LIVE: Falcons look to improve (and top Chipper bobbleheads)

Chipper

Chipper, the Bobblehead

Julio Jones

Julio, the Falcon

A.J. Green: last year

A.J., the Bengal

Of all the dilemmas facing Atlanta sports fans in the past, I can’t imagine anything equals this one: What should command more attention — Chipper Jones Bobblehead Night at Turner Field or a meeting of the NFL’s two great young receivers, Julio Jones and A.J. Green, at the Georgia Dome?

Let’s break this down:

• Bobbleheads: OK, it would be a cool memory from Jones’ final season, at least until your kid knocks it off the desk and breaks it. But after the giveaway, it’s really only a game against the Padres. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll score it an 8.5.

• Falcons’ Julio Jones vs. Cincinnati’s A.J. Green: Tonight’s game is a mere NFL exhibition. The real impact is zero (barring injuries). The entertainment value drops off when the starters leave (which tonight will be early second quarter). But Jones was dazzling last week against Baltimore: 6 receptions, 109 yards, a touchdown. Green, the former Georgia star, is coming off a season in which he had 65 catches for 1,057 yards and became the first rookie receiver to make the Pro Bowl since 2003. Score: 7.

I’m at the Dome. I figured it would be easier to write a column off a game than a bobblehead.

There’s actually a few things I’m looking forward to watching tonight (besides Jones and Green):

• 1) The Falcons’ defense: This could the topic of tonight’s column. The backups collapsed last week against Baltimore (31-17 loss after a 17-7 lead). Yes, these are only practice games, nobody schemes opponents and statistics don’t matter. That said, it’s not easy to make Curtis Painter (three second-half touchdown passes) look like Y.A. Tittle. Starters are expected to play longer tonight than in the Baltimore game.

• 2) The backup quarterbacks: It was a little surprised the Falcons didn’t bring in somebody new to compete for the backup job with Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson. There’s a good chance Dominique Davis will stick as the No. 3 on the practice squad, unless somebody else pops free when teams start making roster cuts.

• 3) Kickoff and punt returns: Actually, I’m not really going to watch that closely. I just wanted an excuse to stir the pot and ask: Why don’t the Falcons go after Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps? The former Florida receiver is expected to sign with an NFL team soon and could be a dynamic addition on special teams (and as a fourth receiver). But I don’t expect it to happen.

OK, that’s it for now. I’ll take any of your questions on the game and bobbleheads. The cyber-venting lines are open.

By Jeff Schultz

550 comments Add your comment

Johhny B Bad

August 16th, 2012
6:26 pm

Johhny B Bad

August 16th, 2012
6:30 pm

Oh cool, i guess i was first. Go Braves! Go Falcons! But most importantly Go Dawgs!

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 16th, 2012
6:30 pm

A “Choke” Bobblehead should be offer on this blog.

Matty P

August 16th, 2012
6:39 pm

Any chance we see some more screen passes tonight? I only recall one screen pass all game last week, that went for at least a first down. I’d like to see how Quizz looks in the screen game tonight.

Also, do you think that MLB is a concern with Dent out with a concussion? I’m thinking if we’re not too confident at MLB that we run in more nickel packages, maybe Robert James as blitzer? He has been looking pretty good.

Pretty excited either way to see what new wrinkles have been added on both sides of the ball…

Stepchild

August 16th, 2012
6:42 pm

Tonight we will see what the Falcons have. The Bengals will try to look good tonite. This will be a good test.

Keith

August 16th, 2012
6:54 pm

I had this dilemma I believe a couple of years ago. It was either a Falcons’ regular season game or a Braves’ end-of-the-season-making-a-difference-if-they-make-the-playoffs kinda game.

I went with the Braves on that one.

Wow, that was a lot of hyphens. :)

I’d say your dilemma isn’t that troubling…still, I’d go with the Braves. Chipper’s last season. only 20 home games left.

Keith

August 16th, 2012
6:56 pm

It’s kind of nice realizing that BOTH of these teams matter right now…enough to weigh it out.

By now half the teams’ fans in baseball wouldn’t care to miss a sparsely-attended MLB game of their team.

SeenThisB4

August 16th, 2012
6:58 pm

What’s Mike Smith’s magic number this year? 10 wins? 11? 12?………..Or is it, 1?

Falcon Jim

August 16th, 2012
6:59 pm

At least we won’t have the Bozos for play-by-play that we had last week. I promise, in 40+ years of following football, they were the worst.

Falcon Jim

August 16th, 2012
7:01 pm

Seen, it is TWO.

Keith

August 16th, 2012
7:04 pm

I hope Smith’s magic # is ONE. Getting a playoff win. :)

Keith

August 16th, 2012
7:04 pm

2 would be grand. ;)

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:07 pm

Chipper Bobblehead is the IR sprained neck…

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:09 pm

DeCoud impersonates a Chipper Bobblehead and Merton Hanks (badly)…

Falcon Jim

August 16th, 2012
7:12 pm

TWO: Nov 11 and Nov 29.

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:12 pm

They made Curtis Painter look like TJ Yates, a winner!

SeenThisB4

August 16th, 2012
7:14 pm

LOL! Two! LOL! I was implying playoff wins, so, it’s a lock that it won’t be two. I think his magic number is 1.

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:15 pm

That bobblehead looks more like Hinske… Where’s the Ace bandage, ice pack, and Hooter’s menu?

