Archive for August, 2012

Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback rotation still ‘ongoing discussion’

cornerback Asante Samuel (left) and wide receiver Harry Douglas practice some celebratory moves on the sidelines during training camp. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Cornerback Asante Samuel (left) and wide receiver Harry Douglas practice some celebratory moves on the sidelines during training camp. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.

The Falcons continue to play revolving cornerbacks through training camp and two exhibition games. Where they stop, nobody knows.

As listed on the depth chart, Brent Grimes is the first-unit left cornerback and Dunta Robinson is the right cornerback. When pressed into a nickel situation, Robinson has moved inside and Asante Samuel, the Pro Bowler acquired in the offseason, has played one of the cornerback positions. The Falcons have also rotated Grimes and Samuel between the left and right cornerback positions.

“That is something that, again, it’s an ongoing discussion,” coach Mike Smith said. “As we move closer to the start of the regular season, we’ll be making that decision. Again, I think it’s to our advantage to keep that in-house in terms of how we …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback rotation still ‘ongoing discussion’ »

Atlanta Falcons: A couple of fights breakout

FLOWERY BRANCH — There were two fights during practice on Monday after the team went all of training camp with only one minor scuffle.

On consecutive plays wide receiver Tim Toone and cornerback Peyton Thompson came to blows followed by a fight between offensive tackle Tyson Clabo and defensive tackle Micanor Regis. Toone lost his helmet in the tussle.

“We broke camp yesterday and I don’t know but everyone went home and came back in a bad mood,” Smith joked about the incidents.

- Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

Coordinators hand out their exhibition mid-term reports; backups need to step it up

Running back Michael Turner still a weapon

Falcons thin at left tackle after Will Svitek goes down; out for season

Falcons finally get fiesty in practice; a couple of fights breakout

Akeem Dent returns to practice; will play against Miami

OTHER NEWS

Dominique Davis in hunt for No. 2 quarterback position

GAME STORY: Bengals 24, Falcons 19

SIDEBAR: Matt Ryan won’t call himself an …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: A couple of fights breakout »

Atlanta Falcons: Peria Jerry performing well in Peters’ absence

081612 ATLANTA: Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry puts pressure on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 16, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

081612 ATLANTA: Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry puts pressure on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 16, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — While coming off the field after another long practice, Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry was downright giddy on Monday.

He’s playing well and feeling good, finally.

The early signs of exhibition season are pointing toward Jerry, whose career with the Falcons has been marred by injuries, returning to the starting lineup and being productive.

“I’m feeling better than I have felt since my rookie year, but I’m just going to stay focused and keep working hard every day,” he said.

Jerry was the 24th player taken in the 2009 draft, two picks ahead of linebacker Clay Matthews and five picks ahead of wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Matthews has been to three Pro Bowls and Nicks has had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Both have helped their respective teams win …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Peria Jerry performing well in Peters’ absence »

Atlanta Falcons: Svitek out for the season (updated)

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch.

Will Svitek, the Falcons backup left tackle, will miss the upcoming season after sustaining an upper right arm injury.

The injury occurred during Sunday’s practice, the final of training camp, and coach Mike Smith made the announcement Monday.

“It’s bad news for Will,” Smith said. “…We’ve cross-trained some guys [at different offensive line positions] early on. It’s something we’ll have to adjust to and start cross-training some more. One man’s misfortune is another’s opportunity.”

Svitek was entering the final year of his contract worth $1.751 million. He served as the primary backup to Sam Baker, protecting quarterback Matt Ryan’s blind side. Svitek started the final 11 games last season, including the playoffs,  at the position following injuries to Baker.

That leaves the Falcons with Mike Johnson and rookie Lamar Holmes as the primary backup to Baker. Johnson is the backup at right tackle. Holmes, a …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Svitek out for the season (updated) »

Atlanta Falcons: Team breaks training camp

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons broke training camp following Sunday’s practice and players can return home after staying at the team’s facility since July 25. They will practice once a day through the final two exhibition games before opening the season on Sept. 9 at the Chiefs.

“I know that everybody is excited about going home and spending time with their families,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Camp is not an easy time for players and coaches. Camp was good. Guys worked extremely hard but I’m sure they are ready to go home now.”

–Chris Vivlamore

THE LATEST NEWS

Wide receiver Michael Calvin waived; injury settlement reached

GAME STORY: Bengals 24, Falcons 19

SIDEBAR: Matt won’t call himself an elite QB after completing 18 of 21

Asante Samuel admits to relaxing on A.J. Green’s touchdown catch

A.J. Green and Julio Jones shine in exhibition game

VIDEO: Post game presser with head coach Mike Smith

VIDEO: Matt Ryan, Lousaka Polite featured after loss to Bengals

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Team breaks training camp »

Atlanta Falcons: Koetter, Ryan fine with pass protection

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter applaudes a catch by wide receiver Julio Jones in approval of a well run play in Flowery Branch on Saturday, July 28, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter applaudes a catch by wide receiver Julio Jones in approval of a well run play in Flowery Branch on Saturday, July 28, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and quarterback Matt Ryan have been pleased with the pass protection through the first two exhibition games.

