Mid-Week Quick-Pitch – Fudge, DJ, and KB#56

The Hated Buckaroos Await

The Cowboys are surely one of the most hated franchises of any team in the NFL, mainly because of their past success and somewhat due to the larger-than-life personality owner/GM Jerry Jones. The herders have fallen on hard time recently, not winning a playoff game since 1996, but beating the Falcons could add legitimacy to this season as well as a providing a much needed confidence boost. There will be many variables at play, bit none bigger than a certain player who played for every team in the State of Georgia including high school, college, and pros. Some musings before the big game preview……….

Jamaal Fudge – A player that is certainly known well by Falcons fans, but known even better by the coaching staff since he played for Coach Smith and Coach Van Gorder in Jacksonville and Atlanta. The loss of Brian Williams for the season prompted many fans to wonder if TD would pull the trigger on a trade for corner, scan the practice squads, or stick with what’s on the current roster. Many fans knew a big trade wouldn’t likely be coming down the pipe, but it was a bit surprising to see Jamaal Fudge re-hired for the Falcons. It certainly makes sense with Fudge being able to jump right in with the system and contribute immediately, but that leaves only 2 corners that have played significantly or started this season (Houston, Grimes), one who has barely seen the field (Jackson), one who is a true rookie (Owens), and one who was just activated (Hill). Fudge will likely play safety, nickel, and dime back.

Jamaal Fudge Bio

Height – 5’9, Weight – 194; NFL Experience – 3 years

Bio – Originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2006 by the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Clemson. Played in six games in 2006 collaring 5 tackles. In 2007, Fudge played in a career high 14 games getting 10 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one interception. Claimed off waivers before the start of last season and served as a backup on the 53-man protected roster. Played in 11 games, staring one, and picking up 13 tackles. Very short (5’9) for NFL safety.

Speaking of Williams AbsenceA great article from cbssports.com on Tye Hill chomping at the bit to have his number called after being activated. May allay some fears that Falcons fans have, at least speaking to Hill’s motivation and desire to succeed in red and black.

DJ Released (AJC)

Shockley Officially No Longer a Falcon – The addition of Antone Smith as running back to the roster meant that DJ Shockley was officially released as an Atlanta Falcon. Many fans saw the writing on the wall back in the second preseason game when hometown hero DJ Shockley failed to grab hold of a the big opportunity against the Rams running with the first team offense. Shockley inconsistency’s that game was emblematic of his career in failing to find a rhythm, missing a season due to an ACL tear, and having to win jobs under three different coaches in 3 subsequent years. Perhaps he didn’t get in system that fits his style of play the best, or maybe it was just unfortunate timing, but hopefully he can get on somewhere and find success. Him being signed to the practice squad just delayed the inevitable. You won’t find a harder working, stand-up, and committed teammate than DJ.

RB Antone Smith – Smith may not be extremely well known outside of the ACC, but he certainly put on a show at his pro day running a 4.32 40-yard time, 36 vertical leap, and a 32 rep 225 bench press. He certainly has the speed, so maybe the Falcons coaching staff can find another diamond. Rest of the article located here. 5′9, 190. 2008 Stats: 792 yards, 15 rush TDs, 1 Rcv TD

Hometown Hero Keith Brooking – Without tearing away too much of the scab left from the hometown hero’s exit, was it the best solution for both sides pairing Brooking in a better fit 3-4 defense in Dallas, or did Brooking deserve one more contract to remain a Falcon? Enjoy…………

3 and Half Short Days Until Showdown in D-Town.

 

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Your Turn

-How much do you dislike the Cowboys?

-Surprised or pleased with Jamaal Fudge’s resigning?

-Shocked to see DJ finally released as a Falcon? Will he catch on anywhere else?

-Is this Tye Hill’s big chance to remake himself from a fallen first round draft pick?

-Can Antone Smith’s raw talent help the Falcons at all?

-Best for all sides on Brooking, or still bitter over his exit?

What do you dislike the most about the 'Boys?

