Archive for January, 2012

INACTIVES: Brent Grimes out for playoff game

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes intercepts Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes intercepts Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.  – Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes was declared inactive for the playoff game against the New York Giants today. 

The other inactives were John Parker Wilson, Stephen Nicholas, Brett Romberg, Kirk Chambers, Cliff Matthews and Kerry Meier.

Dominique Franks will start for Grimes at left cornerback and move inside to the slot when they play their nickel defense. Christopher Owens will play the left cornerback in the nickel.

Grimes did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, the major days for the installation of the defensive game plan. He was limited in practice on Friday and declared questionable for the game.

Grimes was injured in the Detroit game on Oct. 23. He played in the next three games before having surgery on Dec. 1.

It was described as a “minor procedure.”  An expert projected that he’d miss two to three weeks.

Grimes didn’t …

Continue reading INACTIVES: Brent Grimes out for playoff game »

A Falcons win will set up a rematch with Green Bay

Packers' B.J. Raji celebrates after beating the Steelers 31-25 in the Super Bowl XLV on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

Packers' B.J. Raji celebrates after beating the Steelers 31-25 in the Super Bowl XLV on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

NEW YORK — If the Falcons beat the New York Giants, they would advance to face the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

          New Orleans eliminated Detroit with a 45-28 victory on Saturday.  The Lions were the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. The Falcons have the No. 5 seed and would be the lowest seed alive with a victory and would have to play the No. 1 seeded Packers in the NFC playoffs.

       Green Bay, as a No. 6 seed, eliminated the No. 1 seeded Falcons from the playoffs last season with a 48-21 victory at the Georgia Dome.

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

 Saturday, January 14

NFC: 4:30 PM (ET) New Orleans at San Francisco (FOX)

AFC: 8:00 PM (ET) Denver/Pittsburgh at New England (CBS)

Sunday, January 15

AFC: 1:00 PM (ET) Houston at Baltimore (CBS)

NFC: 4:30 PM (ET) Dallas-N.Y. Giants-Atlanta at Green Bay (FOX)

The AFC …

Continue reading A Falcons win will set up a rematch with Green Bay »

Ex-Falcon Doleman a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

Chris Doleman, who played for the Falcons from 1996 to 1998, is a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Here’s the release from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

 Two first-year eligible nominees – coach Bill Parcells and tackle Will Shields – are among the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the Hall’s Selection Committee meets in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.

Joining the first-year eligible, are 12 modern-era players and a contributor. The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2011 (former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins guard Dick Stanfel) will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 44-member Selection Committee meets. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

Although technically a first-year eligible …

Continue reading Ex-Falcon Doleman a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist »

4 key matchups: Falcons at Giants, 1 p.m. Sunday

Falcons CB Dominique Franks vs. Giants WR Victor Cruz: Franks, a second-year player from

110804 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks, left, defends against wide receiver Eric Weems during one on one plays at training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011.     Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110804 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dominique Franks, left, defends against wide receiver Eric Weems during one on one plays at training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

 Oklahoma, has played strong down the stretch. Franks has started at left cornerback for Brent Grimes. He will be nickel back against the Giants and will get Cruz when he shows up in the slot. Cruz set a new franchise record with his receiving yards (1,526) and finished third in the NFL. He was signed as an undrafted rookie from University of Massachusetts. He also had nine touchdowns and finished second in the league with five catches of 50 yards or more.

Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez vs. Giants LB Michael Boley: When the Falcons faced the Giants on Nov. 22, 2009, Gonzalez was a major factor, catching eight passes for 82 yards. Boley also had a strong game with …

Continue reading 4 key matchups: Falcons at Giants, 1 p.m. Sunday »

Miami granted permission to interview Mularkey

110801 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey signals to the offense while players run through the first padded practice at training camp in Flowery Branch on Monday, August 1, 2011.     Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110801 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey signals to the offense while players run through the first padded practice at training camp in Flowery Branch on Monday, August 1, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

NEW YORK — The Falcons granted the Miami Dolphins permission to interview offensive coordiantor Mike Mularkey on Saturday.

Here’s the story on the Falcons and how they are bracing for changes in the front office and the coaching staff.

Mularkey was Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2006 and the tight ends coach in 2007.

He spoke earlier in the week about getting ready for the playoff game against the New York Gaints at 1 p.m. Sunday and his job prospects.

Mularkey basically promised that he’d be dialed in to call the offensive game against the New York Giants.

