Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

Falcons WR Julio Jones’ brother shot in Alabama

  • 2:46 pm Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Phillip Jones, 31, the brother of Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was the victim of a shooting in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Tuesday, according to the Gulf Shores police.

Jones, of Foley, Ala., was shot in the arm.

The Falcons are already reeling with the shooting death of Falcons wide receiver Roddy White’s brother Tyrone Moore, Jr. in Charleston, S.C. His funeral was last Thursday.

Gulf Shores Police responded to South Baldwin Urgent Care in reference to a man being brought in suffering from a gunshot wound. When the officers arrived they were able to determine that the incident occurred at [More]

10 quick observations from Falcons open OTAs

  • 12:33 pm Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – While the Falcons continue to stress that they’ll be a multiple defensive team, the spent a great deal of time working on their 3-4 alignment during the first open OTA session on Wednesday.

Also, cornerback Desmond Trufant has been switched to left cornerback and Robert Alford lined up at right cornerback. Last season, Asante Samuel played left cornerback before Alford finished the season as the starter.

Generally, the defense appeared ahead of the offense, which is normal for this juncture of the offseason.

Here are 10 quick observations from the session:

1. THE 3-4: Left defensive end Tyson Jackson, nose tackle Paul Soliai, right defensive [More]

10 things to watch at Falcons OTAs

  • 9:29 am Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons start phase three of their offseason program when they kick off the organized team activities (OTAs) today.

After going 4-12 last season, the Falcons have been proactive internally, in free agency and in the draft. Now, the coaching staff, which includes new offensive and defensive line coaches, must start pulling all of the pieces together with a goal of being ready for training camp in late July.

Somebody is going to ask, what’s an OTA?
Falcons running back Steven Jackson wants to see a drastically improve run-game in 2014.

How does Bear Pascoe look at tight end? It looks [More]

Three things we learned from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

  • 5:23 pm Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff could create a lot of salary cap space. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/

FLOWERY BRANCH–Three  things we learned from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff at his pre-draft news conference today.

1. He still doesn’t regret away trading five picks for wide receiver Julio Jones in the 2011 draft (or he’s not saying so if he does).

“I would never question what we did in (2011). I am completely at ease with what we did as far as adding one of the most explosive players in this league and what he can do for us. Julio was fantastic. Moving forward, as far as gaining knowledge about depth, no question depth is important. But usually depth is your [More]