Archive for August, 2011

Falcons support NFL’s $1 million donation to the MLK Memorial

110721 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have a conversation in the hallway outside the NFL Owners meetings at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott in Atlanta on Thursday, July 21, 2011.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110721 Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have a conversation in the hallway outside the NFL Owners meetings at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott in Atlanta on Thursday, July 21, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons, along with other members of the NFL and NFL Charities, made a $1 million gift to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation on Wednesday.

The gift will support the memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. honoring Dr. King, which will be officially dedicated this fall.

“We are extremely humbled by the million dollar gift from the NFL, including Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank,” said Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO of the Memorial Foundation in a statement. “This NFL gift moves us one step closer to our $120 million fundraising goal. The NFL has been a close ally of our Project in Washington, DC as well as a strong …

Continue reading Falcons support NFL’s $1 million donation to the MLK Memorial »

Palmer touched by Locust Grove’s story

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) gets a handshake from Atlanta tight end Michael Palmer (81) after kicking a field goal against Jacksonville. Associated Press

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) gets a handshake from Atlanta tight end Michael Palmer (81) after kicking a field goal against Jacksonville. Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons tight end Michael Palmer, moved by the story of the Locust Grove High School football team, will host them for the exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Dome.

After learning of the passing of Locust Groves football player, Forest Jones, Palmer sent them a video message inviting them to the game and offered some words of encouragement.

Palmer, who played at Parkview and Clemson, is from Stone Mountain. The team will have a dinner and receive tickets to the game.

“I know these young guys have been going through a tremendously difficult time over the past few weeks,” Palmer said in a statement. “I have never lost a teammate before, but I have dealt with the loss of someone I was very close with.

“I know how difficult it is and I thought by giving this team …

Continue reading Palmer touched by Locust Grove’s story »

VIDEO: TSN’s Cliff Brown on the NFC South

Continue reading VIDEO: TSN’s Cliff Brown on the NFC South »

League reviewing Falcons salary cap status

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff could get "some bonus" to go shopping with. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff could get "some bonus" to go shopping with. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC).

The Falcons, who took a $6.4 million salary cap hit during the 2009 season after releasing Michael Vick in June of 2009, may receive some relief from the league.

“It is being reviewed,” League spokeman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “No determination has been made.”

The fine folks over at ProFootballTalk.com reported on this earlier.  Jeff Schultz has a blog  up on Vick maybe owing the Falcons some money. The Falcons have a “confidentiality agreement” and are not talking.

Also, we are getting some bizarre information that has to be checked out on whether if he’ll be paying the Falcons or some other entity. (We’re hearing their rights to the money may have be assigned to a third party. Hmmm!)

So for now, let’s focus on the salary cap issue and find out if they Falcons will get some more money to go …

Continue reading League reviewing Falcons salary cap status »

TV, Radio: Falcons vs. Ravens, 7:30 p.m. Thursday

790TheZone is on the scene. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

790TheZone is on the scene. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Here’s the TV and Radio info for the Falcons’ fourth exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens at 7:30 p.m.  Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

RADIO COVERAGE – Star 94 (94.1 FM/790 AM): Play-by-play: Dave Archer, Color Analyst: Ryan Stewart, and Sideline: John Michaels.  

TV COVERAGE BY CBS-Atlanta: Play-by-play: Vince Cellini, Color Analyst: Charles Davis and Sideline: Laura Okmin.

–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 TV, Radio: Falcons vs. Ravens, 7:30 p.m. Thursday »

DEPTH CHART: Edwards to play vs. Ravens

 

Atlanta Falcons center Joe Hawley (61) and guard Mike Johnson (79) block defensive tackle Trey Lewis (97) and defensive tackle Vance Walker (99) during NFL football training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga., Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

Atlanta Falcons center Joe Hawley (61) and guard Mike Johnson (79) block defensive tackle Trey Lewis (97) and defensive tackle Vance Walker (99) during NFL football training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga., Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. Hawley is set to open the season as the starting center after Todd McClure had right knee surgery on Monday. (AP Photo/Paul Abell)

BY CHRIS VIVLAMORE 

FLOWERY BRANCH — With two starting positions still up for grabs, several players will get more playing time in Thursday finale than would normally be the case in an exhibition finale. The biggest competition continues to be for the starting right guard position between Garrett Reynolds and Mike Johnson.

