Pope High alum T.J. Yates to start vs. Falcons

T.J. Yates, who starred at Pope High and set 37 records at North Carolina, at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

T.J. Yates, who starred at Pope High and set 37 records at North Carolina, at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Taylor Jonathan Yates, who played at Pope High before going on to star at North Carolina, will start against the Falcons on Sunday, according to John McClain of The Houston Chronicle.

The Texans are set to workout Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia today. Garcia, who is about 58 years old now,  has worked in their system before with quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp. (Well, Garcia is actually just 41 and Knapp was always gracious with his time to the AJC when he was here.)

The Texans, who are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since starting play in the league in 2002, used a 2-to-1 run-to-pass ratio with Yates playing the second half against Jacksonville. He had not dressed for the previous 10 games.

Yates, who was selected in the fifth round of the draft, is playing because of injuries to quarterbacks Matt Schaub (right foot) and Matt Leinart (broken left clavicle).

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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49 comments Add your comment

D man

November 29th, 2011
10:11 am

They are in trouble. falcons win big…

D man

November 29th, 2011
10:12 am

Saints looked great last night. Last time they looked great, they followed it up with a bad loss against a bad team St. Louis. Falcons will be tied with the Saints soon… :)

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 29th, 2011
10:15 am

Saints were either great or the Giants are just bad (Steve Young’s take after the game).

Season Ticker Holder

November 29th, 2011
10:24 am

The Falcons defense needs to take advantage of Houston’s rookie QB by blitzing him early and often.

Einstein

November 29th, 2011
10:25 am

I think the Giants have a horrible defense. That’s why the Saints looked so good. Don’t expect the Lions to lay down like that. Not having Suh will hurt them, but don’t expect a blowout. Saints aren’t that good, and we’ll show them Dec. 26th.

Blake

November 29th, 2011
10:36 am

Saints are very good and Drew Brees Is an elite QB.Gonna be really tough to go down there and beat them on their turf…but we’ll see…….I hope so…..

Blake

November 29th, 2011
10:41 am

I wouldn’t discount Houston either because they’re starting a rookie QB.They are a very good football team too and you know how the Falcons have played In these games In the past.They need to bring their “A” game! Rookie QB’s have stumped the Falcons In the past….I hope they take advantage of Yates…

Joe Tess Fish House

November 29th, 2011
10:42 am

Just wacth. The Flacons will let this Yates fellow through 4 300 yards and 3 TDs. It wold be typical 4 the Falcons 2 do this.

Blake

November 29th, 2011
10:44 am

Falcons have made these types of QB’s look “all world” In the past.They need to put pressure on Him early and so far their D-line hasn’t been too Impressive. The missing piece has been the missing piece. Edwards that Is……

Ace, the man in the elevator

November 29th, 2011
10:45 am

Falcons could learn from the Saints. They never let off, even when it was quite clear they were totally dominating the Giants. When have the Falcons done that this season?

Mr. Phil

November 29th, 2011
10:47 am

We don’t need to blitz. Just need more Sidbury. I need to see Lawrence get at least 35 snaps Sunday.

CGD..

November 29th, 2011
11:09 am

Nice try Football experts..The Saints are that good on offense!! Drew is a BEAST out there!!!!!!!!!!

Lets put the Falcons out here last night..Ryan would have folded like a two dollar bill against one of the best Front Four in the game today..lol

CGD..

November 29th, 2011
11:15 am

@ Fish House, yes the Falcons front 7 are not getting it done, which allows NFL QB’s to dissect the secondary.. It will be another tough fight and this offense will struggle at times, especially on the road..Not going to be a cake walk with Houston’s defense coming after Ryan..A must win to keep pace with the Saints…

waynester

November 29th, 2011
11:17 am

Saints are great but they had every advantage last night and SHOULD have won. Coming off a bye, healthy,at home, facing a team full of MIA’s due to injury…. No use griping–we SHOULD have beaten them here when we had the opportunity… they’re THAT good, but we had every chance in the world to take them down and didn’t….