View Results

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881 comments Add your comment

Boxcarar

October 21st, 2009
10:48 pm

Sarah B

October 21st, 2009
10:50 pm

Me either…

sportaree

October 21st, 2009
10:50 pm

Boxcarar

October 21st, 2009
11:00 pm

sportaree

October 21st, 2009
11:10 pm

Boxcarar

October 21st, 2009
11:12 pm

D3,
Another timely post.
1. I’m one of the votes in the majority of your poll.
2. JF could aadd some immediate help since he knows the ststem. We don’t need another Hill like delay.
3. I love DJ, and wish him all the best. Sometimes the good guy finishes last. Hate to see it , but true. A class individual.
4. We have sure been waiting long enough to see if he has a break out. I have issues with him at least not playing at least a few downs in a nickle or dime package to get in some game contact. I don’t want to hear comments like “he needs to shake off the rust”. As you can tell, this is a sore subject. Seven weeks is a long time to learn some basic position schemes. I will gladly eat crow if he produces at a acceptable level.
5. Don’t know enough about him. He sure has the speed. Maybe he has better field vision than J Rock. That would be a plus.
6. Leads Dallas in tackling, even if it is 5 yards dowen the field. Was a great Falcon player. Always played hard, even when he had lost a few steps.

Wabe

October 21st, 2009
11:21 pm

This one will be BIG for the Falcons near future. Pulling out a win in Dallas would really take some of the pressure off when we go into N.O. The Falcons have to beware of any letdowns. This one really has the feel of being a “trap game”. We just came off a big primetime win in the Dome against a tough Bears team, and we cannot look past a Dallas team coming off its bye week, no matter how inconsistent they’ve been up to this point.

Alot of us here have already started thinking ahead looking at that N.O. game next week. Therefore, I can’t help but think that it’s probably something that’s in the back of our Falcons minds too.

Cannot look past this team – sense of urgency – get the job done and let’s get to N.O. at 5-1.

Rawhide (The Iceman)

October 21st, 2009
11:22 pm

Hey D3…Great start for the Falcons… Exciting to watch! I wasn’t at the Dome Sunday night, but I was at home on the edge of my seat for every play! Almost got an uncer watching those last couple of minutes.

Keep up the fantastic work here…you’ve really done an outstanding job with this fan blog!

GO FALCONS!

Boxcarar

October 21st, 2009
11:31 pm

Wabe,
All of us here want the best. A majority of us, me leading the pack, were really concerned with our defense in preseason, but the players and staff showed us that they were just working the process and came through in the regular season. I don’t think that Smitty will let the guys look past this week’s gaem, IMHO.

Wabe

October 21st, 2009
11:42 pm

I hear you Box. I trust Smitty and I believe he’ll stress the importance of focusing on this game.

What I’m really gonna be looking for is how this offense comes out and executes early in this game. The past of couple weeks, better yet all season, this offense has really gotten off to some slow starts. I think it’s vital that we get off to a quick start and silence those 100,000+ Cowboy fans and keep them in their seats. On the other side of the ball, shut down the 3-headed monster that they got going on down there with Barber, Jones, and Choice. I think if you can lock up that run game and put them down early, it’ll force the erratic Tony Romo into some bad throws. I’m expecting another week with a similar gameplan on D – BVG will be sending some heat this week in hopes of some poor Romo decisions in return.

On another note, I read a pretty good article today about the Falcons 2008 draft class shining. We knew about Ryan, Baker, and Lofton, but now another member of that 2008 draft class – Thomas DeCoud – has gotten into the action and proven to be a pretty solid player. Will Chevis Jackson – another member of that 2008 draft class – step in and play up to the rest of the class? I’m banking on it!

Sarah B

October 21st, 2009
11:53 pm

Wabe I’m banking with ya.

Boxcarar

October 21st, 2009
11:57 pm

Wabe,
Great response. I agree on needing to start strong on the offense. We have started slow in the game. I would like the team to score on their first two drives. If the defense hits with authority, like the last few games, Barber will leave the game, and maybe Felix, too. Choice is one tough back. Our DB’s need to keep receivers in front of them. This emerging rookie receiver for the C’Girls looks like our HD before being injured. And they need to turn their heads.

Wabe

October 22nd, 2009
12:05 am

I’ll be honest, I just don’t respect their receiving corp. But then again, I don’t trust Houston or Grimes much at this point either. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got some weapons in Austin, Roy Williams, and Crayton, but they just haven’t gelled much with Romo up to this point in the season. Maybe they worked it out in their bye week.

We can’t forget about Witten either, he’s a big time TE. Gotta keep some bodies on him.

Boxcarar

October 22nd, 2009
12:08 am

Let’s let Lofton take his head off across the middle.

