Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

Countdown to camp: Day 9 – Special teams

  • 6:00 am Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The start of the Falcons training camp is nine days away. The first practice is set for Friday, July 25.

We started our countdown by looking at the new assistant coaches Mike Tice, Wade Harman and Bryan Cox. Today, we’ll start a position-by-position look at the roster.  

We’ll peek at the special teams, which finished last season ranked 26th in the league.

The big offseason pick up was the addition of Devin Hester, perhaps league’s best-ever return man.

Hester, 31, has posted staggering numbers over his stellar career.

“Devin Hester brings a ton of experience and a ton of ability,” [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 10 – New coaches

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The start of the Falcons training camp is 10 days away.

We’ll start our countdown by looking at the new assistant coaches. Mike Tice, Wade Harman and Bryan Cox were added to the staff this offseason.

Tice was named the offensive line coach and Harman was added as his assistant. They replaced Pat Hill and Paul Dunn. Tice is the third offensive line coach under head coach Mike Smith.

Cox was hired to replace Ray Hamilton, who was on Smith’s original staff and had also worked with him in Jacksonville.

With Mike Munchak available, Tice, 55, was a curious selection to help [More]

Arians expects Falcons to bounce back; Abraham to keep on ticking

  • 2:00 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

GREENSBORO – Arizona coach Bruce Arians believes the Falcons, who dipped to 4-12 last season after going 13-3 in 2012, will bounce back in 2014.

In his first season as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Arians led them to a 10-6 record last season, which included a 27-13 victory over the Falcons on Oct. 27, 2013.

The two teams will meet at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 30.

“I’m not looking forward it,” Arians said on Monday, before playing in his Georgia Celebrity Golf outing at Reynolds Plantation. “I thought (general manager Thomas Dimitroff) and (head coach Mike Smith) did a great [More]

Peterson: Jones and White are best WR tandem in NFL

  • 1:11 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

GREENSBORO – Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones recently laid claim to him and Roddy White being the top wide receiver tandem in the NFL.

Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, arguably the best pure cornerback in the league, agreed with Jones before playing in the Celebrity Golf Classic at the Reynolds Plantation on Monday.

“The best duo in the NFL, I’d probably have to say that’s pretty accurate,” Peterson said. “Both of those guys are Pro Bowl caliber receivers, both of them are All-Pro caliber receivers. Both of them do a lot of good things for Matt Ryan to make his job a little easier. [More]

Falcons sign former Saints WR Courtney Roby

  • 5:34 pm Friday, June 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons signed wide receiver and special teams maven Courtney Roby, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, today, according to the team.

The Falcons created a roster spot by releasing wide receiver Dominique Croom on Tuesday.

Roby, 31, was the Saints’ special teams captain before being released in their cut-down to 53 players last season. He’s 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds and played at Indiana.

Roby was with the Saints from 2008 to 2012..

His biggest contributions were made on special teams as a return man and on punt and kickoff coverage. He was a “gunner” on coverage teams.

He played in 62 games with the Saints and [More]

Texans safety Swearinger on facing the Falcons

  • 10:00 am Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger participated in the 5 Star Athlete Management’s football camp hosted by Atlanta-based Super-Agent Todd France and several sponsors on Wednesday at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

The former South Carolina product is coming of a strong rookie campaign.

Here are five questions with Swearinger:

Q: What are you expecting from the practices against the Falcons in training camp?

A: It will be great with the Falcons coming down to Houston. We should have a lot of competition, so it should be great for both teams.

Q: How did you feel your rookie season went in 2013 after starting 10 out of 16 games?

A: [More]