Shockley had been off Falcons’ radar for a while

It was over for D.J. Shockley when he lost the No. 3 job to John Parker Wilson.

It was over for D.J. Shockley when he lost the No. 3 job to John Parker Wilson.

FLOWERY BRANCH  — It was two months ago when former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley said, “I have all the confidence in the world that I can start in this league and play for many years.” He’ll need that confidence if he hopes to continue playing football. But you only get so long to prove it in the NFL.

It was clear after his fourth preseason in Atlanta that Shockley did not have a future with the Falcons. Whether he has a future in pros at all remains to be seen.

The quarterback who waited his turn behind David Greene at Georgia and then led the Bulldogs to the Sugar Bowl was released by the Falcons for the second time in a month Wednesday. This time carries a sense of more permanence.

Young backup quarterbacks don’t get a long lifeline in the NFL, unless their contract mandates it. Shockley’s didn’t, and he got a longer lifeline than most. When he was beat out by Alabama’s John Parker Wilson for the No. 3 job in the preseason, it sent a strong message about how the organization viewed him. Shockley was cut Sept. 5 and brought back a day later for the practice squad. Every general manager has had a shot at him for six weeks. Nobody has bit.

With injuries at running back now piling up, the Falcons needed a safety net at that position more than they needed Shockley. So they the signed Antone Smith for the practice squad. Shockley was gone.

Anybody who has met Shockley knows he’s a good kid. Anybody who saw him wait his turn in Athens knows about his mental toughness and his leadership abilities. But the NFL can be a harsh reality. Bottom line: He just hasn’t been good enough.

When I talked to him in training camp, Shockley said, “What I went through in Athens helped me in terms of how to handle things, mentally and physically. 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.”

Now it might be time to reassess career goals.

161 comments Add your comment

ff

October 21st, 2009
1:43 pm

Hope you find a team, DJ. I hear the panthers might be looking…

Tide rising

October 21st, 2009
1:44 pm

I also remember when he said he thought he could be a starter in this league. And then it seemed like just a few days later that he was let go and JP Wilson won the job. I guess he just overestimated his talent and worth. The Not For Long league truly is a harsh reality.

Anyway, good luck to DJ in his future endeavors and at least he was able to draw a fat NFL check for 3 years to where he has some money banked away.

ff

October 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

dawggrad05

October 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

I wish him the best, he was exciting in athens when I was in school there, just didnt seem it could work in Atlanta

Brian Hunt

October 21st, 2009
1:47 pm

Good luck to you Mr. Shockley. You seemed like a great team player and you owe nobody any apologies for playing at the highest levels.

Ted Striker

October 21st, 2009
1:47 pm

Shockley may be having a bad week but it’s nothing compared to ESPN’s Steve Phillips. Have you seen the NY Post photo gallery of his mistress, Brooke Hundley?

Far be it from me to cast the first stone at anyone, but I will say this: I’ve never been tempted to cheat — by an unattractive woman.

dawgtownrambler

October 21st, 2009
1:48 pm

they will do the same to JPW. He is worthless. if Saban had not taken away all his decision making Bama would have lost more than 2 games last season. JPW needs a coach to think for him. That will be is downfall.

reebok

October 21st, 2009
1:50 pm

tech fan here. i hope you catch ob somewhere, DJ. good luck.

Jeff Schultz

October 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Not only saw the photo. Read the story. Ouch.

Stan

October 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, “I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ‘em later.”

To a young man who’s made such an effort and done so much right, yet another obstacle is deflating and seems unfair… but dreams aren’t so easily defined. Whether it’s in the NFL, the CFL or out in the real world… I believe D.J. will “hook up with ‘em later.”

JPW

October 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Good luck, DJ. We’re pulling for you.

RonnieGarDner

October 21st, 2009
2:00 pm

Food for thought.When Blank bought a struggling franchise he garnered some fan interest by signing drafting/signing UGA players in hopes fans would in turn show up at the dome. When the Vick situation came aboutand it looked like the Falcons would be a doormat again for a long time, suddenly there were more UGA players getting a look. Now, lo and behold the team is successful on the field and at the gate and thru the media. Brooking is gone,Thomas Brown is gone,DJ is all gone anfter being put on the practice squad. They were used to sell tix nothing more.For all the folks that thought DJ would/should be the starter I ask how long it will take for a team to sign him. Much like Glanville….he may be waiting a while. I do wish him well, but I can’t help but think this was a concocted move by the Falcons.

PTC DAWG

October 21st, 2009
2:02 pm

I think UGA could use a good QB Coach myself…..if both parties are interested, could be worth pursuing…

Rock Preston

October 21st, 2009
2:02 pm

Ted Striker….u are a nut!!!! HA!!!!!

TB

October 21st, 2009
2:06 pm

If Anthony Wright can start in the NFL, somebody has got to give DJ a shot…at least at backing someone up. Anthony Wright was brutal and seemed to stay in the league for 10 years….just sayin’

"Mr. Falcon"

October 21st, 2009
2:09 pm

Good DJ, hope you can find a new Team.

"Mr. Falcon"

October 21st, 2009
2:12 pm

I will be pulling for you. good luck.

collegeballfan

October 21st, 2009
2:13 pm

Shockley made a mistake in staying at UGA all those years. He should have transfered & played 2 to 3 years as a starter. Lack of experience in game situations really hurt him. Same with Joe Cox.

Ackshun

October 21st, 2009
2:17 pm

DJ Shockley is, right now better than about 5 starting quarterbacks in this league. If you are the Bucs, the Skins, the Browns, the Bills, the Panthers, or the Rams, I would place a call to his agent. I don’t feel DJ ever really had a chance here and you learn to play NFL quarterback on the field, not on the practice squad. When he was first described to me the person said imagine Mike Vick with a better arm and class. He will be just that. On the oh so vaunted playing capabilities of persons at the QB position in the NFL all I can say is if Joey Harrington was good enough DJ is too.

Vince Lombardi

October 21st, 2009
2:19 pm

players get cut every day. DJ enjoyed a couple a three years in the show (one on IR). he has options, they just may not include the NFL. life goes on.

When are head cases...

October 21st, 2009
2:21 pm

…meaning TB, PTC Dawg and Rodney GarDnergoing to get a clue about UGA athletes and college athletes in general, and that is that not all of them are meant to be in the NFL since they are obviously not good enough. To say that the Falcons are intentionally NOT signing local players is just plain stupid.

Shockley could not beat out Greene; hence, why would anyone think he could be a pro QB when even David Green could not be a pro QB? Her’s a clue – Shockley is just not that good a QB…….

Country Boy

October 21st, 2009
2:24 pm

I think DJ can play in this league. Very good mobility, good armstrength, model citizen. I know about lack of experience and some injury but hope he lands on his feet in the NFL.

Tucker T

October 21st, 2009
2:29 pm

Ok. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with Shockley but I gotta say this. I just looked at the pictures of Steve Phillips’s mistress and you have to be kidding me. When I first read the story I thought Phillips had gotten him a hot little 22 year old piece of tail. I’m sorry but that is a below average looking girl and for him to throw his marriage away for that? Come on. It would still be stupid to do it for a hot girl but at least he would be getting some hot action. I hope Phillip’s wife takes him for everything he has because he is a complete idiot. By the way, I wish Shockley the best of luck.

RonnieGarDner

October 21st, 2009
2:30 pm

Head cases: Don’t put ole Rodney GarDner in the group you outlined. I was on board a few seasons ago (as my comment show) that the Falcons only signed the UGA athletes to appease the local fan base. Once they (the Falcons) started having success they dropped them like a rock. I doubt that any team will pick DJ or Thomas Brown up. They may but I doubt it.

Lloyd Christmas

October 21st, 2009
2:31 pm

You are on pathetic loser. No offense.

Burdell

October 21st, 2009
2:35 pm

Ted Striker–
Wow, just looked at the Post’s photo gallery. You were being kind in keeping it at unattractive!

About DJ…it’s a shame they got rid of him. I like having local talent on the team.

Maybe Vance Walker can lose a bit of that gut on the practice squad and make the team next year.

GO JACKETS!!! BEAT THE WAHOOS!!!

georgiayankeesfan

October 21st, 2009
2:49 pm

i don’t get this town sometimes. this is a guy on the practice squad who used to start for UGA. who cares? how bout previewing next week’s Falcons game. when is ESPNAtlanta.com opening.

But SHE said...

October 21st, 2009
2:50 pm

Whoever called Phillips’ mistress below average must have never seen an ugly woman. That beeyatch is Rosie O’donnell nasty.

DHD

October 21st, 2009
2:50 pm

morris

October 21st, 2009
2:55 pm

There is so much more to playing QB in the NFL than arm strength and mobility. Yet thats about all you ever hear fans and even some NFL types talk about. Timing, anticipation, footwork, study, being cerebral, and understanding all the little nuances of an NFL offense. Just because a guy is a good athelete and has a strong arm doesn’t mean squat in the NFL. Those two things can make you a star in college but not in the pros. Listen to a broadcast of monday night football with JAWS and Gruden, they do a great job of breaking down the QB position and what it takes to succeed. Its definently not all about physical tools. Does that mean a guy who has great physical tools is dumb if he can’t play QB in the NFL? No. There have been plenty of smart guys who had enough physical ablity who failed at the position. Playing that position in the NFL requires a special innate ability thats hard to put a finger on. Some guys just have it and some don’t. There is no formula for pre-determining who can succeed at QB in the NFL. Shockley is a great guy who just isn’t good enough to play QB in the NFL. Thats all there is to it.

Brian Asselstine

October 21st, 2009
3:00 pm

Holy crap!! I just looked at the Steve Phillips girl pictures. He had to be pi$$ a$$ drunk to be tagging that. Steve’s a fatty banger!

Tide rising

October 21st, 2009
3:09 pm

Ted Striker,

The homely girl pics remind me of why I was mad at President Clinton. Clinton was prez of the US, the most powerful man in the world! For Pete’s sake the man couldn’t do any better than Monica Lewinsky? Are you kidding? Couldn’t he have been more like JFK? At least JFK was tagging Marilyn Monroe. Now THAT was more befitting a president of the US. Steve Phillip’s wife is probably embarrassed. She would possibly understand if Phillips was hitting Erin Andrews but this leviathan? Jeeesh!

wxwax

October 21st, 2009
3:14 pm

Gotta like everything about Shockley but his judgment under pressure.

He got his one big shot to keep his job in the preseason. He was mobile, strong-armed — and woeful with ball security. He was so desperate to make a big play he kept turning the ball over.

Pity, I enjoyed watching him play.

PMC

October 21st, 2009
3:14 pm

Good luck DJ. Check out Cleveland…. their best option right now has a QB rating of 42. They need anything they can get.

morris

October 21st, 2009
3:17 pm

Tide rising, Clinton was tagging everything in sight it just happened that he got caught with lewinsky. I’m sure there were some babes he got a hold of while he Prez.

Chucktown38

October 21st, 2009
3:21 pm

BOOOHOOO Dawg fans! DJ was only on the team to keep you DAWG fans comming to the game anyway. I guess his lack to talent finally out wade the little bit of money he was making for Mr. Blank

Not Disappointed

October 21st, 2009
3:23 pm

Good luck to you in the future DJ.

Dude was to much of a team players. He should’ve went to another college to receive more playing time. The Pros are unforgiving.

He’s still better than some of the starting quarterbacks.

Ramblin Wreck.

