Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

10 things to watch at Falcons OTAs

  • 9:29 am Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons start phase three of their offseason program when they kick off the organized team activities (OTAs) today.

After going 4-12 last season, the Falcons have been proactive internally, in free agency and in the draft. Now, the coaching staff, which includes new offensive and defensive line coaches, must start pulling all of the pieces together with a goal of being ready for training camp in late July.

Somebody is going to ask, what’s an OTA?
Falcons running back Steven Jackson wants to see a drastically improve run-game in 2014.

How does Bear Pascoe look at tight end? It looks [More]

Falcons owner Arthur Blank reveals plan to get tougher

  • 2:38 pm Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons owner Arthur Blank spoke before the Rotary Club of Marietta and the Marietta Kiwanis Club at the Marietta City Conference Center on Wednesday.

Afterwards, we talked him about his comments on 680 The Fan concerning his displeasure that players didn’t rush to quarterback Matt Ryan’s defense after he was walloped by New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro last season.

(He seemed to get a kick of my new camera phone stand! Check the video!)

The comments to the radio station were not necessarily new, but they continued a theme the team has been ringing all offseason, but in more veiled terms.

Nov. 21, [More]

Cox wants widespread panic from quarterbacks

  • 6:00 am Friday, January 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MOBILE, Ala. – New Falcons defensive line coach Bryant Cox will be charged with ramping up the pass rush.

We’ll have to stay tuned to see if the Falcons trade up to get South Carolina’s defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who will be long gone if they sit in the No. 6 spot of the NFL draft..

The Falcons had only 32 sacks, tied for 30th with Houston last season. Only Jacksonville (31) and Chicago (31) had more.

Cox shares head coach Mike Smith’s philosophy about sacks not being the key barometer of the pass rush.

He subscribes to the widespread panic approach to affecting the [More]

Cox has players doing up-downs at the Senior Bowl

  • 12:13 pm Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Watch video

MOBILE, Ala. – New Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox is certainly pretty intense.

He has the linemen at the Senior Bowl doing up-downs after they make a mistake.

Some NFL personnel men shook their heads as they walked past Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman doing up-downs after committing an infraction at the North practice on Wednesday.

He’s using the up-downs as a punishment drill. The player runs in place and then drop to the ground and spring back up, while keeping the feet chopping. You see this at little league fields and not normally in the NFL.

(If one of the Smyrna Spartans [More]

New coaches Tice, Cox to preach toughness

  • 3:31 pm Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MOBILE, Ala. – Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice and defensive line coach Bryan Cox were hired to oversee the revamping of the team’s two weakest units.

Both are working at the Senior Bowl as the Falcons try to get the North squad ready the game which is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Ladd Peebles Stadium.

We asked them both about how they plan to instill some toughness in the Falcons.

“A lot of it is habits,” Tice said. “How you finish. How you are finishing your blocks. How are finishing down the field? You can create that toughness.

“There are a lot of ways [More]

Where do you stand on the Bryan Cox hire?

  • 5:40 pm Saturday, January 11th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Bryan Cox is one tough dude.

He’s from East St. Louis, the toughest town in America.

He played for the East St. Louis High Flyers and legendary prep coach Bob Shannon.

He once took on the entire Bengals sidelines and gave Buffalo fans the middle finger salute.

Falcons fans have to hope that he’s matured and has learned how to teach and instill that intensity and toughness into his pupils.

Arthur Blank wants the team to play tougher and closer to the edge of the line of indecency and outrageousness (My interpretation).

If the Falcons make a move up and draft South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, [More]