Archive for September, 2011

INJURY REPORT: Snelling in NFL concussion protocol

Atlanta's Jason Snelling (44) fumbles while being hit by Seattle's Will Herring last season. The Falcons kept possession on the play. AP

Atlanta's Jason Snelling (44) fumbles while being hit by Seattle's Will Herring last season. The Falcons kept possession on the play. AP

The Falcons (1-2) could be without versatile running back Jason Snelling when they face the Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at 4:05 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

Snelling is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, Falcons coach Mike Smith said during his weekly segment Tuesday on NFL Sirius radio.

Snelling suffered what was announced as a “head” injury during Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay and did not return to action.

Snelling backs up fullback Ovie Mughelli and running back Michael Turner. He also plays on most of the special team units.

Snelling was the teams’ third leading receiver last season. But he has just two carries for 10 yards and eight catches for 43 yards this season as he’s splitting the backup running back spot with rookie Jacquizz Rodgers.

Snelling will have to clear the league’s protocol to return to practice.

Also, …

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GAME STORY: Buccaneers 16, Falcons 13

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) stiff-arms Buccaneers defensive back Corey Lynch (41) on a fourth quarter reception. AP

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) stiff-arms Buccaneers defensive back Corey Lynch (41) on a fourth quarter reception. AP

TAMPA

– Even with Falcons owner Arthur Blank pacing the sidelines next to the team bench on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, there would be no miracle finish to pull out another improbable victory.

After defensive tackle Corey Peters inexplicably jumped offsides on a fourth down-and-1, the Buccaneers secured a 16-13 win over the Falcons in the NFC South opener for both teams.

“Stupid,” Peters said. “It was my fault. I take 100 percent of the blame for that. I’ve been warned about that over and over again. Everybody has warned me about that.

“The defensive coordinator, head coach and the middle linebacker; so it was 100 percent my fault. I knew not to do that.”

Defensive end John Abraham, one of the leaders of the defense, called Peters’ play “unacceptable.”

But for all the beating up of himself, Peters was not the only member of …

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VIDEO: Falcons struggle in Tampa

Continue reading VIDEO: Falcons struggle in Tampa »

QUOTABLE: What the players were saying . . .

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud (28) celebrates with teammates cornerback Brent Grimes (20) and safety William Moore (25) after intercepting a first quarter pass by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman in the end zone. AP

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud (28) celebrates with teammates cornerback Brent Grimes (20) and safety William Moore (25) after intercepting a first quarter pass by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman in the end zone. AP

TAMPA – Here’s what the Falcons were saying after the game.

WR JULIO JONES

ON THE LOSS: [The Buccaneers] were the better team today. We tried to pull it out; it’s just something that we need to continue to keep working on.

ON HIS FIRST CAREER 100-YARD GAME: I really did not know I had one hundred yards. They needed me to show up and I tried my best to do what was necessary.

ON THE MATCHUP WITH CB AQIB TALIB: He’s a good corner, physical and [has] great size as well. I’ll see him again, but he’s a great athlete.

CB DUNTA ROBINSON

ON THE DEFENSE:  These young guys that I play with on the back end are getting better and better every week. So we’re just trying to go out there and win. Obviously, [today] it wasn’t good enough to win, which is …

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Q&A: Mike Smith not happy with execution

 

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) can't hang onto a fourth quarter pass from quarterback Matt Ryan. AP

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) can't hang onto a fourth quarter pass from quarterback Matt Ryan. AP

TAMPA  – Falcons coach Mike Smith is clearly not pleased with how his team is performing and clearly knows that he has problems along the offensive line.

OPENING STATEMENT: I felt like that we fought our tails off to get back into the game. We didn’t play very well. We didn’t do a whole lot of good things in the first three quarters and at the end of the day we just dug ourselves [into] too big of a hole and we weren’t able to execute the things that we need to execute there at the end of the ball game to give us a chance. We’ve got to do a better job in all three phases of the game if we want to have an opportunity to win ball games. We can’t turn the ball over like we did and have the turnovers in the red zone. Those are crucial and we’ve got to continue to work on protecting our quarterback, especially there in the first half. [Matt Ryan] got hit way …

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INACTIVES: Peterson to start for Nicholas

 

There's a 60 percent chance of rain here in Tampa. Should be a good day to run the football. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

There's a 60 percent chance of rain here in Tampa. Should be a good day to run the football. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

TAMPA — Starting strongside linebacker Stephen Nicholas, who suffered a calf injury and was listed on the Friday injury report as questionable, has been declared inactive for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Nicholas had played in the last 58-straight regular-season games.  He was last inactive against San Francisco on Nov. 4, 2007, during his rookie season.

