Atlanta Falcons blog 

Atlanta Falcons blog by the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter
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COVER 9@9: Atlanta’s tuning in Camp Hard Knocks

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Before leaving home to watch practice and meet with the Falcons’ brass, HBO Sports president Ken Hershman received a message going out the door.

“My daughter, who I didn’t know watched the show, said ‘when you go down to Atlanta say hello to Cupcake for me,’ ” Hershman said.

In episode one, defensive line coach Bryan Cox, the star of the show, dubbed defensive tackle Donte Rumph “Cupcake.” He rescinded the nickname after Rumph, who played at Kentucky, started to ramp up his play.

“I just love watching the personalities as they come to life on the screen,” Hershman said. [More]

SNEAK PREVIEW: Falcons on Hard Knocks at 10 p.m.

  • 6:31 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – HBO Sports president Ken Hershman was at practice on Tuesday.

The third installment of the 11-time Emmy award-winning show is set 10 p.m. tonight.

“So far, it’s been great,” Hershman said. “The shows have been terrific. The story lines have been great. The cooperation from the team has been unparalleled. The ratings are really, really strong. They are up double-digits compared to last season.

“The Atlanta market is up over 200 percent from the normal ratings period. It’s firing on all cylinders.”

Spotlighted on tonight’s show is how a new quarterback absorbs a new offense, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry [More]

Falcons right tackle Lamar Holmes is on the hot seat

  • 2:28 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice went out of his way to let us know that Lamar Holmes is penciled in as the starter at right tackle.

After last season, you have to figure that Holmes, who was taken in the third-round of the 2012 draft, is on a short leash.

Holmes needs improved him play dramatically.

Here’s want profootballfocus.com had to say about Holmes in a preview that was done before Baker went down for the season:

Holmes projects as the team’s swing tackle, but his poor play ranked him second worst in the NFL out of PFF’s 76 qualifying [More]

Falcons’ official depth chart released for Titans game

  • 8:09 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons released their depth chart for the third exhibition game against Tennessee at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Here it is:

OFFENSE

WR 84 Roddy White, 83 Harry Douglas, 19 Drew Davis, 89 Bernard Reedy, 87 Tramaine Thompson

16 Julian Jones, 8 Jabin Sambrano

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 74 Terren Jones, 64 Pat McQuistan

LG 63 Justin Blalock, 79 Mike Johnson, 67 Adam Replogle

C 61 Joe Hawley, 66 Peter Konz, 62 James Stone

RG 75 Jon Asamoah, 69 Harlan Gunn, 68 Gabe Carimi

RT 76 Lamar Holmes, 68 Gabe Carimi, 73 Ryan Schraeder

TE 80 Levine Toilolo, 86 Bear Pascoe, 82 Mickey Shuler, [More]

Are the Falcons contenders or pretenders?

  • 8:00 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — When the Tennessee Titans were here to practice two weeks ago, safety Bernard Pollard let everyone know what he thought of the Falcons.

Pollard tried to fire-up his teammates as he ran up and down the sidelines yelling, “They are pretenders. Remember, they are pretenders.”

The Falcons first-team offense didn’t look like pretenders against the Miami Dolphins. They appeared legit.

Against Houston, they looked like pretenders and couldn’t block an elite pass rusher in rookie Jadeveon Clowney.

Now, they’ll have to pass protect with a rookie at left tackle.

The first-team defense was shaky in both outings and have not looked like [More]

UPDATE: Sam Baker out for year with torn patellar tendon

  • 11:23 am Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON — Falcons left tackle Sam Baker has a torn right patellar tendon and will be for the season, the Falcons announced Sunday.

“Following his injury in the game, Sam underwent a number of tests and it was determined that he had suffered a torn patellar tendon and will miss the rest of the season,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team. “Sam had worked extremely hard to get back on the field after missing most of last season, and he was having a good camp. I know he is disappointed, but I also know he [More]

VIDEO: Falcons QB Matt Ryan on the offense

  • 1:46 am Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

VIDEO: Falcons CB Robert Alford after the loss to the Texans

  • 1:42 am Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Report: Julio Jones expects to return against Texans

  • 9:27 am Friday, August 15th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON — Falcons coach Mike Smith gave his stock “we have a plan” answer when asked if wide receiver Julio Jones was set to make his return against the Houston Texans at 8 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium.

“We have a plan and we all know what it is and that’s to make sure that we have our players healthy and ready to go,” Smith said after practice on Thursday. “We’re not going to deviate from that. And I don’t want to give anybody any information that’s going to help them get prepared.”

The Falcons have a pre-game walk-through today at Rice [More]

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins a big fan of Roddy White, Julio Jones

  • 8:00 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON – Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who’s set to enter his second year in the NFL, didn’t want to come off as a drooling fan.

The South Carolina native had a chance to tell Falcons wide receiver Roddy White that he’d been watching him since his days at Alabama-Birmingham. He had a chance to tell Julio Jones that he admires he work.

But Hopkins remained calm and took care of his business.

“Roddy is from South Carolina, so he’s one of the guys that I’ve been watching since he was in college,” said Hopkins, who had 52 catches for 802 yards and [More]

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