Atlanta Falcons: Armstrong is high on Brandon Boykin

Former UGA standout Brandon Boykin is averaging 22.1 yards on 18 kickoff returns for the Eagles this season. Here he is at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/

Former UGA standout Brandon Boykin is averaging 22.1 yards on 18 kickoff returns for the Eagles this season. Here he is at the NFL scouting combine. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong is impressed with the Eagles’ returners DeSean Jackson, Demaris Johnson and Brandon Boykin.

Here are some excerpts from Armstrong’s weekly interview session.

Q: How do you see the Eagles returners?

A: It’s a good group. A slippery group. Very slippery. All of them are explosive. They can make you miss in a phone booth. They are guys that can hit it. They are capable of making big plays. We have to do a really nice job in coverage in terms of stopping their returns.

Q: Will this be the best tandem that the Falcons have faced this season?

A: Yes. It will be. We know what DeSean can do. He can make plays. We have to respect him for that. Boykin has the speed to go make plays. (Damaris Johnson) is another that can go out there and make some plays. He does a nice job for them as well. Very slippery. Gets it up the field. He’ll return some punts.

Q: How is Mat McBriar punting for the Eagles?

A: He has a very fast handle. He’s obviously getting a second chance now. But he’s doing a nice job punting the ball and flipping the field for them in some backed up situations.

Q: How dangerous is the field goal kicker Alex Henery? He has made a 49-yarder this season.

A: I think you can get him out to 55 or 56. He does have touchback capabilities as a kickoff guy, but field goal wise he gets the ball up fast and he’s smooth. He’s got a strong leg. I worked him out. I remember him at Nebraska and he’s got the right (mindset). He can get the ball up and go take care of business.

Q: How did the bye-week self-scout go for the special teams units?

A: We’ll hit that on a weekly basis, but from a self-scout standpoint what we are basically doing is looking at things that we can get better at. Things that maybe we’ve gotten away with that maybe haven’t quite hurt us. It’s on the other team’s mind. They see it. They know it’s there. It’s exposed. It’s our DNA. Let we say, always be careful of what you put on tape. There are some things – and I won’t go into detail – that we have to fix or we going to get ourselves in some trouble. We’ve been getting away with it and we have to clean some of that stuff up. It was a good week and we spent some time on it on Monday in practice. We are looking forward to this week.


Q&A: Falcons coach Mike Smith on first practice after the bye week

Tight end Michael Palmer (shoulder injury) returned to practice on Monday

Defensive tackle Corey Peters (stress fracture left foot) returned to practice on Monday


Falcons shrugging off critics

Nicholas held out of practice with ankle injury

Hot start boosts Falcons’ TV ratings

Tony Dungy tells Mike Smith, ‘Get Michael Turner back involved’

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

15 comments Add your comment


October 24th, 2012
10:38 am


October 24th, 2012
10:40 am

Special team have been good so far. I remember seeing Bosher punt one from 20 to 20 with good hang time and only two to three yard return.

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
10:58 am

The only decent player on the falcan’ts special teams is MBryant. I’d like to see him come down with a crippling case of arthritis of the knee.

Go Eagles! Geaux Saints!!

Answer This

October 24th, 2012
11:12 am

The only decent player in the Aints is…………

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
11:16 am

…..that list is quite lengthy.


October 24th, 2012
11:21 am’s the lengthy “aint” list.


October 24th, 2012
11:44 am

Up until now the Falcons have faced mostly lower tier opponents. I would place the Eagles in the 2nd tier and they will be the toughest defense the Falcons have faced this year to date. Could the Falcon’s average at best OL start to crack this weekend? I’m for the Falcons but they desperately need to upgrade their OL. It’s not all the RBs fault that the run game isn’t there and if Ryan doesn’t get rid of the ball real quick he is going to spend a whole lot of time in the infirmary.


October 24th, 2012
12:10 pm

If we had a dominant O-line and a big person (340+) in on the D-line. We’d be a force. We’re a good team, not a great team yet until we win a postseason game. Nobody will respect us until we win a game in the playoffs. Doesn’t matter if we go 16-0. People are going to hold their judgement until we win a playoff game. It’s not what we want to hear, but it’s evident.


October 24th, 2012
1:19 pm

Only immature humans would wish an injury on someone….but thats Aints fans for ya. That bounty culture resonates with them….smh
ANYWAY….we do indeed have to watch out for Philly on special teams. DJax is a home run hitter for them and can take it back at any time. We have to stay disciplined in our lanes,etc to keep their return teams at bay.

SeenThis B4

October 24th, 2012
1:35 pm

@SirReal: Since when is arthritis considered an injury? Maybe he’ll get the hiccups and be placed on injured reserve!


October 24th, 2012
2:03 pm

I think the Saints will go all the way…. to Kroger and get some more sacks for the fans heads.


October 24th, 2012
2:10 pm

SeenThis B4 you are a joke. I can’t believe you are so eat up it. You are just jealous of the falcons this year and that your team is a joke as well. Leave our blog alone and go to the aints blog where all the losers are.

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]


October 24th, 2012
4:10 pm

Felt like a fly just buzzed by me but Im not sure…might as well continue with my day.

Section 322

October 25th, 2012
12:06 pm

Run Brandon! Run Brandon! Run Brandon! -in my UGA voice