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Found 12 results

  1. Falcons tried to trade up for Quincy Williams but couldn't get it done and Jags snagged him. We're also in the rumor mill wanting to trade for Darron Lee. Check out @RapSheet’s Tweet: What other LB prospects do you guys think fits our style? We are clearly looking for LB comp on the team and maybe setting up to replace DeVo next year.
  2. Levitre (triceps) has been cleared to play in Sunday's game against the Panthers, Vaughn McClure of ESPN reports. Levitre practiced in a limited capacity all week after missing the past three games with a partially torn left triceps. However, it's fair to question whether his effectiveness will be compromised coming off the injury, as the Falcons' could be rushing him back for Sunday's crucial matchup, which has playoff implications. https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/falcons-andy-levitre-cleared-to-play-in-season-finale/
  3. Let me know if I missed it, but I didn't see where this was posted yet. The part with Ryan in the huddle on the sideline is just glorious. That's my QB. http://www.nfl.com/videos/atlanta-falcons FYI, I couldn't figure out how to embed this, nor to give it a direct link to the vid, so I just included the link to the Falcons video page. It should be the first one at least for now.
  4. http://www.atlantafa...17-670dd2fe8999 BRYAN COX Cox said that Travian Robertson has benefitted from having Paul Soliai in front of him. Robertson has been a standout in the media's eyes and Cox has noticed the progression in his play so far during XFINITY® Atlanta Falcons Training Camp: "He's growing. He's learning. Having Paul here has certainly helped him out. Having Corey (Peters) in the background, not being able to practice has been helping him out. Guys are in the same room competing with each other, but helping each other because, ultimately, when we make the cut downs and whomever is on this team, we all need to be able to, one: play together and be on the same accord, be unselfish toward each other, and the brotherhood, you just keep hearing me talk about the brotherhood — to me, when somebody else can talk about all the peripheral things, but at the end of the day, you have to make sure you've got each other's back." The versatility of Cox's group is what's been standing out most to him. There are a handful of players who he's been able to shift around into different positions without any slack being given up: "The thing that you're seeing is you're seeing guys able to play left, right, inside, outside, sub, big sub — whatever roles we've asked them to fill, they're filling it." VIEW GALLERY | 61 Photos 2014 XFINITY Training Camp - Practice 6 Cox on Hageman: "Ra'Shede is a bit like myself and I've got to get him to be more positive with himself. He's quick to get, not down on himself, but if he makes a mistake, he wants to do so well sometimes, he's trying to be too perfect. We've just got to get him into not asking what he wants, but demanding. As being a big man, don't ask for it; just take it." The retirement of Peria Jerry on Thursday has shaken up the defensive line crew and potentially has opened things up for younger, undrafted players to step up, 6-foot-3, 320-pound Kentucky productDonte Rumph among them. Here's what Cox had to say about how Jerry's departure has changed things: "We don't know how this thing is going to shake out. Are we going to keep six? Are we going to keep seven? Are we going to keep eight? To me, it's my job to coach them up to the best of my ability and when we get to that juncture where they say, 'Here's what we're gonna do,' we'll make that decision at that time." In the meeting room, Cox accepts and welcomes back-talk from his players. He'd rather have open confrontation than have something stew behind the scenes and end up causing a bigger problem down the line. The players have responded well to it: "At the end of the they, they're men, I'm a man. Again, I just call on my playing days when I always heard from Bill Parcells, don't listen to the tone; hear the message. Sometimes when I'm screaming or cussing or whatever, at the end of the day, they know I've got their backs." You've heard buzzwords all offseason and now into camp — "tough, gritty, physical" — but how do the coaches define the difference between those things? Cox expounds: "Toughness can be a mental trait. It doesn't necessarily have to be a physical trait. You can be mentally tough and just overcome something. When you're physically tough, it's taking somebody and telling them what you're gonna do to them and doing it and they can't do anything about it. We're trying to create a little bit of both of those. It's almost a bully's mentality. When you come in the door, I'm the baddest son of a b---- out here and ain't nobody better than me. That's the mindset you have to have to be good, in my opinion." COLLINS Mark Collins has worked closely with Kroy Biermann since Biermann began his comeback from an Achilles injury