Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Left tackle Sam Baker is off to a strong start

  • 7:32 pm Sunday, July 27th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons left tackle Sam Baker is off to a strong start after recovering from right knee surgery over the offseason.

Some of the other players coming back from injuries — wide receiver Julio Jones and defensive end Kroy Biermann — are on limited practice schedules.

Not Baker.

“I’m feeling good,” Baker said.

He’s adjusting to this third offensive line coach. The Falcons had Paul Boudreau from 2008-2010. He was replaced by Pat Hill and Paul Dunn. After Hill and Dunn were fired over the offseason, the Falcons hired Mike Tice to coach the offensive line.

Tice’s offensive line assistant is Wade Harman.

“It’s good to [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 10 – New coaches

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The start of the Falcons training camp is 10 days away.

We’ll start our countdown by looking at the new assistant coaches. Mike Tice, Wade Harman and Bryan Cox were added to the staff this offseason.

Tice was named the offensive line coach and Harman was added as his assistant. They replaced Pat Hill and Paul Dunn. Tice is the third offensive line coach under head coach Mike Smith.

Cox was hired to replace Ray Hamilton, who was on Smith’s original staff and had also worked with him in Jacksonville.

With Mike Munchak available, Tice, 55, was a curious selection to help [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]

Falcons owner Arthur Blank reveals plan to get tougher

  • 2:38 pm Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons owner Arthur Blank spoke before the Rotary Club of Marietta and the Marietta Kiwanis Club at the Marietta City Conference Center on Wednesday.

Afterwards, we talked him about his comments on 680 The Fan concerning his displeasure that players didn’t rush to quarterback Matt Ryan’s defense after he was walloped by New Orleans safety Kenny Vaccaro last season.

(He seemed to get a kick of my new camera phone stand! Check the video!)

The comments to the radio station were not necessarily new, but they continued a theme the team has been ringing all offseason, but in more veiled terms.

Nov. 21, [More]

New coaches Tice, Cox to preach toughness

  • 3:31 pm Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MOBILE, Ala. – Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice and defensive line coach Bryan Cox were hired to oversee the revamping of the team’s two weakest units.

Both are working at the Senior Bowl as the Falcons try to get the North squad ready the game which is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Ladd Peebles Stadium.

We asked them both about how they plan to instill some toughness in the Falcons.

“A lot of it is habits,” Tice said. “How you finish. How you are finishing your blocks. How are finishing down the field? You can create that toughness.

“There are a lot of ways [More]

A look at the Falcons’ Senior Bowl O-line prospects

  • 10:21 am Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

New Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice has an interesting group to work with at the Senior Bowl.

The Falcons coaching staff will coach the North team and the Jacksonville Jaguars staff will coach the South team in the Senior Bowl at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

Players report on Saturday and practice starts Monday after the official weigh-in and measurement session.

The Falcons are set to heavily scout the linemen and could find some help at the Senior Bowl.

The rosters were released on Wednesday and will be tweaked as the game approaches. Here are the offensive [More]

Todd McClure: Oline coach ‘can make a big difference’

  • 6:00 am Friday, January 10th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
Former Falcons center Todd McClure lead the line out of the tunnel.

We wanted to chat with Falcons coach Mike Smith about the hiring of Mike Tice.

But we were told that Smith wanted to keep grinding away on getting the defensive line coaching candidates interviewed. He wants to have his staff in place before the Falcons leave to coach in the Senior Bowl.

Otherwise, he’d be mobbed by every unemployed coach in America and that would take time away from scouting and coaching the prospects.

So, I’m going to save my questions here, so when he comes up for air, we don’t forget them even though they won’t be as newsworthy.

–Why Tice?

–How many people [More]

Roddy White would let his son play for Petrino

  • 9:15 am Thursday, January 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is back!!!!!

His twitter feed was dormant for most of the season as he battled through a high ankle sprain and then a hamstring injury.

Once he recovered, he finished out the season strong and ended up with 63 catches for 711 yards and three touchdowns.

During interviews during the season, we heard from “Sad Roddy.”  He was clearly depressed that he was healthy.

As well all know, “Happy Roddy” is a hoot and a quote a minute.

It’s pretty clear that “Happy Roddy” is back.

He weighed in on Louisville’s hiring of Bobby Petrino and said he’d send his son to [More]