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With Falcons, it’s all about appearances


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With Falcons, it’s all about appearances

By Terence Moore | Saturday, August 16, 2008, 10:43 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

So the hot dogs are warmer and the beers are colder at Falcons games these days at the Georgia Dome. You may yawn now, because it’s never about that other stuff in professional sports, especially in the NFL, where Al Davis delivered a truth for the ages: Just win, baby.

Actually, at this stage for the Falcons after regressing each of the past three years (8-8, 7-9, 4-12), combined with their horrors of last season (dogfighting, Bobby Petrino, imploding), it’s like this: Just look decent, baby, even during an otherwise meaningless preseason game.

Oh, well.

Maybe next week.

Then again, the Falcons did have some nice moments Saturday night against an Indianapolis Colts team that was missing all-everything players Peyton Manning, Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney and three other starters. The Falcons’ Michael Turner looked like more than just the backup that he was to LaDainian Tomlinson. At times, he even looked like LT. Then there was Brent Grimes continuing to impress as DeAngelo Hall’s replacement at left corner without the silliness. And, if Turner was running well, that means the offensive line was flashing signs of decency for a change.

The thing is, the Falcons had enough brutal moments to make many of their turnstiles threaten to rust during the regular season from lack of use.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of pressure on us, because we know we have to do things to keep people coming to the [Georgia] Dome,” said wide receiver Roddy White, who contributed to some of the Falcons’ nice moments. While trying to extend a two-minute drill near the end of the first half, Matt Ryan scrambled right and then left with his $72-million arm on 3-and-10 from the Falcons’ 16. He found White for 15 yards. Moments later, Ryan completed an 11-yarder to White with the Falcons eventually sprinting to the Colts’ 38.

That’s when Ryan looked more like another one of those overmatched NFL rookie starting quarterbacks in waiting. For the record, Ryan hasn’t been named the starter, but that will happen sooner than later. Anyway, he ruined what was a wonderful drive by throwing short of Brian Finneran and watching the Colts’ Kelvin Hayden finish a 67-yard interception return with a poor man’s version of Deion Sanders dancing toward the end zone.

Ryan had company in misery. His replacement, Chris Redman, threw an interception with the Falcons at the Colts’ 13. There also was another interception by D.J. Shockley, his second of the preseason. Adam Jennings had a punt bounce out of his hands for a fumble that was recovered by the Colts deep inside Falcons territory.

Despite monster runs by Turner that helped push the Falcons into the red zone on their two opening series, they managed just field goals. In fact, there was an ugly blast from their Petrino past, when the Falcons decided to get fancy on third-and-short in the red zone (translated: no straight-ahead approach) and tried to use the east-west running of Jerious Norwood. Minus four yards.

Just look decent, baby.

So, when it comes to the post-No. 7 Falcons, it’s not about all of those changes to the Georgia Dome this season, ranging from red-and-black seats to replace the old green ones to better restrooms to fancier concourse areas. It’s not about Freddie Falcon firing even more cheap T-shirts to the crowd with his air gun or that tired use of flames threatening to scorch the dome’s Teflon ceiling during pregame introductions for the Falcons.

It’s about the Falcons looking much better than this.

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I'll remember that. living so close to charlotte and having to hear how great the panthers are made me try to force myself to believe that might have been some kind of positive article :lol:

Yeah just so you know..if you ever read the AJC, online or in print, and you see Terence Moore. Just prepare to be pissed. If you like all Atlanta sports that is.

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rofl threw short of finn. yes. more like hit finn right in the chest but the cb made an great play on the ball. seriouslly some people would rather make our guys look bad than other players look good, Its like peyton manning touchdown pass to marvin harrison for 16 yards with brent grimes in coverage..."brent ******* sucks ***" some people are ******* stupid.

I bet he's smart enough to know Peyton didn't play tonight.

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i like moore a lot more than most people on this board, but he's not saying a whole lot in this column, is he...

i get his point though. arthur can tweak the image all he wants, but on the football field the falcons still have a loooong way to go.

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