Douglas won’t return punts during preseason

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.

FLOWERY BRANCH – Dominique Franks is the leader for the Falcons’ punt return job.

While coach Mike Smith stopped short of anointing Franks, the fact that Harry Douglas will not return any punts during the preseason is a strong indicator.

“He will not return punts, probably in the entire preseason,” Smith said of Douglas Tuesday. “We know what Harry can do. He’s a guy who did it for us his rookie season. He will not, more than likely, get any live returns during games.”

So, does that mean the job belongs to Franks? He returned all the punts in last week’s exhibition season opener against the Ravens, including a 45-yard return into the red zone.

“I don’t know that he’s close to having it done,” Smith said of Franks. “He did a nice job in Week 1. … Dom has done some things in past preseason games and in a regular-season game when the score was out of hand. He doesn’t have it sewn up but he sure has a leg up right now in terms of what he did in Week 1.”

Douglas missed the exhibition opener with a rib injury suffered in the Friday Night Lights team scrimmage.

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

Dominique Davis and Matt Ryan reunited

Polite knows waiting game in search of NFL job

Video: Mike Peterson taking over for injured Akeem Dent

Chase Coffman trying to make his way in NFL

Davis impresses in battle for No. 5 wide receiver spot

Falcons sign two, waive two

Bradie Ewing lost for the season

Game story: Ravens rout Falcons in exhibition opener

With Dent injury, Falcons take another hit at middle linebacker

Franks impresses with punt return

Q&A with Falcons coach Mike Smith after the loss to the Ravens

Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

43 comments Add your comment

hiramsaint

August 14th, 2012
6:31 pm

gd move considering the frailty of the frailcon ….FIRST

JSS

August 14th, 2012
6:50 pm

Remember all of that talk about competitions?

SirReal

August 14th, 2012
7:01 pm

Dr J

August 14th, 2012
7:03 pm

I thought Franks should be the punt returner from the get go. He’s explosive and also did it in college at Oklahoma. He should also be our kick returner. He has great speed and vision. That 45 yard return vs. Baltimore last week was just a preview of how good he could be. Neither Jaquizz Rodgers or Harry Douglas should be put back there to return kicks or punts because we don’t want to risk them to injury. Not that we want Franks to get hurt, but we really can’t afford an injury to Douglas or Rodgers. Franks is the guy.

Esquire

August 14th, 2012
7:10 pm

Chris………….could be too that Smith just doesn’t want another ignorant injury ie Dent.

SirReal

August 14th, 2012
7:36 pm

Honestly, I think its an idiotic concept to have starting caliber guys and key role players on special teams period. We’ve been doing this for a while. Notice how Biermann’s productivity went down after he went back to special teams? I hate that it took us to lose our FB (who was gonna be very good in our offense) to decide “Gee, maybe it’s NOT a good idea to have these types of guys playing special teams.” For this regime to have made so many strides, they still do a few boneheaded things. Dent should have never been back on special teams if he’s your STARTING MLB!!! All the bodies we have in camp, I’m quite sure someone else was capable of filling that role if given the chance. My humble opinion…..
@JSS Compe-what? I agree….especially when T-Rex arms baker still sits atop the depth chart at LT this week. I like this regime….but they still do a couple questionable things that come back to bite em…

Another Rick

August 14th, 2012
7:44 pm

Man I tell you, it is so funny for these people to get on here with all this hating. They cant wait until you put up a blog Dled so they can rush to diss and dump on the home team. Maybe we should have a first for those haters on your blog?

SirReal

August 14th, 2012
7:48 pm

Exactly who’s hating Rick?

SirReal

August 14th, 2012
7:50 pm

Get some cajones and call them out. I know you’re probably talking to me. (yep I’m that vain.lol)

Nite Owl

August 14th, 2012
8:27 pm

Congratulations to Franks for winning the job, although it’s not official yet (wink,wink). And if Coach Smith has changed his philosophy but won’t admit it, good for him. Coach Belichick wouldn’t admit it, either. And Coach Payton would say, “Another mojito, bartender! I’m dirty dancing over here!”

