Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

Humphrey to be presented by his daughter

  • 7:33 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Claude Humphrey shortly after receiving the news of his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Radio City Music Hall in New York back in February. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/

Claude Humphrey, the longtime defensive end of the Atlanta Falcons who finished his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, has chosen his daughter Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson to present him for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 2.

She becomes just the third daughter ever to serve as a presenter. John Elway was presented by his daughter Jessica in 2004, and last year Warren Sapp was presented by [More]

Falcons WR Drew Davis out six weeks after foot surgery

  • 11:29 am Saturday, July 5th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

Falcons reserve wide receiver Drew Davis had surgery to repair an unspecified foot injury and will miss the next six weeks, according to the team.

The Falcons placed Davis on the physically unable to perform list for training camp. The Falcons open practice on July 25, meaning Davis would miss about three weeks of camp under the timetable announced by the team.

“Drew felt some discomfort in his foot at the end of minicamp,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said in a statement released by the team. “We decided to send him to the doctors for some evaluations and it was determined he [More]

Watch: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan evaluates team at end of minicamp

  • 1:03 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–At the conclusion of Falcons minicamp quarterback Matt Ryan talked about rookie Devonta Freeman’s strong performance so far, new quarterback T.J. Yates and the emphasis on communication between the offensive linemen.

Watch: Falcons rookie tackle Jake Matthews on blocking team’s big linemen

  • 1:00 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–At the conclusion of Falcons minicamp rookie right tackle Jake Matthews talked about blocking the team’s big defensive linemen, fitting in with his new teammates and adjusting to the pro game.

Falcons rookie Jeff Mathews factors in ‘wide open’ No. 2 QB competition

  • 6:57 pm Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH– Falcons coach Mike Smith was extolling the virtues of Sean Renfree, the second-year quarterback from Duke, when he offered some unsolicited praise for a rookie quarterback.

“The (Jeff) Mathews kid, the young undrafted rookie, he has done some things,” Smith said. “He’s got a nice arm. He’s intelligent player. I think it’s wide open as far as far as who our No. 2 quarterback is going to be.”

Those comments were a bit surprising even in light of Smith’s oft-repeated declaration this off season that there would be real competition for several jobs.

For one, Dominique Davis has been entrenched as Matt [More]