Mike Peterson, who started at weakside linebacker in 29 of  32 games over the last two seasons, will take over for Nicholas. Peterson played on special teams in the first two games of the season.

 Also, the Falcons will also be with cornerback Kelvin Hayden, who suffered a hamstring injury against Philadelphia. Other inactives include: cornerback Darrin Walls, center Brett Romberg, guard Mike Johnson, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and defensvie end Cliff …

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Today’s Punt-off: Koenen vs. Bosher

michael koenen

Michael Koenen is off to a good start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Associated Press)

Former Falcons punter Michael Koenen is averaging 49.3 yards per punt with Tampa Bay, which ranks seventh in the league. He also has five touchbacks.

Falcons rookie punter Matt Bosher is averaging 36.8 yards per punt, which ranks 32nd in the league. He has two touchbacks.  

HERE’S THE ON THE HOT SEAT ITEM that ran in today’s print editions:  Falcons punter Matt Bosher is on the hot seat.

Former Falcons punter and kickoff specialist Michael Koenen hit the jackpot in free agency and signed a six-year, $19.5 million contract with the Buccaneers. Bosher, who was selected in the sixth round of the draft out of Miami to replace Koenen, has been inconsistent.

Last week against the Eagles, he averaged 34.7 yards on seven punts. He had an 18-yard punt while trying to boom one out of the end zone. He also had a nice 49-yard punt and a solid 39-yarder against the Eagles.

The coaching staff is …

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Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman have fourth-quarter magic

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempts a pass in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempts a pass in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

TAMPA — If recent history is a guide, the NFC South opener for the Falcons and Buccaneers will come down to a fourth-quarter stare down.

While the Falcons have won the past five contests, the games have been excruciatingly close. The division foes, both off to 1-1 starts, will meet at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

The contest will pit two of the up-and-coming quarterbacks in the NFL. Both are building solid resumes for leading their teams to victory with fourth-quarter magic.

On Sunday, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman rallied the Bucs from a 17-0 halftime deficit to defeat the Minnesota Vikings 28-24. That night, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan marched his team down the field on two 80-yard drives to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 35-31 at the Georgia Dome.

For Ryan, it was the 14th time that he has led the Falcons to victory …

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INJURY REPORT: Ryan fully participated in practice

 
 

 

 

Actor Samuel L. Jackson performs "Rise Up" to open the game against the Eagles. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Actor Samuel L. Jackson performs "Rise Up" to open the game against the Eagles. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

 

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – While quarterback Matt Ryan and center Todd McClure appear ready to go, the Falcons have some injury issues on defense for the NFC South opener with Tampa Bay at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

 Pop superstar Justin Bieber (left) and Usher (right) take a picture with Falcons owner Arthur Blank before last Sunday.  (Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com)

Pop superstar Justin Bieber (left) and Usher (right) take a picture with Falcons owner Arthur Blank before last Sunday. (Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com)

Cornerback Kelvin Hayden, who started at nickel back last week against the Eagles, is out with a hamstring injury and starting strongside linebacker Stephen Nicholas (calf injury) was limited in practice on Friday and is questionable for the game. Also, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (knee) will not play against the Buccaneers.

Cornerback Christopher Owens will take over for Hayden, while veteran Mike Peterson is ready to play if Nicholas can’t answer the bell.

Ryan and …

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Falcons cheerleaders swimsuit calendar available

Jamie, a rookie this season, is the covergirl for the Falcons Cheerleaders 2011-2012 calendar.

Jamie, a rookie this season, is the covergirl for the Falcons Cheerleaders 2011-2012 calendar.

FLOWERY BRANCH – We’ll get back to the game against Tampa Bay and the injury report shortly. . .

But for now, we need to complete a public service announcement blog and let

A couple of the cheerleaders posing with a fan before the Falcons and Eagles played on Sunday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

A couple of the cheerleaders posing with a fan before the Falcons and Eagles played on Sunday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

 everyone know that the Falcons 16-month Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar is available.

While Matt Ryan and Curtis Lofton were overseeing workouts at Buford High during the lockout, the young ladies went over to Bermuda for the calendar photo shoot.

Here’s a video on the Cheer Retreat . You can order your calendar HERE!

–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.

 

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