Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

UPDATE: Sam Baker out for year with torn patellar tendon

  • 11:23 am Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON — Falcons left tackle Sam Baker has a torn right patellar tendon and will be for the season, the Falcons announced Sunday.

“Following his injury in the game, Sam underwent a number of tests and it was determined that he had suffered a torn patellar tendon and will miss the rest of the season,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team. “Sam had worked extremely hard to get back on the field after missing most of last season, and he was having a good camp. I know he is disappointed, but I also know he [More]

Rookie RB Devonta Freeman back at practice

  • 11:33 am Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Photo courtesy of the Falcons)

Falcons rookie running back Devonta Freeman left the field with an undisclosed injury on Monday. He was back at practice on Tuesday.

“Davonta is fine,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said after practice. “Devonta was just dehydrated from practice and we wanted to be very precautionary, take him off the field. We got him rehydrated and he’s ready to go.”

Freeman, a fourth-round draft pick, accounted for 107 total yards on 11 touches in the exhibition opener against Miami. He rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries and caught a pass for 57 yards.

The Falcons are already hurting at the [More]

Dimitroff to be featured on second Hard Knocks episode

  • 9:49 pm Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff will outline his views on the 2014 roster on the second episode of Hard Knocks at 10 p. m. on Tuesday on HBO.

Here’s my recap of episode 1.

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who’s out with a ruptured Achilles, will be profiled. He hasn’t been made available to the local media since the June 10th injury.

The Falcons scrimmage with the Tennessee Titans as they prepped for their opening exhibition game against the Miami Dolphins at the Georgia Dome will also be featured.

Hall of Fame to consider contributors separately

  • 6:48 pm Friday, August 1st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

CANTON, Ohio — Contributors to the NFL will now be voted on separately from players and coaches, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Friday.

Much the same as the senior candidates and there will be a subcommittee of selectors created similar to the current senior selection committee.

Like the senior committee the contributor candidates will still require 80% positive support of the Selection Committee for election.

In an effort to address the backlog of deserving contributor candidates, a temporary schedule has also been approved that will allow for two contributor candidates to be selected by the Contributor Selection [More]

Former first-round pick Peria Jerry to retire

  • 3:09 pm Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Former first-round draft pick Peria Jerry, a defensive tackle, has decided to retire after five seasons in the NFL on Thursday.

Falcons coach Mike Smith said Jerry told him of the decision during a meeting after lunch on Thursday at the team’s Flowery Branch headquarters.

“I want to wish him very well,” Smith said. “He’s worked extremely hard for us. He’s been an Atlanta Falcon and he’s laid it on the line.”

Jerry, 6-2, 295 pounds, was selected by the Falcons in the first round (24th overall) of the 2009 NFL draft.

His career never took after he suffered a gruesome knee injury in the [More]

Smith ready for pads to start popping

  • 7:05 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Mike Smith is looking forward to the team’s first padded practice on Monday.

The team spent major resources on revamping both the offensive and defensive lines this offseason. Smith believes that his staff can get a much better evaluation in full football equipment.

He plans to take full advantage of all of the padded practices allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

“We’re going to be on the same schedule that we’ve used in the past,” Smith said after Saturday’s practice. “Some of our drills that we are doing during those practices has changed, but in terms of the [More]

Douglas ready for more action in the slot

  • 5:31 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas is ready to help pick-up some of production in the passing attack created by the retirement of tight end Tony Gonzalez.

The Falcons don’t have a tight end that they plan to feature in the passing attack. They will try to use more three-wide receiver sets to help replace some of the production. Gonzalez averaged more than 80 catches a season and 65 percent of his receptions went for first downs over the past five seasons.

Douglas, who’s coming off his first 1,000-yard receiving season, will be counted to help out from the slot [More]

Falcons sign wide receiver Sambrano

  • 3:11 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons signed wide receiver Jabin Sambrano to reach the 90 player limit on Saturday.

Sambrano, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, was originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as a college free agent following the 2012 draft. He has spent time on the practice squad with the Colts, Buccaneers and Jaguars.

He played collegiately at Montana.

Jerry must earn a spot in the rotation

  • 2:59 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/
FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry, who re-signed with the team instead of venturing in free agency over the offseason, figures that there’s still a role for him in the team’s rotation.

Jerry watched as the Falcons signed defensive tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Tyson Jackson this offseason.

“Yeah, I mean, we picked up a couple bigger guys on the front,” said Jerry, the team’s first-round pick in 2009. “So, we’re looking forward to see how things pan out.”

The Falcons used Jerry at tackle in the 4-3 and end in the 3-4 [More]

Falcons waive WR Darius Johnson

  • 12:50 pm Friday, July 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — After the first walk-through session, the Falcons released wide receiver Darius Johnson on Friday.

Johnson, 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, was signed by the Falcons as a college free agent on April 29, 2013.

Johnson was the star of training camp last season as an undrafted rookie free agent.

He played in 10 games and made two starts. He had 22 receptions for 210 yards with one touchdown last season.

Here’s our updated depth chart for the wide receivers.

WR 11 Julio Jones, 14 Courtney Roby, 18 Freddie Martino, 89 Bernard Reedy,

WR 84 Roddy White, 83 Harry Douglas, 17 Devin Hester, 15 Geraldo Boldewijn, 16 Julian Jones, [More]