Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

FILM REVIEW: Blown coverage on the 74-yard bomb

  • 3:23 pm Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – After Falcons coach Mike Smith ripped the media for not knowing the coverage call on the 74-yard pass play, we decided to take a closer look at the play.

“Miscommunication, a mental error, missed leverage or missed tackle lead to explosive plays,” Smith said. “There is a design to every defensive call. Everybody has to be seeing it the same way.

“We were not as nearly as clean as we needed to be. I don’t want to talk about specific plays, nor will I talk about specific players. What you see on tape, unless you know what the play [More]

Cover 9@9: We have some football drama in the Branch

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 9@9” blog will become all of the rage. You can read it here every Wednesday at 9 a.m. throughout the season. We’ll try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons. -– D. Orlando Ledbetter)

1. WHO’S ON THE HOT SEAT?: Although HBO’s Hard Knocks cameras have left, it appears that we have some real football drama in Flowery Branch.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnists Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz have both  discussed the job security of head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff in the wake of the team’s [More]

Falcons DC Nolan bites tongue on Mike Smith’s fourth-down decision at Giants

  • 8:24 pm Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–Offered a chance to give his feelings on coach Mike Smith’s decision to go for it on fourth down late in the loss at the Giants on Sunday, Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan punted.

“That question is, it really needs to be the head coach to answer it,” Nolan said during his media availability Tuesday. “All I would do is divide. I don’t want to. . . there’s s no good answer for me on that one, all right?”

Smith decided to try for a first down with the Falcons trailing 27-20 with 4:48 to play, holding three timeouts, and facing [More]

Billick Uncut: ‘They just don’t have enough talent on the defensive side’

  • 9:38 am Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Thanks to Arthur Triche and the fine folks over at 92.9 The Game for sending over the entire Brian Billick interview from the Marc and Randy show earlier this week.

Billick, the former NFL head coach, is currently an

analyst for the NFL Network. He’s Falcons head coach Mike Smith’s brother-in-law and was rather blunt in discussing the Falcons’ talent on defense. He categorized the issue as an “organizational one” moving forward while being interviewed by Marc James and Randy Cross.

Here’s our post from earlier in the week. We wanted to get you the full audio so [More]

Falcons’ road to redemption starts with the Saints

  • 8:07 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

JACKSONVILLE – The big gamble to go standby on the 6:35 a.m. flight didn’t pay off.

So, now I have about three hours to blow and wanted to put up a blog from last night’s festivities.

Found it a little ironic that after T.J. Yates’ dazzling performance, Falcons coach Mike Smith wouldn’t name him the backup quarterback.

“We’re not going to make any declarations,” Smith said. “The only declaration that I’ll make is that Matt Ryan is our starting quarterback. Julio Jones is our starting wide receiver and Roddy White is our starting wide receiver. Those things are set in stones. I’m going [More]

Mike Smith after the win over Jacksonville

  • 12:15 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons coach Mike Smith was pleased with the play of quarterback T.J. Yates, but wasn’t looking forward to making the roster cuts.

Falcons’ official depth chart released for Jaguars game

  • 7:00 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith was noncommittal when asked twice if running back Steven Jackson would play against Jacksonville on Thursday.

“In terms of what we’re going to do with playing time, there will be some guys that will and there will be some guys that won’t,” Smith said. “We’ve got some guys that we need to get some work and we’ve got some guys that we definitely know what they’re capable of doing. The ones that we know what they’re capable of doing will probably not get a lot of work.”

Jackson, as a veteran, is likely in the [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]

Rookie RB Devonta Freeman back at practice

  • 11:33 am Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Photo courtesy of the Falcons)

Falcons rookie running back Devonta Freeman left the field with an undisclosed injury on Monday. He was back at practice on Tuesday.

“Davonta is fine,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said after practice. “Devonta was just dehydrated from practice and we wanted to be very precautionary, take him off the field. We got him rehydrated and he’s ready to go.”

Freeman, a fourth-round draft pick, accounted for 107 total yards on 11 touches in the exhibition opener against Miami. He rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries and caught a pass for 57 yards.

The Falcons are already hurting at the [More]