Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Updated DEPTH CHART: How 3-4 and 4-3 fronts stack up

  • 12:00 pm Monday, July 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – After three days of unpadded practices, we have a few adjustments to make to our projected depth chart.

Falcons coach  Mike Smith said that because of heavy competition the depth chart will be extremely fluid this training camp.

“It’s going to be scrutinized every single day,” Smith said. “I think you’ll see the depth chart will change, maybe not on a daily basis but every couple of days. We want to look at as many combinations as we can.”

[PRACTICE IS OPEN to the public today. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS. Also, check back to [More]

Smith ready for pads to start popping

  • 7:05 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Mike Smith is looking forward to the team’s first padded practice on Monday.

The team spent major resources on revamping both the offensive and defensive lines this offseason. Smith believes that his staff can get a much better evaluation in full football equipment.

He plans to take full advantage of all of the padded practices allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

“We’re going to be on the same schedule that we’ve used in the past,” Smith said after Saturday’s practice. “Some of our drills that we are doing during those practices has changed, but in terms of the [More]

Q&A: A pre-training camp chat with Mike Smith

  • 8:00 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Before training camp opens today, we chatted with Falcons coach Mike Smith, the winningest coach in franchise history, who’s determined to rebound from his first losing season.

He was in good spirits during an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He shared some thoughts about the team and gave the fans some key information before things get started today with a closed morning walk-through and an open afternoon practice. 

(Check back later throughout the day as we post stories, notes, blogs and videos on from the first day of training camp.)  

Q: How are you all going to make sure [More]

Cover 9@9: HBO Hard Knocks’ cameras are rolling

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 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. Here’s my first installment of Cover 9@9. – D. Orlando Ledbetter)  

1. Rob Gehring  —

“In the beginning when Steve (Sabol) wanted to do this show, he wanted to show how hard it was to make an NFL roster,” Gehring said. “He always loved the content of these guys at the back end of the roster, the 53rd man. Sometimes [More]

Arians expects Falcons to bounce back; Abraham to keep on ticking

  • 2:00 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

GREENSBORO – Arizona coach Bruce Arians believes the Falcons, who dipped to 4-12 last season after going 13-3 in 2012, will bounce back in 2014.

In his first season as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Arians led them to a 10-6 record last season, which included a 27-13 victory over the Falcons on Oct. 27, 2013.

The two teams will meet at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 30.

“I’m not looking forward it,” Arians said on Monday, before playing in his Georgia Celebrity Golf outing at Reynolds Plantation. “I thought (general manager Thomas Dimitroff) and (head coach Mike Smith) did a great [More]

What’s next for the Atlanta Falcons?

  • 10:00 am Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith puts a lot of stock into the offseason program.

Now, with the draft and the rookie minicamp over, he can start pointing to the OTAs and training camp.

The rookie minicamp was designed to get those players familiar with the team’s schemes,

verbiage and practice flow.

They’ll go a little deeper during OTAs and then even deeper during the mandatory minicamp, which will consist of five practices over three days.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do with these young rookies that our coming in to catch up with our veterans,” Smith said. “When we can really go out [More]

DEPTH CHART: How to stack Amoeba 4-3/3-4 defense

  • 12:24 pm Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Despite an offseason of picking up parts to better fit the 3-4, Falcons coach Mike Smith continues to point out that the Falcons will remain a 4-3/3-4 team in 2014.

They have used both defenses under defensive coordinator Mike Nolan over the past two seasons. But they clearly have some better 3-4 parts after adding nose tackle Paul Soliai, defensive ends Tyson Jackson and Ra’Shede Hageman and linebacker Prince Shembo.

“We don’t want to be pigeon-holed as ‘this defense’ or ‘that defense’,” Smith said. “I think when you really study how people play defense, and how we play defense [More]

VIDEO: Dimitroff and Smith on picking Matthews

  • 12:35 am Friday, May 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
Jake Matthews, 6-5, 305, OT, Texas A&M: The son of Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews. (Associated Press)

With the 6th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons selected Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. But that’s not all they wanted:

#Falcons were trying to trade back into the first round for either Ryan Shazier or Dee Ford. Tomorrow, plenty of DEs and SS— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) May 09, 2014

STORY: #Falcons make it a family affair, pick tackle Jake Matthews— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) May 09, 2014

RT @M_Ryan02: Welcome to Atlanta @jake_matthews75! We are all excited to have you as a [More]