Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Jets WR Eric Decker high on Falcons DT Hageman

  • 7:28 am Friday, June 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker participated in the 5 Star Athlete Management’s football camp hosted by Atlanta-based Super-Agent Todd France and several sponsors on Thursday at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

Decker, who played his first four seasons with Denver, signed with the Jets as a free agent this offense. He received a five-year, $36.25 million contract with $15 million guaranteed with the Jets.

He played his college football at Minnesota and was a teammate of Falcons second-round pick DT/DE Ra’Shede Hageman.

Here what Decker had to say about Hageman:

“He’s an animal,” Decker said. “When I came in they were playing him at tight [More]

Falcons to practice with Titans, Texans in training camp

  • 10:57 am Friday, June 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons will report for training camp on July 22 and July 23 and will take the field for their first practice on July 25 at the team’s Flowery Branch headquarters.

The Falcons will conduct 34 sessions and will hold combined practices with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans during training camp.

The Falcons will practice with the Titans in Flowery Branch, on Monday, August 4 and travel to Houston to practice with the Texans on Wednesday, August 13 and Thursday, August 14.

The Falcons hosted combined practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots in Flowery Branch in [More]

Video: Ledbetter on Falcons draft pick Jake Matthews

  • 9:14 pm Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–AJC Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter breaks down the team’s selection of Texas A&M offensive lineman Jake Matthews with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft.

Falcons plan to lock up WR Julio Jones for the future

  • 1:53 pm Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons expect to lock up wide receiver Julio Jones services at some point in the future, coach Mike Smith said on Tuesday.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver, who is recovering from foot surgery, is still working with the training staff. Smith was not specific when asked if the team would exercise the fifth-year in Jones’ rookie contract.

“Again, I’m not going to talk about specific contractual situations,” Smith said. “I do know this, Julio Jones is going to be an Atlanta Falcons for a long, long time.”

Smith said the Falcons expect to have Jones back for the beginning of [More]

Falcons CB Trufant named to PFWA All-Rookie team

  • 1:28 pm Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant, the 22nd player taken overall in the 2013 NFL draft, was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team today.

Trufant, 6-0, 190 pounds, finished his rookie season with 73 total tackles (57 solo), two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Trufant’s 17 passes defensed ranked tied for 10th in the NFL and set a franchise rookie record, topping Darnell Walker’s 13 pass breakups in 1993.

Trufant started all 16 games as a rookie and according to Stats LLC., Trufant allowed a 48.3 completion percentage on passes thrown his way.

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy, [More]

OT Greg Robinson or LB Anthony Barr?

  • 6:48 am Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Here’s the Falcons’ draft scenario for today.

OT Greg Robinson or LB Anthony Barr?

The Falcons are picking sixth and don’t want to trade up.

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Texas A&M left tackle Jake Matthews are off the board.

Do the Falcons select Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson or UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr?

Our pal Jamie Dukes, on the Rick (Kamla) & Jamie show on 92.9 The Game on Monday said he likes Robinson over Matthews and would take him with the No. 6th pick.

Take Our PollDukes, the former Falcon (1986-93) started 103 of 124 games in 10 season in the [More]

Atlanta Falcons: William Moore wins Good Guy Award

  • 8:29 am Saturday, January 11th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Strong Safety William Moore, who was available in nearly all of the open locker room sessions and was more than generous with his time, was selected as the Falcons’ 2013 Good Guy Award winner by the local chapter of Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

The affable Moore, the hard-hitting leader of the defense was the defacto leader of the team’s youth movement. He always took time to give thoughtful and helpful responses. Free Safety Thomas DeCoud won the local award the previous season, while tight end Tony Gonzalez was the national award winner of the Good Guy Award.

The Good Guy Award [More]

‘Big’ Chuck Smith wishes the Falcons would call

  • 5:11 pm Friday, January 10th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

“Big” Chuck Smith, the former Falcons great and Athens native, often finds himself staring at his cell phone, waiting for it to ring, vibrate or light up.

On this morning, he was up early in Arizona before teaching his pass-rushing classes at Athlete’s Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz. It wasn’t the call from Area Code 404 that he was really wanted.

After a brief coaching career in the NFL and the collegiate ranks, Smith, 44, has started his own business, Football 365, and travels the country as a trainer and pass-rush specialist working with some of the game’s top defenders including [More]

Todd McClure: Oline coach ‘can make a big difference’

  • 6:00 am Friday, January 10th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
Former Falcons center Todd McClure lead the line out of the tunnel.

We wanted to chat with Falcons coach Mike Smith about the hiring of Mike Tice.

But we were told that Smith wanted to keep grinding away on getting the defensive line coaching candidates interviewed. He wants to have his staff in place before the Falcons leave to coach in the Senior Bowl.

Otherwise, he’d be mobbed by every unemployed coach in America and that would take time away from scouting and coaching the prospects.

So, I’m going to save my questions here, so when he comes up for air, we don’t forget them even though they won’t be as newsworthy.

–Why Tice?

–How many people [More]

Roddy White would let his son play for Petrino

  • 9:15 am Thursday, January 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is back!!!!!

His twitter feed was dormant for most of the season as he battled through a high ankle sprain and then a hamstring injury.

Once he recovered, he finished out the season strong and ended up with 63 catches for 711 yards and three touchdowns.

During interviews during the season, we heard from “Sad Roddy.”  He was clearly depressed that he was healthy.

As well all know, “Happy Roddy” is a hoot and a quote a minute.

It’s pretty clear that “Happy Roddy” is back.

He weighed in on Louisville’s hiring of Bobby Petrino and said he’d send his son to [More]