Mr.Thomas Anthony "The Taxman" Jones, SR

October 21st, 2009
3:24 pm

This is why I hate the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Newspaper. First the racist Falcons backstab Mr. Michael Vick, the hero of Atlanta in a bush league move. When the girl accused the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback of rape, the Rooney family had private investigators investigate the girl, her family, her friends, and her co-workers. They went up to Canada and turned the place out. Look at the reports they some how got from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP/ also known as the Mounties) Blank and his racist backstabbers did absolututely nothing for Mr. Vick as the Atlanta Jounrnal-Constitution published lies and falsehoods. Fortunately there is a Hell for the liars at the AJc and up in Flowery Branch. Now that they through throwing mud at our hero Mr. Vickm they throw Mr. Donald Eugene Shockley out of the lifeboat. Never trust the Atlanta Falcons. They are a cutthroat buch of liars and trailer park trash. I was born in the Deep South and i see Trailer park Trash daily. They need to be exterminators. Watch out people, unless the City Of Atlanta comes up huge property tax and sales tax increases to pay for the new Dome Stadium Balnk and his henchmen will move the new Dome Stadium to either the Doravile/GM site or worse up to lily-white Forsyth County . Trust no one named Blank. Vick and Shockley did and now they were back-stabbed. Hopefully they will not bring in that fat racist Limbaugh to run more African-Americans off the team. I aa a Southerner! Never Forget and Never Ever Forgive!!!!!

PopeyeJones

October 21st, 2009
3:24 pm

GO DAWGS! Ah Shucks. I am SHOCKED am floored that the Falcons had the unmitigated gall and the unmitigated audacity to release someone who if given the opportunity would have become the GREATEST NFL PLAYER OF ALL TIMES! Oh Jeez!

curious onlooker

October 21st, 2009
3:25 pm

Wow, Steve Phillips must have been a Journey fan because he apparently slept with Steve Perry based on the photo!

Nativebird

October 21st, 2009
3:26 pm

Look, I like the kid too, heck. EVERYONE likes DJ okay! But that and cup of coffee won’t buy you D#$%^ in the NFL. Bottom line: If the kid is good enough, someone will give him a shot. So far? Well, let’s just say Thomas Dimitroff got another one right!

GW

October 21st, 2009
3:28 pm

Save this story and insert JPW in a year or two.

Trust me...

October 21st, 2009
3:29 pm

..Blank ain’t building a stadium in Forsyth County!!! Gwinnett or Hall County, maybe, but not Forsyth.

Trust me...

October 21st, 2009
3:30 pm

…and Forsyth County sure ain’t “lily-white” -= just goes to show your racist side with that statment, along with most of what else you have spewed today!

Wow, I hope Mr. Anthony...

October 21st, 2009
3:32 pm

…is correct about moving the Falcons to stadium that is out of downtown Atlanta!

gabeaux

October 21st, 2009
3:43 pm

taxman, tell us again how and when the Falcons stabbed Vick in the back. I must have missed that.

PMC

October 21st, 2009
3:46 pm

I still don’t understand how anyone observes this team and thinks… oh wow they are racist? Deductive reasoning is a good thing.

Of the stars on the team on offense and defense aren’t 9 out of 10 African American? Do we not cheer for them? Heck we even got Tony Gonzalez. If you’re only rooting for skin color or nationality everybody gets to pull for him.

JudasSenzure

October 21st, 2009
3:48 pm

I dont believe anyone on the Falcons backstabbed Vick. Vick stabbed and backstabbed dogs and thus the trick was turned on him after he was released from prison. The Eagles were the only team in the league that would have signed Vick or else Vick would have had to end his career prematurely. I wish that Al Davis and the Raiders had picked up Vick in Oakland. JaMarcus Russell is having difficulty learning the pro game and I thought the Raiders would be a good fit for Vick to start, with JaMarcus backing up Vick. JaMarcus has had so many problems throwing the football that he often looks like a statue or a manequin out there. The Raiders would have come out of the blocks quickly with Vick with all of Vicks spectacular NFL experience and Russell could have eased himself into the starting job without looking like an idiot being thrown in there. JaMarcus Russell will probably become a great quarterback, but I think Vick would have taken the Raiders to the pinnacle of greatness had he signed with Oakland.

Nick

October 21st, 2009
3:50 pm

Good luck DJ.

Gary

October 21st, 2009
3:55 pm

I live in Forsyth County. We aren’t lilly white as Mr. Anthony suggests and we sure aren’t building a stadium for Mr. Blank. We love the Falcons, but will be glad to drive to Atlanta and watch them. As long as they pick a more desirable and easily accessible area for a stadium. I could see the old GM plant or somewhere in Gwinnett.