Falcons coach Mike Smith said he expects Johnson to get more snaps this week. Johnson missed the exhibition opener with concussion symptoms and the coaching staff is trying to get an equal look at each player against the opposing first-team defense.

“There are certain competitions that we need to …

Continue reading DEPTH CHART: Edwards to play vs. Ravens »

UPDATE: Falcons make roster moves

Falcons coach Mike Smith and owner Arthur Blank watching a recent practice.

Falcons coach Mike Smith and owner Arthur Blank watching a recent practice.

UPDATE: 6:35 p.m.

With center Todd McClure out for the season-opener, the Falcons signed Brett Romberg  to likely serve as the backup to second-year center Joe Hawley on Tuesday.

In order to cut the roster down to the league-mandated 80, the Falcons waived wide receiver Doug Beaumont, cornerback Kirk Belgrave,  running back Philip Sylvester, linebacker LaMarcus Thompson and linebacker Youri Yenga. The team reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Tim Buckley.

Romberg, a 6-foot-2, 293-pounder, played 10 games with the Falcons in 2009. Overall, Romberg has played in 46 NFL games and made 19 career starts.

Buckley,  who was originally signed by the Falcons as a college free agent on April 26, 2010 from Alcorn State.  He spent the entire 2010 season on the Falcons practice squad. His injury was not disclosed.

The Falcons must cut the roster down to 53 players by September 3 and may establish an …

Continue reading UPDATE: Falcons make roster moves »

Should the Falcons use the no-huddle more?

Matt Ryan completed 22 of 42 passes for 210 yards with a TD and an interception in a loss to Pittsburgh. (Associated Press)

Matt Ryan completed 22 of 42 passes for 210 yards with a TD and an interception in a loss to Pittsburgh. (Associated Press)

The Falcons flashed their no-huddle attack three times against Pittsburgh.

Whenever the use it, they seem to march the ball down the field.

Quaterback Matt Ryan, who calls the plays at the line of scimmage in the no-huddle  is just in his fourth year, but should they use it as their main mode of attack?

Here’s the story on the no-huddle attack:

FLOWERY BRANCH –  The Falcons’ no-huddle attack passed its first test of the season against Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense after going unused in the previous two exhibition games.

Against the Steelers, the Falcons used their no-huddle three different times in the first half, and each time they cobbled together promising drives that resulted in Matt Bryant field goals.

“We moved the ball pretty effectively,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “Obviously, we would have liked to have been more successful in the red zone. …

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VIDEO: Another tough test for the Falcons

Continue reading VIDEO: Another tough test for the Falcons »

James Sanders agrees to 1-year deal with Falcons

Safety James Sanders in action for New England. (Associated Press)

Safety James Sanders in action for New England. (Associated Press)

UPDATE:

Safety James Sanders agreed to a one-year contract with the Falcons on Tuesday, according to his agent Gary Uberstine.

He worked out for the team on Tuesday after being released by the New England Patriots on Monday.

Since being drafted in the fourth-round of the 2005 draft, he’s played in 84 NFL games and has made 50 starts. He played in 15 games last season and made nine starts.

He was drafted by the Patriots when Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff  was their director of college scouting.

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Defensive back James Sanders, who was released by the New England Patriots, is set to visit the Falcons on Tuesday, the team confirmed.

Sanders, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2005 when Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was with the team, plays strong safety. He can also play free safety.

“Tough release there with James Sanders,’’ New England coach Bill Belichick told the Boston …

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