Sarah B

October 22nd, 2009
12:09 am

He misses TO & Jessica…

Boxcarar

October 22nd, 2009
12:10 am

In the picture at the top of the post, just call me Doc.

Wabe

October 22nd, 2009
12:19 am

Aside from the questionable corner play, this defense has really come together. I’m liking what’s going on up front. The loss of Jerry hurt – because we could’ve used the kid – but moving JA98 into the interior and having Biermann and Abraham coming off the outsides really seems to be working well. Wouldn’t mind seeing some more Sidbury though, might as well utilize what we have on the roster. Kid’s got talent.

I believe the LB’s have been the strength of this defense this season. Peterson’s just been a BEAST – he was a hell of pickup. We saw what Lofton could do last season, but he was a bit overshadowed by Brooking and Boley. He’s proving it wasn’t a one-year thing. And although I haven’t heard Nicholas’s name much in games, the guy plays tough and doesn’t make critical mistakes.

I really thought that we’d miss Milloy, but DeCoud has stepped into that role and played extremely well in his first season. And Coleman just fly’s all over the field.

I just wish we’d have some playmaking corners on the outsides. I’m assuming Grimes plays such a prominent role because he’s probably our best man to man cover corner. The coaches probably like his physicality. But all to often, it’s his physicality that gets him in trouble. Just look back to last week, he tryed bumping Hester off the line and got pushed down. If Cutler would’ve gotten a better throw off, that was a TD. And Houston, JUST PLEASE TURN YOUR HEAD MAN! What’s with all the face-gaurding?

Boxcarar

October 22nd, 2009
12:31 am

Wabe,
Agreed. We need to be able to train Beirmann and Sibury to come off both sides when we move Abe to left. This I task to Abe and Sugarbear. This is the sign of a true great pass rusher. I think we have some really promising talent.

Sarah B

October 22nd, 2009
1:12 am

Night Boxcar

Boxcarar

October 22nd, 2009
1:15 am

Night Sarah. I’m always here.

Marcus

October 22nd, 2009
5:25 am

Unless RB Thomas Brown was signed to another teams full roster or practice squad or has a lingering injury (entirely possible), I am surprised at the Antone Smith move. I am not a UGA homer, but Brown has been on the teams training camp and roster for 2 years of familiarity w/coaches and scheme.

Always looking forward, what does our season thus far tell us about potential position upgrades for 2010?
Looks like CB depth (1st round maybe) and OL in anticipation of McClure and others age (not necessarily performance) and maybe RB behind Turner, if Norwood can’t stay healthy.

Marcus

October 22nd, 2009
5:29 am

D3, ‘nother thing: when you insert links, please use target=”_blank” at the end so when we click the links, they open in another window and don’t open in the same browser window as your wonderful blogs? :D thanx.

JJ

October 22nd, 2009
6:11 am

FFL, coal again! lol

Unca' Bob

October 22nd, 2009
6:29 am

JJ,

Transform that coal to diamonds. Apply heat, pressure and time, viola, diamonds(lol).

JJ

October 22nd, 2009
6:48 am

SWAT Native

October 22nd, 2009
7:35 am

Wabe,

I agree with you on this having the feel of a “trap game”. I made the same point on the other blog. It’s very tempting to look past the “Plowboys” to the Monday night game next week, but they’re a desperate team in need of a win at home. Could be dangerous.

Samuel

October 22nd, 2009
8:22 am

I think Jamaal Fudge will come in an not miss a beat, especially on special teams. Abraham has to have a break out game against the Boy’s. Watch for Flosel Adams leg kick to slow Abe down ,I just hope the ref’s see it. it’s Imperative this week that we get our run game going, Jason Snelling will be key. I’d like to see a couple of screen plays on Demarcus’s side of the field. Also, if we get any upgrade play from our corner’s it will be huge. If the Falcon’s slow down their run game and force air Romo to throw more, I’m positive he’ll make some mistakes.We got to use our speed, because you not going to out muscle the Dallas Cowboy’s. Antone Smith has the speed to get to the outside, maybe he’s hungry enough to come In later on, an contribute. Good execution an few penalties will be the recipe to beat the Boy’s. GO FALCON!!!

Lil'Dave

October 22nd, 2009
8:39 am

Morning gang! D3 he shoots and scores! And the crowd starts the chant MVP…MVP….MVP…MVP!

