Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Atlanta Falcons: With Spoon back, run defense flexes its muscle

By SCOTT PURKS

TAMPA – Many folks in Tampa predicted Buc running back Doug Martin – the heralded rookie with the famous nickname “Muscle Hamster” – would run wild against Atlanta.

And why not? Martin had already gained 1,000 yards on the season, and Atlanta’s run defense ranked 26th in the league (130.5 yards a game) and had repeatedly been gashed for long runs. Last week against Arizona, for example, a relatively unheralded back, LaRod Stephens Howling, had runs of 40 and 52 yards and finished with 127 yards on 22 carries.

But not so on Sunday.

g the run) and focused on it all week in practice,” Robinson said. “We understand what kind of a defense we can be when we stop the run. We came out (on Sunday) and did a great job (on the run).” width=”218″ height=”300″ /

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) eludes Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) to score a touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: With Spoon back, run defense flexes its muscle »

Atlanta Falcons: Mike Smith after the 24-23 win over Tampa Bay

CMGd Single Player – AJC

LATEST NEWS
Falcons hold on to move to 10-1, can clinch NFC South title with win over Saints, Tampa Bay loss to Denver

With Sean Weatherspoon back, run defense flexes its muscle on the Muscle Hamster

Falcons quote board after 24-23 win over Tampa Bay

Turner, Rodgers challenge top rushing defense in the league

OTHER RECENT STORIES

Struggling Falcons survive turnovers, Cardinals in 23-19 victory

Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder

Abraham, Babineaux make heads up play to score much-needed touchdown

Falcons quoteboard after 23-19 win over the Cardinals

Matt Ryan discusses his five interceptions

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

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Mike Smith after the 24-23 win over Tampa Bay »

Inactives: Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon and Asante Samuel to play

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan dropping back against the Bucs. (Associated Press)

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan dropping back against the Bucs. (Associated Press)

TAMPA – Tampa Bay cornerback Eric Wright and Atlanta defensive tackle Peria Jerry, who has started nine games this season, were declared inactive for Sunday’s game.

Jerry’s spot on the active roster was taken by rookie Travian Robertson. He has been active for six games, but has played just one, against San Diego on Sept. 23.

Other inactives included quarterback Dominique Davis, wide receiver Tim Toone, safety Charles Mitchell, guard Phillipkeith Manley, guard Harland Gunn and defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.

For Tampa Bay, running back Michael Smith, safety Cody Grimm, linebacker Najee Goode, guard/center Cody Wallace, wide receiver David and Douglas and defensive tackle Matt Masifilo.

Continue reading Inactives: Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon and Asante Samuel to play »

Atlanta Falcons: Greg Schiano has Bucs playing until the final whistle

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano shouts from the sideline against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano shouts from the sideline against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

FLOWERY BRANCH — When Tampa Bay turned its head coaching reigns over to Greg Schiano, a former head coach at Rutgers, few took notice.

The hiring of college coaches by NFL teams has worked out for only a few, such as Bill Walsh, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.

The list of college coaches who have faltered miserably in the NFL includes iconic names such as Lou Holtz, Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier. Also, there was Bobby Petrino, who walked out on the Falcons after 13 games in 2007.

It looked as if the Bucs had made a bad move as they stumbled to a 1-3 start, and Schiano got into a tiff with New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin for rushing their kneel-down formation.

But Schiano, who spent three seasons in the NFL as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears (1996-98), has …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Greg Schiano has Bucs playing until the final whistle »

Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones returned to practice; Weatherspoon out with illness

081612 ATLANTA: Atlanta Falcons (20) Brent Grimes (from left), (11) Julio Jones and (32) Jacquizz Rodgers exit the tunnel and take the field to warmup for their preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 16, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

081612 ATLANTA: Atlanta Falcons (20) Brent Grimes (from left), (11) Julio Jones and (32) Jacquizz Rodgers exit the tunnel and take the field to warmup for their preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 16, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who is battling a right ankle injury, returned to practice on Thursday.

Jones, who suffered the injury against New Orleans, has not practiced since Nov. 9. He was limited at practice.

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who is also coming back from an ankle injury, did not practice because of an illness.

Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (thigh), safety Charles Mitchell (calf) and cornerback Asante Samuel (right shoulder) did not practice.

Defensive end John Abraham (back), defensive tackle/end Jonathan Babineaux (neck), kicker Matt Bryant (back), wide receiver Kevin Cone (groin), cornerback Christopher Owens (thigh), running back …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones returned to practice; Weatherspoon out with illness »

Atlanta Falcons: Kroy Biermann served as emergency linebacker

FLOWERY BRANCH — With Sean Weatherspoon out for the past three games, defensive end Kroy Biermann was the emergency linebacker.