in 2013. If anyone can attest to the progress Biermann has made in that effort, it's Collins, and he had some positive things to say Friday: "We know he's a smart, tough football player, but the thing I've really seen here in the last couple of days is he's got a little bit of burst back. To me, it's kind of like the old Kroy is back. He looks comfortable, pushing well off that foot, so that's been encouraging the last couple of days. He's been a little bit more explosive off the football." Asked if there have been any surprises in camp so far, Collins pointed to second-year DE Stansly Maponga, who he said has had a good few days recently. Identity can be a big thing for a unit and it's something that can either develop over time or be forged by a coach from the start. Asked what Collins wants his unit's identity to be, he summed it up in one, clear word: Reckless. "We want to play physical, we want to play fast, we want to play on the edge, not over the edge. ... We want a nasty mentality. Safe doesn't win." Seventh-round pick Tyler Starr has garnered attention for his high-motor style of play. Collins gave his impressions of where the South Dakota product is so far: "He's a young guy. He has some athleticism, he has some range in space. He's doing a good job. He's a little bit behind, I think, from a pass rush standpoint, because as you guys know, it's a **** of a transition from college into the pros, so that's been a little bit of a transition. But he's got a good spirit. He busts his *** every day and I'd be surprised if he didn't continually improve here over the next three or four weeks." The pass rush is the big concern among many Falcons fans heading into 2014. Collins understands the need and desire to create more of a pressure situation for opposing quarterbacks and he thinks the Falcons will be able to achieve their goals in this area: "We understand that we've got to amp up our pass rush and, to me, that's a full unit, so we've gotta be better inside, we've gotta be better outside. We've got to improve for us to get to where we want to go this year. There's no concerns, though. I think we're working the right things and the boat's pointed in the right direction." Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Jacques Smith has had a few mix-ups with veterans so far in camp and it's because of the way he approaches the game. Collins hasn't asked the rookie to know his role or to tone things back at all. He likes what he's seeing out of the young OLB: "No, we never want to tone anything down. The thing we want to make sure is that we're being smart and we're getting in work. I don't want every drill to turn into a fight, saying 'Hey, I'm a tough guy,' but I certainly don't want to take (crap) from anybody out here and I don't want my players to do that either. I like it. He's a tough, physical kid and I really like where his arrow's going right now. I really like him." LEWIS Lewis has paid close attention to one of the hot spots in the secondary this camp — the nickel position. He likes what he's seeing out of all three of the active participants in that competition — Robert McClain,Javier Arenas and Josh Wilson. Being a bit of an unknown to Falcons fans, Wilson has been taking most of the snaps at nickel so far in camp and Lewis' history with Wilson and the knowledge of his skills might be one of the biggest factors in that: "Josh brings experience. I coached Josh up in Seattle for a year, so what he's done thus far has not been a surprise to me. He brings experience. He's got very good athletic ability, very good intelligence. He understands the pro game. He's been a starter in the NFL. He's played a lot of football." What's the identity of the Falcons' secondary right now? Lewis' response: "Coach (Alex) Karras said this a long time ago and I believe it. Every team he's ever coached has taken on a new identity and training camp is where you forge that. Whatever it is, we'll know come the New Orleans game. We'll know what that identity is. Right now, I don't know. I know we're going to be relentless. I know we're going to run to the football and chase it, and I know we're going to play physical, have fun doing it. But the identity of the defense, of the team, it'll take shape here in a couple of weeks." With NFL officials being more conscious of defensive holding in 2014, Lewis isn't taking any chances with his secondary. He wants them all to know the rules and embrace them. When the crew gets together to go over the day's practice film, there's an NFL rule book sitting right next to the projector and Lewis goes over it at least once a day. He even will make players stand up and read each article of the rule aloud to the rest of the group. "The videotape is a great teacher. The big eye in the sky doesn't lie, so although some guys don't recognize their hold or fouling another guy, those cameras might tell a different story. We keep going over and over it, emphasizing it and letting them know that this is how they're going to officiate it."
