Archive for October, 2012

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

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith put the team through a 2 hour and 40 minutes practice upon their return from the bye week.

The Falcons (6-0) are set to face Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

ON HOW SELF-SCOUTING: “We spent the week taking a good, hard look at things that we have to get better at. We identified them. Today was a Falcon on Falcon day where we came out here and really worked on fundamentals. We did not start our game planning yet for the Philadelphia Eagles. We’ll start that on Wednesday, so we’ll have a normal sequencing week. Big day on fundamentals today. Things we feel like we needed to do to help ourselves play better through the last ten games of the season.”

ON THE PLAYERS RETURN: “It went well. I don’t want to be too transparent. We don’t have to give an injury report until Wednesday. We’ve got some guys back. Since I gave you the nugget on (TE) Michael Palmer before he went down …

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Atlanta Falcons: Tight end Michael Palmer returned to practice today

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons tight end Michael Palmer, who suffered a shoulder injury in the win over San Diego on Sept. 23, returned to practice on Monday.

“Missing three games, that’s a long time to be standing on the side lines watching your teammates,” Palmer said. “Luckily, we were able to keep winning so that always makes it easier.”

Palmer didn’t have much of a bye week, either.

“I spent the whole week here getting treatment,” Palmer said. “So it wasn’t too much of a bye week for me. But that’s OK. I’m just ready to get back out there on the field.”

Palmer hopes to be ready to play against Philadelphia.

“I’m hoping to hit the ground running,” Palmer said.

He played in the first three games and has two catches for seven yards. Palmer started against Denver on Sept. 17 when the Falcons opened in a two tight end formation.

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

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

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Atlanta Falcons: Corey Peters returned to practice today

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters, who’s been out with a stress fracture, returned to practice on today.

He suffered the injury while running in the offseason.

“It looked like it was a stress fracture there prior to the injury and it just happened,” Peters told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before taking the field. “It was going to happen regardless.”

Peters has been rehabilitating while on the team’s reserve/non-football injured list.

“I’m excited about it,” Peters said. “It’s been since January since I’ve been able to play. I’m really excited about it. It’s just like a kid in the candy store.”

Peters suffered the injury before the team’s offseason program started so he’s missed minicamp, organized team activities and training camp. Peters, a third-year player from Kentucky, has been working out with the training staff.

“It was very difficult,” Peters said about his solo workouts. “It was like that kid looking out the window because his Mom wouldn’t …

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Atlanta Falcons: Asante Samuel taunts Andy Reid on Twitter

After Asante Samuel helped the Falcons defeat the Raiders Sunday, the former Eagles cornerback predicted he would receive a warm welcome from fans when he returns to Philadelphia with the Falcons Oct. 28.

“They love me!” Samuel said during a colorful interview in the locker room. “They are going to scream when I come out the tunnel. Philly, you better scream!”

But apparently Samuel still has no love for his former Eagles coach, Andy Reid.

Samuels went on Twitter today to take some shots at Reid. His tweets are apparently in response to a Philadelphia Inquirer report this past summer that said Reid “thought [Samuel] was in steep decline and that his style no longer suited the scheme.”

The Eagles traded Samuel to Atlanta for a …

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Atlanta Falcons: ‘Very fortunate’ to be 6-0 at the bye

The Falcons enter their bye week as the only undefeated team in the NFL with a two-victory lead over the rest of the NFC.

They don’t talk like a 6-0 squad, though, because they have hardly looked the part of a juggernaut.

That’s probably why, following Atlanta’s 23-20 victory over Oakland on Sunday, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan cited the team’s undefeated record on the one hand and acknowledged troublesome trends on the other.

“We’ve been good enough to win and at the end of the day, that’s what you need to do,” Ryan said. “I think it’s going to be important for us, this bye week, to try and find ways for us to play our best and to look critically at ourselves and try and improve.”

Style doesn’t count in the standings, but the quality of Atlanta’s play is regressing even as the victories keep coming.

