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]

VIDEO: Falcons QB T.J. Yates after the Jacksonville game

  • 12:25 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Watch video

T.J. Yates hopes that he did enough to wrap up the backup quarterback spot.

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.

VIDEO: D. Led: Falcons end exhibition season on a high note

  • 11:55 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons finished up the preseason with a 24-14 victory over the Jaguars. CineSport’s Justin Termine and the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter recap the game and discuss T.J. Yates’ performance.

Countdown to camp: Day 1 — Quarterbacks

  • 6:00 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Finally, training camp is here.

The team takes the field this morning and holds an afternoon practice that will be open to the public.

We’ll have updates throughout the day, so feel free to check back at for updates.

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

Countdown to camp: Day 6 — Defensive line 

Countdown to camp: Day 5 – Offensive line

Countdown to camp: Day [More]

Matt Ryan, T. J. Yates have crossed paths before

  • 8:12 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his new backup, T.J. Yates, have crossed paths before.

We all know about the game on Dec. 4, 2011, when Yates led the Texans to a 17-10 victory over Ryan and the Falcons in his first NFL start.

He got a lot of help from his offensive line, which shoved the Falcons defense around Reliant Stadium for most of the day. Arian Foster had 31 carries for 111 yards and Ben Tate chipped in with 41 yards on 11 carries.

Yates completed 12 of 25 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t [More]

Q&A with Falcons QB T. J. Yates

  • 10:47 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH — Taylor Jonathan Yates was out to dinner in Houston with his wife and childhood sweetheart Amy when he received the news that he was traded by the Houston Texans to the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday night.

The former Pope High standout, who went on to star at North Carolina, was elated.

Yates, who was named the 2010 Tar Heel of the Year, was one of three recipients of the school’s Patterson Medal for career athletic accomplishment. Yates finished with 9,377 yards and 58 touchdowns. He set more than 40 school records, including every mark for single-season and career pass [More]