  5. Posted: 11:31 p.m. Monday, March 25, 2013 Falcons turn to Clemson for read-option help By D. Orlando Ledbetter In their quest to get a better grip on the read-option offenses sweeping the NFL, the Falcons’ defensive staff recently spent a day at Clemson, according to the Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney. "[The Falcons] are trying to learn more about what we do and how we defend what we do,” Swinney told the media on Monday. “Yet, we were able to take a lot from them as well. I’d be surprised if there's an NFL team that hasn’t gone and spent time with college coaches this offseason." At the NFL scouting combine in February, Falcons coach Mike Smith said the defensive staff would spend a lot of time this offseason coming up with a better plan to stop read-option offenses. In the playoffs against Seattle and San Francisco, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan didn’t adjust from his scheme that left a void that was exploited by tight ends Zach Millier, Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. “I know that our coaching staff is going to spend a whole lot of time on it because it could be the wave of the future,” Smith said. “I’m not saying that it will be, but that it could be.” The Falcons will face San Francisco and Seattle during the 2013 regular season and will see Carolina’s version of the read-option in NFC South play. “It’s something that we want to make sure that we have a very good understanding of,” Smith said. Clemson’s offense set 101 school records on an individual and team basis last season. Among the team records were most points (533), most total offense (6,665), most plays (1,062) and most passing yards (4181). The Tigers also set an Atlantic Coast Conference record for consecutive games scoring at least 37 points (10).
  6. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-films-presents/0ap2000000103139/NFL-Films-Presents-The-Falcons-just-want-to-have-fun Before my time, but a fun look back at the 91 Falcons on NFL.com.
  7. Falcons’ flaws aren’t worse than any other NFL team 5:51 pm November 14, 2012, by Jeff Schultz Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff will take their team's 8-1 record, flaws and all. (Curtis Compton/AJC) FLOWERY BRANCH – This is the way the season has gone for the Falcons. They win games, and people find flaws. They finally lose a game, and people scream, “Aha!” As if the struggles of the running game, or the instability of the run defense, or the fact that Ray Edwards too often seemed more passionate about conquering the art of modeling than the art of a tackle should come as any surprise. The Falcons have flaws, but so does every team, and they’re not going away. This is the NFL. Rosters don’t morph significantly during the season. The league has a salary cap. There is little roster flexibility. Unlike baseball, there aren’t pyrotechnics at the trade deadline. Once a season starts, the best a team can hope for is that a backup evolves and contributes more than expected, or a player released by another team can fill a void, or that drop-kicking a high-profile veteran like Edwards gets everybody’s attention. But from September to January (playoffs included), strengths, weaknesses and perceptions generally don’t change much. In the Falcons’ case, perceptions are that they’re not an overly physical team, they can’t even convert third-and-1’s, and therefore they’re not going to be a great team down the stretch or in the postseason. So much for basking in 8-1. “If the NFL had rankings like college football, we’d be last,” safety William Moore mused. “Because we don’t get the love. We can win a million games, but we’d be like Boise State. Maybe they’d give us a decent bowl game. … I like Shreveport.” With their options limited, credit the Falcons for cutting Edwards. It was a bold decision, even if it meant admitting they goofed by signing him. It says a lot about the player (in terms of how far Edwards had fallen) and the team’s mindset (believing releasing him was addition by subtraction). There is no financial benefit to cutting Edwards now. He’ll still get his $11 million guaranteed. The Falcons merely came to the realization that he was dragging them down, whether in performance, attitude or both. The damning analysis from coach Mike Smith: “We did it to make our football team better today and in the future.” This about a player that the organization was going gaga over seemingly five minutes ago. Edwards couldn’t rush the passer. He couldn’t defend the run. He wasn’t nearly as versatile or athletic as one might think for a guy who so proudly showed off his abs in his 2012 modeling calendar (12 months, 12 poses). Younger, cheaper, hungrier players with a pulse were better options. Everybody realized the Falcons would not be a great power-running team this season, despite the team’s continuous, “We will be a power-running team” declarations. Michael Turner showed signs of slowing down last season. He’s not running behind an overly physical offensive line. The new offensive scheme clearly would maximize the team’s main talents. At some point, one would think the Falcons will be able to figure out how to convert a third-and-1. Offensive tackle Tyson Clabo