Archive for June, 2011

Roddy White: Falcons to have Greatest Show on Turf, Part II

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (left) tries to avoid St. Louis Rams cornerback Jerome Murphy after catching a pass for an 8-yard gain during the fourth quarter. White led the league in receptions with 115 in 2010. (Associated Press)

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (left) tries to avoid St. Louis Rams cornerback Jerome Murphy after catching a pass for an 8-yard gain during the fourth quarter. White led the league in receptions with 115 in 2010. (Associated Press)

BIRDLAND – Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Roddy White sported a nice brown suit and did a good job on the NFL Network’s Total Access show on Monday night.

He’s excited about the club adding wide receiver Julio Jones in the draft.

“It’s going to be special,” White said.

With the addition of Jones, White said the Falcons’ offense is going to remind fans of the old St. Louis Rams attack which was known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.” Check out the video.

He noted that Green Bay was so tough to defend because they had three or four top receivers and he attributed the team’s playoff beatdown to its relative youth.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Roddy White ranked 24th on NFL Network’s Top 100

Roddy White reacts to making a first down catch after returning to the game. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Roddy White reacts to making a first down catch after returning to the game. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

BIRDLAND –  Falcons wide receiver Roddy White was ranked 24th on “The Top 100: Players of 2011” Sunday on the NFL Network.

White was presented by Falcons head coach Mike Smith.

Also, White appeared live in-studio on the show  and will be on NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. tonight. White will be joined by Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew on each show.

White, who led the league with 115 catches last season, was the last of five Falcons on the list.

The other Falcons making the list were defensive end John Abraham (69), quarterback Matt Ryan (52), tight end Tony Gonzalez (46) and running back Michael Turner (42).

VIDEO: Here’s White’s reaction to his ranking.

Here’s what White and Smith had to say on the show.

On his reaction to his ranking:

White: “I mean, obviously I want to be the best wideout in the game and I’m never satisfied with my …

Continue reading Roddy White ranked 24th on NFL Network’s Top 100 »

Thurman Thomas believes Falcons need to ease off Turner

Thurman Thomas, former Buffalo Bills player, speaks and gestures during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, in Canton, Ohio. Photographer: Jay LaPrete/Bloomberg News.

Thurman Thomas, former Buffalo Bills player, speaks and gestures during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, in Canton, Ohio. Photographer: Jay LaPrete/Bloomberg News.

BIRDLAND —  Former Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas was in town last week at the Gridiron Greats football camp at the University of West Georgia and shared his thoughts on the Falcons.

Thomas helped the Bills four consecutive AFC championships and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

While the Falcons went 13-3 last season and held the No. 1 seed  in the NFC entering the playoffs, Thomas was not too impressed. Also,  he had a few tips for how to use Falcons running back Michael Turner.

Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) breaks through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line for a 5-yard touchdown run during the first quarter. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2008. AP

Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) breaks through the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line for a 5-yard touchdown run during the first quarter. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2008. AP

“Honestly, I think the Falcons are still a long ways away,” Thomas said. …

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Christopher Owens seeks to have protective order dismissed

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens at a recent players-only practice in Buford.

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens at a recent players-only practice in Buford.

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens denies ransacking an apartment that he was paying for his former girl friend and son to live in and any acts of violence, according to court documents filed with the Superior Court of Gwinnett County on Thursday.

He contends that the spurned former girlfriend is seeking “revenge”  because he does not want to be in a relationship, that she threatened to never let him see his son again and had plans to ruin his reputation by contacting TMZ.com and other media outlets.

Owens and Latia Terry, 22, of Lawrenceville, have a 9-month-old child together.

“He’s been a good Dad,” said Randall M. Kessler, Owens’ attorney, on Friday. “He plans to keep being a good dad. He denies all of the claims.”

According to a Gwinnett County police incident report, Terry told officers that she left her apartment at 11 p.m. on Sunday, and when she returned home late …

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George Kunz a finalist for the Hall of Very Good

00908 Flowery Branch; Former Atlanta Falcons center Jeff Van Note, left, and current Falcons center Todd McClure, right, are shown after Falcons practice at Falcons training camp Wednesday afternoon in Flowery Branch, Ga., Sept. 8, 2010. McClure is the current Falcons center who will break the team record for consecutive starts Sunday when Atlanta opens at Pittsburgh. Jeff Van Note is the Falcons Ring of Honor center who started 225 games. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

00908 Flowery Branch; Former Atlanta Falcons center Jeff Van Note, left, and current Falcons center Todd McClure, right, are shown after Falcons practice at Falcons training camp Wednesday afternoon in Flowery Branch, Ga., Sept. 8, 2010. McClure is the current Falcons center who will break the team record for consecutive starts Sunday when Atlanta opens at Pittsburgh. Jeff Van Note is the Falcons Ring of Honor center who started 225 games. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

In part because of the team’s losing history, some of the longtime Falcons have had trouble getting their proper respect.

