Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Tom Moore: Johnny Manziel ‘will be good’

  • 10:59 am Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

GREENSBORO — Longtime NFL assistant coach Tom Moore, 75, knows a few things about developing quarterbacks.

While with the Indianapolis Colts, he helped to develop Peyton Manning. Moore is currently a consultant with the Arizona Cardinals. He coached at Georgia Tech in 1970-71.

He likes how the Falcons have brought along quarterback Matt Ryan after drafting him third overall in the 2008 draft.

“I think he’s an excellent quarterback,” Moore said before playing in Bruce Arians golf outing on Monday. “I think he’s had great success. He’s got in some situations last year with injuries and things like that, but that does not [More]

Matt Ryan, T. J. Yates have crossed paths before

  • 8:12 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his new backup, T.J. Yates, have crossed paths before.

We all know about the game on Dec. 4, 2011, when Yates led the Texans to a 17-10 victory over Ryan and the Falcons in his first NFL start.

He got a lot of help from his offensive line, which shoved the Falcons defense around Reliant Stadium for most of the day. Arian Foster had 31 carries for 111 yards and Ben Tate chipped in with 41 yards on 11 carries.

Yates completed 12 of 25 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t [More]

Q&A with Falcons QB T. J. Yates

  • 10:47 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Taylor Jonathan Yates was out to dinner in Houston with his wife and childhood sweetheart Amy when he received the news that he was traded by the Houston Texans to the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday night.

The former Pope High standout, who went on to star at North Carolina, was elated.

Yates, who was named the 2010 Tar Heel of the Year, was one of three recipients of the school’s Patterson Medal for career athletic accomplishment. Yates finished with 9,377 yards and 58 touchdowns. He set more than 40 school records, including every mark for single-season and career pass [More]

Watch: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan evaluates team at end of minicamp

  • 1:03 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–At the conclusion of Falcons minicamp quarterback Matt Ryan talked about rookie Devonta Freeman’s strong performance so far, new quarterback T.J. Yates and the emphasis on communication between the offensive linemen.

5 questions with Falcons OC Dirk Koetter

  • 12:33 pm Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter addressed some of the issues facing the offense this offseason on Wednesday after the team’s OTA seassion.

Here’s what Koetter had to say:

Q: How will you all improve the rushing attack?

A: We have to run the ball better than we did last year. Atlanta, since coach (Mike) Smith has been here, has always been a good running team except for last year. There were a lot of reasons for that. We don’t need to go into that now. That’s in the past. We are going to be a better running football team, starting with the [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]

VIDEO: Falcons QB Matt Ryan on the offseason

  • 4:18 pm Monday, April 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Caught up with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan as he was making the turn at the fourth annual Matt Ryan Celebrity-AM Classic at the TPC Sugarloaf on Monday.

We’ll have a full story up on – our subscribers site – later today.

Some of the celebrities participating in the tournament included former Falcons running back Warrick Dunn and tight end Alge Crumpler. Kicker Matt Bryant, center Joe Hawley, and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux played. Also, former Braves star Chipper Jones played in the outing.

Ryan raised money for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to making kids better today and [More]

Gonzalez still ticked at ESPN over contrived Ryan flap

  • 10:00 am Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wanted to clear the air with Falcons fans about a recent magazine article that suggested he somehow disrespected Matt Ryan.

“There was no firestorm,” Gonzalez said. “They pulled quotes from that article a couple of days before it came out, so now you’re not getting the whole story. ESPN was biased about it and so was the NFL Network. I saw the ticker where it said, ‘Tony calls out his former quarterback’ or whatever. Which is ridiculous.”

Gonzalez and Ryan often dined after games in Buckhead. Their families are close [More]

Falcons entourage set to leave for NFL combine

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith will head up the team’s entourage that’s headed to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, which starts on Wednesday and runs through Tuesday, Feb. 25.

More than 300 players are set to participate in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 19-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium. There’s a group of 24 players with Georgia connections who were invited to the combine. 

The players well start to arrive on Wednesday for medical exams, psychological testing and interviews with teams.

They will start working out on Saturday.

The Saturday group – Placekickers, special teamers, offensive linemen and tight [More]