I’ll get in on the Falcons talk here in a little bit once I get settled in at work. I just had to get on here real quick and thank Sarah for NOT accepting my trade offer because it was an accident. Westbrook, Moss, and Bolden for Turner was a little much and I didn’t mean to have that many WR. Dang computer at work sometimes has a mind of it own. K, gang catch you guys in a few. Have a good morning.

CBrass

October 22nd, 2009
8:50 am

D3,

As always good post. I can’t wait until Sunday. I have a feeling that Ryan will get back on track which I think will open things up for Turner. The main thing we have to do is stop the run and have someone glued to Witten and make Romo throw deep. He’s a dink and dunk type of QB and if we take that away and have Abe and my hubby Biermann introduce themselves to him it will not doubt frustrate him to no end.

Sorry I know you didn’t ask for all of that but I couldn’t help myself..

-How much do you dislike the Cowboys? I really do not hate the Cowboys it’s more of Mr. Jones and his “better than God” approach that I dislike. I’ve never had any type of rude encounters with any of their fans.

-Surprised or pleased with Jamaal Fudge’s resigning? Not really. As you stated he already knows the system, the coaches and the players. I think he was simply the odd man out when the roster was cut(which was kind of unfair since Moore was hurt and didn’t even play). I hope, like Hill, he can step in and give us the help that’s needed.

-Shocked to see DJ finally released as a Falcon? Will he catch on anywhere else? As much as I love DJ I’m not surprised about this move at all. After his horrible preseason and not being ablet to be out the likes of JPW4 it was only a matter of time before he was released. He had his chance and simply didn’t get the job done. I hope he catches on somewhere else. Lord knows there are a lot of places he could step right in and help out a team in need.

Anyone notice how TD is slowing weeding out the players that he didn’t draft?

-Is this Tye Hill’s big chance to remake himself from a fallen first round draft pick? I think it is. From things I’ve heard everyone praised this move. It’s really surprising that we haven’t seen him before now. I hope he can come in and give us the boost that we need because if CH23 is our #1 corner…we are in serious trouble.

-Can Antone Smith’s raw talent help the Falcons at all? I honestly do not know much about him therefore really can’t give a good insightful opinion about this move. I will say I surprised that they didn’t activate Thomas Brown.

-Best for all sides on Brooking, or still bitter over his exit? You all know how I feel about this one so I’m not going to even go there.

LRD

October 22nd, 2009
9:05 am

Maybe this is the game where Jamaal Anderson finally silences everyone.. moving him inside, touting him as a run stopper, this will be the game to prove it is the right move..

Birdman

October 22nd, 2009
9:22 am

Morning cage
This is a big game for the birds and even a bigger game for the cowboys.If the cowboys lose ,there hopes of being in the running are cut way down and they know it.They have or will have an extra week to prepare for this game . The birds have got to give it there all because it wan,t look good for them to go to NO with a 4-2 record. If they come out strong in the beginning they will probably dominate the game but if they don,t they will probably go down.I predicted the score to be 24-10 Falcons.But now i will change that to a…………No I will stick with that .
Hate to see Shock leave but the man had his chance and blew it.Thats just the way it is in the big league.I wish him well and a good future.
Fudge… I remember him that name kinda sticks but I don.t know how good he is.Smith and gang are not at question because they have done very good so far and I think they know what they are doing.
Brooking going to be looking to make a statement in this game of course also.Any player thats been with a team as long as he was with the birds would do so
I don.t dislike the cowboys but I don,t want them to win .
T Hill his time is here .Now produce
I wonder if Smith will be used in this game .Our leaders must have seen something their or he
wouldn’t be in the red and black but it also makes me nerves to what is going on with Norwood ?
And how is he doing anyway has any one heard ?
Big game !! Falcons need this one

Birdman

October 22nd, 2009
9:23 am

OH YEA GREAT JOB ONCE AGAIN D3

washedup

October 22nd, 2009
9:48 am

Tim Ryan & Pat Kirwan yesterday were saying that Jamaal Anderson has found his spot. Ryan cited several different plays that JA98 made. Hope he’s right!

Chaps

October 22nd, 2009
9:52 am

COWBOYS 28
FALCONS 10

Sorry…..you guys will be going to Nawleans 4-2.

Unca' Bob

October 22nd, 2009
10:23 am

Chaps,

Pretty bold talk for a stranger to these parts, Pilgrim. Please explain how you have come up with those numbers.?.?

DePlane

October 22nd, 2009
10:33 am

More great output from D3….THANKS D3!!!!!

