Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Jake Matthews soaking up ‘Life Lessons’

  • 4:28 pm Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons  rookie Jake Matthews, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, has written a blog from the NFL’s Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio.

His blog is titled “Life Lessons To Remember.” Here’s the link!

So far, it’s been a humbling experience for Matthews, who was moved by Donte Stallworth’s speech.

One quote that I heard today that really resonated with me was: “A fool learns from his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” Donte Stallworth said that during his presentation about his DUI charge and that whole incident.

There has been some emotional and financial [More]

Falcons DT Babineaux in London to promote game

  • 10:45 am Saturday, April 5th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux recently went to London to promote next season’s game against the Detroit Lions, which is set for Oct. 26.

The NFL will play three regular-season games over a span of six weeks in Wembley Stadium.

Babineaux, who re-signed with the Falcons this offseason, and Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan met with British NFL fans on the trip.

Here’s what Babineaux told during his visit:

“It’s my first time over to London and I love what I’ve seen,” Babineaux said. “I love the history and culture over here and the people have been very welcoming.

“I’m already looking forward to [More]

NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

  • 4:08 pm Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The NFL competition committee, which is chaired by Falcons president/CEO Rich McKay, will present 13 rule proposals, seven bylaw changes and one proposed resolution at the owner’s meeting next week in Orlando.

McKay and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher held a conference call today with the media. has up a good summary of the proposals.

The most controversial one would be the enforcement of an unsportsmanlike penalty for the use of the “N-word” on the field and other “insulting language.”

The committee also supports an expansion of the playoffs, although it’s not one of the formal proposals.

The members of the [More]

VIDEO — Aaron Murray at the NFL combine

  • 5:05 pm Friday, February 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

VIDEO: Auburn OT Greg Robinson is rugged and gritty

  • 4:40 pm Friday, February 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Isaiah Crowell is creating a buzz at the NFL combine

  • 4:16 pm Friday, February 21st, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell, who finished his career at Alabama State, has bulked up to 224 pounds and said he expects to run in the 4.4s at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He said that he was humbled by his departure from Georgia and that he’s a more mature young man. Although his charges were dismissed, NFL teams still want to know about his issues at Georgia.

Smith believes NFL players would respect Sam as an openly gay player

  • 3:43 pm Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – Falcons coach Mike Smith, as head coach of the North team in the Senior Bowl, is an authority on defensive end/linebacker Michael Sam, who recently announced that he’s a gay football player.

Smith was asked about Sam the football player and how an openly gay player would fit in a NFL locker room.

“First and foremost, when you evaluate a football player, you evaluate them on what you see on the field,” Smith said on Thursday. “A player’s personal life is not something that you concern yourself with. You are evaluating the player.”

The Falcons worked out Sam, the SEC’s co-defensive [More]

Falcons fans: Meet Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack

  • 7:57 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

INDIANAPOLIS – Heading over to the Oil Dome in a few minutes.

It will be a heavy media day with Falcons coach Mike Smith set to speak at 11:45 a.m. Check back around Noon-ish for video and a little later for a blog on some of the highlights and a story on

I wanted to share a little bit on potential future Falcons linebacker Khalil Mack, who played at Buffalo. Some consider him the best defensive player in the draft and he should be available when the Falcons pick at sixth overall.

Here’s a story on him from Buffalo.

NFL Network’s Mike [More]

NFL combine: Murray projected as mid-round pick by Kiper

  • 12:16 am Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Former SEC quarterbacks Aaron Murray (Georgia), Zach Mettenberger (LSU) and Connor Shaw (South Carolina) head up a list of 24 players with Georgia ties invited to the NFL scouting combine, which will run Feb. 19 through 25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Last season, there were 29 players with Georgia ties invited.

In 2012, there were 26 players invited.

In 2011, a total of 31 players, including No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, were invited.

Murray, Mettenberger and Shaw are all considered backup NFL quarterback prospects by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. Murray and Mettenberger are projected to be selected in [More]

Las Vegas expects Falcons to rebound, be in Super Bowl XLIX hunt

  • 5:51 pm Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Las Vegas is expecting the Atlanta Falcons to return to near the top of the NFC next season.

The Falcons, who dipped to 4-12 and finished tied for last place in the NFC South, have the seventh best odds to win Super Bowl XLIX at 25 to 1, according to RJ Bell of

Seattle is the early favorite to win the Super Bowl at 7 to 1, followed by Denver and San Francisco at 8 to 1.

Green Bay and New Orleans are the other NFC teams ahead of the Falcons.

Here’s a complete look courtesy of

• Seahawks: 7 to 1