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

August 16th, 2012
7:15 pm

Saturday Night Live is still a couple days away.

Oh well CHOKE is good for a few laughs so I’ll watch the game :)

Stepchild

August 16th, 2012
7:15 pm

I still don’t trust Mike Smith as a head coach. If the wheels fall off I’ll look for Nolan to take over and be our new coach. Most times you expect a good coach to win you 2 or 3 close ball games a year. . . . I’ve always felt that Mike Smith will cost us 1 or 2 games a year. I’ll hope for the best….but I don’t trust Mike Smith.

I barely trust TD!!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

August 16th, 2012
7:17 pm

It doesn’t matter what Smith’s magic number is because Art Blank’s magic number is 3.

As in Dimitroff/Smith/CHOKE…..Gone after this season :)

SeenThisB4

August 16th, 2012
7:17 pm

Nawh! On Nov 11 and Nov 29, most of y’all will be on your knees with your head in your hands, in sorrowful pain.

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:20 pm

First!
(Damn. Lost again. Sorry, had to go eat. Back now.)

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:21 pm

Matty P — I’m sure you’ll see a few, but just a few. No reason to empty the playbook in the preseason. … About MLB: I think it was a concern even before Akeem Dent’s concussion. I think you’re going to see situations this year where Falcons play a lot of nickel and William Moore steps up as almost a third linebacker.

SeenThisB4

August 16th, 2012
7:22 pm

So, “Damn” is an acceptable expletive here? Who knew: But then, when you play the Saints, you all do use a lot of expletives!!

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:22 pm

Jeff Schultz, that dog is spoiled!

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:23 pm

SeenTheB4 — Answer: 1.

Falcon Jim

August 16th, 2012
7:23 pm

Can’t wait, Seen. I TRUST Smith. I sure don’t trust your prognostications.
I wouldn’t bet money either way, but I would bet on them both being really good games……….

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:24 pm

JSS — Hinske bobblehead would be a little pudgier.

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:24 pm

The team that does not believe in depth counting on guys who can stay on the field (i.e. Moore)…

SeenThisB4

August 16th, 2012
7:25 pm

@Falcon: Yeah, there going to be wars, especially for Lofton. It’ll be personal for him.

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:26 pm

Wait, the last time we saw Moore in game that counted, the training staff was leading him to the locker room… Nevermind!

Yo Vince

August 16th, 2012
7:26 pm

All I care about is the score when the starters leave. Like 3, 3 and outs for the Ravens, and without the pick at the 20, we could have been up 21 – 0 in the 1st qt. That gets me all warm and fuzzy!! Keep and stupid comments to yourself, Ain’t cheaters

"Chef" Tim Dix

August 16th, 2012
7:27 pm

chipper 2 run HR

Yo Vince

August 16th, 2012
7:29 pm

Aint cheaters, go mess with the blowup doll in your Moms basement and get a life

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:29 pm

“Hinske bobblehead would be a little pudgier.”

Are you kidding? Liberty Media would skimp on the heft to save money!

SeenThisB4

August 16th, 2012
7:30 pm

@ Yo Vince: But, you weren’t 21-0 against the Ravens at the end of the FQ…and it was only the FQ of the first preseason game. Next week when your starters play the majority the game it will be meaningful. Who do you all play next week?

lowcountrylem

August 16th, 2012
7:30 pm

Somebody explain to me again WHY Chipper’s retiring?? Can the Braves afford to miss even platooning him! WTG, #10

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:32 pm

Did a come to Jesus bow down to the false prophet moment take place at the Ted?

Falcon Jim

August 16th, 2012
7:32 pm

“Ain’t cheaters.” I love the triple entendre.

Stepchild

August 16th, 2012
7:33 pm

Y’know I think the Falcons are staying with Mike Smith at least 1 season too long. However, I can understand the loyalty ….he did take the job after the loss of Vick & Petrino…it wasn’t a pretty job to walk into. If the Saints wouldn’t have put it together the Falcons would rule the NFC South. It’s kinda like trying to be the best player in the NBA during the Jordan years….just a bad time to be a really good but not an all time great player.

Mike Smith is really good….probably not an all time great.

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:34 pm

“Somebody explain to me again WHY Chipper’s retiring?”
Cause it is another year he’d have to add to the alimony checks…

lowcountrylem

August 16th, 2012
7:35 pm

JS——-any word on Peter Moylan?? Last I heard (several weeks ago) he was going on the DL at Gwinnet.

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:40 pm

JSS – You’ve taken a double-dose of your Cynical Flintstone Vitamins tonight, haven’t you?

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:41 pm

Lowcountrylem — That’s all I know.

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:41 pm

JSS — By the way, Chipper just homered.

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:48 pm

Midseason form and it is only August! Unlike the Falcons and Braves, I’m on a gold medal run this year like David Rudisha!

Jeff Schultz, you’re a tad slow tonight, see my 7:32 comment (sans his HR)…

JSS

August 16th, 2012
7:50 pm

Was it the free Moe’s Burrito inning? Old Alimony got me a free one when the girlfriend was here for SHRM conference and forced me to take her to the Ted and buy her $7.50 beers… She says “Hi” by the way Jeff Schultz…

Falcon Jim

August 16th, 2012
7:52 pm

Jeff Schultz

August 16th, 2012
7:56 pm

JSS — Say hi to your girlfriend, and tell her every day she spends with you is worth a tax deduction at the end of the year.