Archive for May, 2012

Clark Atlanta CB Harcourt Farquharson to receive tryout

 

Clark Atlanta defenders Harcourt Farquharson (5) and Dominque Hodges (29) celebrate Hodges' interception during their game against Morehouse at Clark Atlanta University Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 30, 2010. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

Clark Atlanta defenders Harcourt Farquharson (5) and Dominque Hodges (29) celebrate Hodges' interception during their game against Morehouse at Clark Atlanta University Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 30, 2010. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

 

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – The roster, with a heavy local flavor, is set for the Falcons rookie minicamp that will run Friday through Saturday.

In addition to the six drafted rookies and the 23 undrafted rookies, six veterans and 10 players on tryouts will participate.

The veterans are wide receiver Kevin Cone and Drew Davis, tight end Tommy Gallarda, linebacker Matt Hansen, offensive lineman Andrew Jackson and safety Suaesi Tuimaunei.

Clark Atlanta cornerback Harcourt Farquharson, Georgia Tech wide receiver Tyler Melton and Georgia tight end Aron White head up the list of tryout invitees.

Here’s a youtube video of Farquharson.

In 2010, two players who received tryouts were signed to the roster in quarterback Eric Ward and …

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Carthon, Morton leave to join Rams’ front office

Ran Carthon picking up some yards against Georgia back in 2003 at the World Largest Cocktail Party. (Associated Press)

Ran Carthon picking up some yards against Georgia back in 2003 at the World Largest Cocktail Party. (Associated Press)

Falcons scouts Ran Carthon and Taylor Morton left to join the front office of the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday.

Carthon will head the pro personnel department and Morton will become the Rams’ college scouting director. They will join former Falcons executive Les Snead, who was named the Rams’ general manager in February.

Carthon was with the Falcons for the past four seasons as a pro scout.

Carthon’s father, Maurice, is a former NFL running back and the assistant head coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was responsible for providing the coaching staff with advance scouting reports for upcoming opponents, evaluating players in each year’s free agency market and maintaining the daily waiver wire.

Carthon joined the scouting ranks following a three-year playing career in the NFL after breaking into the league as an undrafted rookie with the Indianapolis …

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DEPTH CHART: Updated post-Mughelli version

Bradie Ewing

Bradie Ewing

Rookie fullback Bradie Ewing will apparently get a chance to replace former Pro Bowler Ovie Mughelli, who was released on Tuesday.

So on the unofficial revised depth chart, Ewing gets the top spot followed by Mike Cox and Jason Snelling. Ewing will be here with the rest of the rookie draft picks, undrafted rookies and several players with tryout invitations Friday through Sunday for the rookie minicamp.

We chatted with Ewing, the former Wisconsin standout, on a conference call after he was drafted.

“I think I’m a very versatile player,” Ewing said. “I can do all the things the traditional fullback can do, as far as blocking from the backfield and all that stuff. But I think I have phenomenal hands. I can catch out of the backfield, I can split out and I can play special teams. Even in a crunch, I think I could play some running back. I did that in college and in high school, so I think my versatility [is good.]”

He noted that the Badgers had a pretty …

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Video: Recently released Falcon Ovie Mughelli

WSB TV’s Zach Klein gave this video to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli suffered a torn MCL and had surgery last season. He was released by the Falcons on Tuesday.  (Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)

Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli suffered a torn MCL and had surgery last season. He was released by the Falcons on Tuesday. (Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com)

Just four days after being cleared to return to work from knee surgery, the Falcons released former Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli on Tuesday.

“I’m still kind of digesting it,” Mughelli said by phone on Tuesday. “It’s something that I knew was a possibility. It didn’t come too much as a surprise. It’s something that happens in every player’s career. I know that I’m still one of the best fullbacks out there. Right now, I just have to be patient and work with my agent to see what’s the next step that we’re going to take. ”

 The Falcons recently selected fullback Bradie Ewing in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

Mughelli had a salary cap number of $3.7 million for 2012. The team will receive relief.

Mughelli was originally …

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THE X-MAN: Former Falcons exec Brian Xanders out in Denver

Denver Broncos general manager Brian Xanders looks on as quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a news conference at the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Broncos general manager Brian Xanders looks on as quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a news conference at the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Former Falcons executive Brian Xanders, who played for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, left the Broncos after four years in what was described as a mutual decision to part ways.

Here’s the Denver Post story on the power struggle between Xanders and John Elway that led to his depature.

Elway is starting to exercise more control over the franchise and clearly doesn’t feel that he needs a general manager.