SirReal

November 29th, 2011
11:17 am

Just bc we’re facing the 3rd string QB, we shouldnt get too happy. Our secondary has made the likes of Tavaris Jackson, Jack Locker, and Christian Ponder look like Brady, Brees, and Manning. Our SCHEME is designed to let any and every QB carve us right up. THATS my concern. Also, HOU has a great defense with Wade Phillips running it. The guy may be a not so great head coach but he’s a terrific coordinator. Last time I checked, Arian Foster and Ben Tate still ran the ball also. We’re stout against the run but this zone blocking scheme will be a test. THIS will determine if we stay on pace to go to the playoffs. THIS is the loss atlanta cant afford so lets hope they are ready to go come Sunday.

waynester

November 29th, 2011
11:20 am

ps
CGD
It’s an inaccurate comparison. NY is a team on the way down. The Falcons are still climbing. We already matched NO punch for punch and wouldn’t “fold” as you suggested….

Pete

November 29th, 2011
11:21 am

TRAP game if ever one existed. The Texans D is one of the Best in the NFL but gets Zero publicity. They have terrific RB’s who Yates will be handing the ball to 80% of the time, and when he does throw on 3rd down the HORRIFIC Falcon D secondary will make him look like Tom Brady.
Some things never change.

CGD..

November 29th, 2011
11:50 am

This is the NFL, you can only cover a receiver for about 3-5 seconds on a good day!

The key is the front 7 which has got to put a ton more pressure at the point of attack! Collapse the pocket and get to the QB or else the secondary will get shredded time and again…

Expect no change cause that front 7 has issues…Houston is a legit 8-3.. TRAP GAME on the road?

Run the no huddle at least 80% of the time to keep this stout Houston defense off balance, give Ryan time to make his throws too and open up running lanes for Turner..

@waynester your points are well taken Sir..

A MUST WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael M.

November 29th, 2011
11:57 am

The Giants are that bad D-Led. Why that team has no business being in first place in there division. I guess it shows just how bad the rest of those Teams are below them in their division. They just never had the desire to score big last night. Was they too tired from eating too much on Thanksgiving I don’t know.

As for our Team Atlanta this Sunday’s game in Texas won’t be no cakewalk or could it be ? I don’t know but I do know I’ll have my fingers crossed for another Falcon Victory. Sitting in 2nd place in our Division isn’t so bad. I know last year we won the NFC South and folded in the playoffs and I would rather let the Saints win the NFC South this year and us get to the NFC Title game shot with a chance to win it if thats in the cards for our Team this year.

Anyway I look at it I am still proud of our football team because they never give up and may go deep into the playoffs this year. Who’s a fan to say it won’t happen ? The players on the football team are in control of their own destiny.

I know they wil be a few on here have some smart remarks to say probably as they always do but their two cents is just that ………..two cents !

Einstein

November 29th, 2011
12:10 pm

We may not win pretty…but we win.

mountain_jim

November 29th, 2011
12:17 pm

Hope Coach Smith is learning how to use the 3rd quarter gas pedal this week.

SeenThisB4

November 29th, 2011
12:57 pm

Falcan’ts probably 5 seed. Play 4 Dallas or NY G. Probably win. Saints #3 play 6. Chicago? Probably win. Then #1 hosts #5. Bye bye #5!

falconfansinceprime

November 29th, 2011
1:03 pm

Hey dled why u didn’t report that the birds worked out 4 dbs last week?

SirReal

November 29th, 2011
1:04 pm

@mountain_jim I TOTALLY agree. This 3rd quarter lull has hurt us all year. we HAVE to come out firing. This team is getting a rep for not showing up in the 3rd quarter and letting teams stay in games. Can we finally play a full game where we close the deal? If he lets up this week, I can honestly say we can forget about a title runb/c there’s no way you can win a title playing that kind of ball.

