Archive for August, 2011

Matt Bosher wins punting, kickoff job

 

 

Falcons rookie kicker Matt Bosher was obviously told by the Falcons not to discuss the Univeristy of Miami scandal.  Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons rookie kicker Matt Bosher will try to replace Michael Koenen, who signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

 

FLOWERY BRANCH Matt Bosher, the Falcons sixth-round draft pick, has won the punting, kickoff and holder jobs.

 The Falcons waived his main competitor, Ken Parrish, on Wednesday.

They also waived fullback Thor Merrow long snapper Andrew Schulze and tight end A.J. Simmons.

Merrow, 6-0, 252 pounds, was signed by the Falcons as a college free-agent from North Alabama on July 26.

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.

Parrish, 6-2, 210 pounds, was signed by the Falcons as a free agent on March 3. He was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a college free agent from East Stroudsburg in 2007.

 Schulze, 6-6, 255 pounds, was signed by the Falcons as a college free agent from Iowa on July …

Continue reading Matt Bosher wins punting, kickoff job »

MEET THE ROOKIES: WR Kevin Cone

Wide receiver Kevin Cone back during his days at Georgia Tech.  Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

Wide receiver Kevin Cone back during his days at Georgia Tech. Johnny Crawford / jcrawford@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH –  Falcons wide receiver Kevin Cone was the star of Georgia Tech’s Pro Day.  Here’s the video–>CLICK HERE!

He was late to football. He didn’t start playing until his junior year at St. Pius X. He started his college career at Shorter College before transferring to Georgia Tech.

He also played basketball and ran track in high school.

Cone is probably the only wide receiver with just five catches during his senior season, who’s in an NFL camp. He drew raves for his blocking in Tech’s vaunted triple-option attack.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Cone said. “To this day, it’s hard to believe that I’m out here. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Every day I’m learning something new. It’s a lot of fun out there.”

He didn’t think he’d have a shot to play pro football.

“Not really,” Cone said. “When I first transferred to Tech I was going for …

Continue reading MEET THE ROOKIES: WR Kevin Cone »

Lucas Cox, Thor Merrow learning from fullback master

 

 

 (The Georgia and Georgia Tech guys mixing it up at practice!) Atlanta Falcons fullback Lucas Cox, right, is covered by linebacker Akeem Dent during a passing drill at NFL football training camp Saturday, July 30, 2011, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(The Georgia and Georgia Tech guys mixing it up at practice!) Atlanta Falcons fullback Lucas Cox, right, is covered by linebacker Akeem Dent during a passing drill at NFL football training camp Saturday, July 30, 2011, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

 

 

UPDATE

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 …

Continue reading Lucas Cox, Thor Merrow learning from fullback master »

Falcons from ‘The U’ mum on the scandal

Falcons rookie kicker Matt Bosher was obviously told by the Falcons not to discuss the Univeristy of Miami scandal.  Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons rookie kicker Matt Bosher was obviously told by the Falcons not to discuss the Univeristy of Miami scandal. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons only have two players from the University of Miami in linebacker Spencer Adkins and punter Matt Bosher.

Adkins was selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft and Bosher, who’s attempting to replace Michael Koenen, was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.

The university and NCAA are conducting investigations following a report by Yahoo! Sports that a former booster, in prison for his role in a Ponzi Scheme, lavished more than 70 players and coaches with cash, jewelry, travel, parties, prostitutes and an aborition.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) makes a touchdown catch past Atlanta Falcons linebacker Spencer Adkins (59) during 4th quarter action for a 28-3 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 19, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) makes a touchdown catch past Atlanta Falcons linebacker Spencer Adkins (59) during 4th quarter action for a 28-3 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 19, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

“I haven’t …

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DEPTH CHART: Starters will get test vs. Steelers

 

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout is now an accomplished ballroom dancer, too. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to break a tackle by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Roderick Hood (26) during the first quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The former UGA standout is now an accomplished ballroom dancer, too. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Mike Smith said the Falcons will likely play their starters a significant portion of Saturday night’s game against the Steelers.

“In terms of the amount of snaps that they are going to play, I don’t know that we’ve sat down and decided,” Smith said. “But we want to keep those [starting] units in there and get them as many exposures as possible.”

Smith said the team will do some game planning, including film work, as they switch from a training-camp to regular-season schedule this week. The coach said there was no game planning for the exhibitions against the Dolphins and Jaguars.