Xanders was the director of football administration for the Falcons before joining the Broncos. Nick Polk currently holds that position with the Falcons.

Xanders was with the Falcons in various capacities from 1994 to 2007. He also worked in some overlapping positions with the salary cap management/analysis (four years), coaching staff (five years), player …

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Weatherspoon will be focal point of Nolan’s defense

 

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) during the first quarter of an NFL football - Sunday December 5 (AP)

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) during the first quarter of an NFL football – Sunday December 5 (AP)

FLOWERY BRANCH – With middle linebacker Curtis Lofton leaving for the Saints, it’s clear that weakside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon’s role will expand under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

“I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing all of the time,” Weatherspoon said. “I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge. I think I’m ready for that, to do a little bit more and step out there and do some different things. I look forward to the challenge. I think it’s going to be fun.”

Weatherspoon, a former first-round draft choice who is about to enter his third year in the league, had a breakout campaign in 2011.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) fumbles the ball, stripped by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56). (Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) fumbles the ball, stripped by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56). (Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

He finished with 127 tackles, …

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DEPTH CHART: Updated post-draft version

California's Michael Calvin, right, runs with the ball as Utah's Eric Rowe reaches for him and the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in San Francisco. (Associated Press)

California's Michael Calvin, right, runs with the ball as Utah's Eric Rowe reaches for him and the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in San Francisco. (Associated Press)

Caught up with Falcons general manger Thomas Dimitroff at the team’s community service project on Thursday.

Here’s the blog on that.

I wanted to follow-up on his radio interview about the cornerbacks and he elaborated on the plan. He said Dunta Robinson, Brent Grimes and Asante Samuel will all get some action inside.

“Dunta has played inside at Houston and has a desire to play inside as well and that’s positive,” Dimitroff said. “He did a nice job down there. When he came to us, he’s been outside-only as you know. I understand that he’s looking forward to jumping back inside and spending some time in there as well. There is a good chance that all of those guys will be spending time inside and out.”

The theme of the training camp will be …

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Falcons want fans to ‘Rise Up’ and do community service

[VIDEO ABOVE: Tony Johns, 41, COO of the City of Refuge agency, talks about the Falcons and Arthur Blank Family of Businesses employees' community service day. George Henry of the Associated Press is asking the questions.]

Just a two miles west of the Georgia Dome, all of the employees from the Falcons and the Blank Family of Businesses did some community service at the City of Refuge on Thursday.

The City of Refuge is a social service agency that mainly serves homeless women and children in one of the roughest, drug-infested and depressed parts of Georgia.

“The 30314 area code has the highest rate of infectious diseases and highest infant mortality rate [in the State],” said Tony Johns, City of Refuge’s chief operating officer. “As a matter of fact, our infant mortality rate in this local area is higher than many African Nations.”

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and City of Refuge CEO Bruce Deel on Thursday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and City of Refuge CEO Bruce Deel on Thursday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

About …

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TD: Dunta Robinson slated to move inside

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff didn’t speak to the local media on the day of the Asante Samuel trade so we couldn’t ask how the cornerbacks were going to be deployed. (He was a little busy putting the finishing touches on the draft board.)

Then we went into the three-day draft and the Samuel deal got lost in the shuffle. So we still don’t know:

1. If Brent Grimes signed his tender because of the trade.

2. If Grimes still wants a long-term deal.

3. Who is definitely going to play where in the defense.

But on SiriusXM’s Late Hits show with Alex Marvez & Bill Polian on Tuesday, Dimitroff, in answering a question from Polian, shed some light on the subject.

Samuel and Grimes are slated to be the outside cornerbacks with Dunta Robinson sliding down inside to the play slot, which it what I projected here and a …

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Saints’ top two defenders get suspended; Vilma for season

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (left) and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (right).  AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (left) and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (right). AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended four players for their participation in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program on Wednesday.

Linebacker Scott Fujita, defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who played at Georgia Tech, defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma were notified that they have been suspended without pay for conduct detrimental to the NFL as a result of their leadership roles in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program.

Smith and Vilma are arguable the Saints’ top two defenders. Fujita now plays for Cleveland and Hargrove signed with Green Bay this offseason. Smith will be back by the time the Falcons face the Saints in their first meeting on Nov. 11 in New Orleans.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma in action (Rusty Costanza/The Times-Picayune)

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma in action (Rusty Costanza/The Times-Picayune)

The bounty program was deemed to endangered player safety over three seasons from …

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