I think once you rule out the starters and key reserves, there aren’t many people left. I also think they want certain kinds of athletes on special teams, so you’re not going to see Peria Jerry out there.

Also, it’s possible that Harry Douglas just isn’t as good as Dominique Franks at returning punts.

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
9:06 pm

Harry Douglas belongs in the receiver corp…………….just too good and fast at catching the ball and knows how to get open and always comes up huge when the Falcons need a big play on the offense in the past and as well as the future …………

I wish D-led would post a blog spot so we can just open wide open on the ragged out Falcon bashing trolls that come on here trying to ruin Falcon talk and ohhhhh by the way , read earlier about noon that they were having heat strokes down in the Swampland and having to go indoors cause its so hot with the humidity………….I was laughing my butt off . Keep the heaters turn on in Louisiana and make em roast like toast !

Rick

August 14th, 2012
9:21 pm

Good choice. Douglas has struggled w injuries in the past and we need Jim fresh….he’s that good

Rick

August 14th, 2012
9:22 pm

He’s that good not Jim

JSS

August 14th, 2012
9:24 pm

“Maybe we should have a first for those haters on your blog?”

Wacky weed talk… Move on…

Michael M, you talk about people “ruining” your “Falcons talk;” however whenever Ledbetter or Vivlamore posts something, y’all so-called “loyalists” never talk football… It is always a personal insults, a swipe at anything in NOLA, or some mama jokes… Come on, talk is cheap!

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
9:29 pm

You right ………… I need to not be like you and set an example here so why you keep cracking the remarks here bud with the negatives and insulting others…………………you think you any better ?

JSS

August 14th, 2012
9:31 pm

Funny, Percy Harvin can return punts, who’s better Douglass or Percy? Welker still returns punts in key situations… Jackson returns punts… Smith doesn’t have the heart to say it… It is all about D-E-P-T-H, they don’t trust their own depth!!!

SirReal

August 14th, 2012
9:32 pm

Michael M- Did you hear about Lofton?! He couldn’t take the heat out there!!!LOL LOL

SirReal

August 14th, 2012
9:35 pm

JSS Well, I dont see the Vikes with much depth at WR. Michael Jenkins doesnt exactly strike fear in the heart of a defense.LOL We do actually have good depth at WR. I dont think its that he doesnt trust the depth, he just realizes that it “wouldnt be in our best interest” to have starters back there. Just sayin….

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
9:37 pm

Yes I heard Sir Real…there were many running around out of gas today ha ! yeahh right……get mad about it Jsaw but its the truth !

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged Douglas, during, preseason, punts, return, won't. Bookmark the permalink. ← Jerry Jones on Cowboys-Raiders: ‘I have seen worse TV’ [...]

JSS

August 14th, 2012
9:41 pm

Micheal, don’t start none, it won’t be none… Like I said, talk is cheap… I’ve gone months with posting… The entire I was gone, morons took their shoots… And my idiot stalker(s) go from blog to blog saying stuff (non-football related)… No problem, blogging naplam kills everything!

Your “negatives” is somebody else’s truth…
It was “truth” before Green Bay laid waste to them…
It was “truth” before New Orleans slit their football throats twice…
and
It was “truth” before the New York Football Giants ran rough shot over them at MetLife…

It is “truth” that depth is their Achilles’ heel… Wishing doesn’t change that…

JSS

August 14th, 2012
9:42 pm

“without”

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
9:47 pm

All things got to change sometimes …………….nothing will ever stay the same…….times change,people change,and the sports scene will change…deal with it or you get left behind………………………………..

JSS

August 14th, 2012
9:47 pm

SIr Real, you see what Minnesota did? I guarantee you, they learned their Michael Jenkins lesson… That lead handed always on IR, salary cap killing (y’all are still paying him by the way), no route finishing, Ohio State Cris Carter pretender!

