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Press release going on AF.com...

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons today signed free agents, linebacker Tony Gilbert and tight end Justin Peelle and completed the practice squad with the signing of defensive end Sean Conover and running back Kenneth Darby. The Falcons also released tight end Jason Rader and linebacker Tony Taylor.

Gilbert, 6-0, 248 pounds, spent the past five seasons (2003-07) with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was coached by then Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith. In 56 career games, Gilbert has totaled 23 tackles (15 solo), one sack and one fumble recovery. He left Jacksonville tied for sixth in team history with 38 special teams tackles. Gilbert is a native of Macon, Georgia and attended Central High School.

Peelle, 6-4, 250 pounds, was a member of the Miami Dolphins from 2006-07 and was coached by Falcons Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey who served as Miami’s Tight Ends Coach in 2007. In 93 career games, he has totaled 85 receptions for 614 yards and seven touchdowns. Last season, he set career highs in receptions (29), yards (228) and tied his career mark in touchdowns (two).

Darby, 5-10, 211 pounds, was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Alabama. After being promoted from the Buccaneers practice squad on October 3, he posted two carries for nine yards and two receptions for 16 yards in his first career game against Carolina on December 30, 2007.

Conover, 6-5, 275 pounds, is a two-year veteran who spent both seasons with the Tennessee Titans. The Bucknell alum has collared 25 tackles (14 solo) in 11 career games.

Rader was signed as a free agent on March 14, 2008 and saw action in all four preseason contests for Atlanta.

Taylor competed in 16 games with the Falcons last season seeing the majority of action on special teams. He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Atlanta on May 1, 2007.

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Tony Gilbert went to my High School. Go Central Charger! I hope he's good because we had one sorry Football Program.

i went to southwest in macon and our pep rally was always "the funeral" for central lol. all the players would bring in a casket and everyone would get loud and go crazy. i doubt they do that anymore since southwest was split and is a smallish school now. use to be a decent rival.

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Very interesting.

My explanation:

(1) Mularkey obviously liked Peele from Miami, so that explains that pickup.

(2) Gilbert is a special teams demon, and is obviously well known both to Smitty and to Van Gorder. Gilbert is a ST upgrade over Taylor, and the coaches are probably comfortable, if Lofton were to be injured for any period of time (touch wood), with Stephen Nicholas coming in, either to play Mike, or to play Will as Brooking moves over to Mike.

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i went to southwest in macon and our pep rally was always "the funeral" for central lol. all the players would bring in a casket and everyone would get loud and go crazy. i doubt they do that anymore since southwest was split and is a smallish school now. use to be a decent rival.

to bad my school didn't have a decent team. I went to Southeast. No need to give details right.

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to bad my school didn't have a decent team. I went to Southeast. No need to give details right.

thats what i meant by southwest being smaller now. southeast was a breakoff of southwest while i was attending. my freshman class had over 1000 students, which was huge for a small city like macon. i have been gone so long now, that i dont even know how many schools are in macon. back then it was just southwest, central, and northeast. warner robins clobbered all of them :(

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I'm a little surprised by the release of Taylor but I guess he lost his starting spot at MLB and maybe he didn't shine on special teams so why not bring in Gilbert, also a former UGA boy, who has a little more experience both in the NFL and with Coach Smith. I did like Taylor though and I think he'll definitely be picked up by another team.

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Press release going on AF.com...

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons today signed free agents, linebacker Tony Gilbert and tight end Justin Peelle and completed the practice squad with the signing of defensive end Sean Conover and running back Kenneth Darby. The Falcons also released tight end Jason Rader and linebacker Tony Taylor.

Gilbert, 6-0, 248 pounds, spent the past five seasons (2003-07) with the Jacksonville Jaguars and was coached by then Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith. In 56 career games, Gilbert has totaled 23 tackles (15 solo), one sack and one fumble recovery. He left Jacksonville tied for sixth in team history with 38 special teams tackles. Gilbert is a native of Macon, Georgia and attended Central High School.

Peelle, 6-4, 250 pounds, was a member of the Miami Dolphins from 2006-07 and was coached by Falcons Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey who served as Miami's Tight Ends Coach in 2007. In 93 career games, he has totaled 85 receptions for 614 yards and seven touchdowns. Last season, he set career highs in receptions (29), yards (228) and tied his career mark in touchdowns (two).

Darby, 5-10, 211 pounds, was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Alabama. After being promoted from the Buccaneers practice squad on October 3, he posted two carries for nine yards and two receptions for 16 yards in his first career game against Carolina on December 30, 2007.

Conover, 6-5, 275 pounds, is a two-year veteran who spent both seasons with the Tennessee Titans. The Bucknell alum has collared 25 tackles (14 solo) in 11 career games.

Rader was signed as a free agent on March 14, 2008 and saw action in all four preseason contests for Atlanta.

Taylor competed in 16 games with the Falcons last season seeing the majority of action on special teams. He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Atlanta on May 1, 2007.

J Mike we already got a thread about this.

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i liked peele out of college, although he has'nt really lit it up in the NFL. i like him better than rader though WAY TO GO TD!!!

gilbert has played for smith for a couple years and should be well aquainted with the defense. taylor did'nt exactly wow on ST's. i like both pick ups. bottom line is we up graded tim anderson, jason rader, and gilbert is an upgrade too but i thought wire would be the one replaced. sean connover could show enough in practice to challenge fraser for his spot on the 53 man roster and darby may do the same vs snelling. great job mr. dimitroff. :wub:

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