Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Falcons return to the practice field today

  • 9:06 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – After taking a mandatory day off, the Falcons return to the field with a 10 a.m. walk-through and a full practice that is open to the public at 3:30 p.m. today.

Here are five observations from the first five days of training camp as the Falcons are trying to rebound from a 4-12 season. It should be noted that owner Arthur Blank was at practice on Monday and Tuesday.

That’s normal. He regularly comes to practice, but he was watching the practices as intensely as I’ve seen over the years. It was clear that he wanted to see [More]

Cover 9@9: The Toughness Crusade continues

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 9” blog will become all of the rage. You can read it here every Wednesday at 9 a.m. throughout the season. We’ll try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons. Here’s my second installment of Cover 9@9. – D. Orlando Ledbetter)  

1. The Toughness Crusade: The Falcons unofficial “Toughness Crusade” took a hit on Tuesday when running back Steven Jackson tweaked his hamstring during the first padded practice of training camp.

Also, linebacker Pat Angerger, who’s trying to battle back from a microfacture surgery, left the field and [More]

Falcons LB Pat Angerer leaves field with trainer

  • 5:11 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons linebacker Pat Angerer, who trying to battled back from microfracture surgery, went down with an undisclosed injury during practice on Tuesday.

Angerer, who was working at the inside linebacker position with the second-team defense, was able to walk off the field with team trainer Marty Lauzon. He appeared to be favoring the right leg.

Angerer, 27, has had a promising career stymied by injuries that eventually led to microfracture surgery in December. The procedure, which involves repairing cartilage in the knee, has been performed on several NBA players who successfully continued their careers but is relatively rare among [More]

LB Paull Worrilow is the signal-caller on defense

  • 4:00 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow has gone from undrafted rookie to signal-caller on a NFL defense in a little over a year.

With Sean Weatherspoon out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Worrilow will be the unit’s signal-caller. He’ll have the green dot on his helmet.

Worrilow spent a lot of time in the weight room this offseason in an attempt to get stronger. He also reviewed the film on every snap from last season to see what worked for him and to analyze where he needs to make some adjustments.

“We want to come out with a lot more energy [More]

5 questions with Falcons QB Matt Ryan

  • 2:35 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has not spoken to the media at-large yet in training camp.

He will speak after today’s practice, the fifth of training camp. We’ll have a story on MYAJC.COM later what he did this offseason and some video later. 

Ryan, who’s rooming with quarterback T.J. Yates, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and running back Steven Jackson, did speak to radio station 680TheFan Tuesday morning.

Here’s some of what Ryan had to say:

ON THE OKLAHOMA DRILL: “That’s what the attitude of playing football is all about. I think that’s what coach (Mike) Smith was going for yesterday. I think guys brought into it. [More]

Ex-Falcons John Abraham arrested for DUI in June

  • 9:07 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham, who now plays for the Arizona Cardinals, was recently arrested and charged for driving under the influence/alcohol in DeKalb County.

Abraham was also charged with stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specified place. He was jailed and released on June 29.

Abraham was released by the Falcons after the 2012 season. He went on to have Pro Bowl campaign with the Arizona Cardinals last season as the Falcons’ fortunes dipped to 4-12. The move to release the team’s best pass-rusher was not popular among the fan-base.

Abraham, 36, is the NFL’s reigning active sacks leader. From [More]

Falcons jumped into the Oklahoma drill for some hitting

  • 5:10 pm Monday, July 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith was serious about seeing some real football during the first padded practice on Monday.

About halfway through the practice with owner Arthur Blank on hand, the Falcons went into three stations for the Oklahoma drill.

The wide receivers had to block the defensive backs.

The interior offensive and defensive linemen went against each other.

The tackles and tight ends went against the defensive ends and outside linebackers.

After a short break, the Falcons went to a 9-on-7 blocking and tackling drill.

Here are some of the highlights from the Oklahoma drill:

–Cornerback Robert Alford played off a block well and [More]

Updated DEPTH CHART: How 3-4 and 4-3 fronts stack up

  • 12:00 pm Monday, July 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – After three days of unpadded practices, we have a few adjustments to make to our projected depth chart.

Falcons coach  Mike Smith said that because of heavy competition the depth chart will be extremely fluid this training camp.

“It’s going to be scrutinized every single day,” Smith said. “I think you’ll see the depth chart will change, maybe not on a daily basis but every couple of days. We want to look at as many combinations as we can.”

[PRACTICE IS OPEN to the public today. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS. Also, check back to [More]

For grillmaster Paul Soliai, bonding over bar-b-cue is vital

  • 7:41 am Monday, July 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons defensive tackle/nose guard Paul Soliai, the team’s major acquisition this offseason, is attempting to anchor the defense on and off the field.

After Soliai became become comfortable in his new

surroundings, he invited the entire defensive lineman to his house for big bar-b-cue.

“I had my bar-b-cue chicken, cow peas and some short ribs,” said Soliai, who’s 6-foot-4 and 345 pounds. “All of the boys showed up and we got to talk more. We caught up and got to know each other. It was a good thing. It was something that I did in Miami. I had every rookie and [More]

Left tackle Sam Baker is off to a strong start

  • 7:32 pm Sunday, July 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons left tackle Sam Baker is off to a strong start after recovering from right knee surgery over the offseason.

Some of the other players coming back from injuries — wide receiver Julio Jones and defensive end Kroy Biermann — are on limited practice schedules.

Not Baker.

“I’m feeling good,” Baker said.

He’s adjusting to this third offensive line coach. The Falcons had Paul Boudreau from 2008-2010. He was replaced by Pat Hill and Paul Dunn. After Hill and Dunn were fired over the offseason, the Falcons hired Mike Tice to coach the offensive line.

Tice’s offensive line assistant is Wade Harman.

“It’s good to [More]