Shockley: ‘I can start in this league’

The words D.J. Shockley wants to hear from offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey: "OK, it's your turn now." (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

The words D.J. Shockley wants to hear from offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey: "OK, it's your turn now." (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

FLOWERY BRANCH – If we include this upcoming NFL season, D.J. Shockley will have been a starting quarterback in exactly one of his nine years of playing football since leaving high school. So this whole waiting his turn thing – kind of old hat.

Funny. It doesn’t seem to be affecting his confidence.

His expectations: “It’s always going to be the same as long as I’m here: I want to compete for the No. 1 job.”

His belief in his ability that he’s an NFL quarterback: “Oh, no doubt. There’s no doubt at all. I have all the confidence in the world that I can start in this league and play for many years.”

His resolve: “You can’t have the mind frame like, ‘I’m gonna be backing up,’ because you never know what can happen. You have to be ready for when your time comes. If you go in thinking, ‘Maybe, maybe not,’ you’re not going to be successful.”

It’s season four of Shockley’s NFL career. His confidence aside, we’re still waiting for some clarity. Since his long-awaited starting season at Georgia, which resulted in an SEC title and a Sugar Bowl, Shockley has had three head coaches and two general managers with the Falcons. I suppose it’s a good sign that they’ve decided to keep him. But you have to wonder about the shelf life, even for a local hero. As I mentioned in a blog a week ago, the term fourth-year, third string quarterback isn’t heard very often in the NFL. It’s logical to assume that this is the pre-season there needs to be some separation from the pack.

The exhibition opener at Detroit played to mixed reviews, including his own (3-for-8 for 31 yards). But considering Shockley’s physical skills, his maturity and the leadership qualities he exuded in Athens, this backup battle shouldn’t even be a contest: Shockley is better than Chris Redman, better than John Parker Wilson.

But there’s just not much of an NFL resume. He was the designated third QB in 2006 and 2008, and spent 2007 on injured reserve. Tangible evidence of his potential is minimal. Coach Mike Smith needs to see something in a game. “He’s going to get an opportunity again this week,” Smith said.

When asked if inexperience is working against Shockley in roster decisions, Smith said: “I don’t think so. What has to happen though is that we have to feel comfortable as a staff. That’s part of this preseason. We have to make a decision on who we feel is going to best help us win games.”

Smith and Thomas Dimitroff may want to take a straw poll on that in Athens. The respect Shockley earned while sitting behind David Greene was exceeded only by the respect he earned in his fifth-year/senior season. The raw numbers: 21 touchdowns, five interceptions, an SEC championship and a 10-3 season.

The Falcons drafted him in the seventh round in 2006. But since then, he has sat behind Michael Vick, Matt Schaub, Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich, Ryan and Redman. He feels he has improved every season. He says he has a feel for the speed of the pro game and what coaches want.

What he doesn’t have yet is an official NFL snap. But it hasn’t eroded his patience or confidence.

“What I went through in Athens helped me in terms of how to handle things, mentally and physically,” he said. “The biggest thing is patience. You can’t worry about things you can’t control. That’s just something I’ve learned over the years.”

Several years, actually.

Somebody's not going to have a job (and it won't be No. 2). (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Somebody will be out of a job (but No. 2 is safe). (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

151 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons

August 17th, 2009
3:42 pm

45 – 42 !!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Harleyman

August 17th, 2009
3:42 pm

If Shockley were better than Redman, he would be #2. Maybe that day will come, but so far it hasn’t.

stoopid

August 17th, 2009
3:43 pm

I would hope that the Falcons coaching staff could see how valuable a back up QB like Shockley could be. Hes easily better than Redman and JPW isnt even in the picture. Put him in near goal line and let defenses wonder if were gonna hae him lazer it in there or scramble paet everyone for a TD

Reid Adair

August 17th, 2009
3:46 pm

If he can stay healthy, D.J. Shockley may indeed be the back-up to Matt Ryan when the season starts. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s better than John Parker Wilson.

Pez Hilton

August 17th, 2009
3:49 pm

Hey folks! On behalf of Saint Simey I wanted to say: ((((((45-42)))))))))hahahahahahahahahaha. He would say it himself but he’s got his hands(and mouth)full right now. We have had an incredible weekend on the bluff. He took today off to rest but should be back tomorrow. OMG he has a lovely freckled back! Freckled and speckled! Toodles!

Mac

August 17th, 2009
3:51 pm

Mac: “No, you can’t”

Ol Skool

August 17th, 2009
3:56 pm

Hey “Saint Simons” let’s hold it down until we at least win two back to back.

GT Class of 78

Anotherdawg

August 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

What’s with the blue uniforms? Were we practicing in North Carolina? Were they all told to pose the same or just afraid of someone messing with their helmet?

ehhh....

August 17th, 2009
3:57 pm

Shockley is alright, but he is living in a dream world if he ever thinks he will be anything more than a third stringer. He might have long career, but it will be at league minimum. Heck, I wish I could make half of league minimum.

Mac

August 17th, 2009
3:58 pm

Wasn’t Redman selling insurance for three years, until miraculously his former college coach somehow ended up head coach of the Falcons for 13 games? Why is he still here. And, didn’t they give the guy starter money? Dude’s won the lottery twice, once for being a Petrino disciple and once for stinking less than Harrington and Leftwich for four games. Time to head him up and move him out.

stoopid

August 17th, 2009
4:00 pm

wow i cant type! “have” “past”

JoeDawg

August 17th, 2009
4:01 pm

Saint Simmons
38-3 Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Gee

August 17th, 2009
4:05 pm

Yes he can. Half of the QB’s in the league should be clip board QB’s. When #2 gets hurt this year, we will see.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

August 17th, 2009
4:05 pm

Su- Ain’t Simons iwas dumb SOB!

CJ DAWG

August 17th, 2009
4:09 pm

I don’t know why the falcons don’t use DJ is some sort of Wildcat gamechanger. He has the speed to run the ball and the arm to make the passes. Just a thought….

CJ DAWG

August 17th, 2009
4:10 pm

Al Sharpton on the board now?

dap01

August 17th, 2009
4:12 pm

St. Simons has a sad life.

Bushwacker

August 17th, 2009
4:12 pm

What a dreamer FALCONS SORRY, Mike Vick would not know a cover 2 if it bit him in the ass, he admitted he was last to arrive and first to leave practices, never watched film, we’ll see if he’s serious but he will never be e real

collegeballfan

August 17th, 2009
4:15 pm

If is wants to start in the NFL he better get out of Atlanta.
Falcons have a starting QB.

He might want to go to the front office & beg for a trade. Half a dozen teams need better QB play than they are getting.

Gatorzone

August 17th, 2009
4:17 pm

FalconsSorry, if you saw 60 minutes last night (which obviously you did not) Michael Vick said he was very disturbed by the hurt and pain he caused Arthur Blank who had shown nothing but love and support for him. You sir are off base.

Curious and confused

August 17th, 2009
4:18 pm

Hey Falcons Sorry, can you at least learn correct words to use? You know, like not typing “hear” when it should be “here.” I mean, if you are going to spew all of that nonsense, at least be right about something. Don’t forget it was Blank who wanted to give MV7 the largest contract ever. And really, do you honestly think that MV7 is better than McNabb? As much as I loved the guy when he was in Atlanta, he hasn’t achieved what McNabb has. Not even close. MV7, one NFC title game. McNabb, 5 title games and a Super Bowl appearance.

uga_b

August 17th, 2009
4:18 pm

I though Shockley looked good running the offense but was a little high on that one pass. Truth be told, they all looked good. Redman for better or worse is what he is: a solid No. 2. Shockley would be my preference at number 2 because maybe you could run some gimmicky stuff and still have someone else be the emergency 3rd stringer.

Bob from Dahlonega

August 17th, 2009
4:18 pm

JPW has been impressive according to the coaches. Shockley still has not learned how to read defenses or look for his 2nd or 3rd option.
Canada may be a good fit for Shockley

Diamond Dave

August 17th, 2009
4:18 pm

DJ has always been a CLASS act!

PMC

August 17th, 2009
4:18 pm

The one time the guy started he won a championship. Why would we argue with his confidence?

Pi$$onaDawg

August 17th, 2009
4:20 pm

You can Start a Game or you can be a FULL TIME STARTER? Mike Vick has changed too. Mike was a POT smoking, Lazy Good guy too, but that tiger can’t change his stripes any better than DJ has what it takes to play every down, every game, every year. AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.

uga_b

August 17th, 2009
4:20 pm

Bob, it is a little early to start drinking. If he cant read defenses or get to his second option, even Canada wouldnt be a fit. Obviously, he can read defenses and throw to his second option or he wouldnt be taking up roster space. Thats like saying he’s a running back with no vision, slow, and can’t hold onto the ball.

Anotherdawg

August 17th, 2009
4:20 pm

FALCONS SORRY has to be somone pulling our chain – Surely nobodys that dumb and got that much hate.

ghost dawg

August 17th, 2009
4:23 pm

Falcons sorry I appologize for you being an idiot. Vick isn’i close to being the best qb around. How does he rate compare to Kurt Warner,?Tom Brady? Rate him by the rings on his hand. Even his own teammates didn’t like him. All he can do is run and kill dogs and if I had my way I’d run over his sorry ass and yours too.

dogcrap

August 17th, 2009
4:27 pm

Shockley might could start in the arena league. That’s as far as he would ever start in pro ball.

Mac

August 17th, 2009
4:27 pm

Wasn’t Redman selling insurance for three years, until somehow his former college coach became coach of the Falcons for 13 games? And, didn’t they pay him starter money for not stinking as bad as Harrington and Leftwich for four games? It’s like he hit the lottery twice. Move him up and out.

Tim

August 17th, 2009
4:28 pm

Dear “FALCONS SORRY”
You are a complete and total idiot. Learn how to spell. Idiot.

Pi$$onaDawg

August 17th, 2009
4:29 pm

Vick said he was SORRY and means it. Just like Nixon said he was not a LIAR and ment ti, and OJ din’t do anything wrong ever, and Bill C didn’t have sexual relations with THAT woman. I totally believe MV7 is telling the truth and he will pay everybody he owes and … and… and… and. I think those are M. Jackson’s DNA born children too.

hop

August 17th, 2009
4:31 pm

i agree with one of the posts that dj needs to look elsewhere since the falcons are loaded at qb, especially having ryan who will be here for a very long time.

PMC

August 17th, 2009
4:32 pm

John Parker Wilson has a better chance of winning an apointment at Sport Clips than beating out Shockley.

mitch

August 17th, 2009
4:32 pm

Dear Mr. JS–I don’t think leadership qualities are exuded. Maybe, “secreted” would have been better, or “reeked”, or how about “frothed?” Your pal, Mitch

blord

August 17th, 2009
4:33 pm

To me Shockley didn’t look that good Sat. (except for the slant route) however i would love to see him work with the at least the second unit some. I didn’t think Redman looked that great either. Actually, JPW looked better then I expected and the broadcasters were speaking highly of him. I think if JPW is ever playing for us we are in big trouble. I like Shockley’s comments though. In interviews the past couple years he seemed very unsure of himself. I like the confidence and hope he shows out against the Rams this week.

Dr. Watson

August 17th, 2009
4:33 pm

It’s amazing how many people continue to think Falcons Sorry is serious.

big dawg

August 17th, 2009
4:35 pm

FALCONS SORRY, YOUR PROABABLY A DUMBASS “THUG” TEENAGER

StepinFetchit

August 17th, 2009
4:36 pm

FALCONS SORRY – I told you about putting caps lock on the library computer! Now get back under that bridge and collect some bottles or do something worthwhile!

Gen Neyland

August 17th, 2009
4:37 pm

FALCONS SORRY : Great post. Now, go fry up an ALPO Burger minus the gunpowder…

SickandTired

August 17th, 2009
4:44 pm

DJ need to be cut. He’s been here too long, never sniffed the field and he’s not starter material. We need to use the third spot to develop a John Parker type. Sorry DJ, you couldn’t start in front of David Greene and you’ll darn sure never start in front of Matt Ryan. Maybe you can go back to Athens and let daddy Mark give you a job. He loves you man. I mean all he did was blow the National Championship in 2002 to put a smile on your face. Good luck, but it won’t be in Atlanta.

Whopper Dawg

August 17th, 2009
4:46 pm

I wish Shockley would get a decent shot, I don’t think he has. From the game, it appeared that he has more talent than the other backups – but he has to have a legit shot in a game. I would love to see how he would do with the first team or at least the second team O.

Bryan G.

August 17th, 2009
4:49 pm

If throwing the ball at a downward angle towards receivers and the ground is a skill necessary to be an NFL quarterback, then Shock is your guy.

I haven’t seen anything in any preseason game that leads me to believe he can cut it. I’m a huge fan of his from UGA, but he’s just not good enough for the NFL. I understand that he plays behind the scrub offensive line with scrub WRs, but he’s not even putting the ball on the money.

Hamad Meander

August 17th, 2009
4:51 pm

FALCONS SORRY – I’m sorry I don’t read posts in all caps. I’m sure I missed some nugget of intelligence somewhere in it.

D.J. Shockley – Keep believin’ man, but your best best right now is to stay with the Falcons as a backup where you have some local support. I wish more than anything that D.J. was clearly better than Redman so that we could dump Redman’s huge contract. I don’t think we should pay 2.4 million dollars (like last year) for a back up QB. I’m not sure what his pay is this season, but 2.4 should buy more. I think we paid D.J. 450K last season.

Let’s be honest, nobody wants anyone but Matt Ryan starting for the Falcons, so why pay big dollars for a backup?

DawginLex

August 17th, 2009
4:51 pm

To dogcrap and sickandtired,

2 losers

Shockley is a great young man who has earned everything he has achieved in life. You 2 losers on the other hand are each probably about 5′8″ tall and together you probably tip the scales at 700 pounds +.

Where did the 2 of you ever play football?
What have you accomplished with your turd lives?
Do you still live in your momma’s basement?

Answers:
NO
Nothing
Yes

Losers.

J

August 17th, 2009
4:51 pm

Elementary Watson, what else would you expect from a bunch of UGAY grads? Their noses are so wide open you could ram the connector right through.

rocky redwood

August 17th, 2009
4:52 pm

Keep Shockley. If we are down to our 2nd or 3rd QB it’s because the others have been beat into the ground. Keep the faster guy who can run for his life.

Navigator

August 17th, 2009
4:53 pm

I love Shockley’s amazing year at Georgia, but what he’s saying now indicates to me that the wrong person is getting in his ear. I’ve watched him every time he plays, and he consistently can’t pick up his receivers, throws into a crowd, and overthrows his receivers. He might want to be released if he truly feels some team will pick him up, or more importantly hope he makes this team as a back up.

Falcons Sorry iz daman

August 17th, 2009
4:54 pm

Falconsorry is tha smartist one of all the reeders on this ajc blok. He is a clasmate of mine from Southwes Decalb hi skool, and has the best opinyuns on this blok. Keep it reel, dog