Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

Roddy White: The signing of the contract is done

  • 7:01 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Shortly after reporting for training camp Thursday night, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White signed his four-year contract extension at the team’s head quarters.

            White, 32, a four-time Pro Bowler who’s closing in on most of the team’s receiving records, signed the performance-based contract with is possibly worth $30 million. The deal will also give the Falcons some salary cap relief, expected to be about $3 million.

Before White’s deal the Falcons had $9,263.836 million under the $133,000,000 salary cap, according to the NFLPA. That number should increase to the $12 million to $13 million range once White’s contract [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 5 — Offensive line

  • 6:00 am Monday, July 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Football is almost back!

Coach Mike Smith, who’s been out in Montana, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who’s been out cycling with Lance Armstrong, report back to the office today.

The rookies report Tuesday, the veterans Thursday and the first practice is set for Friday.

We started our countdown 10 days out.

Countdown to camp: Day 10 – The new coaches

Countdown to camp: Day 9 – Special teams

Countdown to camp: Day 8 – Defensive backs

Countdown to camp: Day 7 — Linebackers

Countdown to camp: Day 6 — Defensive line

Today, we’ll look at the revamped offensive line.

The Falcons signed guard [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 7 — Linebackers

  • 6:00 am Saturday, July 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The countdown can kick into overdrive this weekend.

Coach Mike Smith, who’s been out in Montana, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who’s been out cycling with Lance Armstrong, return to the office Monday.

The rookies report Tuesday, veterans on Thursday and the first practice is set for Friday.

We started our countdown 10 days out.

Last season, Worrilow played 491 snaps and missed eight tackles at inside linebacker and was ranked 45th in the league by Pro Football Focus. He played 309 snaps at outside linebacker, had four missed tackles and was ranked 25th in the league.

Bartu played 789 snaps at [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 8 – Defensive backs

  • 6:00 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The start of the Falcons training camp is eight days away.

We started our countdown by looking at the new assistant coaches Mike Tice, Wade Harman and Bryan Cox and then the special teams unit.

Today, we will look at the defensive backfield, where they’ll be some fierce competition for the starting nickel back and free safety positions.

Here’s our projected depth chart for the defensive backfield.

RCB 21 Desmond Trufant, 28 Javier Arenas, 37 Ricardo Allen,

NB 26 Josh Wilson, 27 Robert McClain, 28 Javier Arenas, 41 Dezmen Southward

LCB 23 Robert Alford, 24 Jordan Mabin, 43 Devonta Glover-Wright

SS 25 William Moore, 36 Kemal Ishmael, [More]