5 things to know about the Falcons on Wednesday

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dwight Freeney (54) celebrates a sack against Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (not pictured) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dwight Freeney (54) celebrates a sack against Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (not pictured) at University of Phoenix Stadium. Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here are five things to know about the Falcons, who practice at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

1. Freeney to sign one-year deal. The Falcons agreed to terms with sackmaster Dwight Freeney on a one-year inventive laden deal reportedly worth as much as $4 million. The seven-time Pro Bowler will be available to the media on Thursday.  The Falcons had 19 sacks last season, which ranked last in the NFL.  In fact, the Falcons’ pass rush has finished 30th, 31st and 32nd, respectively, in sacks over the past three seasons. Freeney, 36, had eight sacks with Arizona last season and should help second-year linebacker/defensive end Vic Beasley develop. Beasley, the eighth-overall pick in the 2015 draft, is the future of the Falcons pass-rush.

The team hasn’t commented on the deal. They like to wait until the contract is signed and approved by the league first. But in the meantime, AJC columnist Jeff Schultz likes this signing.

2. Freeney in action. Before playing with Arizona last season, Freeney spent two seasons in San Diego and the previous 11 with the Indianapolis Colts. Here’s are some photos of him over the years. 

3. Weatherspoon on Freeney. Back when Freeney visited the Falcons we asked linebacker Sean Weatherspoon about him. They played together last season and helped the Cardinals reach the NFC championship game. Here’s what Spoon had to say. 

4. Move should help Beasley. With Freeney, the Falcons can play Beasley and Freeney at opposite defensive ends in the nickel package. There should still be enough snaps for Adrian Clayborn to rush some, too. Freeney played 255 snaps last season.

5. Freeney ranks third of current players. Freeney’s 119.5 career sacks ranks him 19th on the all-time list, just behind Clyde Simmons (121.5) and Simeon Rice (122). Freeney ranks third in sacks behind Green Bay’s Julius Peppers (136) and Denver DeMarcus Ware (134.5) among current players.

TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

August

3 – Wednesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

4 – Thursday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

5 – Friday, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Grayson High School

6 – Saturday, players off.

7 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

8- Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

9 – Tuesday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

10 – Wednesday, public practice 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

11 – Thursday vs. Washington 7 p.m. (Georgia Dome).

12 – Friday, closed practice.

13 – Saturday, players off.

14 – Sunday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

15 – Monday, public practice, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

16 – Tuesday, public practice: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Depth chart. Here’s the projected training camp depth chart.

OFFENSE

WR 11 Julio Jones, 16 Justin Hardy, 87 Devin Fuller, 18 Jordan Leslie

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 76 Tom Compton

LG 67 Andy Levitre, 71 Wes Schweitzer, 79 Shabaz Ahmed

C   51 Alex Mack, 63 Ben Garland, 69 Jake Reed

RG 65 Chris Chester, 68 Mike Person, 64 Collin Rahrig, Michael Huey

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 72 Bryce Harris, 66 Laurence Gibson

TE 83 Jacob Tamme, 80 Levine Toilolo, 81 Austin Hooper, 86 D.J. Tialavea, 82 Joshua Perkins, 49 Arthur Lynch

WR Mohamed Sanu, 14 Eric Weems, 19 Aldrick Robinson, 15 Nick Williams, 7 David Glidden, 85 J.D. McKissic, 6 Corey Washington, 89 Chris King

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub, 12 Sean Renfree, 4 Matt Simms

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 28 Terron Ward, 35 Gus Johnson, 20 Brandon Wilds

FB 42 Patrick DiMarco, 39 Will Ratelle

NICKEL DEFENSE

RDE Dwight Freeney, 99 Adrian Clayborn, 50 Brooks Reed, 91 Courtney Upshaw, 75 Brandon Williams

DT 97 Grady Jarrett, 94 Tyson Jackson, 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 96 Nordly Capi, 98 Cory Johnson

DT 90 Derrick Shelby, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 92 Joey Mbu, 74 Chris Mayes

LDE 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 48 Ivan McLennan, 93 Malliciah Goodman, 52 Tyler Starr, 54 Efe Obada

LB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 41 Philip Wheeler, 46 Torrey Green

LB 55 Paul Worrilow, 45 Deion Jones, 53 LaRoy Reynolds

RCB 25 Akeem King, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke, 29 C.J. Goodwin, 33 Devonte Johnson, 32 Jalen Collins (Suspended for 4 games)

NCB 23 Robert Alford, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke

LCB 21 Desmond Trufant,, 38 David Mims II, 39 Jordan Sefon

FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie, 20 Sharrod Neaseman, 34 Brian Poole

SS 22 Keanu Neal, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 40 Damian Parms

BASE 4-3

RDE  99 Adrian Clayborn, Dwight Freeney, 91 Courtney Upshaw, 71 Brandon Williams, 96 Nordly Capi

DT  77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 98 Cory Johnson

NT 97 Grady Jarrett, 94 Tyson Jackson, 92 Joey Mbu, 74 Chris Mayes

LDE  90 Derrick Shelby, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 93 Malliciah Goodman, 52 Tyler Starr

WLB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 59 De’Vondre Campbell, 46 Torrey Green, 48 Ivan McLennan

MLB 55 Paul Worrilow, 45 Deion Jones, 53 LaRoy Reynolds

SLB 44 Vic Beasley, 41 Philip Wheeler, 50 Brooks Reed, 91 Courtney Upshaw,

RCB 25 Akeem King, 32 Jalen Collins, 23 Robert Alford, 29 C.J. Goodwin, 33 Devonte Johnson, 38 David Mims II

LCB 21 Desmond Trufant, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke, 39 Jordan Sefon, 34 Brian Poole

FS 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie, 20 Sharrod Neaseman

SS 22 Keanu Neal, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 40 Damian Parms

SPECIALISTS

K 3 Matt Bryant, 1 Nick Rose

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 26 Tevin Coleman, 87 Devin Fulller, 14 Eric Weems,  16 Justin Hardy, 7 David Glidden, 85 J.D. McKissic

PR 26 Tevin Coleman, 87 Devin Fuller, 14 Eric Weems, 85 J.D. McKissic, 16 Justin Hardy, 7 David Glidden

LS 47 Josh Harris

H 5 Matt Bosher, 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub

PROJECT PASS RUSH

Dan Quinn pressing all buttons to create a pass rush

How does drafting Keanu Neal help the pass rush?

DL line coach Bryan Cox: Hageman needs to improve his play

LB coach Jeff Ulbrich: ‘Cream will rise’ at linebacker for Falcons

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith pleased with early progress of the defense

Falcons still have a spot for DT Jonathan Babineaux

Dwight Freeney 95 percent certain that he will play in 2016

Falcons working 80 percent of time on pass rush

Weatherspoon on Freeney: ‘He still has it’

90-MAN ROSTER ANALYSIS — POSITION BY POSITION

OFFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Quarterbacks

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide receivers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Offensive line

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive line

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Linebackers

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Defensive backs

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Specialists

 


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