Sports FanZone and things like that. We have an all park passes. I will get on all the ride with my kids. I’m going to have a great time down here.”

While White is …

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Falcons place a first-round tender on Pro Bowler Brent Grimes

Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes (20) of the NFC, right, celebrates with Arizona Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson (24) of the NFC after Grimes made an interception during the second quarter. AP

Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes (20) of the NFC, right, celebrates with Arizona Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson (24) of the NFC after Grimes made an interception during the second quarter. AP

The Falcons have put a first-round tender on cornerback Brent Grimes, who had a breakthrough season and made the Pro Bowl after last season.

In 2010, Grimes was targeted a league-high 119 times by opponents (according to STATS, Inc.) Grimes answered the challenge, posting an NFC-best and a franchise record 23 passes defensed to go with his five interceptions.

The Falcons have placed a second-round tender on running back Jason Snelling.

If a new collective bargaining agreement is signed, the tenders could be rendered meaningless. The Falcons and other teams are just trying to lock up their restricted free agents under the old rules.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Mockiavelli 2.0: The Mighty Quinn falls to the Falcons

FILE - This Nov. 7, 2009, file photo shows Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis (9) being sacked by North Carolina's Robert Quinn (42), left, and Zach Brown (47) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C., The NCAA declared defensive end Robert Quinn permanently ineligible, the team said Monday, Oct. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

This Nov. 7, 2009, file photo shows Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis (9) being sacked by North Carolina's Robert Quinn (42), left, and Zach Brown (47) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Here it is, The Mockiavelli 2.0.

Any Mock Draft done before the NFL scouting combine is just mere guess work. It’s just some basement hack throwing darts at a board.

Should the Falcons select Robert Quinn if he falls to them at 27 in the draft?

  • Yes, he’s a stud.
  • No, he’s a character risk.
  • Maybe, if he passes the background check.
  • No, they should make a safer pick.

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

But now, there is some real information floating around.

After speaking with the Falcons and other teams, listening to more than 200 player interviews and riding around Indianapolis with Jerry Jones on the Dallas Cowboys’ bus, some things have come into focus.

Has right tackle Tyson Clabo played his last game with the Falcons? (By Jimmy Cribb/Atlanta Falcons)

Has right tackle Tyson Clabo played his last game …

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Falcons sign tackle Will Svitek, punter Ken Parris

Tackle Will Svitek was used as an extra tight end in some running formations last season. (Atlanta Falcons)

Tackle Will Svitek was used as an extra tight end in some running formations last season. (Atlanta Falcons)

The Falcons signed offensive tackle Will Svitek and punter Ken Parrish today.

Svitek, 6-foot-6, 308 pounds, played in all 17 games last season  as a reserve offensive lineman.

He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft and signed as a free agent by the Falcons on February 12, 2009. In two seasons in Atlanta, Svitek has appeared in 29 games making two starts at left tackle.

Parrish, 6-1, 210 pounds, was most recently a member of the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League. Parrish, who’s from East Stroudsburg University, was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He has also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles (2009 and 2010) and the New York Jets (2009).

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Falcons place second round tender on Jason Snelling

101111 Atlanta; Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) runs for extra yards as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson, bottom, missed the tackle after Snellings catch  in the first half of their game hosting the Baltimore Ravens at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 11, 2010. Snelling had the only touchdown catch of the game in the first half. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

101111 Atlanta; Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) runs for extra yards as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson, bottom, missed the tackle after Snellings catch in the first half of their game hosting the Baltimore Ravens at the Georgia Dome Thursday night in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 11, 2010. Snelling had the only touchdown catch of the game in the first half. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

The Falcons have put a second-round tender on Jason Snelling,  their versatile backup running back.

Snelling, who was a seventh round pick (244th overall)  in 2007,  rushed for 334 yards and caught 44 passes for 303 yards last season.

In 2009, he had to carry much of the load after Michael Turner was injured.

Under the tender,  Snelling would receive a base salary of $1.91 million. If a new collective bargaining agreement is signed, the amount could increase.  Snelling, who has four accrued years,  could possibly end up as an unrestricted free agent under a new agreement.

–D. …

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Roddy White to participate in ESPN The Weekend

101024 Atlanta - ONE HANDED CATCH - Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White makes a one handed catch against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones for a 1st down during 2nd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010.    Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

101024 Atlanta – ONE HANDED CATCH – Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White makes a one handed catch against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones for a 1st down during 2nd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

After leading the league in receptions with 115, wide receiver Roddy White’s national profile continues to rise.

He will participate in the eighth annual ESPN The Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort  on Friday through Sunday.

The event is a sports-themed weekend where fans have an opportunity meet White, several other players, sports figures and ESPN personalities.

This year’s lineup at Disney’s Hollywood Studios features more than 35 athletes and ESPN stars, including former University of Florida football coach and current ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco, N.Y. Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry …

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Falcons’ Rich McKay named sole chair of competition committee

Falcons president Rich McKay is chairman of the NFL's powerful competition committee. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons president Rich McKay is chairman of the NFL's powerful competition committee. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons President Rich McKay has been named the chairman of the NFL Competition Committee, the league announced Tuesday.

McKay, a member of the committee since 1994, has served as co-chair since 1998, including since 2001 with former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher.

Fisher is no longer a member of the committee, but will continue to serve in an advisory role over the current offseason. He will not have a vote.

In recent seasons, the committee has focused on issues of player safety. Last season, they revised the rules for overtime in the playoffs.
The committee, which studies all aspects of the game and recommends rules and policy changes to NFL clubs, consists of the following members:

Rich McKay
Atlanta Falcons
Chairman

Stephen Jones
Dallas Cowboys

Marvin Lewis
Cincinnati Bengals

John Mara
New York Giants

Ozzie Newsome
Baltimore …

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Falcons part ways with Finneran, Williams

Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran puts a move on Carolina cornerback C.J. Wilson, picking up first down yardage with Panthers head coach John Fox looking on during 1st half action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran puts a move on Carolina cornerback C.J. Wilson, picking up first down yardage with Panthers head coach John Fox looking on during 1st half action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons do not plan to re-sign wide receiver Brian Finneran and cornerback Brian Williams, according to their agents.

Representatives from the team had conversations with agents Glenn Schwartzman and Jordan Feagan during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

However, the team did leave the door open for the players to return to the team once the labor situation is resolved.

“They know what he’s meant in their locker room, but they felt they wanted to give some of the younger receivers a chance to step up,” Schwartzman said.

Finneran, who turned 35 in January, has been with the Falcons since 2000. He played in all 17 games last season and made one start.

Over 11 seasons, he caught 236 passes for 3,072 yards and 19 touchdowns. He battled back from a severe …

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