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William Middleton glad to be back home with the Atlanta Falcons


hawkeye
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http://www.examiner.com/x-1778-Atlanta-Fal...alcons-Examiner

After a week away, Atlanta-native and former Falcon William Middleton is now a Falcon again.

A whirlwind week that saw the 23-year-old cornerback cut from Atlanta, claimed to the 53-man roster by division-rival Tampa Bay, and cut again, ended with Middleton back in Atlanta.

Middleton, who played his high school football at Atlanta-area Marist High School, said he understood Atlanta's move, chalking it up to the business of football.

"Obviously it was a football decision," he said on Wednesday. "I just have to worry about things that I can take care of myself: knowing my assignments and performing."

Re-signed by Atlanta on Monday after being released on September 5 to reach the league-maximum 53-man roster limit, Middleton said he's happy to be back in his hometown, particularly with the team that gave him an opportunity in the first place.

"I can't be mad about that situation," said Middleton. "I'm happy that I'm here. Atlanta is the team that drafted me. It's where I want to be."

The Falcons' 2009 fifth-round selection spent last week with Tampa Bay, preparing for the Buccaneer's first regular season opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, before they released him on September 10.

Middleton praised both organizations, saying no one tried to glean any secrets from the other club.

"Both organizations, Atlanta and Tampa, kept it very professional. I kept it very professional as well."

At the end of the day, or week, the 5'11" corner looked at the whole experience as one from which to learn. He said he was happy to get such a thing out of the way early on in his career.

"I've learned from my experiences so far, this early in my career," he said. "It's always a positive to get it out of the way."

Now back in Atlanta on the Falcons' practice squad, where the franchise wanted him all along, Middleton is ready to continue his career with Atlanta, despite his week away.

"I came back to Atlanta and I'm ready to work."

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i don't blame him for signing with tampa. It was either sign to a 53 man roster or sign to a practice squad with the falcons. I probably would have made the same choice.

If you think about it, we were incredibly lucky with Snelling. Dallas attempted to sign Snelling from our practice squad his rookie year, but Snelling wanted to stay in Atlanta so we signed him to the roster from the practice squad. We almost lost him also.

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If you think about it, we were incredibly lucky with Snelling. Dallas attempted to sign Snelling from our practice squad his rookie year, but Snelling wanted to stay in Atlanta so we signed him to the roster from the practice squad. We almost lost him also.

That would have been sick if we had lost Snelling. Petrino just had to have Artose Pinner on the roster.

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i don't blame him for signing with tampa. It was either sign to a 53 man roster or sign to a practice squad with the falcons. I probably would have made the same choice.

If you think about it, we were incredibly lucky with Snelling. Dallas attempted to sign Snelling from our practice squad his rookie year, but Snelling wanted to stay in Atlanta so we signed him to the roster from the practice squad. We almost lost him also.

No player is going to turn down an opportunity to be on a 53 man roster to be on another team's practice squad. I don't think Middleton had a choice anyway, I think he was claimed on waivers, so it was go to Tampa or not play football in the NFL (at the time).

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