Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

VIDEO: D. Led: Falcons mauled by Bengals

  • 12:44 am Monday, September 15th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

CINCINNATI — Here are some Falcon notes:

–WR Julio Jones finished with a game-high seven receptions for 88 yards with one touchdown. In 11 career games against AFC opponents, Jones has recorded 61 receptions, 949 yards, and seven touchdowns, while averaging 15.5 yards per catch.

–WR Roddy White caught five passes for 42 yards, improving his franchise record streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 114. He has pulled down at least five receptions in seven straight games dating back to last season.

–QB Matt Ryan and White have combined for 530 completions which is the most between any quarterback [More]

Watch: Falcons WR Julio Jones says he’s ‘100 percent’ for Saints game

  • 11:55 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

Julio Jones says he no longer thinks about his surgically-repaired foot while playing and he’s OK with playing the Saints first so the Falcons can “get a win out of the way.”

Q&A: Saints coach Sean Payton on facing the Falcons

  • 5:53 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton talked about the addition of safety Jairus Byrd, ‘Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ health and facing Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and quarterback Matt Ryan during his conference call with the Atlanta media on Wednesday:

Here are some of the highlights:

Q: How does Jairus Byrd make your defense better?

A: PAYTON: Well, he’s a smart football player. He’s got very good ball skills. His instincts are something that help him tremendous at free safety. He’s very productive with the ball and around the ball whether if it’s fumbles and/or interceptions. It was something that [More]

COVER 9@9: Falcons need to clean up their dirty laundry

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

COVER 9@9

1. SEEING YELLOW: The Falcons must clean up their penalties heading into the regular season if they plan to rebound from last season’s 4-12 mark.

The Falcons committed 39 penalties for 370 yards in the exhibition season. That projects out to 156 penalties over a 16-game season.

Linebacker Tim Dobbins (four), cornerback Robert Alford (four) and left tackle Jake Matthews (four) tied for the team lead.

However, a total of 23 of those 39 penalties (58.9 percent) were committed by players who didn’t make the 53-man roster.

Last season the Falcons had 100 penalties for 788 yards and had 28 first downs nullified.

Tackle [More]

Falcons’ official depth chart released for Saints game

  • 5:04 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Watch video

OFFICIAL DEPTH CHART: Here’s the official depth chart released by the Falcons for their season opener against the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

OFFENSE

WR 84 Roddy White 83 Harry Douglas 14 Eric Weems

LT 70 Jake Matthews 73 Ryan Schraeder

LG 63 Justin Blalock 62 James Stone

C 61 Joe Hawley 66 Peter Konz

RG 75 Jon Asamoah 68 Gabe Carimi

RT 76 Lamar Holmes 68 Gabe Carimi

TE 80 Levine Toilolo 86 Bear Pascoe

WR 11 Julio Jones 17 Devin Hester 15 Courtney Roby

QB 2 Matt Ryan 13 TJ Yates

12 Sean Renfree

RB 39 Steven Jackson 32 Jacquizz Rodgers [More]

ROSTER ANALYSIS: Projected 53-man roster for the Falcons

  • 8:28 am Sunday, August 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons are likely to cut down to 75 players today, in plenty of time before for the Tuesday deadline.

There’s no reason to bring back 15 players on Monday, just to cut them on Tuesday, while you’re getting ready for the final exhibition game on Thursday.

“This year has been really interesting coming into camp to see how competitive it is at all levels,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “Not only at our veteran level, but also at the rookie level. Coach Mike Smith has done such a great job of getting the point across that it doesn’t matter where [More]

Report: Julio Jones expects to return against Texans

  • 9:27 am Friday, August 15th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON — Falcons coach Mike Smith gave his stock “we have a plan” answer when asked if wide receiver Julio Jones was set to make his return against the Houston Texans at 8 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium.

“We have a plan and we all know what it is and that’s to make sure that we have our players healthy and ready to go,” Smith said after practice on Thursday. “We’re not going to deviate from that. And I don’t want to give anybody any information that’s going to help them get prepared.”

The Falcons have a pre-game walk-through today at Rice [More]

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins a big fan of Roddy White, Julio Jones

  • 8:00 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

HOUSTON – Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who’s set to enter his second year in the NFL, didn’t want to come off as a drooling fan.

The South Carolina native had a chance to tell Falcons wide receiver Roddy White that he’d been watching him since his days at Alabama-Birmingham. He had a chance to tell Julio Jones that he admires he work.

But Hopkins remained calm and took care of his business.

“Roddy is from South Carolina, so he’s one of the guys that I’ve been watching since he was in college,” said Hopkins, who had 52 catches for 802 yards and [More]

Marvez picks Falcons to finish 9-7 or 10-6

  • 12:19 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio concluded their stay at the Falcons training camp on Monday and then headed up the road to Spartanburg, S.C. to visit the Carolina Panthers.

During the wrap-up of their show they shared with their listeners what they thought about the Falcons.

Here are a couple of highlights followed by the transcript:

THE QUICK HITS

–Marvez believes the Falcons are a 9-7, 10-6 team.

–Marvez and Brandt are worried about the secondary.

–Brandt likes Desmond Trufant. He noted that theTrufants — Desmond, Marcus and Isaiah — are tough in part because their father was a boxer.

–Brandt called Matt [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]