Bradley’s Buzz: Peter King picks the Falcons, and woe is he!

More of that great Falcon D. But I still think they'll be OK. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

More of that great Falcon D. But I still think they'll be OK. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Poor, poor pitiful Peter

I’ve known Peter King for 30 years, or since he was at the Cincinnati Enquirer and I was working in Lexington. There’s not a nicer guy or a harder worker in the biz. But I feel truly sorry for Industrious Pete today. Because he picked the Falcons to go 10-6 and win the NFC Southsame as I did! And we know what that means, don’t we?

Pete’s SI.com colleague Don Banks sees it differently. He picks the Saints to win the South and the Falcons to miss the playoffs. And Clark Judge of CBSsports.com likewise picks New Orleans. Of the Birds, he writes: “I’m not sure why, but I don’t see it happening again. Maybe it’s because I trust history, and history tells us that when the Falcons go to the playoffs they fizzle the following season.”

I won’t lie. I was utterly underwhelmed by the Falcons’ preseason. (I was appalled by the defensive non-showing against the Chargers.) But it was only preseason. And there’s enough offense here to provide enough points until the defense comes around. Which it will. I think.

Don’t give up on the Dogs, Doyel says

Y’all know my buddy Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com. He hates everybody. Well, except the Georgia Bulldogs. Even after witnessing their loss in Stillwater, Doyel figures they’ll wind up a Top 15 team. He thinks Richard Samuel will play in the NFL. He thinks Joe Cox will be just fine. He even thinks the defense is OK. (Does Willie Martinez still coach Georgia’s defense?)

Speaking of Georgia’s D … Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com’s Insiders believes Reshad Jones was harshly done, as they say in Britain. Writes Feldman (link requires registration):

“The game featured the worst call of the day when UGA safety Reshad Jones was flagged for unnecessary roughness for drilling Justin Blackmon across the middle just as he was about to catch the ball on a big third-down play. It was a big hit, but Jones didn’t lead with his helmet or hit Blackmon in the head.

“What was Jones supposed to do to the receiver? Clap his hands to startle him? Scream to try to distract him from making the catch? The only way that was ‘unnecessary”is if the pass isn’t anywhere near the receiver.”

One final word about the men of Martinez, this from OSU quarterback Zac Robinson via Dave Curtis of Sporting News Today: “It’s probably the best defense we’ll play all year.”

It’s September, which means it’s hockey time in the A-T-L

The Thrashers open camp Saturday — first practice is Sunday — and Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun lists Vegas odds that have them at 50-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Which doesn’t sound all that high, truth to tell. Especially when you consider that six teams are listed at 60-1 or worse.

The Sporting News Hockey Yearbook has the Thrashers the 27th-best team in the 30-team NHL. But, on a happier note, The Hockey Writers offers 10 reasons Ilya Kovalchuk will remain a Thrasher. (Thanks again to faithful reader Wayne Brown of Tuskegee, Ala., for the tip.) The best of the 10: “Little White Russian” — the proposed nickname for a Kovy-Bryan Little-Todd White line.

130 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons

September 7th, 2009
9:35 am

(((((( 24 – 10 ))))) hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

KT

September 7th, 2009
9:40 am

The “Dogs” have to be glad they don’t play Alabama this year.

tixholdersince66

September 7th, 2009
10:03 am

One of two things will need to happen for the Falcons to go 10-6 this season. 1) Our OL will need to come to play 16 weeks to maintain time of possesion. 2) Find a couple CB’s at least 6′ or taller to cover the tall receivers we face each week. I am hoping for both to happen and we could go a long way in the playoffs.

drew

September 7th, 2009
10:07 am

This new rule to protect “defenseless” receivers is a crock. Get ready for a years worth of bad game changing calls. What used to be considered a great hit (”he got…..JACKED-UP”) is now a 15 yard penalty, based of course on the astute (BWAHHH!) judgement of the refs…geez, talk about a can of worms. Mark my words…this stupid rule is going to determine the outcome of football games (as a matter of fact, it probably already has). Defensive players are supposed to make receivers pay when they come across the middle. And now players/teams are going to be penalized for doing exactly what they’ve been taught to do their entire football lives.

So, let’s see, you can’t lay it on the QB or the “defenseless” receivers…what about the the lineman and running backs? What about the blindside blocks on special teams, or after an interception…we can’t allow that, someone might get hurt.

I’ve got an idea, let’s just chunk the pads, puts skirts on ‘em, and play touch. And after the game they can all get together and sing Kumbaya, and have tea and cookies.

brewdawg

September 7th, 2009
10:13 am

The LSU game does not look quite as daunting as it once did on UGA’s schedule. Of course, LSU could improve after a lackluster showing against Washington. UGA, as we know, can’t possibly improve after a rough start. Sure didn’t after starting out 6-4 in 2006. Sure didn’t after losing 35-14 at UT in 2007. They just aren’t the same program anymore. We need to start throwing dirt on this regime as quickly as possible so that we can get back to the glory days of the 90’s as quickly as possible!

tree rollins

September 7th, 2009
10:19 am

Mark, I like you was not particularly swept off my feet by the Falcons preseason. But then again it was almost exactly what I expected. The Falcons completely gutted their veteran defense from last season and I could almost not get anyone to talk about it. They just kept wanting to talk about Ryan and Gonzalez. And it’s not like last year’s defense was anything great!

I would have to say the draft picks don’t exactly blow me away this year. Sidbury looks decent for where we got him. The rest look very average. We don’t have a punt returner any more and not much of a kick return game. I think Thomas Brown could have helped in these areas so I’m disappointed that we chopped him – Snelling puts me to sleep. My prediction this year 7-9 with a very tough schedule and no defense against the good teams.

Mark Bradley

September 7th, 2009
10:19 am

The Falcons’ o-line will hold up its end. This I know.

Mark Bradley

September 7th, 2009
10:22 am

They gutted a defense that needed a redo, Tree. It will pay off in the long run.

MightyQuinn

September 7th, 2009
10:23 am

Wow, Mark, you and Jeff both spitting out columns on Labor Day! And I’m wondering: I know you do an accountability column every year, but does Peter King? Or is there a web site that checks him? Seems like he’s rarely right, yet he’s SI’s top gun for the NFL. Nice gig if you can get it, I guess!

kurula

September 7th, 2009
10:32 am

hopefully the corners that the falcons added will make the secondary better. preseason was truly hard to watch and hopefully not a harbinger of things to come. also…what is this ‘hockey’ you speak of?

Southside Falcon

September 7th, 2009
10:36 am

I still think its possible for them to have a winning season granted the defense wasnt nothing to go home and tell mom about but they will get it fixed just let them do the work necessary. Look at the scehdule the teams that scare me are New England,New Orleans,Giants and the Eagles all the other games are winable, GEEZ every body was singing they’re praise now yall jump off the bandwagon!? Yall make me sick as a fan. That why we got our reputation as bad fans

Mort

September 7th, 2009
11:00 am

Glad to see somebody rip the officials for that call against Jones. It’s football, not tiddly winks. Terrible call and McDonough and Millen said so then.

Dawgs2009

September 7th, 2009
11:09 am

I hope Saint Simons catches AIDS and dies a horrible death.

Falcon 228

September 7th, 2009
11:13 am

I agree the offense will score points this season. But I’m afraid the defense has more leaks than a tea strainer. Blame the secondary but the defensive line is giving the opposition too much time to throw the ball. I don’t care if you have 4 Deion Sanders clones as DBs if you give the QB enough time a WR will get open. We’ve seen a few offensive coordinators get fired in the past week just before the opening game of the season. We may see a few defensive coordinators get the ax after the first couple of games for the same reason. I hope VanGorder isn’t one of them. It looks like Dimitroff is going to be busy for a while taking a look around to try and find some talent. I still think the Falcons can take the NFC South though. Tampa isn’t going anywhere this season. Carolina is about where they were last year. The Saints? That team is who we have to beat twice this season instead of once. 10-6? It’s a tough call but I’ll buy in.

Eman

September 7th, 2009
11:18 am

There were two calls that set UGA faith last Sat and they were 1. The non spot challenge that UGA coach did not challenge. The defence clearly stop them on fourth down. 2. the foul for hiting that TE in the third quarter. Both cause UGA 14 points. Cox should have been bench for his poor play. I think that if we lose the next game then its time for a new QB.

Also, Why can’t UGA recruit better athletes at QB. Man since DJ Shockely has left there has not been an athlete at QB. I do not think that da dawgs have the mental make up or talent that Gators or BAMA has. It looks like no championships this year.

Not Disappointed!

September 7th, 2009
11:21 am

Mark, in you humble opinion, why do you think the defense for the Falcons are worse than last year.

Falcon Fan/Ramblin Wreck!

