Archive for July, 2011

Deion, Dunta’s youth teams to face off at Westlake High

Deion Sanders visited the team facilities with his youth football team last summer. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Deion Sanders visited the team facilities with his youth football team last summer. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders, leading up to his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 6, has spent the last week in Atlanta getting ready for his second annual youth football tournament  and for a Red and Black fundraising Gala.

Sanders and Jamal Lewis, the former All-Pro running back,  will host the 2nd Annual Primetime Youth Football Tournament Friday through Sunday at Westlake High.

On Saturday, Sanders is hosting a Pre-Hall of Fame Induction Prime Time Black & Red Celebration Gala from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at 200 Peachtree in downtown Atlanta. (If you don’t have on Red and Black, you’ll have to go home and change.)

All proceeds will benefit Primetime Associations Sports Teams, LLC.
Prime Time Association Sports is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, which his youth sports programs fall under. For more …

Continue reading Deion, Dunta’s youth teams to face off at Westlake High »

Rodgers impressed with Burress’ rookie symposium chat

Jacquizz Rodgers was a highly productive running back in the Pac-10 (Associated Press)

Jacquizz Rodgers was a highly productive running back in the Pac-10 (Associated Press)

You all asked about Jacquizz Rodgers and ordered me to catch up with him.

Here’s the story we ran this morning. CLICK HERE.

In addition to the info from the story, he talked about his trip to the rookie symposium where he met fellow draft picks linebacker Akeem Dent and punter Matt Bosher.

Rodgers was impressed by Plaxico Burress’ chat with the rookies.

“Most of it was just talking about finances and ways to become a better professional,” Rodgers said.  “Coming in, you still have to work hard. You have to try to mainly stay out of trouble and how to avoid problems that some of the players get into. Plaxico came and talked to us about his situation. You can learn from (their missteps) and hopefully you won’t have to go through the same situations they’ve been through.”

Also, Rodgers said he’s been working out with his uncle, Michael Lewis, a defensive back for the St. Louis …

Continue reading Rodgers impressed with Burress’ rookie symposium chat »

Sign or Don’t sign: Koenen is the top rated free-agent punter

Falcons punter Michael Koenen has also handled the kickoff chores. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons punter Michael Koenen has also handled the kickoff chores. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Punter Michael Koenen is up for today’s edition of “Sign” or “Don’t’ sign.”

It’s our version of “Deal” or “No Deal” or “Buy” or “Sell.”

Should the Falcons re-sign punter and kickoff specialist Michael Koenen?

  • Yes, he’s a stud and has great hang time.
  • No, let the rookie have a chance.

View Results

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It’s a little free agency game where you get to decide if the Falcons should re-sign the player or not.

Here’s the Falcons list of free agents:

Justin Blalock, left guard, 4 years

Matt Bryant, kicker, 9 years

Tyson Clabo, right tackle, 6 years

Harvey Dahl, right guard,  4 years

Brent Grimes, cornerback, 3 years

Michael Koenen, punter, 6 years

Stephen Nicholas, linebacker, 4 years

Jerious Norwood, running back, 5 years

Michael Peterson, linebacker, 12 years

Jason Snelling, running back, 4 years

Eric Weems, wide …

Continue reading Sign or Don’t sign: Koenen is the top rated free-agent punter »

Falcons player rep Tyson Clabo in New York for key meeting

Atlanta Falcons' Tyson Clabo enters a Manhattan law office, Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in New York. NFL owners and player representatives arrived for another round of labor talks as the negotiations hit a critical phase. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

Atlanta Falcons' Tyson Clabo enters a Manhattan law office, Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in New York. NFL owners and player representatives arrived for another round of labor talks as the negotiations hit a critical phase. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

Falcons offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, the team’s player rep along with linebacker Coy Wire,  has kept a low profile since the owners locked out the players on March 11.

All of the players reps have been called to New York, likely to get the information needed to pass along to their teams for possible voting purposes.

Clabo was one of the 211 players who had to play one-year tenders last season instead of becoming unrestricted free agents last season.

Clabo is a former undrafted rookie free agent, who was looking forward to first big-time pay day.

–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 Falcons player rep Tyson Clabo in New York for key meeting »

Sign or Don’t sign: Can Jason Snelling start for another team?

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) runs into the end zone past Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson for the first of two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.  (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) runs into the end zone past Arizona Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson for the first of two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Running back Jason Snelling is up for today’s edition of “Sign” or “Don’t’ sign.”

It’s our version of “Deal” or “No Deal” or “Buy” or “Sell.”

Should the Falcons re-sign running back Jason Snelling?

  • Yes, as long as the price is right.
  • No, if the bidding gets out of hand.

View Results

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It’s a little free agency game where you get to decide if the Falcons should re-sign the player or not.