Atlanta’s problems both running the ball and stopping the run are still apparent and the secondary’s knack for making big plays has masked problems with pass coverage and …

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Falcons’ participation chart: Dent played 100 percent of defensive snaps

With Stephen Nicholas out of the starting lineup, second-year linebacker Akeem Dent saw his most extensive action of the season against the Raiders.

Dent, who finished with eight tackles, played on all 73 of the defensive snaps and on eight special teams plays.

Below is the Falcons’ percent of playtime per player on offense, defense and special teams against the Raiders:

Atlanta Falcons
Player Plays PCT ST. Plays PCT

T Clabo T 55 100% 6 20%
J Blalock G 55 100% 6 20%
S Baker T 55 100% 6 20%
G Reynolds G 55 100% 6 20%
M Ryan QB 55 100%
T McClure, C 55 100%
T Gonzalez TE 54 98%
R White WR 53 96%
J Jones WR 50 91%
H Douglas WR 37 67%
M Turner RB 28 51%
J Rodgers RB 21 38% 5 17%
T Gallarda TE 8 15% 21 70%
L Polite FB 8 15% 4 13%
J Snelling RB 7 13% 15 …

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Report card: Falcons’ grades for win over Raiders

Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 23-20 nail-bitter over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
C-plus — Quarterbacks: Ryan has his worst game of the season. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. His passer rating of 59.4 was his lowest since he posted a 50.6 in a 17-10 loss at Houston on Dec. 4, 2011. This would have been a ‘D’ if he didn’t complete 5 of 6 passes in the game-winning drive.
F — Running backs: The Falcons have their power rushing game in moth balls somewhere. They had 15 rushes for 45 yards and quarterback Matt Ryan had the longest gain, 15 yards. Sounds like Michael Turner is getting tired of all the pass-happiness. Jeff Schultz column.
A — Receivers: Julio Jones (15.8 yards per catch), Roddy White (12.0) and Tony Gonzalez (10.5) averaged more than 10 yards per catch. White’s 4-yard touchdown catch was his fourth of the season and 49th of his career. He currently ranks third on the club’s all-time receiving …

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Video: Matt Ryan led his 19th late comeback victory

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Falcons’ quotes after dramatic 23-20 win over the Raiders

CMGd Single Player – AJC

“Our goal all week was to get through this game and get to our bye week 6-0. That was the mission. Obviously, we didn’t want to make it as hard as we did. We made a lot of mistakes in the ball game on offense, defense, special teams, and coaches. We were able to overcome all of that.”

–Falcons coach Mike Smith

“I think, bottom line, we just need to keep winning. Certainly we all need to have the mindset that we need to improve, and we do. Everybody needs to take some time on the bye week and evaluate themselves… . At this point in the NFL regular season it’s all about getting wins and we’ve gone a good job of that so far.”

–Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on what the team needs to improve

“It’s a special feeling. I’ve been there before. It doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things as far as our goals are concerned. But it’s a great start and we’ve got to build off of it. We’ve got to play better than we have.”

–Falcons tight end Tony …

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Mike Smith tied Dan Reeves for most wins (49) in franchise history

CMGd Single Player – AJC

With the 23-20 victory over the Raiders on Sunday, Falcons coach Mike Smith joined Dan Reeves for most wins (49) in franchise history.

Smith, who has guided to the Falcons to four consecutive winning seasons and the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, tried to deflect any attention about the milestone.

“No, it’s not my victory,” Smith said.

“It’s the Atlanta Falcons victory. There are lot of guys and lots of people in that locker room that aren’t here that have contributed to wins. It’s all about the Atlanta Falcons. My focus is on one thing and that’s to try and make our football team the best that we can be.”

Reeve posted a 49-59-1 record and took the franchise to its only Super Bowl appearance.

Since being named the Falcons’ head coach in 2008, Smith has climbed the franchise’s coaching chart quickly, amassing a 49-21 record after Sunday.

The players were not able to recognize the accomplishment.

“Smitty slipped out of here before …

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