g-dawg Posted August 7, 2011 Share Posted August 7, 2011 LinkFalcons notes: Snelling's future is in a holding patternBy D. Orlando Ledbetter The Atlanta Journal-Constitution FLOWERY BRANCH After four productive seasons, running back Jason Snellings NFL future appears to be in a holding pattern.He could be a victim of the bottom dropping out of the running backs market in the frenzied free-agency period.Former Pro Bowler Ronnie Brown of Cartersville accepted a shockingly low deal to sign with Philadelphia. After six seasons in Miami, he wanted to play for a winner.Several running backs who were not rated higher than Snelling have received new deals. Snelling has an offer from the Falcons, but has not accepted it. He has had dealings with the Rams, Giants and Chiefs.The Rams elected to sign former Falcons running back Jerious Norwood and former Tampa Bay running back Cadillac Williams. The Giants re-signed running back Ahmad Bradshaw. The Chiefs signed fullback LeRon McClain.Snelling, 27, was a seventh-round draft pick out of Virginia in 2007. He has played in 51 games and rushed for 1,042 yards on 257 carries and scored seven touchdowns. He has caught 82 passes for 651 yards and four touchdowns.He served as the Falcons primary back for half of the 2009 season as Michael Turner battled a high right-ankle sprain.Snelling ran for 147 yards in the victory over Tampa Bay on Jan. 3, 2010, that secured the franchises first back-to-back winning seasons. Last season, he amassed 186 total yards (129 rushing, 57 receiving) against Arizona on Sept. 19.Snelling has been durable, too. He has missed four games over the past three seasons.Studious Blalock Left guard Justin Blalock reported to the teams facilities after agreeing to terms, even though he couldnt practice until Aug. 4.I wanted to be in the meetings because you get to see things schematically, Blalock said. Its just a matter of application when you get [on the practice fields.] Its also good to take mental reps with some of the younger guys.Blalock also was elated to have the security of a six-year contract. Nothing is guaranteed, but the prospect of being here for a long time is very exciting to me, Blalock said.Rule-change review Members of the NFL officiating department will review the 2011 rules changes with the team and media Sunday.The key rule change involves kickoffs. The ball will be kicked off from the 35-yard line, with no kicking-team player (except the kicker) lined up more than five yards behind the ball.The rule, adopted in the interest of player safety, is designed to create fewer returns and eliminate the running start that players were getting pre-kickoff.That rule will be effective early on in the year, special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong said. I still think that guys who can run, thats what they are going to do, they are going to run.The weather could also be a factor.If youre in Cleveland in December or Chicago in November, you can put it on the 50-yard line, and its not going to the end zone, Armstrong said. As the season goes on, the weather will come into play. I know what they are trying to do, but there are going to be some balls returned.The other key rules changes include prohibition against launching into a defenseless opponent and an expanded definition of defenseless players. Hits to the head of a passer will not be fouls unless they are forcible blows, and instant replay will be used for all scoring plays.Personnel moves The Falcons waived kicker Jacob Harfman and offensive tackle Rob McGill on Saturday. With Harfman gone, the battle to replace punter Michael Koenen is down to Matt Bosher and Ken Parrish.It will be a really good competition, Armstrong said. Well try to rotate them and control their reps. In the exhibition games, they will have to be warmed up in both halves. The team signed tight end A.J. Simmons on Friday to replace Robbie Agnone, who suffered a foot injury early in training camp. Simmons, a 6-foot-3, 255-pounder, played in 48 games and caught 21 passes for 238 yards at Arizona. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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