Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

Falcons agree to one-year deal with Arenas

  • 4:47 pm Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons agreed to a one-year deal with returner/nickel back Javier Arenas on Tuesday, his Atlanta-based agent Hadley Engelhard told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The team announced the deal later.

Arenas, a former star at Alabama, was drafted in the second-round (50th overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010 draft. Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli was Kansas City’s general manager at the time.

Arenas, 26, who played three seasons with the Chiefs was with Arizona last season. He’s played in 63 games and has made 12 starts.

Arenas has 106 career NFL punt returns for 1,029 yards (9.7 per return) and 74 kickoff returns for [More]

Devin Hester is visiting with the Falcons today

  • 10:18 am Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

With the Falcons looking to spruce up their return game, they are meeting with former Chicago Bears returner Devin Hester today, according to his agent Eugene Parker.

“He is in Atlanta,” Parker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

The Falcons, per their policy, declined to comment about the report. The affable Parker also represents running back Steven Jackson.

NFL media’s Ian Rapoport first reported the visit without citing a source.

Over the weekend, there was a report that the Falcons had Trindon Holliday in for a visit. He was not signed to a contract and agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Giants on [More]