Archive for June, 2012

PFWA: Houston Texans PR staff wins Pete Rozelle award

The Houston Texans public relations staff has been selected as the 2012 Pete Rozelle Award winners

Kevin Cooper, Houston Texans

Kevin Cooper, Houston Texans

 by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

The Texans, the 23rd Rozelle Award winners, earned the award for the third time in the past six seasons and the fourth time overall (2004, 2007, 2010, 2012), the most among NFL club public relations departments.

The other finalists were the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.

The Rozelle Award is given to the NFL club public relations staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media. The award is named for Rozelle, NFL commissioner from 1960-89, who started his distinguished career in sports PR roles as a student at both Compton (Calif.) Junior College and the University of San Francisco. After two more years as USF’s assistant athletic director after graduation, he broke into the NFL as the PR director of …

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Q&A with assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich

Assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich is set to enter his fourth season with the Falcons.

Assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich is set to enter his fourth season with the Falcons.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Eric Sutulovich is set to enter his fourth season with the Falcons as the assistant special teams coach.

He came to the Falcons after working as an offensive assistant for one season with the Detroit Lions in 2008. He first coached in the NFL with the Houston Texans in 2002.

During minicamp, Sutulovich spoke on several topics concerning the special teams units.

Q: How do the special teams coaches approach the offseason and evaluating the new players on the roster?

A: It’s been good. There’s been a lot of good work. It’s good to see the young guys. As we get closer and closer to games, they will get less and less reps. It’s good to have the opportunity to sit down with them and see where they are at mentally and physically. Last year, we didn’t have that opportunity with the lockout and stuff. It’s been really good. There are some bright …

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Atlanta Falcons: Biermann could flourish in new attack

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann shares a laugh with his wife Kim Zolciak at the end of team practice on the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann shares a laugh with his wife Kim Zolciak at the end of team practice on the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann, with his newfound reality-show celebrity, could benefit from defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s new attacking style of defense.

However, Biermann is reluctant to talk about the TV show about his wife, Kim Zolciak, and his family,

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann picks up his son Kroy Jagger Biermann, Jr., as he walks off the field after the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann picks up his son Kroy Jagger Biermann, Jr., as he walks off the field after the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

 even though he tweets about it fervently and it is seen by millions across the nation. He wants to keep his football and the reality show separate.

“I can’t talk about that,” Biermann said.

When it was …

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Atlanta Falcons: Rookie catches the Wrath of Abraham

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham runs an agility drill during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham runs an agility drill during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — It didn’t take long for defensive end John Abraham to make his presence felt in practice.

Abraham, who skipped the voluntary organized team activities, got into a scuffle with rookie tight end

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Atlanta Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards checks out the view of team practice borrowing a camera from a sports photographer to snap some photos of his teammates during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Atlanta Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards checks out the view of team practice borrowing a camera from a sports photographer to snap some photos of his teammates during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

 Adam Nissley when he went too low on a block.

“What the [expletive] is wrong with you,” Abraham said after he pulled off Nissley’s helmet, and the skirmish was broken up.

“I think that John looked very good,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He was here early in the …

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Atlanta Falcons: LB Robert James to get close look

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Falcons linebacker Robert James covers on a play during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons linebacker Robert James covers on a play during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Linebacker Robert James, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of Arizona State, is getting a close look at minicamp.

He’ll get a chance to show that he’s a speedy linebacker, who can possibly play in passing situations.

“I think both him and Spencer Adkins are guys that are fighting right now and have been around,” defensive assistant Mark Collins said. “They understand the system. They understand their roles. It should be good competition in the fall.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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PFWA: Tim Tebow wins 2012 Good Guy award

Tim Tebow got off to a slow start at Senior Bowl workouts a couple of years ago. (Dave Martin, Associated Press)

Tim Tebow got off to a slow start at Senior Bowl workouts a couple of years ago. (Dave Martin, Associated Press)

Quarterback Tim Tebow, who led the Denver Broncos during a magical 2011 season that saw him face intense local and national media scrutiny, has been selected as the 2012 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Tebow, the eighth Good Guy Award winner, is the fifth consecutive quarterback and first member of the Broncos to receive the honor from the PFWA.

The Good Guy Award is given to a NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs. The award was first given by the PFWA in 2005.