“There’s just so much going on during the season, during the week,” Mularkey said. “I can’t tell you how from the minute we get here to the minute we get home, it’s just so …

Continue reading Miami granted permission to interview Mularkey »

Injury report: Grimes returns to practice, questionable

Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes (20) of the NFC, right, celebrates with Arizona Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson (24) of the NFC after Grimes made an interception during the second quarter. AP

Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes (20) of the NFC, right, celebrates with Arizona Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson (24) of the NFC after Grimes made an interception during the second quarter. AP

FLOWERY BRANCH — Starting left cornerback Brent Grimes (knee) returned to practice on Friday and was listed as questionable on the official injury report for the wild-card playoff game against the New York Giants at 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.   

Giants defensive Justin Tuck, who referred to the Falcons’ linemen as ‘dirt bags’, did not practice  with a shoulder injury. He was listed as probable for the game.

Grimes, who didn’t play in the regular season finale against Tampa Bay,  has not practiced all week. He  was limited in practice, but appeared fine while making several plays on the ball.

Linebacker Stephen Nicholas (toe) was working on the side with the trainers and was listed as doubtful for the game.

Center Todd McClure, tight end Tony …

Continue reading Injury report: Grimes returns to practice, questionable »

TV, radio: Fox reporter Oliver believes Falcons can soar

PAM OLIVER

Fox's Pam Oliver will be one of the sideline reporters for Sunday's game.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s the TV and Radio information for the Falcons (10-6) wild-card playoff game against the New York Giants (9-7) which is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

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

FOX TV COVERAGE: Play-by-play: Joe Buck,  Color Analyst: Troy Aikman, and Sideline: Pam Oliver and Chris Myers.

NATIONAL RADIO BY WESTWOOD ONE: Play-by-play: Ian Eagle, Color Analyst: Trent Green, and Sideline: Laura Okmin. Scott Graham will host the pre-game and halftime shows.

Oliver was in Flowery Branch this week to do some interviews for the pre-game show and wrote a story.

For Oliver’s complete interview with the Falcons, you can tune in Sunday to NFL on FOX  at noon.

 

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at …

Continue reading TV, radio: Fox reporter Oliver believes Falcons can soar »

Smith to unleash the Predator in New York

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards dunks fellow defensive end John Abraham during a postgame interview following a his best performance of the year in a 41-14 victory over the Jaguars at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards dunks fellow defensive end John Abraham during a postgame interview following a his best performance of the year in a 41-14 victory over the Jaguars at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive end John “The Predator” Abraham will be like a NASCAR race car and have his restrictor plate removed for the wild-card playoff game against the New York Giants at 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

“We’ve had him on a play count all season long, and now it’s an opportunity for us to go and extend his snaps as we get into the postseason,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

During the season, the Falcons freely rotated in Kroy Biermann with Abraham and Ray Edwards. Abraham suffered a minor groin injury in second game of the season, but continued to play. He has a history of groin injuries, and with the low snap count he started 15 of 16 games.

Without a play-count …

Continue reading Smith to unleash the Predator in New York »

UPDATE: Caldwell, Snead set to interview with Colts

UPDATE: Colts also granted permission by the Falcons to interview director of college scouting David Caldwell, who spent 12 years with the Colts

FLOWERY BRANCH — With all the playoff news, I’ve been burying this in the notebook for the last two days. But it’s very important.

Les Snead, the Falcons director of player personnel, will interview with the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts for their vacant general manager’s positions next week. The team has granted both organizations permission after hearing from their owners. 

It’s also likely that the Chicago Bears, who are meticulously vetting Snead, may seek permission.

Snead broke into the NFL as a scout with Jacksonville. He has been with the Falcons for 13 years and is considered one of general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s top lieutenants. Here’s a story on Snead’s work inside the personnel department.

Here’s the team’s bio on Snead and Caldwell’s is below:

Les Snead begins his 13th season with the Falcons …

Continue reading UPDATE: Caldwell, Snead set to interview with Colts »

Injury report: Weatherspoon returns; Grimes still out

The Falcons' defense slowed down Green Bay and New Orleans this season, but they need to get cornerback Brent Grimes back, according to Mayock.  Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons' defense slowed down Green Bay and New Orleans this season, but they need to get cornerback Brent Grimes back, according to Mayock. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Starting weakside linebacker Sean Weatherspon returned to practice on Thursday, after missing Wednesday’s practice with a head injury.

He participated fully in practice.

Linebacker Stephen Nicholas did not participate in practice. Falcons coach Mike Smith already said he was doubtful for Sunday. Cornerback Brent Grimes, who worked out with the trainers, did not practice but he expects to play on Sunday.

“They are a great offense and they have a lot of weapons,” Grimes said. “We have our hands full, but we are going to prepare for them and we’ll be ready.”

Center Todd McClure, tight end Tony Gonzalez, defensive end John Abraham were rested on Wednesday. They all fully participated in practice on Thursday.

Running back Michael Turner (groin), running back Jason Snelling (knee), wide …

Continue reading Injury report: Weatherspoon returns; Grimes still out »