The offensive line’s pass protection is a major concern entering 2012 after they gave up 26 sacks and 84 quarterback hits last season.

“It was definitely better this week in the second game,” Koetter said. “We’ve called over 60 pass plays. We had some pressures and some hurries, but I thought our chips with our [running] backs was really good.”

The Falcons have given up four sacks, all by the reserves. They also gave up five quarterback hits against Baltimore and four against Cincinnati. Ryan has not been sacked when the first-unit has been on the field.

“I think two games into [the exhibition …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Koetter, Ryan fine with pass protection »

Atlanta Falcons: Cone, Joseph, Walls added to injury report

072912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie (far right) and head coach Mike Smith look on as wide receiver Kevin Cone, from Georgia Tech, hits the pads during practice in Flowery Branch on Sunday, July 29, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

072912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie (far right) and head coach Mike Smith look on as wide receiver Kevin Cone, from Georgia Tech, hits the pads during practice in Flowery Branch on Sunday, July 29, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch. Here is the news of the day and some other notes from practice.

FLOWERY BRANCH — Two more Falcons are now in the league’s concussion protocol. Defensive tackle Elisha Joseph suffered a concussion in Thursday’s game against the Bengals. Wide receiver Kevin Cone suffered a concussion in Saturday’s practice after being hit by safety Shann Schillinger.

In other injury news, cornerback Darrin Walls did not practice Sunday after suffering a soft tissue injury of his upper right leg in Saturday’s practice. He will be evaluated over the next couple of days, according to Smith.

It appeared to be a quadriceps injury.

Cornerback Christopher Owens (hamstring), wide receiver Kerry …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Cone, Joseph, Walls added to injury report »

Updated: Dent returns to contact practice, will play Friday

Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent at the team's facilities the day after he was drafted in 2011.  (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent at the team’s facilities the day after he was drafted in 2011. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/Dledbetter@ajc.com)

Vivlamore reporting from Flowery Branch. Here is the news of the day and some other notes from practice.

Falcons first-string middle linebacker Akeem Dent returned to contact practice Sunday after being cleared from a concussion. He will play in Friday’s third exhibition game against the Dolphins.

Dent had been in the NFL’s concussion protocol after he suffered a head injury in the exhibition season opener against the Ravens. He was injured on punt coverage in the second quarter. Dent missed last week’s game against the Bengals.

“He participated today fully and he is ready to go,” coach Mike Smith said after Sunday’s final practice of training camp. “We anticipate that he will be ready to go [Friday] barring any injuries that may take place between now and then.”

Dent, the second-year player out of Georgia, has been …

Continue reading Updated: Dent returns to contact practice, will play Friday »

Atlanta Falcons: Koetter not worried about rushing attack

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter applaudes a catch by wide receiver Julio Jones in approval of a well run play in Flowery Branch on Saturday, July 28, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter applaudes a catch by wide receiver Julio Jones in approval of a well run play in Flowery Branch on Saturday, July 28, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ rushing attack has been anemic in the first two exhibition games, but offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is not worried.

The Falcons rushed 21 times for 71 yards against the Ravens and 18 times for 81 yards against the Bengals.

“To be honest, I never worry about the running game in preseason,” Koetter said after the Saturday walk-through pracgtice. “I just don’t see why you want to plow it up in there and get your backs beat up. We know that Michael Turner can run the football.”

The Falcons did try to get Turner a little work against the Bengals, but fullback Mike Cox had a tough day lead-blocking.

“We are trying to get guys evaluated,” Koetter said. “I don’t think we forgot how to run the ball overnight.”

THE LATEST NEWS

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Atlanta Falcons: Davis in hunt for No. 2 backup QB gig

 

051112 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons new quarterback Dominique Davis hands off on his first day of practice with the team on the start of mini-camp in Flowery Branch, Friday, May 11, 2012.   CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

051112 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons new quarterback Dominique Davis hands off on his first day of practice with the team on the start of mini-camp in Flowery Branch, Friday, May 11, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

 

FLOWERY BRANCH — Quarterbacks Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson and rookie Dominique Davis are in a heated battle to backup starter Matt Ryan.

Some coaches prefer to have an established veteran at that key position.

“Whoever the best backup guy is, whether if he’s a 10-year vet or a rookie, is going to be our backup quarterback,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said after practice on Saturday. “I think you have to go out there and let the play on the field [decide]. … It’s a matter of who plays the best.”

Redman and Wilson have not played well during the exhibition season, while Davis, an undrafted rookie from East Carolina, has put together two solid outings.

“I thought that Chris and JP played better than they did the first game and Dom has …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Davis in hunt for No. 2 backup QB gig »