JSS

August 14th, 2012
9:50 pm

All things “should” change… But being from Georgia, you know that it not always the case, and it can be intentional in delaying such change…

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
10:06 pm

Talking about the depth on the Falcons…………….. I can tend to agree on that statement after seeing what happen in the later quarters of the Ravens game but can’t rule out that they do have some depth at certain positions but to throw the rest of the team under the bus without evaluation just yet would be absolutely insane………………and then again, how many teams are out there that can lose several key players and go to backup reserves to fill their shoes under the salary cap………………………………….. and the team continues on without missing a step………………

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
10:10 pm

One other thing you can add to that as case in point …………say Atlanta had been able to keep Lofton………………we had no guarantee he would not have been the one to be injured or worse…..its the chance you take and sometimes you win a few and lose a few…many teams have been lucky as rough as football is today.

Nite Owl

August 14th, 2012
10:18 pm

@JSS:

Three things that give me hope for change, in more of a historical sense than anything:

1) Braves 1990-91. I moved here from Mississippi when I was 12 in 1984. I was really excited to see the Braves in person. They promptly finished last every year through 1990, but I kept saying wait until next year, things have got to turn around. Little did I know that with Bobby Cox as the GM, then Schuerholz, we would go from a laughingstock to a first-class organization. Yes, I would’ve liked to have won more championships, but I’ll take what we have now over what we were before.

2) Saints 2007-08. Sean Payton, Drew Brees. Without them, there’s no turnaround. The GM either got smart or lucky and picked a great coach and pulled a great QB off the scrap heap. Nobody predicted they would be as good as they became. Nobody.

3) Arthur Blank buys the Falcons. You have to agree that our awful history was due primarily to an ownership group that very badly wanted to win, but had no idea how. Arthur Blank wants to win, and if he himself doesn’t know how, he’ll do his damnedest to find the right people. He whiffed on Mora (NFC championship game aside) and Petrino, but with TD and Smitty he’s got the right idea. If those guys don’t get the job done, he’ll replace them sooner rather than later.

Sorry, didn’t get to post at all today so I’m yakking it all out at once.

Nite Owl

August 14th, 2012
10:20 pm

Also, re: depth.

No NFL team has depth at every position. In fact, no football team since the days of Bear Bryant can claim depth at every position.

You just hope that your strengths remain your strengths and that your deficiencies can be covered up or overcome. So let’s play nickel defense and throw the ball 60 times. Kind of like the Saints.

JSS

August 14th, 2012
10:21 pm

“and then again, how many teams are out there that can lose several key players and go to backup reserves to fill their shoes under the salary cap………………………………….. and the team continues on without missing a step………………”

See the 2010 Green Bay Packers and the 2011 New England Patriots!

JSS

August 14th, 2012
10:28 pm

You didn’t have to keep Lofton, you needed not to squander your pre-June 1st cap maneuverability to grab up on the value MLBs like the Eagles did when DeMeco Ryans hit the market! Not sideways or backstepping, get better!

JSS

August 14th, 2012
10:35 pm

You have to have depth to play big nickel… You guys are playing with fools gold thinking just moving Robinson inside is going to cure all things… Tampa has an answer, Dallas Clark… New Orleans still has that elephant in the room, Graham… Only team you match up with maybe is Carolina, but Newton being mobile can take a person out of coverage… It is a self-fulfilling prophecy unless you have a “Super talented DB who is willing and able to read formations like Woodson or Troy P (or Bob Sanders when was in his prime)…

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
10:35 pm

I can relate to the ups and downs with the Braves but they always trying to come back , not playing that bad this year but back to football…………………take the 49ers as an example..few years ago they were laughed at and started making moves year before last and last year really had exploded into a top tier opponent in the NFL so going into this year most everyone in the Football Sports media is favoring them to go deep in the playoffs and possibly make a run towards winning the Superbowl trophy.

Never know in Football what to expect, especially the NFL, with so many teams virtually equal with the salary cap issue and thats why in any given year any team in this league can take it all. I am A Falcon Fan , been one for 30 plus years and I live and die with my team whether they win or lose they are my team I support and for people to come on our Falcon Blog and insult the Falcons or the Falcon Fans that is an insult and yeah I’ll take up for them and my Team so anyone don’t like it…………..Best thing they can do is take one long walk off a short pier !

Nite Owl

August 14th, 2012
10:41 pm

(Mike Nolan in Darth Vader voice:)

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

(Now my voice again, not quite as indimidating:)

I think there’s a domino effect with putting people in positions to succeed. Scheme, scheme, scheme. Look at what ol’ Wade Phillips did for Houston—now people are picking them for the Super Bowl (not me, but who cares). You put Dunta inside, and it not only helps him be better, but it allows Grimes and Samuel to hold ‘em a little bit, which lets your pass rushers get that extra half-second to actually get there instead of just pressure.

Maybe now when Dallas Clark or Graham comes over the middle, William Moore is in position to knock them out.

Nite Owl

August 14th, 2012
10:45 pm

Obviously the Darth Vader things was directed at JSS, not you Michael M.

Michael M. I love your passion, man. Don’t let the guys like hiramsaint and Seen get to you. The more football we talk, and the more we ignore the little digs they do, the more it will all calm down.

And Seen and JSS can talk some good football. Hiramsaint and Choke are a little silly for my taste, but pretty harmless.

Psyched for a Thursday night preseason game—again. I was literally annoyed today when I realized it was only Tuesday.

Nite Owl

August 14th, 2012
10:54 pm

Well, have a good night, gents. I’m not as nocturnal as I used to be.

JSS

August 14th, 2012
10:57 pm

Vader is fiction, Jedi mind tricks don’t work here… “Little digs?” You guys are downright nasty…

Wade Phillips took all of the jargon away and told them to play football… That has always been his strength as a coordinator… But he’s told folks (Denver proved this), inferior talent is found out eventually… You can scheme that alway…

I didn’t laugh at the Niners, I knew they were a coach with any rationality away from being a solid or really good team in a very weak division (Seattle and Arizona can’t get out their own way)… That same team had the Falcons whipped like a scalded dog until White snuck up on Nate Clements… Tramon Williams made sure he looked at the big board!

Michael M.

August 14th, 2012
11:03 pm

The Falcons believe in the Coach and coordinators and each others abilities and are able to get back to the playoffs this year and get that playoff win they have missed each year as JSS did point out…………………just getting that ” one monkey ” off their back……………………..they could actually pull off what the Giants and or the Packers did in their run the past years.

Someone said last year if they ever find that ” Eye of the Tiger ” that they would be a dangerous team in the playoffs. I don’t know what they will do this year, the schedule is tougher but the Team as a whole seems to be stronger and with new offensive and defensive coordinators you can’t help but tend to agree they may make some serious noise this year but as I said you can’t know so far in advance. Nobody claimed the Giants as Superbowl champs midway through the Season last year…in fact was some talk might be ole Tom’s last year as their Coach but they found the way or the ” Eye ” towards the end and pulled it off.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 14th, 2012
11:10 pm

Nite Owl – Thanks for dropping by. Hope all is well with you Kind Sir!!!

JSS

August 15th, 2012
12:25 am

I almost busted a gut reading about Musgrave talking a Madonna concert possibly confusing Matt Ryan in Oakland back in 2008 over the player headset communication system… That would been worth the price of admission to see!!!

Ryan: “Vogue” Vogue” Move to the music, hut!!!” “Dang, the safety didn’t move!”

Mikey

August 15th, 2012
8:36 am

Glad to see they have choices at punt return. I’d like to see a few others show us what they can do as well. Franks did well last week… he is at least one candidate that I like better than Weems already. This is a good spot for a back up wide receiver to shine too. It does amaze me that special teams play wears out a player. I would think that they would relish the opportunity to play football rather than sit on the bench.

Jimmy Crack

August 15th, 2012
9:10 am

Hey, I thought EVERYBODY played special teams, Coach!

buy facebook likes

August 15th, 2012
11:02 am

Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!