“We only had four active linebackers on our roster,” Smith said. “Two injuries would have put us in a position where Kroy Biermann would have had to play linebacker in an emergency situation.”

Biermann is playing a hybrid position. He’s more of a traditional defensive end in the 4-3 defense. When the Falcons use the 3-4 or 3-3-5 alignments, he’s more of an outside linebacker.

“We ask him to rush the passer,” Smith said. “We ask him to cover backs. We ask him to cover tight ends. We ask him to close the middle of the field. You just don’t know where he’s going to be.”

LATEST NEWS

Struggling Falcons survive turnovers, Cardinals in 23-19 victory

Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder

Abraham, Babineaux make heads up play to score much-needed touchdown

Falcons quoteboard after 23-19 win over the Cardinals

Matt Ryan …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Kroy Biermann served as emergency linebacker »

Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon returned to practice; Julio Jones walks through

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

AFTER PRACTICE INJURY REPORT

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, dressed in a work jumpsuit, announced his return to practice from an injured right ankle on Wednesday.

“This is just my coming back to work suit,” said Weatherspoon, who missed the last three games. “That’s all that it is. I got a chance to get out there with the guys a little bit for the walk-through. I’m feeling pretty good, so I’m looking forward to practice.”

Weatherspoon, who is third on team with 60 tackles, was limited in practice.

“We just wanted to ease him back in,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “I would anticipate if there is not (a setback) from today’s practice that he’ll be a full participant (Thursday).”

Defensive tackle Peria Jerry (thigh), wide receiver Julio Jones (right ankle), …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon returned to practice; Julio Jones walks through »

Atlanta Falcons: Guard Harland Gunn signed

FLOWERY BRANCH  – To help buttress their offensive line, the  Falcons signed guard Harland Gunn on Tuesday.

Harland Gunn (Associated Press)

Harland Gunn (Associated Press)

Gunn will help back the interior of the line. Guard-Center Joe Hawley was suspended for four games by the league on Monday.

Gunn, 6-2, 310 pounds, was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a college free agent out of Miami (Fla.) following the 2012 NFL Draft.

He was waived by the Cowboys and signed to the New Orleans Saints practice squad on September 2.

Gunn played four seasons at Miami and was a starter on the Hurricanes offensive line during his junior and senior seasons.

As a senior in 2011, he did not allow a sack in pass protection and helped pave the way for running back Lamar Miller to rush for 1,272 yards.

LATEST NEWS

Struggling Falcons survive turnovers, Cardinals in 23-19 victory

Falcons coach Mike Smith admits to challenge flag blunder

Abraham, Babineaux make heads up play to score much-needed touchdown

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Guard Harland Gunn signed »

Atlanta Falcons: Joe Hawley suspended for four games

Atlanta Falcons' Jacquizz Rodgers (22) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers with teammate Joe Hawley (61) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. AP

Atlanta Falcons' Jacquizz Rodgers (22) celebrates his touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers with teammate Joe Hawley (61) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011. AP

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons lineman Joe Hawley was suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy on Monday.

“Joe Hawley of the Atlanta Falcons has been suspended without pay for the team’s next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances,” according to a statement from the league.

Hawley’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Falcons’ active roster on Monday, December 17 following the team’s game against the New York Giants on Dec. 16.

Hawley tested positive for Adderall and not any anabolic steroids, according to his agent Kevin Omell.

In September, Joe Hawley made a mistake by taking an Adderall pill. He did not file the paperwork to apply for an exemption for this …

Continue reading Atlanta Falcons: Joe Hawley suspended for four games »

Struggling Falcons survive turnovers, Cards in 23-19 victory

11812 ATLANTA: Falcons defenders Stephen Nicholas (from left), Thomas DeCoud, John Abraham and Kroy Biermann line up to pass rush the Cardinals during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

11812 ATLANTA: Falcons defenders Stephen Nicholas (from left), Thomas DeCoud, John Abraham and Kroy Biermann line up to pass rush the Cardinals during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

This time, the Falcons got that scrawny little yard when they needed it the most.

On a day when they were clearly not at their best, the Falcons imposed their will over the struggling Arizona Cardinals. After his team trailed all day, running back Michael Turner marched into the end zone from a yard out midway through the fourth quarter to lead the Falcons to a 23-19 victory Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons improved to 9-1 despite Matt Ryan throwing a career-high five interceptions. The last time the Falcons won while committing at least five turnovers came 25 years ago against the Los Angeles Rams.

“I can tell you that we can’t turn the ball over the way we turned the ball over today,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. …

Continue reading Struggling Falcons survive turnovers, Cards in 23-19 victory »