Thor Merrow, the former Buford High standout, was waived Wednesday morning.
FLOWERY BRANCH — Fullback Lucas Cox, an undrafted rookie free agent from Georgia Tech, has played in both exhibition games, and starting fullback Ovie Mughelli has taken him under his wings.
“What a better mentor to have than a Pro Bowl fullback,” Cox said. “He helps break down the details of a play that you can’t quite go over in a meeting with seven or eight guys. He’s definitely a great mentor to have.”
Cox said he heard a few cheers during the home game against Miami.
“That was definitely nice,” Cox said. “I know I have a lot of people down here rooting for me.”
Cox and other NFL prospects were disappointed when Tech’s Pro Day was rained out in March, and the players had to work out indoors on a basketball court.
“We were running on a basketball floor and trying to catch passes through a basketball hoop,” Cox said. “We made it work. I’m here now.”
Cox and the rest of the Falcons’ rookies are trying to make an impression without the benefit of offseason work that was taken away because of the NFL lockout.
“Learning that playbook in two weeks before we played Miami was not easy,” Cox said. “You had to sit there and grind every day from 6 a.m. to midnight.”
Mughelli has helped Thor Merrow, too.
“The older players here are great,” Merrow said. “Ovie Mughelli has been probably the best thing for us in our meeting room. It’s great to learn under him.”
Merrow is the son of former Falcons defensive end Jeff Merrow who played with the team from 1975 to 1983 after being selected in the 11th round out of West Virginia.
“It’s going good,” said Merrow, who played at Buford High and North Alabama. “It’s great to be playing the game I love. It’s great to be out there every day.”
Merrow also played some defensive line, while in college. He wasn’t sure if he’d get invited to a camp.
“I was just hoping that somebody would give me a call,” Merrow said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to get an opportunity or not because I was a free agent. You were just playing the waiting game, especially after waiting for so long.”
His Dad didn’t give him a lot of advice before leaving for camp.
“Nothing much, just ‘work hard and don’t let a day pass without working hard,’ ” Merrow said. “It’s real tough.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog