Archive for July, 2012

Atlanta Falcons: 12th in PFT’s preseason power rankings

 

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

 

Birdland — Our pal Darin Gantt, who’s over at profootballtalk.com now, has the Falcons ranked 12th in the popular website’s preseason power rankings. 

100813 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gives the thumbs up as the Falcons take the field for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010.     Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

100813 Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder gives the thumbs up as the Falcons take the field for the exhibition season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

He believes that the Falcons have a hot mess along the offensive line and that if they don’t make their playoff push this year, veterans like tight end Tony Gonzalez, defensive end John Abraham and running back Michael Turner might not be around for the next playoff push.

Gantt considers the receivers and defensive backs as team strengths. (A lot of these previews …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: 12th in PFT’s preseason power rankings »

Countdown to camp: A look at the safeties

 

Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) tries to stop New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) during the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) tries to stop New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) during the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Birdland  – With the opening of the Falcons‘ training camp just days away, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will take a look at some key positions every day through July 26th. Today we examine the safeties.

 The 10-day “Countdown to Camp” series started out with the defensive line and followed by the linebackers and cornerbacks. 

The players report for training camp on Wednesday and take the field for the first practice at 10:40 a.m. the following day. 

Here’s a look at the safeties:

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Will strong safety William Moore continue to improve and turn into a major enforcer?

Which safety will have more impact plays in 2012? (Impact plays: Interceptions + Sacks + Force Fumbles + Passes defensed.)

Continue reading Countdown to camp: A look at the safeties »

Michael Vick admits to costing the Falcons a Super Bowl title

Birdland Michael Vick went on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access show Wednesday and basically admitted to costing the Falcons a shot at

Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon making a hit on Michael Vick last season.

Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon making a hit on Michael Vick last season.

winning the Super Bowl during his ill-fated tenure.

Vick talked about his poor study habits and concluded that he probably would have a Super Bowl ring if he started studying back in the day before he went to jail on federal dog fighting charges.

The Falcons are one of the 14 teams that have never won the Super Bowl.

Vick is promoting a biography that will be released on Sept. 4. Tony Dungy wrote the foreword.

Here is a video link and transcript of the interview.

(ASIDE: He talks about how he knew more about breeding dogs than the playbook. If I remember correctly, the court documents detailed how Vick’s dogs lost most of their fights. The dog experts noted that he would buy “cheap” and then try to coach up his dogs. His dogs had a “losing” record.)

Here are the …

Continue reading Michael Vick admits to costing the Falcons a Super Bowl title »

Video: Matt Ryan helps Make-A-Wish; ready for camp

WSB-TV’S Zach Klein interviews Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan at the Make-A-Wish event on Tuesday.

Ryan helped Make-A-Wish Georgia launch their special fundraising campaign, ‘Wishes Can’t Wait’ on Tuesday.

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Currently, there are over 620 children in Georgia waiting for their wish to be granted — each child having been pre-qualified with a terminal or life-threatening disease or condition.

From 2009-2011, decreasing revenue, increasing referral numbers, and substantially growing wish costs have created the “perfect storm” for delaying hundreds of wishes.

Make-A-Wish Georgia is seeking to raise $2.5 million to apply directly toward wish granting, such that the current waiting period, of up to two years, can be reduced.

The organization will be bringing together Atlanta area philanthropists and celebrities, in a private launch …

Continue reading Video: Matt Ryan helps Make-A-Wish; ready for camp »

Countdown to Camp: A look at the cornerbacks

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel losens up with some high kicks for the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel loosens up with some high kicks for the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Birdland – With the opening of the Falcons‘ training camp just a week away, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will take a look at some key positions every day through July 26th. Today we examine the cornerbacks.

The 10-day “Countdown to Camp” series started out with the defensive line and followed by the linebackers.

The players report for training camp next Wednesday and take the field for the first practice at 10:40 a.m. the following day.

Here’s a look at the cornerbacks:

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can the trio of Asante Samuel, Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson propel the Falcons pass defense?

Which cornerback will have the most interceptions in 2012?