Also, in the past, he’s wanted …

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MEET THE ROOKIES: RB Philip Sylvester

Philip Sylvester while at Florida A&M.

Philip Sylvester while at Florida A&M.

FLOWERY BRANCH –  Early in training camp, Falcons coach Mike Smith singled out the speedy running back Philip Sylvester for praise.

The former Florida A&M Rattler was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the lockout was lifted. Here’s bio from FAMU.  He sings in the choir at his church so I know the veterans had a good time during his performance.

(I promised one of regular commenters, Marcus, that I’d catch up with Sylvester.)

So here’s are Q&A with him:

Q: How’s camp been going for you?

A: It’s been going good. I’m just trying to learn from the vets like [Jason] Snelling and Michael Turner. It’s been a real good experience.

Q: How did you end up at Florida A&M?

A: They were one of the school’s that recruited me. They had my major. It was a good choice to say in-state, too.

Q: What was your major?

A: Civil Engineering. I have 20 more credits to graduate.

Q: What other teams were interested in you after the …

Continue reading MEET THE ROOKIES: RB Philip Sylvester »

TV, Radio: Falcons vs. Steelers, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Falcons owner Arthur Blank interviews with Fox Sports Laura Okmin at the Super Bowl last Friday. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank interviews with Fox Sports Laura Okmin at the Super Bowl in Tampa back in 2009. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Here’s the TV and Radio info on the Falcons’ third exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday  night.

RADIO COVERAGE – Star 94 (94.1 FM/790 AM): Play-by-play: Wes Durham, Color Analyst: Dave Archer 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. Steelers, 7:30 p.m. Saturday »

FILM REVIEW: Smith shares highlights, lowlights

 

We understand that the offensive line didn't have a pleasant film review session. Quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure against Jacksonville on Friday. (Associated Press)

We understand that the offensive line didn't have a pleasant film review session. Quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure against Jacksonville on Friday. (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH – After most games, coaches are in a tough spot.

You want to get detail explanations of plays and they will invariably tell you “I have to look at the film.”

So, I like to try get some highlights of the film review for you all.

Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of head coach Mike Smith’s film review of the 15-13 loss to Jacksonville:

SMITH: “Like all preseason games, there were some good things and some bad things that stood out. On the plus side, we were able to create some turnovers. I thought that was a big positive for us. We had the two takeaways on the plus side of the 50.

“On the negative side. . . it was real evident that we weren’t very good in third-and-long. You work your tail off to get guys in third-and-long and we had 10 situations where we were in …

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PRACTICE REPORT: McClure returns, White out with bruise

 

 

Falcons center Todd McClure returned to practice on Sunday. The 12-year veteran received some "veteran rest time" from head coach Mike Smith. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons center Todd McClure returned to practice on Sunday. The 12-year veteran received some "veteran rest time" from head coach Mike Smith. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons finished their morning practice around 10:57 a.m. this morning.

It was the last open practice for the public to attend.

The afternoon session is set for 4:45 p.m. and is closed to the public.

Falcons coach Mike Smith and the coaching staff took a long look at cornerback Dominique Franks against the Jaguars, but they are not ready to declare a winner in the nickel back competition.

“He was definitely one of the guys that we wanted to get a longer look at in terms of the number of snaps,” Smith said. “He handled some things well. Again, it’s a learning experience. In week one, he didn’t get that many exposures. This week he did. He showed up on the stats chart.

“But in terms of the competition between he and Christopher Owens, all precincts …

Continue reading PRACTICE REPORT: McClure returns, White out with bruise »

GAME STORY: Jaguars 15, Falcons 13

Quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure against Jacksonville on Friday. (Associated Press)

Quarterback Matt Ryan was under pressure against Jacksonville on Friday. (Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE – If there was any remaining doubt about wide receiver Harry Douglas’ knee, he put it to rest with his second scintillating performance of the exhibition season.

Douglas sparked an otherwise shoddy offensive performance with a 76-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the 15-13 loss to the Jaguars at EverBank Field on Friday night.

The Falcons dropped to 0-2, while Jacksonville, which was humiliated by New England 47-12 in its last outing, moved to 1-1 in the exhibition season.

“It just seemed like we were out of sync offensively,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.  ”We have some things that we definitely have to correct and that’s what the preseason is for.”

Other than Douglas’ big play, the Falcons did not mount another touchdown drive. Also, they failed to take full advantage of great field position after two first-quarter turnovers.

“When we get the ball on the …

Continue reading GAME STORY: Jaguars 15, Falcons 13 »