Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

For grillmaster Paul Soliai, bonding over bar-b-cue is vital

  • 7:41 am Monday, July 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons defensive tackle/nose guard Paul Soliai, the team’s major acquisition this offseason, is attempting to anchor the defense on and off the field.

After Soliai became become comfortable in his new

surroundings, he invited the entire defensive lineman to his house for big bar-b-cue.

“I had my bar-b-cue chicken, cow peas and some short ribs,” said Soliai, who’s 6-foot-4 and 345 pounds. “All of the boys showed up and we got to talk more. We caught up and got to know each other. It was a good thing. It was something that I did in Miami. I had every rookie and [More]

Countdown to camp: Day 6 — Defensive line

  • 6:00 am Sunday, July 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — The countdown can kick into overdrive this weekend.

Coach Mike Smith, who’s been out in Montana, and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who’s been out cycling with Lance Armstrong, will be back in the office Monday.

The rookies report Tuesday, the veterans Thursday and the first practice is set for Friday.

We started our countdown 10 days out.

Countdown to camp: Day 10 – The new coaches

Countdown to camp: Day 9 – Special teams

Countdown to camp: Day 8 – Defensive backs

Countdown to camp: Day 7 — Linebackers

Today, we’ll look at the revamped defensive line.

The Falcons signed two free agents in [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]

UPDATE: Falcons are $10.1 million under the salary cap

  • 1:51 am Friday, March 14th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

After the recent $80.5 million free agency spending spree, the Falcons are $11.6 million under the $133 million salary cap, according to NFLPA documents.

UPDATED SUNDAY AT 8:40 AM: The NFLPA documents have been updated to include Joe Hawley’s contract. The Falcons have $10,194,447.00 million (top 51) under the cap for 2014, according to NFLPA documents.

NFLPA UPDATE

Current Contracts:58

TR Share:$353,718,750.00

Adjusted Cap: $135,743,934.00

Benefit Share: $33,250,000.00

Team Cap: $125,549,487.00

Salary Cap: $133,000,000.00

Cap Room: $10,194,447.00

Adjustments:

Previous Year Carryover:$3,129,200.00

Sportrac has the Falcons cap space at $9.639,256

ORIGINAL POST: The Falcons now have 57 players under contract, but counting the top 51, per league rules, they have used up [More]

Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

  • 5:25 pm Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, signed a five-year, $33 million dollar contract after becoming an unrestricted free agent. A total of $14 million of the deal is guaranteed.

The 340-pound former Pro Bowler is set to anchor the defense.

Here’s a Q&A with Soliai from earlier today:

Q: Why did you pick the Falcons?

A: There were other teams, but I just thought it would be nice to come in a play for a wonderful organization. I think I feel comfortable just coming in and spending the rest of my time here in Atlanta and helping out.

Q: How do [More]

VIDEO: Reaction to Falcons free agent moves

  • 4:10 pm Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Jeff Schultz join CineSport’s Noah Coslov to review the Falcons’ signings on the first day of free agency and to discuss where the team still has needs.

FILM REVIEW: Cosell critiques Soliai and Jackson

  • 11:55 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The affable Greg Cosell, a NFL Films Senior Producer, does a wonderful job breaking down film of players.

In the “Film Room” series on the Philadelphia Eagles website, Cosell and Bo Wulf did an episode titled “Film Room: Free agents on the D-Line.”

They reviewed two of the Falcons signees, defensive tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Tyson Jackson.

“He’s a true nose tackle,” Cosell said of Soliai.

He was not as high on Jackson as he doesn’t believe he’ll give the Falcons much of a pass rush because he’s not very quick.

Dimitroff believes Falcons added grit and toughness

  • 6:54 pm Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Just chatted with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff on a conference call and he believes the team added some grit and toughness in free agency today.

He was on his way to dinner with the new players. He was probably heading to Chops or the Capital Grille in Buckhead.

He also believed the team retained some key players and said they will continue to run a hybrid 4-3 and 3-4 defense with no scheme change in store.

Here are some of the tweets from the call.

#Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said he believes Champ Bailey has the ability to continue playing in [More]

Falcons are targeting linemen in free agency

  • 6:30 am Monday, March 10th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
Kansas City Chiefs free agent offensive guard Jon Asamoah started nine games in 2013. (Scott Cunningham / Getty Images)

FLOWERY BRANCH — The legalized tampering period started Saturday at 4 p.m. and agents around the league were giddy.

With an increase in the salary cap from $123 million to $133 million, the agents are expecting more robust deals this season.

What a difference a year makes! Free agency will be a lot better this year— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) March 08, 2014

And we are off and running!— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) March 08, 2014

Congrats to RSR client Sam Shields & the Green Bay Packers on the new contract!— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) March 09, 2014

Defensive end Red [More]