Atlanta Falcons blog 

Atlanta Falcons blog by the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter

Smith believes NFL players would respect Sam as an openly gay player

  • 3:43 pm Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – Falcons coach Mike Smith, as head coach of the North team in the Senior Bowl, is an authority on defensive end/linebacker Michael Sam, who recently announced that he’s a gay football player.

Smith was asked about Sam the football player and how an openly gay player would fit in a NFL locker room.

“First and foremost, when you evaluate a football player, you evaluate them on what you see on the field,” Smith said on Thursday. “A player’s personal life is not something that you concern yourself with. You are evaluating the player.”

The Falcons worked out Sam, the SEC’s co-defensive [More]

NFL combine: VIDEO — Tennessee OT Ja’wuan James

  • 2:52 pm Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – Tennessee tackle Ja’wuan James played at North Gwinnett High.

VIDEO: Plus Mike Smith’s full transcript of NFL combine session

  • 12:49 pm Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(UPDATE: FULL EDITED TRANSCRIPT BELOW — 8:25 P.M)

Falcons coach Mike Smith spoke to the media for 14 minutes, 36 seconds at the NFL scouting combine on Thursday.

Here are 6 quick takeaways from his talk:

1. He was non-committal about the team bringing back defensive end Osi Umenyiora.

2. The team was comfortable with letting Asante Samuel because of the strong play of rookies Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant.

3. He was pleased with how Steven Jackson finished the season, but noted the poor stats and how the offensive line must improve.

4. Peter Konz will get a chance to compete for the starting center spot [More]

Falcons fans: Meet Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack

  • 7:57 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – Heading over to the Oil Dome in a few minutes.

It will be a heavy media day with Falcons coach Mike Smith set to speak at 11:45 a.m. Check back around Noon-ish for video and a little later for a blog on some of the highlights and a story on Myajc.com.

I wanted to share a little bit on potential future Falcons linebacker Khalil Mack, who played at Buffalo. Some consider him the best defensive player in the draft and he should be available when the Falcons pick at sixth overall.

Here’s a story on him from Buffalo.

NFL Network’s Mike [More]