Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

VIDEO: D. Led — Falcons’ offensive shuffle

  • 11:33 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter & CineSport’s Brian Clark discuss Antone Smith’s role in the Falcons’ offense and Devin Hester’s emotions as

he prepares to face his former team on Sunday.


GAME STORY: Giants storm back to beat Falcons 30-20

Falcons have not solved how to get Antone Smith the ball more

What the Falcons had to say after the loss to the Giants

Falcons lament blown scoring chances at the goal line

A sack but no victory in Osi Umenyiora’s homecoming

Falcons WR Harry Douglas inactive for Vikings

  • 2:58 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MINNEAPOLIS — Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, who suffered a foot injury in the Tampa Bay game, was listed as questionable on the team’s official injury report will be inactive for today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Douglas, the team’s No. 3 wide receiver, has 12 catches for 121 yards and one touchdown on the season. With Douglas out, Devin Hester will slide up into the No. 3 wide receiver slot.

Eric Weems and Courtney Roby will likely split duty as the team’s number four wide receiver. Weems could also give the Falcons a return option if Devin Hester needs a break.

Wide [More]

Falcons move into top 10 in PFT’s power rankings

  • 6:36 pm Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons have cracked the top 10 in’s weekly power rankings.

The Falcons are the No. 9 rated team after being ranked 14th last week.

The Falcons, after going 4-12 last season, are off to a 2-1 start and were impressive in victories over New Orleans (37-34 in overtime) and Tampa Bay (56-14). They were defeated by the No. 2-ranked Cincinnati Bengals (24-10) on the road. Seattle is the No. 1 ranked team.

The Falcons are set to face the Minnesota Vikings, who are ranked 29th, on Sunday in Minneapolis.


GAME STORY: Falcons rebound [More]

VIDEO: Falcons on scoring 56 points

  • 3:08 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Some notes from the 56-14 win over the Bucs:

–The Falcons scored the second-most points in a single game in franchise history. Atlanta’s 56 points was the most in a game since scoring 51 points against the Carolina Panthers in 1998. The Falcons’ club record of 62 points came against the New Orleans Saints in 1973.

–WR Devin Hester broke Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Atlanta Falcon CB Deion Sanders’ NFL record for return touchdowns with a 62-yard punt return touchdown in the second quarter. Hester has returned 14 punts, five kickoffs, and one blocked field goal for touchdowns. His [More]

Q&A: Bucs coach Lovie Smith not looking forward to facing Devin Hester

  • 3:20 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is off to a 0-2 start with his new team.

The Falcons host the Bucs at 8:25 p.m. Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

Here’s what he had to say on Tuesday.

Q: Can you give us an update on Gerald McCoy’s injury situation?

A: He hurt his hand in the game. It’s not looking good for this week. That’s about all that we have.

Q: What do you attribute the 0-2 start to? Not being able to pull out close games?

A: That’s how we are looking at it. You have to crawl before you walk. [More]

REPORT CARD: Ryan had one of his worst games

  • 7:05 am Monday, September 15th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

CINCINNATI — Falcons coach Mike Smith was correct this week when he concluded that his team was beat in all phases of the game, including coaching.

The Bengals, with their average quarterback, mauled the Falcons with a ferocious running game and an unrelenting defense.

It was like the old days in Cincinnati back in 1988 when running back James Brooks (981 yards, 8 TDs) provided the lightning and Ickey Woods (1,066 yards, 15 TDs) the thunder.

Giovani Bernard handled the lightning and Jeremy Hill, the former LSU standout, was the thunder back as the Bengals grinded their way to 170 yard on 45 [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 4 — Wide receivers

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The countdown rolls on!

Coach Mike Smith, who was out in Montana, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who was out cycling with Lance Armstrong, reported back to the office on Monday.

The HBO cameras are all in place and rolling. The first big event was Smith’s staff meeting with the assistant coaches.

The rookies report today, 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 [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]

Q&A with Falcons KR/PR/WR Devin Hester

  • 11:21 am Friday, March 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons returner/wide receiver Devin Hester, formerly of the Chicago Bears, signed a three-year, $9 million contract after becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Hester is best returner of his era and was voted to the all-decade 2000s team.

At age 31, the Falcons believe he has enough left in the tank to return kickoffs, punts and play some wide receiver on offense.

Here’s a Q&A with Hester today:

Q: What other teams were interested in signing you?

A: We had about 13 teams. We kind of (narrowed) it down to about four teams: Tampa, the 49ers, a little bit of Miami and Seattle came into the picture.

Q: [More]

Falcons free agency tracker — Hester deal, 3 years, $9 million

  • 11:49 am Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

UPDATE, Fri 8:32 a.m.:  Devin Hester signed a three-year contract worth $9 milllion. He received a $2.5 million signing bonus.

The Falcons have now committed $107.36 million to player contracts this offseason.

The Falcons have set up a conference call for Hester at 10 a.m. Check back later for the Q&A.

PREVIOUS POST: I think we can call off the Devin Hester watch, for now, at least.

The report by ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that Devin Hester wants $4 million a year is true!!!

The Falcons have been shrewd in free agency and likely can’t and won’t fulfill that request.

Hester is represented by Eugene Parker, who also has [More]