Just when it looked like defensive end Claude Humphrey was going to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame through the Seniors’ committee, he was voted down.

If you talk to some of the oldtimers, they’ll tell you that several old Falcons deserve better spots in the history of the game. Tommy Nobis, Jeff Van Note, Mike Kenn, George Kunz, Steve Bartkowski and Jessie Tuggle are just a …

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Matt Ryan 8th on SI’s list of highest paid American athletes

MATT Ryan at Pro Bowl

BIRDLAND – Back in May of 2008, Matt Ryan signed a six-year, $72 million contract that included $34.75 million in guarantees with the Falcons.

Because Ryan’s set to receive a major bonus when the lockout is settled, he’s No. 8 on Sports Illustrated list of the top 50 highest-earning American athletes.

The bulk of guaranteed money in Ryan’s six-year, $72 million contract he signed in 2008 should be paid out this year, when he’ll earn a $22 million roster bonus on top of his $10.25 million salary.

The magazine projects that Ryan also will make  $450,000 in endorsements which would bring his total salary to $32.7 million for 2011.

Golfer Tiger Woods ($62.9 million) is at the top of the list followed by golfer Phil Mickelson ($61.1), NBA star LeBron James ($44.5), Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning ($38.07), New York Yankees star Alex Rodriquez ($36), Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant ($34.8) and Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett ($32.8).

Ryan has led the Falcons to …

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DVR ALERT: Roddy White on NFL Network’s Top 100

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

BIRDLAND –  Falcons wide receiver Roddy White will be featured on this Sunday’s episode of “The Top 100: Players of 2011” at 8 p.m. on the NFL Network.

White finished ranked between 30-21 and will be presented by Falcons head coach Mike Smith.

Also, White will appear live in-studio on the show  and on NFL Total Access on Monday. White will be joined by Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew on each show.

White, who led the league with 115 catches last season, is the final of five Falcons on the list.

The other Falcons making the list were defensive end John Abraham (69), quarterback Matt Ryan (52), tight end Tony Gonzalez (46) and running back Michael Turner (42).

White, …

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Rich Gannon: Falcons should sign Nnamdi Asomugha

Oakland Raiders safety Stuart Schweigert (30) and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (21) look emotional after the San Diego Chargers scored in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 in Oakland, Calif. The Chargers defeated the Raiders 27-0. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Oakland Raiders safety Stuart Schweigert (30) and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (21) look emotional after the San Diego Chargers scored in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 in Oakland, Calif. The Chargers defeated the Raiders 27-0. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

BIRDLAND – I was rolling the batmobile down I-20 on Thursday, on the way back to the bat cave with NFL SiriusXM radio blasting from the speakers.

Should the Falcons attempt to sign Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency?

  • Yes, the secondary needs help.
  • Yes, but at the right price.
  • No, the young secondary will be fine.
  • No, he’s a former Oakland Raider.

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I was coming back from the Gridiron Greats youth football camp at the University of West Georgia. Ex-NFL players Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Ken Irvin were there working with about 180 kids. (ASIDE: I’ll have a story on that and a forthcoming blog where Thomas offers up some tips …

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Ex-Clemson star DeJuan Polk promoted

DeJuan Polk, who has been with the Falcons since 2006, was promoted to coordinator of pro scouting on Thursday.

“DeJuan has a done a fantastic job for us during his time here,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “He has a tremendous work ethic and an acute eye for talent.”

Polk, who was a four-year letterman at defensive tackle for Clemson from 1999-2003, started with the Falcons as a pro personnel assistant.

In 2008, he was named a college scout and covered the Midwest. In 2009, he moved back into pro scouting where he has been responsible for scouting all professional leagues, 16 NFL clubs and advanced scouting of upcoming opponents.

“He is a value to our organization and I am proud to promote him,” Dimitroff said. “We believe he has a bright future and we are happy to have him part of our personnel team.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Protective order sought against Christopher Owens

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens at a recent players-only practice in Buford.

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens runs back an interception during the Atlanta Falcons player workout at Buford Park on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. A core of Falcons players are carrying on with off-season practices at the park, despite the NFL lockout. Johnny Crawford jcrawford@ajc.com

Falcons defensive back Christopher Owens may have to chat with the Gwinnett Police Department soon.

Here’s the news report.

Owens allegedly placed some of his ex-girl friend’s  personal property into a pile and poured bleach on the pile. He also allegedly knocked holes in the walls, destroyed electronics equipment and shattered their baby’s crib.

She has sought a restraining order, while the police continue to investigate.

If proven true, this incident will not sit well with the Falcons’  front office. General manager Thomas Dimitroff has gone out of his way to select players with good character in the team’s post-Michael Vick/Bobby Petrino era.

“As much as I think at times that we’d like …

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