Falcons 73

November 29th, 2011
1:04 pm

The reason the Falcons struggle against rookie qb’s, is due to the lack of pressure they apply/style of defense they play. If you look at the top teams (Green Bay, New England, New Orleans), their talent as a whole is not much better than the Falcons. The biggest difference is the style of play each of those teams implement, which is to constantly attack and be aggressive (all game long).

If only Mike Smith would get the memo and start unleashing the talent that the Falcons posses…

c'mon man

November 29th, 2011
1:30 pm

Falcons win an UGLY game. Low scoring. Texans have a good D and we have a vanilla O. We have an average D and they have no O. Makings of UGLY but at least a win.

CGD..

November 29th, 2011
1:31 pm

“If only Mike Smith would get the memo and start unleashing the talent that the Falcons posses…”

Coach Smith= Norv Turner… Give him another two years

CGD..

November 29th, 2011
1:32 pm

“Green Bay, New England, New Orleans), their talent as a whole is not much better than the Falcons. The biggest difference is the style of play each of those teams implement”

Dare you say Coaching is the huge difference along with QB talent?

Decatur Falcons

November 29th, 2011
2:15 pm

I will say this about the Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons need to play hard against this team. The Houston Texan isn’t going to be a easy game. The Viking could have beat the Atlanta Falcons, because they stop scoring. The Atlanta Falcons have to score in every quarter, and convert 3rd downs. The no name quarter that will start for the Houston Texans on Sunday needs to be put on the ground by Abe and Edwards. Mike Smith has to out coach the Houston Texan coach on offense. GO FALCONS!!!!

Mikey

November 29th, 2011
2:25 pm

It seems that often the rookie QBs present more of a problem to the Falcons than that experienced ones do. I’m glad that they have all week to prepare for TJ Yates. Maybe that will help. I am anxious to see what they do with Houston’s outstanding running backs. This Falcons defense sure shut down Chris Johnson from Tennessee and they seem to be getting stronger every week.They are demonstrating strong game planning though so it should be fun to watch. Go FALCONS!

SirReal

November 29th, 2011
3:08 pm

@CGD Yeah I agree.

This game is gonna come down to coaching.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 29th, 2011
3:13 pm

falconfansinceprime — Workouts are closed. Team wouldn’t confirm the workouts. They workout folks all the time. Not really a priority to worry about in-season workouts unless of course its Deion Sanders or Jim Thorpe.

Justin

November 29th, 2011
3:15 pm

As a fellow pope alum, it is very exiting to see one of our former stars in his very first start in the NFL against Atlanta. I think alot of the atlanta fans are overlooking the point of the story. I hope TJ can pick up the win. Yes, I am a falcons fan. But when you grew up with the kid who’s about to go to war against the falcons defense, you cheer for him instead. Go TJ, prove the media wrong, prove the critics wrong, and most importantly go win this game and show the NFL that you belong there.

Bird Dawg Country

November 29th, 2011
4:07 pm

Falcons got this game in the win column

D man

November 29th, 2011
4:08 pm

Here is my take on this Texans game; texans will run a lot and the Falcons have one of the best run defenses in the NFL. So I feel like they will have to start throwing the ball and we will need to blitz more than we usually do to get in this young QBs face. He will throw some interceptions. On offense, we will have to score about 17 points to win this game. I see a low scoring game. We are favored by 3 last time I checked…

Juggernaut

November 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

Expect a beatdown from the mighty Texans. Except lions tell me one good team that falcons beat. ….
answer is none.

Go texans ! It will be long day for you fellas.