  • Asante Samuel
  • Brent Grimes
  • Dunta Robinson
  • Dominique Franks

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

No one will argue with …

Continue reading Countdown to Camp: A look at the cornerbacks »

Tweet alert: Samuel wants more Falcons fan followers

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel losens up with some high kicks for the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel losens up with some high kicks for the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel is looking for more Falcons fans to follow him on twitter.

He posted this today, “I need some more Falcon followers to get these Eagle’s off my back. They going are) hard! But they will turn on them like they always do.”

You can follow Samuel: @pick_six22

–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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Video: Previewing Atlanta Falcons training camp

Head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan are under a lot of pressure to win in the playoffs heading into Falcons training camp. CineSport’s Noah Coslov and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter preview camp.

–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.

Continue reading Video: Previewing Atlanta Falcons training camp »

Sports Talk Radio: Sandra Golden top female in the nation

BIRDLAND – Since my man Rodney Ho — (Love that cool hat!) – is out on vacation, I’ll take a stab at

Sandra Golden is the top ranked female in the Sports Talk radio game. (Credit: CSS Sports)

Sandra Golden is the top ranked female in the Sports Talk radio game. (Credit: CSS Sports)

 this Sports Talk Radio blog stuff.

The editors over at TALKERS magazine, with input from “industry” leaders, have compiled their first annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” and there are four groups from Atlanta represented on the list.

They call it the “100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America.” Growing up, my favorite radio guy was the great Pete Franklin on WWWE in Cleveland. He kicked ass and took names!!!

The Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York is No. 1. He’s a Franklin clone, but not nearly as good as ol’ “Pigskin Pete.”

The top Atlanta group of David Archer and Mike Bell, from WQXI 790 The Zone, checked it at No. 30.

Christopher Rude, the lovely Sandra Golden, Perry Laurentino and Leo Mazzone of 680 WCNN were ranked 62nd.

Golden is the highest ranking women sports talker …

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Countdown to Camp: A look at the linebackers

060612 FLOWERY BRANCH :  Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon fires up teammates during warmups for team practice at Flowery Branch on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.  CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

060612 FLOWERY BRANCH : Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon fires up teammates during warmups for team practice at Flowery Branch on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Birdland – With the opening of the Falcons‘ training camp just more than a week away, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will take a look at some key positions every day through July 26th. Today we examine the linebackers.

Here’s a look at the linebackers:

THE REALLY BIG QUESTION: Can Lofa Tatupu return to Pro Bowl form and win the middle linebacker spot?

Who will be the Falcons’ three starting linebackers in 2012?

  • Weatherspoon, Tatupu and Nicholas
  • Weatherspoon, Dent and Nicholas
  • Weatherspoon, Tatupu and Adkins
  • Weatherspoon, Tatupu and Dent

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

The Falcons elected to part ways with middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who led the team in tackles in each of the past three seasons.

Lofa Tatupu, a three-time Pro Bowler,  and Akeen …

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Babineaux serves up tribute to mother; ready to earn a ring

Barbara Babineaux speaking at the Thanks Mom & Dad Celebration. (Photo Credit: Cherry BañezPR)

Barbara Babineaux speaking at the Thanks Mom & Dad Celebration. (Photo Credit: Cherry BañezPR)

BIRDLAND – You can’t really keep up with Falcons defensive end Jonathan Babineaux, who volunteers relentlessly in the community.

He does work with some 60 organizations, from the Boy Scouts of America to the DTLR football camps. But this past Friday, he dished out a surprise honor to his mother Barbara at the Thanks Mom & Dad Celebration at the Georgia Aquarium.

Babineaux told his mom, who raised five kids in Port Arthur, Texas, to come to see him receive an honor.

The surprise plan worked.

Jonathan Babineaux making the tribute to his mother at the celebration. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Jonathan Babineaux making the tribute to his mother at the celebration. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

“I saw the sign outside and it didn’t even register at all,” Barbara Babineaux said.

All of her kids went on to graduate from college and Jonathan and Jordan Babineaux, made it to the NFL. Jordan starts at safety for the Tennessee Titans.

In her remarks to the crowd, Barbara Babineaux …

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