Here’s the Falcons list of free agents:

Justin Blalock, left guard, 4 years

Matt Bryant, kicker, 9 years

Tyson Clabo, right tackle, 6 years

Harvey Dahl, right guard,  4 years

Brent Grimes, cornerback, 3 years

Michael Koenen, punter, 6 years

Stephen …

Continue reading Sign or Don’t sign: Can Jason Snelling start for another team? »

3rd Annual Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament canceled

Despite winning the Green Jacket at coach Mike Smith's outing, D. Orlando Ledbetter was not invited to teach the kids of the First Tee of Atlanta his graceful golf swing. (By Tracy Carmony/11 Alive)

Despite winning the Green Jacket at coach Mike Smith's outing, D. Orlando Ledbetter was not invited to teach the kids of the First Tee of Atlanta his graceful golf swing. (By Tracy Carmony/11 Alive)

The Falcons sent along this note today, “Because of the ongoing labor situation, the Atlanta Falcons have canceled the 3rd Annual Hacks vs. Jocks Golf Tournament hosted by Head Coach Mike Smith.”

This may not seem like major news, but it is!!!  So, let’s stop those presses!!!!!

1. Apparently, I get to keep the  green jacket (from Goodwill)  that I “won” last season for another year. It looks great with plaid shorts!

2. Perhaps Smith and his staff  will be working on the 25th and the lockout will be over.

–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 3rd Annual Hacks vs. Jocks golf tournament canceled »

Kerry Meier is still recovering from his knee injury

Wide receiver Kerry Meier was having a great training camp before suffering a knee injury in an exhibition game last season. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Wide receiver Kerry Meier was having a great training camp before suffering a knee injury in an exhibition game last season. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

While rehabbing his knee, Falcons wide receiver Kerry Meier has travled to Brazil and Paraquay this offseason, according to the Kansas City Star.

The Star caught up with Meier at a recent football camp.

In addition to getting in some traveling, he helped to start a foundation that honors his deceased brother Dylan.

Meier, a fifth round pick in the 2010 draft, appeared to have the team made before suffering a season-ending knee injury in an exhibition game against New England.

It doesn’t appear that he’s fully recovered yet.

“Not quite there yet, but I feel like I’m turning the corner, which feels good,” Meier told the Star. “It’s been a long time coming.”

With the drafting of Julio Jones, the continued recovery of Harry Douglas and the notion that Eric Weems can add more explosive plays to the offense, …

Continue reading Kerry Meier is still recovering from his knee injury »

Sign or Don’t sign: Justin Blalock has been a solid starter

Tyson Clabo (right), Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure and Justin Blalock (Sam Baker not pictured) received kudos from Coach John Madden last season. Clabo, Blalock and Dahl could all be free agents under a new collective bargaining agreement. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Tyson Clabo (right), Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure and Justin Blalock (Sam Baker not pictured) received kudos from Coach John Madden last season. Clabo, Blalock and Dahl could all be free agents under a new collective bargaining agreement. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Left guard Justin Blalock is up for today’s edition of “Sign” or “Don’t’ sign.”

It’s our version of “Deal” or “No Deal” or “Buy” or “Sell.”

Should the Falcons re-sign left guard Justin Blalock?

  • Yes, he’s a keeper and solid starter.
  • No, it’s time for the Mike Johnson-era to start.

View Results

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It’s a little free agency game where you get to decide if the Falcons should re-sign the player or not.

We started out with running back Jerious Norwood and 71 percent of y’all voted him off the island. You all advised general manager Thomas Dimitroff to “Sign” returner-receiver Eric Weems (results below).

Here’s the Falcons list of free …

Continue reading Sign or Don’t sign: Justin Blalock has been a solid starter »

Deion Sanders to be presented by his agent Eugene Parker

Deion Sanders strutting his stuff during his time with the Falcons. He set to be inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor.

Deion Sanders strutting his stuff during his time with the Falcons. He set to be inducted into the franchise's Ring of Honor.

Former Atlanta Falcon Deion Sanders will be presented by his agent Eugene Parker during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio.

When Sanders is enshrined, he will become the first long-time Falcon in Canton.

He will join running back Eric Dickerson and wide receiver Tommy McDonald as the only Falcons in Canton. Dickerson played briefly for the Falcons during the 1993 season. McDonald, who was a member of the 1967 squad, played just one season for the Falcons.

Former Chicago Bears great Richard Dent, an Atlanta native who played at Murphy High, will be presented by former Tennessee State coach Joe Gilliam.

Also, Shannon Sharpe, who played in college at Savannah State, will be presented by his brother Sterling Sharpe.

Marshall Faulk and Sanders, both of whom earned election to the Hall of Fame in their first year …

Continue reading Deion Sanders to be presented by his agent Eugene Parker »

Sign or Don’t sign: Eric Weems is a playmaker

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems (14) outruns Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Maurice Stovall (85) to the end zone to score on a 102-yard touchdown return during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems (14) outruns Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Maurice Stovall (85) to the end zone to score on a 102-yard touchdown return during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

For the next few days — while we’re waiting on news from the lockout talks — we are playing a little game: Sign or Don’t Sign. It’s our version of “Deal” or “No Deal” or “Buy” or “Sell.”

It’s a little free agency game to keep us busy while time is becoming of the essence in the labor talks.

Should the Falcons re-sign wide receiver Eric Weems?

  • Yes, he’s a keeper.
  • No, he’s a one-trick pony.

View Results

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We started out with running back Jerious Norwood (results below) and will move on down the list to wide receiver Eric Weems today.

Here’s the Falcons list of free agents:

Justin Blalock, left guard, 4 years

Matt Bryant, kicker, 9 years

Tyson Clabo, …

Continue reading Sign or Don’t sign: Eric Weems is a playmaker »