Let’s get right to it this morning:
1. THE FUTURE OF EXHIBITION GAMES: Perhaps the day is coming where the fans are not forced to pay regular-season football prices for exhibition games.
Nobody likes the exhibition season.
The fans, players (Sam Baker) and the football folks.
“Our goal is to obviously get to the season as healthy as possible,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff. “We know that the more games in preseason, the more apt you are to run the risk of an injury. That could happen in Game 1 as we’ve seen. I think the league is well thought out with how they’re approaching this. It will be interesting to see in time if we truncate that and how it’s going to be beneficial.”
How about an 18-game schedule with no exhibition games?
“But in lieu of the games, we’d probably spend more time in duo-practices with other teams,” Dimitroff said. “I think that’s what is going to be happening.”
Some of the Falcons were ticked after the Baker injury.
“Some times things happen as you know out of the blue,” Dimitroff said. “Sometimes guys are tired and they get hurt. Other times it just the luck of the draw which is unfortunate. I feel think our A.P. (athletic performance) department is really dialed.”
2. EXHIBITION GAMES II: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is probably not even taking his shoulder pads with him to Jacksonville. He is not going to play in the meaningless game.
He does see some value in the third game.
“I think it’s a really good opportunity to play a sustained number of plays and to get out there and get into a rhythm heading into the regular season,” Ryan said. “I think that is productive.”
3.. WORRILOW ON TACKLING: Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow believes the next generation of football players will be better tacklers.
“Especially, all of the stuff they are doing with heads up football,” Worrilow said. “There are so many organizations who do a great job of teaching the correct way to tackle to keep you safe, secure the tackle and get the ball carrier down.”
We did a story on tackling in the NFL. Several people pointed to the 1980s when head-on and launch tackles were highlighted. ESPN had that weekly segment called “jacked up” that basically glorified wrestling style moves and not tackling.
Of course, the players wanted to get on the show and instead of tackling they would try to decapitate the ball carriers.
“The big hits are going to come,” Worrilow said. “In a game, how many of those do you see? Throughout the course of the game, it’s your good and secure form tackles where you’re driving the guy backwards and gang tackling where everybody is getting to the ball, that’s what football is about.”
4. QBs MAKING OPRAH DOLLARS: Here’s a list of the projected starting quarterbacks in the NFL with their base salaries for the 2014 season:
Arizona: Carson Palmer, $9 million
Atlanta: Matt Ryan, $9.5 million
Baltimore: Joe Flacco, $6 million
Buffalo: E.J. Manuel, $808,877
Carolina: Cam Newton, $3.3 million
Chicago: Jay Cutler, $17.5 million
Cincinnati: Andy Dalton, $986,027
Cleveland: Brian Hoyer, $1 million
Dallas: Tony Romo, $1 million
Denver: Peyton Manning, $15 million
Detroit: Matt Stafford, $2 million
Green Bay: Aaron Rodgers, $900,000
Houston: Ryan Fitzpatrick, $1.75 million
Indianapolis: Andrew Luck, $2.39 million
Jacksonville: Chad Henne, $1.5 million
Kansas City: Alex Smith, $7.5 million
Miami: Ryan Tannehill, $570,000
Minnesota: Mat Cassel, $2.65 million
New England: Tom Brady, $2 million (plus $15 million in “signing” bonus payments)
New Orleans, Drew Brees, $10.7 million
NY Giants: Eli Manning, $15.1 million
NY Jets: Geno Smith, $633,164
Oakland: Matt Schaub, $4.5 million
Philadelphia: Nick Foles, $615,000
Pittsburgh: Ben Roethlisberger, $12.1 million
San Diego: Philip Rivers, $13.8 million
San Francisco: Colin Kaepernick, $645,000
Seattle: Russell Wilson, $662,434
St. Louis: Shaun Hill, $1.75 million with another $500,000 through incentives. (Sam Bradford will make $14 million)
Tampa Bay: Josh McCown, $3.7 million
Tennessee: Jake Locker, $2.09 million
Washington: Robert Griffin III, $2.3 million
5. BULLDOG CORNER: Here’s a little update on the 5 UGA rookies in NFL camps.
TE Arthur Lynch (155TH OVERALL), Miami Dolphins – He received a $185,000 signing bonus, but has been hurt most of training camp with a back injury. He appears headed for injured reserved.
QB Aaron Murray (163 OVERALL) Kansas City Chiefs — Murray has completed 5 of 10 passes (50 percent) for 81 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He has a quarterback rating of 71.3 and is playing behind Alex Smith, Chase Daniels and Tyler Bray.
OG Chris Burnette (Miami Dolphins) – He was released on Aug. 23.
DL Garrison Smith (Miami Dolphins) – Here’s a link to a story on Smith’s visit to the Georgia Dome with the Dolphins.
WR Rantavious Wooten (Miami Dolphins) – He was cut by the Dolphins on Aug. 3.
6. YELLOW JACKET CORNER: Here’s a little update on the Yellow Jackets in NFL camps.
LB Jeremiah Attaochu San Diego – He was shining early in camp. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt raved about him after his visit to their camp.
DB Jemea Thomas New England – He has missed time at camp with an undisclosed injury.
DE Brandon Watts, Minnesota – He’s listed as the second-team weakside linebacker behind Chad Greenway.
DE Euclid Cummings, Tampa Bay – He was waived by Tampa Bay on the cutdown to 75 players.
DE Emmanuel Dieke, New York Giants – He was waived/injured on the cutdown to 75 players.
CB Louis Young, Denver Broncos – He’s made it to the final cut. Had a strong start to camp.
7. 70 PERCENT COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed a whopping 78.3 percent of his passes against Tennessee in the third exhibition game.