Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Cover 9@9: Just a matter of time before exhibition games are history

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

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 [More]

Titans sign ex-Falcons signal-caller Dominique Davis

  • 2:37 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Former Falcons quarterback Dominique Davis, who was released after minicamp, was signed by the Tennessee Titan on Tuesday.

Davis entered the NFL as an undrafted college free agent in 2012.

He spent two seasons (2012-13) in Atlanta as the backup quarterback on the 53-man roster, and played in one game (at Tampa Bay) during the 2013 season.

Davis was waived by the Falcons this past June after the Falcons were able to acquire T.J. Yates from the Houston Texans for linebacker Akeem Dent.

Davis, who started his career at Boston College, was a two-year starter at East Carolina, where he threw [More]

SNEAK PREVIEW: Armstrong goes man-to-man on Hard Knocks at 10 p.m.

  • 1:29 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The fourth installment of the 11-time Emmy award-winning show is set for 10 p.m. tonight.

Falcons special teams coach

Also, fans will get to see how the Falcons have to shift into their indoor practice facility when there is a thunderstorm in the area.

THIRD EXHIBITION GAME: TITANS 24, FALCONS 17

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones shine for Falcons against Titans

Coach praises Schrader for sticking up for Ryan

Falcons Southward leaves game with possible head injury

Falcons rookie LB Jacques Smith ejected from the game

PHOTO GALLERY: Titans vs. Falcons

Falcons’ official depth chart released for Jaguars game

  • 7:00 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith was noncommittal when asked twice if running back Steven Jackson would play against Jacksonville on Thursday.

“In terms of what we’re going to do with playing time, there will be some guys that will and there will be some guys that won’t,” Smith said. “We’ve got some guys that we need to get some work and we’ve got some guys that we definitely know what they’re capable of doing. The ones that we know what they’re capable of doing will probably not get a lot of work.”

Jackson, as a veteran, is likely in the [More]

ROSTER ANALYSIS: Projected 53-man roster for the Falcons

  • 8:28 am Sunday, August 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons are likely to cut down to 75 players today, in plenty of time before for the Tuesday deadline.

There’s no reason to bring back 15 players on Monday, just to cut them on Tuesday, while you’re getting ready for the final exhibition game on Thursday.

“This year has been really interesting coming into camp to see how competitive it is at all levels,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “Not only at our veteran level, but also at the rookie level. Coach Mike Smith has done such a great job of getting the point across that it doesn’t matter where [More]

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]