Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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:


–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]

VIDEO: Do Falcons have best WR Duo?

  • 12:24 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Are Julio Jones and Roddy White the best wide receiver tandem in the league? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov discuss that and what they need from Steven Jackson in 2014.



WR 11 Julio Jones, 13 Darius Johnson, 14 Courtney Roby, 18 Freddie Martino, 89 Bernard Reedy,

LT 72 Sam Baker, 76 Lamar Holmes, 74 Terren Jones

LG 63 Justin Blalock, 68 Gabe Carimi, 67 Adam Replogle

C 61 Joe Hawley, 66 Peter Konz, 62 James Stone

RG 75 Jon Asamoah, 69 Harland Gunn

RT 70 Jake Matthews, 79 Mike Johnson 73 Ryan Schrader

TE 80 Levine Toilolo, 86 [More]

Peterson: Jones and White are best WR tandem in NFL

  • 1:11 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

GREENSBORO – Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones recently laid claim to him and Roddy White being the top wide receiver tandem in the NFL.

Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, arguably the best pure cornerback in the league, agreed with Jones before playing in the Celebrity Golf Classic at the Reynolds Plantation on Monday.

“The best duo in the NFL, I’d probably have to say that’s pretty accurate,” Peterson said. “Both of those guys are Pro Bowl caliber receivers, both of them are All-Pro caliber receivers. Both of them do a lot of good things for Matt Ryan to make his job a little easier. [More]

10 quick observations from Falcons’ minicamp

  • 12:03 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons held their final practice of minicamp on Thursday morning.

The official training camp schedule will be announced today or Friday, but we know the rookies report on July 22 with the first practice set for July 23.

Check back later for blogs, videos and stories from today’s events.

Matt Ryan is set to speak after practice and the Falcons have a presser set up with owner Arthur Blank, HBO’s president Ken Hershman and NFL Films supervising producer Ken Rodgers.

For now, here are 10 quick observations from the practice:

Falcons safety William Moore was back at practice. He missed Wednesday’s practices [More]

Julio Jones: ‘Back to the old Julio’

  • 7:57 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones hasn’t practiced this off season after he had foot surgery in October. Jones told that he broke a screw that had been inserted in in 2011 to repair a fracture, and that the latest procedure involved transferring bone marrow from his hip to his foot to promote healing.

After minicamp practice Tuesday Jones said he’s “feeling great.”

“I am back doing the little things I used to do,” Jones said. “I am back to the old Julio. I feel like I am actually stronger now. I’ve been doing back squats loading up and getting [More]

5 questions with Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones

  • 5:43 pm Monday, June 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Caught up with Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones today on the set of his commercial shoot.

We’ll have a story on the interview on tomorrow, but here are five quick questions with Jones, who said he’s ahead of schedule and expected to be ready for the season opener against New Orleans.

Q: How did you get involved with Vita Coco?

A: I’m a natural guy. I don’t consume (any) shakes, pills or vitamins. None of that stuff. We did a little bit more research on it and it’s all natural and is really good for you.

Q: Trying to avoid cramps like LeBron?

A: I [More]