D man

November 29th, 2011
4:15 pm

Juggernaut – we beat the Eagles who were considered the “dream team” at the time and also beat the Lions and Titans. We have also won every game we were favored in and we are favored this weekend. Falcons will win…

Juggernaut

November 29th, 2011
4:22 pm

Did you people talking about Atlanta being one of the Texans toughest opponents left, actually see them play the vikings yesterday ? your team barely hung on AT HOME against a horrible vikings team that’s mailed it in for the season and was without adrian peterson. Heck, peterson’s backup ran for 50 yards and a TD. Oh by the way, the vikings start a rookie QB with a horrible O-line, average receiving corps, back up RB and still threw for 200 and a TD. So can you imagine what we gonna do your matty ryan and RBs.

Juggernaut

November 29th, 2011
4:26 pm

@D man…I expected you to be more smart from you comments above. Anyways, dream team was just a hype everybody knows that, eagles are so inconsistent and they do not have a winning record. Lions…may be yes to some extent but Titans…lol you gotta be kidding me. You guys lost to all good teams Bears, packs and saints.
So, if you have even a peanut sized brain….its pretty clear that falcons falter when they play good teams. So, they are mediocre at the best.

D man

November 29th, 2011
4:30 pm

Juggernaut – I watched it and I saw the Falcons make a goal line stand, move down the field easily on offense and we won the game easily. It did look like they were looking ahead but they did win. We did what we had to do to win. Next week we will do what we have to do to win…

D man

November 29th, 2011
4:37 pm

Juggernaut – When people get frustrated they start calling names. I see I have frustrated you with my facts. You are correct that we lost to the Saints and GB who I believe we should have won both of those games and blew it. But again, we win games we are favored in and we are favored on Sunday. That is just another fact that may drive you “peanuts”. LOL Falcons will win Sunday…

Juggernaut

November 29th, 2011
4:43 pm

Ok…cool, if thats what you think. But remember Texans have also been underdogs and this sunday our RBs will unleash and run defense will have hard time stopping ben or arian.

Texans 27 falcons 17

D man

November 29th, 2011
4:48 pm

Juggernaut – yes, but they were underdogs with Matt Schaub, not without him… No way your Texans score 27 points without a proven QB. They will try to run the ball and no one has successfully run against the Falcons lately so they will try to throw and that will be tough.

Falcons 24 Texans 13.

JSS

November 29th, 2011
4:50 pm

Congratulations to the fans in Jacksonville by the way… Mr. Khan seems to have learned from his failure to buy the Rams. They (the fans) aren’t being silly in looking for a local knight in shining armor. If they play their cards right, they may get the replacement stadium for the old Gator Bowl (it will always be the Gator Bowl to me) in the works too and not mortgage the city and regions finances like the Falcons and the Vikings are trying pawn off on their respective towns…

Juggernaut

November 29th, 2011
4:50 pm

well have heard the name andre johnson ? he better than all of your wide recievers and tight ends put together.

Falcon fan 24/7

November 30th, 2011
12:35 pm

We didn’t struggle against Scam Newton.He’s a rookie. The Falcons knock TJ out in the 1st qtr. Who’s the backup to the backup?

No one runs on our defense.

We will when the division AGAIN.

Juggernaut

November 30th, 2011
2:11 pm

Yo d**** head we are not panther cubs. We are 1 defense in the league. We rip your team apart.

Juggernaut

November 30th, 2011
2:12 pm

Get your backup QB ready this time. Matty ryan and turner will be seen on stretcher soon.

Mike FR

November 30th, 2011
3:34 pm

Dear Juggernaut -

We do know who Andre Johnson is, he’s a beast. Do you know who Calvin Johnson is? If you do, I suggest you check his stats when we played against them, also, note that the qb trowing to him was Stafford, not TJ Yates.

Last time I checked, you guys were averaging like 26 points per game with Schaub. What makes you think TJ Yates can take that offense to put 27? Heck not even Rodgers put up 27 against us …

I won’t argue against your d, they’re no.1 .. But our run d is no. 2, so I wouldn’t count on foster and tate running all over the field. At some point, TJ will be forced to beat us.. and frankly, I don’t see that happening