Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Cox wants widespread panic from quarterbacks

  • 6:00 am Friday, January 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MOBILE, Ala. – New Falcons defensive line coach Bryant Cox will be charged with ramping up the pass rush.

We’ll have to stay tuned to see if the Falcons trade up to get South Carolina’s defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who will be long gone if they sit in the No. 6 spot of the NFL draft..

The Falcons had only 32 sacks, tied for 30th with Houston last season. Only Jacksonville (31) and Chicago (31) had more.

Cox shares head coach Mike Smith’s philosophy about sacks not being the key barometer of the pass rush.

He subscribes to the widespread panic approach to affecting the [More]

Cox has players doing up-downs at the Senior Bowl

  • 12:13 pm Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Watch video

MOBILE, Ala. – New Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox is certainly pretty intense.

He has the linemen at the Senior Bowl doing up-downs after they make a mistake.

Some NFL personnel men shook their heads as they walked past Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman doing up-downs after committing an infraction at the North practice on Wednesday.

He’s using the up-downs as a punishment drill. The player runs in place and then drop to the ground and spring back up, while keeping the feet chopping. You see this at little league fields and not normally in the NFL.

(If one of the Smyrna Spartans [More]

VIDEO: What the Falcons are learning at Senior Bowl

  • 9:49 pm Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter joins CineSport’s Brian Clark from the Senior Bowl to discuss Scott Pioli being named Assistant GM, the disappointing 2013 season and Mike Smith’s role in Mobile, Ala.

VIDEO: Falcons coach Mike Smith on the North squad

  • 3:43 pm Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

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]

Aaron Murray hopes to be ready by UGA Pro Day

  • 10:00 pm Monday, January 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MOBILE, Ala. — Former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Kentucky on Nov. 23, is attending the Senior Bowl.

Here’s my story on how he’s trying to impress NFL teams on our subscription site,

He plans to be ready to workout at Georgia’s Pro on April 16. He’s been rehabbing in Pensacola, Fla. under famed doctor James Andrews.

Falcons heavily scouting the offensive lines at the Senior Bowl

  • 8:58 pm Monday, January 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FAIRHOPE and MOBILE, Ala. — Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and director of player personnel Lionel Vital were intensely watching the offensive linemen at the South Practice on Monday.

Over at the North’s practice, here’s how Falcons head coach Mike Smith had the offensive line stacked.

The first-string line was left tackle Zach Martin (Notre Dame), left guard Cyril Richardson (Baylor), center Weston Richburg (Colorado State), right guard Brandon Linder (Miami), and right tackle Seantrel Henderson (Miami).

The second-team offensive line was left tackle Brandon Thomas (Clemson), left guard Radeem Edwards (Tennessee State), center Tyler Larsen (Utah State), right guard Michael Schofield (Michigan) and right tackle [More]

Falcons’ scouts must find some gems at Senior Bowl

  • 6:00 am Monday, January 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that the talent evaluators would receive the same scrutiny that the coaching staff received after the missed assessments of the offensive and defensive lines.

“We are applying the same scrutiny of the evaluators and (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) is doing that within his department as well,” Blank said.

The evaluation of the coaching staff led to the release of offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn and defensive line coach Ray Hamilton. Mike Tice has been hired to coach the offensive line and Bryan Cox to coach the defensive line.

So far, nothing has happened in the [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]

Falcons’ North Senior Bowl roster features Michael Sam, Marcus Smith

  • 5:21 pm Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons head coach Mike Smith and his staff will lead the North Team in the Senior Bowl, with practice set to start Monday and the game set for 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.

The North and South team rosters were released today. The rosters will be tweaked leading up to the game.

Baylor guard Cyril Richardson, Missouri defensive end/outside linebacker Michael Sam and Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith are the most celebrated players on the North Roster.

Last season, the Falcons scouted cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford at the Senior Bowl. Before the [More]