Mort

September 7th, 2009
11:23 am

I think between the Rams guy and the Jaguars guy, maybe the Falcons pulled another “Foxworth.” They surely didn’t get worse. And, what about Thomas Brown for the practice squad instead of Shockley. Brown has far more upside.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
11:24 am

I won’t go that far but I’m pretty sick of Saint Simons too.

Cuz

September 7th, 2009
11:25 am

Bad calls are part of the game. Can we just move on and get ready for the Colonel Sanders express coming our way.

Go Dawgs. Choke the Chickens.

bigeasy830

September 7th, 2009
11:27 am

That gutted defense will not pay off in the long run because the only young talent on that gutted defense in Lofton. The rest of the young players are garbage except maybe Peria. Also seems like the trend is that the Falcons are putting money in their offense to help make Ryan look good but are not spending any money on the defense.

The Falcons will be 4-12 in 2009
“Back To Life, Back To Reality”

Mark Bradley

September 7th, 2009
11:31 am

A defense runs on cohesion as much as talent. These guys have not been together long enough to find a mesh.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
11:32 am

Cuz, you’ll be the 2nd Uga fan I agree with today. I had a relative I liked a lot but whenever we’d beat his team it was always the refs and that practically negated all the goodwill between us. Just don’t say I’m going soft not to argue all day.

The Real Falcon

September 7th, 2009
11:34 am

What would someone calling themselves “bigeasy’ know about the Falcons?
“Wedat say we going to beat them Saints”

Jamaaliver

September 7th, 2009
11:36 am

Does anybody else kind of miss the nonsensical ramblings of Falcons Sorry?

J/K It’ll be an intersting season, though. For the entire NFL.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
11:40 am

I think the Falcons scapegoated the defense when Ryan lost the game by playing like a rookie. With Brooking (somehow still a starter) and Choice, I’ll be tempted to pull for the Boys.
Scapegoating players after losing in the playoffs is what the Braves have done and I don’t think it works. Even Milloy got added by the Seahawks today. TD got spoiled by picking 3rd and being lucky the first two passed on Ryan.

The A Bomb

September 7th, 2009
11:41 am

Detroit was 4-0 in the preseason last year.

Enough said. Defense will grow. Enough of Brooking (beaten time after time), Milloy (ditto), Boley (dropped INT against NO last year).

WE WILL BE READY.

jack

September 7th, 2009
11:43 am

why do you never mention ga. tech?the bull pups are not the only collage football team in ga.

Greg

September 7th, 2009
11:43 am

Mark, do you ever get the sense that the Falcons will try anything rather than pay up? They need corners, but instead a hitting on good players who are free agents, they opt for two recent rejects. Maybe they can bring these two guys around, but is it really likely that they would have been cut if they were first-rate talent?

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
11:49 am

What I don’t like about blogs, since the going is slow today, is the folks who bait other teams fans. Then when they lose, they’ll disappear and not face what they’ve been dishing out.

Mony

September 7th, 2009
11:50 am

I think Georgia got away from what would have won them the game. That first drive where they went straight at OSU, mixing a few passes in with a strong running game. If they hadn’t gotten away from that they woulda won.

Sonny Clusters

September 7th, 2009
11:52 am

Clusters was never so much football players as baseball players. A Clusters would always want to be in the lineup and didn’t miss games with sore parts. We was thinking a lot of people work sore. Sore can be soaked. Sore can be rubbed. Sore don’t mean you miss a game. Now, we’re not picking on anybody in particular, mind you, but they is someone on the Braves that won’t play sore. Sore thumbs, sore groins, sore obliques, sore toes, sore back, sore abdomen, sore ankles, sore hammys, and sore tail from sitting – all that soreness needs to get worked out. If we was making millions of dollars to play ball we could work out of being sore all the time. The Braves have lost five in a row and pretty much look like they are out of it the first week of September. That makes a lot of people sore.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
11:52 am

A Bomb I hope you, Mark and Peter are right. Maybe it was time for them to go but I don’t know about Foxworthy. That’s the one I don’t understand.

brewdawg

September 7th, 2009
11:56 am

I also tire of the blame the ref game. UGA lost because they didn’t play well enough to win. Maybe once or twice a year throughout college football will officiating be the reason a team loses.

Oh, and Jack, I don’t know what to tell you if you think that is the case. Mark Bradley has developed quite the attachment to Coach Paul Johnson. He talks about GT being the best team in the state. He gives Tech plenty of attention.