said, “I still think we have a chance to be a good short-yardage team. It’s not that we aren’t blocking well, we’re just not blocking the right people.” As flaws go, that would seem to be a correctable one. Everybody has issues. New England ranks 29th in pass defense, and it lost at home to Arizona. Pittsburgh lost to Oakland and Tennessee. Also, Ben Roethlisberger feels like a piano just fell on him. Chicago has one of the worst offenses in the league (28th), punctuated by one of the worst passing attacks (30th). The mean, nasty, rip-your-head-off Baltimore Ravens? They rank 27th in total defense. In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers has been sacked more times (29) than any other quarterback. San Francisco’s offense is led by … Alex Smith. And they lost to Minnesota. Houston: Solid overall but not a great passing attack. Eli Manning has 11 interceptions — right between Cam Newton (10) and Brandon Weeden (12) — and has lost to three teams with losing records (Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati). None of this makes the Falcons better, it just illustrates that every team has to overcome something. We know the Falcons’ flaws. But 8-1 and flawed isn’t a bad place to be. By Jeff Schultz
  8. http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/article-JonathanBales/Running-the-Numbers-A-Look-at-Atlanta%E2%80%99s-Offensive-Tendencies/1593642a-5407-4866-a7d6-96eefade953d Every week, coaches study countless hours of film in an effort to glean extra information about the upcoming opponent. Regardless of how the video is broken down, the ultimate goal is to uncover some sort of tendency that could lead to a competitive advantage. By playing the percentages, coaches can place their players in optimal positions to succeed more often than not. Having said that, check out a few of the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive tendencies in 2012: The Falcons have run a play-action pass on 19.1 percent of Matt Ryan’s dropbacks. Like most NFL quarterbacks, Ryan has posted a higher passer rating (117.8) and YPA (8.5) on play-action passes than straight dropbacks. The same is true of Tony Romo, although I’ve counted the Cowboys as running play-action on just 8 percent of snaps in 2012. No team has a rate of play-action passes lower than that of the Cowboys, while the Falcons rank in the middle of the pack. Although the Falcons’ offense is explosive, Ryan has just 26 attempts that have traveled at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. Fifteen of those are to Julio Jones. In comparison, Romo is near the bottom of the NFL in deep passing rate and still has 31 passes of 20 or more yards on the season. While it may seem otherwise, the Falcons don’t generally attack defenses down the field. The Falcons have passed the ball on 51.7 percent of their first downs, more than the league average of 48.5 percent. As I mentioned last week, NFL teams could generally benefit from an increase in first down pass rate. Atlanta, a team that has recently embraced the new-age statistical revolution in the NFL, has subsequently increased their first down pass rate dramatically from 2011, when it was just 43.7 percent. The offense has averaged 7.4 YPA on first down passes, compared to just 3.54 YPC on first-down runs. Atlanta has managed to convert a first down on just 19.6 percent of their first down plays, below the league average of 21.1 percent. The reason is that the Falcons often take their shots downfield on first down, and with much success. While only 3.1 percent of all NFL first downs have resulted in plays of 25 or more yards in 2012, the Falcons’ rate of 25-plus yard first down plays is 4.8 percent. Thus, the ’Boys need to be weary of deep play-action looks on first down. On second-and-1 and second-and-2, most offensive coordinators around the league dial up a run to move the chains. They’ve done so 62.9 percent of the time in 2012, compared to just 53.3 percent for Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Again, Atlanta plays the percentages on second-and-short, astutely taking shots downfield when the downside of an incompletion is minimal. An amazing 28.6 percent of their second-and-short passes have gone for at least 25 yards, compared to a league average of 7.6 percent. The Falcons average 7.54 yards-to-go on second down, compared to the league average of 7.90. Despite the shorter distance, Atlanta has passed the ball on 65.8 percent of their second-down plays. Matt Ryan’s 75.8 percent completion rate on second down is the highest in the NFL for any starting quarterback, as is his 118.6 passer rating. The Falcons’ average distance to go on third down has been 6.33, nearly a full yard better than the league average. That’s a major reason why the Falcons have converted on 46.6 percent of their third down plays, a higher rate than all but two teams. Only two starting NFL quarterbacks have a third down completion rate superior to Matt Ryan’s 66.1 percent. When the Falcons run outside, they like to do so behind right tackle Tyson Clabo. Of their 69 runs outside of the tackles, 40 have gone to the right side of the field. They’ve averaged 4.8 YPC when running outside of Clabo, compared to 3.8 YPC everywhere else.
