Atlanta Falcons blog 

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

Arians expects Falcons to bounce back; Abraham to keep on ticking

  • 2:00 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

GREENSBORO – Arizona coach Bruce Arians believes the Falcons, who dipped to 4-12 last season after going 13-3 in 2012, will bounce back in 2014.

In his first season as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Arians led them to a 10-6 record last season, which included a 27-13 victory over the Falcons on Oct. 27, 2013.

The two teams will meet at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 30.

“I’m not looking forward it,” Arians said on Monday, before playing in his Georgia Celebrity Golf outing at Reynolds Plantation. “I thought (general manager Thomas Dimitroff) and (head coach Mike Smith) did a great [More]

NFL Draft 2014: A look at Dimitroff’s trading record

  • 6:37 pm Saturday, May 10th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has now made a trade in all seven of his drafts with the team.

On Saturday, he sent the team’s sixth (182 overall) and one of their three seventh-round picks (220) to the Minnesota Vikings for a fifth-round pick. The pick was used to select Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill, who received the news before heading out to his graduation ceremony.

The Falcons went into the draft ready to make deals.

They were unsuccessful in switching a blockbuster deal to land South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who went No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans.

They also tried [More]

Falcons need a pass rusher still? Michael Sam is available

  • 9:32 am Saturday, May 10th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

FLOWERY BRANCH – Through the three rounds of the NFL draft, the Falcons have failed to fill a major need: Pass rusher.

Their attempts to trade up in the first round for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and for Auburn’s Dee Ford were unsuccessful.

In the second round, they selected Minnesota nose guard Ra’Shede Hageman and said they will convert him to a five-technique (run stopping) defensive end.

In the third round, they selected Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward, who was projected as a strong safety and to be taken in the fourth round by The Falcons said that he will play free safety.

The [More]

VIDEO: Dimitroff and Smith on picking Matthews

  • 12:35 am Friday, May 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
Jake Matthews, 6-5, 305, OT, Texas A&M: The son of Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews. (Associated Press)

With the 6th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Atlanta Falcons selected Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. But that’s not all they wanted:

#Falcons were trying to trade back into the first round for either Ryan Shazier or Dee Ford. Tomorrow, plenty of DEs and SS— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) May 09, 2014

STORY: #Falcons make it a family affair, pick tackle Jake Matthews— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@AJCFalcons) May 09, 2014

RT @M_Ryan02: Welcome to Atlanta @jake_matthews75! We are all excited to have you as a [More]

Three things we learned from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

  • 5:23 pm Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff could create a lot of salary cap space. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/

FLOWERY BRANCH–Three  things we learned from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff at his pre-draft news conference today.

1. He still doesn’t regret away trading five picks for wide receiver Julio Jones in the 2011 draft (or he’s not saying so if he does).

“I would never question what we did in (2011). I am completely at ease with what we did as far as adding one of the most explosive players in this league and what he can do for us. Julio was fantastic. Moving forward, as far as gaining knowledge about depth, no question depth is important. But usually depth is your [More]

Video: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff on trading up in NFL draft

  • 3:16 pm Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by Michael Cunningham

FLOWERY BRANCH–Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff held his pre-draft press conference today. Among the topics he addressed was his conversations with other teams regarding trading up from No. 6, the talent at the top of the draft and how the team evaluates potential character issues with prospects.

8 questions for Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff

  • 10:00 am Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
The long and winding pre-draft process is coming to a close for Falcons officials. (Photos by D. Orlando Ledbetter/

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff will hold his pre-draft press conference at 2 p.m. today at the team facility.

We have some questions for the general manager that I’ll send along with Michael Cunningham and the rest of Team AJC. (Someone has to pick up his freshman student from college today.)

Photos: Top NFL Draft prospects | Dimitroff’s draft deals

The staff members will have videos, blogs and photos posted shortly after the presser. Also, more in-depth stories will post to later in the day. (Feel free to stop back by!)

After Dimitroff gives an opening statement on the uniques and the depth of [More]

Falcons’ Draft Board: Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter
Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz runs with the ball after catching a pass during NCAA college football practice at Valley High School Stadium, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Each morning, from now until the draft starts on May 8, we’ll do a short profile of a player we are projecting to be on the Falcons’ Draft Board. We’ll focus on team-needs, possible selections, players the Falcons have worked out and/or interviewed, etc. With the Falcons having 10 picks, we’ll start out by focusing on potential late-round picks and then move on to early-round picks. Today we’ll look at Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz.

Player: C.J. Fiedorowicz

Position: Tight end

School: Iowa

Height and weight: 6-5 1/2, 265

Combine numbers: 4.76 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 25 reps on the 225-pound bench press; 31 1/2-inch [More]