Typical UGA fan

September 7th, 2009
11:56 am

All is lost. Not only is this season doomed, but UGA will never win a game until Aaron Murray’s great, great, great grandson becomes the head coach. Every SEC school but us has won a national championship in the past two seasons. We haven’t won a game since Vince Dooley retired. It’s all Willie Martinez’ fault. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Then, a win over South Carolina.

We’re on a roll now! Joe Cox just needed to work the kinks out, he’s another D.J. Shockley. Oklahoma State IS a really good team, you know. We probably won’t lose again until after Zach Mettenberger’s senior season. Martinez, your D played ONE good game, don’t be getting too comfortable.

What a pack of idiots.

Putting On The Foil

September 7th, 2009
12:00 pm

Mark-Thanks for the link on the Thrashers. The bandwagon will be loading up soon.

Mark Bradley

September 7th, 2009
12:03 pm

Foxworth signed with Baltimore for $17 million guaranteed. The Falcons liked him, but not that much.

Sonny Clusters

September 7th, 2009
12:03 pm

They was a sportswriter that got sore all the time and he kept sportswriting. Sometimes at the plant we’ll get sore from lifting and stretching and standing all the time. We have to go back the next day, though. If we was about to win a pennant or make the playoffs we wouldn’t think nothing of being sore. We’d go on in and finish the shift. Maybe we’d do some exercising to get stronger or talk to a pain doctor about how to deal with boo-boo’s. A boo-boo shouldn’t keep you out of the lineup. Something broke should, but nothing is broke that we can tell, just sore. Now, Clusters can sometimes be too hard on somebody that don’t pull on the leotard and go to war. We was criticized for that before but we always held firm to our convictions that a ball player should play ball. It’s kinda hard to watch the season go away and know they had the pitching for a change and couldn’t do the things they needed to win. That group wouldn’t look good in leotards anyway. Bobby and Chino would be especially disgusting in leotards. How did we get talking about leotards, anyway? Well, depending on who’s pitching we may see Chipper back in the lineup pretty soon and then it’s just a short while until hunting season begins and he can do some more sitting in a tree stand.

Mark Bradley

September 7th, 2009
12:06 pm

We’re into old-time hockey here, Foil. Me and Eddie Shore.

BRICK

September 7th, 2009
12:07 pm

The Falcons will go 11-5 again with losses to NE,NO,CAR,NYG,and DAL.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
12:07 pm

Typical. Every fan base has it’s adults and adolescents. If Saints Simons dad won’t spank him, I would not mind an Uga fan doing the job.
There are plenty of adult Uga fans to debate. Are you going to show up on this blog if we don’t beat the Dogs? Maybe there ought to be another blog for those capable of getting past the gloating when they win and hiding when they lose mentality.

Typical UGA fan

September 7th, 2009
12:09 pm

Who is “we?”

DawgRight

September 7th, 2009
12:10 pm

That call against Reshad was totally home cooking BS! No way that was a penalty. Georgia got screwed by the local refs all day!

Typical UGA fan

September 7th, 2009
12:10 pm

I actually am a UGA fan, who cannot believe the nuts who come out when the Dawgs lose. I’m amazed at their doomsday ignorance.

BRICK

September 7th, 2009
12:15 pm

bigeasy830 you are one of the true idiots in this world. Roddy White, Matty Ice, Tony Gonzalez, Micheal Turner, great O-line yea just to name a few. With that offense alone thats atleast 6 wins. Get off this blog and go cry somewhere else biCH BOY.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
12:15 pm

Thanks Mark for the reason. That’s a good explanation.
A Ga fan said to me in Athens immediately after they beat us years ago “Tech was tough” and it made the loss easier to get over.
A Tech coach had died in an accident and I’ve wondered if that was the reason Uga fans were polite both pre and post game. I know I’m pretty old school but it’s a shame it takes a death for fans to be decent to each other. Probably not much agreement with that thought.

The A Bomb

September 7th, 2009
12:18 pm

Just signed Brian Williams to go along with Tye Hill.

As usual, Dimitroff strikes again. Veteran secondary guys to go until Jackson can handle it. This should light a fire under Houston as well.

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

Well you fooled me Typical. Good job.

IBleedRed&Black

September 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

10-6 maybe… But miss the NFC South??? C’mon you gotta be kidding… Bradley these blogs are becoming just insane… No offense to you, but….oh well gotta go and drink a cold one and finish grilling. Happy Labor Day!

Jackets2009

September 7th, 2009
12:25 pm

Like I said A Bomb, I hope you and the rest are right.

Bat Masterson

September 7th, 2009
12:31 pm

Sonny’s on today.