Tebow, now a member of the New York Jets after a March trade, was cited by numerous national writers for how he handled the attention that came with his play on the field during the 2011 season for Denver. After a 1-4 start, the Broncos made Tebow the starting QB, and Denver won seven of the final 11 …

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Q and A with assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn

 
060612 FLOWERY BRANCH : The Atlanta Falcons offensive line works with assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn (in hat) during team practice at Flowery Branch on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.  CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

060612 FLOWERY BRANCH : The Atlanta Falcons offensive line works with assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn (in hat) during team practice at Flowery Branch on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn, a 29-year coaching veteran, is back for his fifth season with the team.

After this morning’s walkthrough, Dunn spoke on several topics concerning the offensive line. 

Q: How’s the offensive line group looking?

A: We’re excited. We think that there’s going to be a lot of competition out here over the next three days. We are also excited to take a look at some of these young guys and see how they can react here at a pretty good pace. Everything has kind of been in slow motion until right now. It will speed up here in the afternoon practices and we’re anxious to see how they are going to react.

Q: How has the rookie Peter Konz looked so far?

A: Peter has got a lot of promise. We are …

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Atlanta Falcons: 5 things to watch at minicamp

Falcons players gather around head coach Mike Smith for some "coach speak" at the conclusion of a recent team OTA in Flowery Branch. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Falcons players gather around head coach Mike Smith for some "coach speak" at the conclusion of a recent team OTA in Flowery Branch. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons are set to squeeze in five sessions (two walk throughs and three practices) over the next three days at their mandatory minicamp.

We should get our first offseason glimpses of tight end Tony Gonzalez and defensive end John Abraham, a couple of the veterans who’ve been handling their own offseason workouts.

Here are the five things to watch during today’s two sessions:

  1. 1. Check attendance: It’s mandatory, so the entire roster should be present. If you want a printable roster to take with you CLICK HERE.
  2. 2. Offensive line groupings: The No. 1 area for concern remains the offensive line. The battle for the right guard and left tackle spots will be closely scrutinized. I plan to keep a watchful eye on Vince Manuwai. He’s a strong darkhorse in the crowded right guard …

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Atlanta Falcons: Updated depth chart for minicamp

CHUNKY BUT FUNKY?: Some media members contend that running back Michale Turner appears alittle bit chunkier. Here he is with the help of a team trainer, stretching his leg muscles at OTAs on June 13. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

CHUNKY BUT FUNKY? Some media members contend that running back Michael Turner appears a little bit chunkier. Here he is with the help of a team trainer, stretching his leg muscles at OTAs on June 13. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH — There hasn’t been much roster action since the last updated depth chart.

The only move was the release of long snapper Corey Adams last week. His spot was filled with Monday’s signing of kicker Erik Folk, the younger brother of New York Jets kicker Nick Folk. (The elder Folk announced it on twitter. Team is waiting to cross all of the T’s and dot some I’s on the contract.)

He’s a member of the Kicking Folk Family. (They also have a brother Greg, who plays soccer for UCLA.)

We’ll keep an eye on things during minicamp and try to ascertain what the depth chart will look like heading into training camp.

(DOL’s Revised) UNOFFICIAL OFFSEASON
DEPTH CHART
OFFENSE

WR 11 Julio Jones, 12 Kevin Cone, 15 Michael Calvin, 16 Marcus Jackson

LT …

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Atlanta Falcons: Placekicker Erik Folk signed

Washington's Erik Folk kicks the winning field goal as Ronnie Fouch holds and Southern California's Kevin Thomas tries to block it with seconds remaining in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009, in Seattle. Washington upset USC 16-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Washington's Erik Folk kicks the winning field goal as Ronnie Fouch holds and Southern California's Kevin Thomas tries to block it with seconds remaining in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009, in Seattle. Washington upset USC 16-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

New York Jets kicker Nick Folk announced on twitter that the Falcons have signed his little brother, Erik Folk, today.

Here’s Folk’s (@nickfolk2) tweet: “Congrats to my little bro! Signed with the @Atlanta_Falcons today! Proud of him!!”

The team is expected to announce the signing today.

The spot for Folk was created when the team waived long-snapper Corey Adams last week.

Erik Folk played at Washington. He served as the Huskies’ No. 1 placekicker in every game over the past three seasons and earned honorable mention Academic All-Pac-12 last season.

He finished his career 124-for-124 on career PAT attempts, the best perfect total in Washington history (next best is Mike Lansford, 73-for-73).

He …

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