Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

CB Josh Wilson felt some pain in his right hamstring

  • 5:26 pm Sunday, July 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons received a scare with about an hour left in their third practice when cornerback Josh Wilson, the leading contender for the nickel back position, felt a twinge in his right hamstring on Sunday.

He had his leg stretched out and later returned to practice.

Wilson, who started all 48 games for the Redskins over the past three seasons, was signed as a free agent this past offseason. He’s been practicing with the first-team nickel defense ahead of Robert McClain, who started at the nickel back for the Falcons last season.

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/Dledbetter@ajc.com)
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]

Q&A: A pre-training camp chat with Mike Smith

  • 8:00 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Before training camp opens today, we chatted with Falcons coach Mike Smith, the winningest coach in franchise history, who’s determined to rebound from his first losing season.

He was in good spirits during an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He shared some thoughts about the team and gave the fans some key information before things get started today with a closed morning walk-through and an open afternoon practice. 

(Check back later throughout the day as we post stories, notes, blogs and videos on AJC.com from the first day of training camp.)  

Q: How are you all going to make sure [More]

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