Hey Unca’ Bob, SarahB, CBrass, Boxcarar, and Wabe :) Hope all you regular cagers are doing well. I’ve been out of pocket lately travelling for work so not much time to check in on you folks and read your posts. I miss reading the Cage Blog and posting the occasional comments.

I loved the heart our team showed against a tough Bears defense. Especially our defense. Talk about stepping up and showing us who they really are. They are who we think they are! ;)

Not surprised about DJ. The writing was on the wall. Great guy and is a talented athelete. Hope somebody picks him up.

The B. Williams injury hurts us in the secondary…not sure how bringing in another safety helps the corners, but guess nickel/dime package will be better off. I guess they viewed filling that role more important than the corner, since BW moved to nickel and Grimes went to corner in that package.

Brooking is a great guy. He is doing great in Dallas. Hope he has a crappy game though!

Moving JA98 inside does indeed look like a good move. I was concerned about his weight at 290 and if he would get pushed around but it looks like he is holding his own in there. Good results the first two games he’s played in there, but we’ll see. IMO the jury is still out.

Peace to all!

Falcons 28
CowGrunts 24

John Waynesworld

October 22nd, 2009
10:50 am

Dallas is putting alot on this game. Looks like they put the padlock on the Cattlemen’s Club this week:

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2009102509/2009/REG7/falcons@cowboys/preview/full-story

And here’s some of Crayton grumbling “Nobody told me!”

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8139805a&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

SeminoleWarrior

October 22nd, 2009
10:56 am

Good morning Cage. Great post D3 as always.

The Smith move is a fair move. I know him well from his FSU days. Great speed, fine hands, and tons of effort. Given his history of injury, we may seeing the Norwood era in ATL come to an end.

Why not give Hill a chance if he is ready. He can do not worse than what we have seen at times already this year. If he turns and looks for the ball, he already has Houston beat.

Chaps

October 22nd, 2009
11:13 am

Unca’Bob…..it’s simple, the Cowboys have the better team and not only that your CB’s are garbage. Oh….I almost forgot, your runningback is a fumbling no yard gaining fatboy. See now you know and now you’re scared!

Sorry. That’s just the way it is. But all is not lost, you still have next year.

HOW BOUT DIM COWBOYS!!!!

Unca' Bob

October 22nd, 2009
11:25 am

Chaps,

Ooooooh!!! You’re right. I’m sooo scared. You still have J Jones and W Phillips, and the Cowboys have not been a team in years. You have no locker room accord and never will have as long as the players have no respect for themselves, let alone each other. You may have better personel on paper, but the game is not played on paper!! See ya’.

MWC

October 22nd, 2009
11:30 am

Chaps, You’re not supposed to DRINK the bong water…

Chaps

October 22nd, 2009
11:37 am

Unca’Bob…after reading your post I know you’re scared.

It’s ok alot of other Falcon fans are on the same boat with you. Deep down you all know that these next few games spell doom for your team. Looking at the remaining of the year and with a QB in a sophmore slump(2 int’s last week) I say 8-8 at best.

Again…….there’s always next year.

Chaps

October 22nd, 2009
11:38 am

MWC…does that mean MeWantCowboys to win?

John Waynesworld

October 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

Chaps,

Dallas playoff record in the past 13 years: 0-5
Atlanta playoff record in the past 13 years: 4-3

She may be pretty, chaps, but she just can’t dance when it counts.

Chaps

October 22nd, 2009
12:42 pm

The last time the Falocns won a playoff game you had a RB at QB. Now you have Matt Ryan who is 1 and done.

So John what is your point? Because what you guys did in the past 13 yrs don’t mean crap in 2009.

John Waynesworld

October 22nd, 2009
1:15 pm

“So John what is your point? Because what you guys did in the past 13 yrs don’t mean crap in 2009″

Chaps, if that is all you got…then as of now we’re in the same boat, except we are 4-1 and you are 3-2. Thanks for the lame argument.

Sarah B

October 22nd, 2009
1:40 pm

Monday headline Dallas Observer: Cowboys in 3-3 tailspin!

Monday headline AJC: Falcons won resoundingly on the road again. Team is 5-1!

Sarah B

October 22nd, 2009
1:59 pm

Sarah B

October 22nd, 2009
1:59 pm

Now who’s scared?

Unca' Bob

October 22nd, 2009
2:05 pm

Sarah B,

Good read. Loved the fan posts.