  9. http://blog.atlantafalcons.com/jayadams/2012/03/14/team-holding-to-word-during-free-agency/ After a 24-2 loss to the New York Giants in the wild card round of the NFC Playoffs in January, the Falcons’ big three — owner & chairman Arthur Blank, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith — held a season-ending press conference to discuss the organization’s next steps. With the free agency period still less than 24 hours old and the moves around the rest of the league coming fast and furious, the Falcons are holding true to the points made in that press conference. “We have 17 free agents this year that we need to look at. We have a lot of work to do with our analyzation and scrutiny of our team, as well,” Dimitroff said during the January press conference. “There’s a foundation here in place. I’m not suggesting at all that we’re going to blow anything up.” The Falcons have been aggressive in keeping their own recently, signing safety Thomas DeCoud, tight end Michael Palmer, running back Antone Smith, running back Jason Snelling and defensive end Kroy Biermann and agreeing to terms with backup quarterback Chris Redman and wide receiver Harry Douglas. In that same press conference, Dimitroff said he thought “seven or eight” would be a realistic guess as to how many of the Falcons’ 17 free agents the team would be able to keep. Adding to that, however, are the signings of free agent guard Vince Manuwai and free agent linebacker Lofa Tatupu, both of whom can make a big impact with the team. Those two make nine new contracts in the past week the Falcons have doled out, but as they mentioned in January, they won’t be eager to just hand out anything. “We’ll continue to, again, analyze this roster. There are no… sacred cows. No question about it. I don’t care where we drafted them or how we’ve acquired them in free agency,” Dimitroff said back in January, as Blank added: “There might be some sacrificial cows, but no sacred cows”
  10. Happy Birthday Bro! I already said it to you, but you deserve a thread!
  11. http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2012/1/26/2732097/dominique-franks-could-start-in-2012 "Prediction time? Prediction time. After reading Daniel Cox's latest column on the mothership and ruminating on the cornerback depth chart, I'm ready to call Dominique Franks as a starter in 2012. Franks' chief hurdle—assuming that Brent Grimes does not return to Atlanta, because if he does it would be a high hurdle indeed—would be Chris Owens. Owens has performed pretty well playing outside in his Falcons career and has been less effective out of the nickel, but I think a more aggressive scheme will play to both of their strengths. It's likely the two will rotate snaps outside, with a slightly larger percentage of them going to Franks. Why, exactly? Because even though he was selected later in the draft, I think Franks has the higher upside out of the two. He's a bigger, more physical guy who matches up better against some of the rangy wide receivers in the NFL today, and his instincts are excellent. As Cox noted, Franks was defensing passes and making picks like a machine at the end of the season, and the progress he has made is apparent. The next step for him, really, is to take better angles to the ball carrier and not get turned around. Ideally, Franks would matchup with bigger, more physical wide receivers out wide and get a chance to test his ballhawking skills against them. I figured he'd be a starter by 2012 or 2013, and I think he's probably ready to take on that role now. Mike Nolan's aggressive schemes should help him take another big step forward this year. Owens' speed should make him an asset anywhere on the field, as well, so Nolan likely won't be afraid to plug him in the nickel in something more closely resembling man defense. I'm excited about both players, frankly. Do you think Franks will start? " Guess this means this is the end of grimetime
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