Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

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]

Cover 9@9: Who else is wearing female deodorant?

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

( You can read the Cover9@9 blog  every Wednesday at 9 a.m. throughout the season. We’ll try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons. Here’s the third installment.  – D. Orlando Ledbetter)  

1. Man Law violation: Admission time.

Like Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, I’ve worn Secret deodorant.

But, let’s be clear, I’ve never worn female deodorant on a regular basis.

I ran out of some manly Old Spice and the only thing in the house was some Secret.

I had to make a decision.

Smell funky all day during the open locker room period and be talked about by the media, players [More]

Falcons make Hard Knocks debut tonight at 10 p.m.

  • 8:01 am Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons, who are having their most spirited and colorful camp in years, are set to debut on HBO’s Hard Knocks at 10 p.m. tonight.

Rob Gehring, who has worked the last 20 years for NFL and is the supervising producer and director of HBO’s Hard Knocks reality show, and his crew have been hard at work.

Before shooting they did some background work on Falcons running back Steven Jackson and rookie linebacker Tyler Starr, a seventh-round pick and longshot to make the team. Jackson suffered a hamstring injury early in camp, so it will be interesting to see [More]

Day 10: Falcons expected to shed some light on Hageman’s injury

  • 7:16 am Monday, August 4th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Back from Canton and ready for Day 10!

The training camp-train rolls on down the tracks, picking up some steam as it’s headed for exhibition game opener against the MIami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Georgia Dome.

With the Tennessee Titans coming to town and the Falcons a little antsy over the fights, Ra’Shede Hageman’s injury and Terren Jones’ plight, it should be an interesting day at the Branch.

The Falcons return to the field with a closed morning walk-through and a full practice — no live tackling — with the Titans that is open to the public at 3 p.m. [More]

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]