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blkbigdog35

Falcons Offseason News

59 posts in this topic

These things may be posted in TATF but since I don't visit there much thought I would put things over here to keep the light on for some good football discussions.

keep doing your thing bruh.
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Smith to decide on Jones' game status

By Vaughn McClure

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith said the coaches will decide today about wide receiver Julio Jones' status for Friday's preseason opener at home against the Miami Dolphins.

Jones, coming off foot surgery, has practiced every other day since the beginning of training camp. He last played in a live game Oct. 7 against the New York Jets, when he fractured his right foot for a second time.

"I'm not going to talk about snaps and the number of snaps," Smith said of Friday's exhibition. "We want to go through and evaluate as many guys as we can. The majority of the time (today) in our staff meetings will be talking about play time. And again, that's always changing based on the number of healthy bodies that we have. And we will be making a determination on who's going to play and how much in (today's) meeting."

Quarterback Matt Ryan was asked about the possibility of getting a few reps with Jones against the Dolphins.

"That's up to Coach Smith," Ryan said. "I just follow the orders and go out there and do my job."

At the start of camp, Smith said the team would re-evaluate Jones' practice plan after a week.

"No, we haven't done it yet," Smith said. "It will probably be after the first preseason game before we make an evaluation in terms of his workload. But I think he's handled everything that we've asked him to do up to this point in time. He hasn't missed any of the snaps that we've talked about him taking."

Jones said he feels 100 percent and stronger than last year coming off the surgery. He has added 10 pounds of muscle and doesn't appear to have lost any speed.

The Falcons are off Tuesday, meaning Smith is unlikely to update Jones' status until after Wednesday's practice.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Falcons to see what they have in QB Yates

By Vaughn McClure

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons traded for quarterback T.J. Yates in June with hopes of solidifying the backup quarterback position behind Matt Ryan.

It's been hard to determine Yates' value so far just based on training camp practices. He is still working on his timing with the receivers. And it's not like he's getting extended reps with Julio Jones and Roddy White.

But Yates should see his share of time during Friday night's exhibition against the Miami Dolphins, considering Ryan is likely to play only one series.

Coach Mike Smith was asked if Yates had enough of a grasp of the offense to carry through a game.

"He absolutely does," Smith responded. "In the preseason, we've been in an install mode. We haven't installed our entire package yet, but we've been in install mode since the first day of training camp. When we go play this game, we're going to really condense it down. We're going to have a game plan. We want these guys to go out and compete. We want them to be assured that they’re going to run the plays that they know they can run.

"We're not going to throw some exotics at them and things like that. We're going to do a great job as a coaching staff in evaluating the plays that we feel comfortable with, and we're going to let them run those plays so we can get a good evaluation."

The Falcons traded linebacker Akeem Dent to the Houston Texans for Yates, then dumped Dominique Davis, last season's backup quarterback. Sean Renfree and rookie Jeff Mathews also are in the quarterback mix in camp.

And speaking of the trade, Yates will face his old teammates next week as the Falcons travel to Houston for joint practices before next Saturday's exhibition at NRG Stadium. One of his former Houston teammates offered a glimpse of what to expect if Yates is ever called upon to spell Ryan.

"Quality quarterback," said safety Danieal Manning, now with the Cincinnati Bengals. "T.J. is a jack-of-all-trades quarterback. He's not going to 'wow' you, but he can beat you."

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rookie Marquis Spruill tears ACL

By Vaughn McClure

ESPN.com

Atlanta Falcons rookie linebacker Marquis Spruill tore his ACL late during Wednesday's practice and is out for the season, the team announced Thursday.

Spruill was helped off the field by two members of the medical staff.

The fifth-round draft pick from Syracuse was working as a reserve inside linebacker. He was part of a draft-day trade.

Spruill, known for his speed, was asked to put on weight upon arriving to the team.

The injury leaves the Falcons further depleted at inside linebacker. They already lost veteran Sean Weatherspoon to a season-ending Achilles' injury. Newcomer Pat Angerer is going through the concussion protocol.

Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu have been working as starting inside linebackers when the Falcons work in their 3-4 scheme. The team also has high expectations for rookie Prince Shembo, a fourth-round pick from Notre Dame.

Veteran Nick Barnett, who worked out for the Falcons, could be an option at this point.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

W2W4: Atlanta Falcons

By Vaughn McClure

The Atlanta Falcons open the preseason against the Miami Dolphins Friday night at the Georgia Dome.

Three things to watch:

1. On the line: No matter how much the starters play on both sides of the ball, it will interesting to see how much progress the lines have made a year after the Falcons got pushed around at the line of scrimmage. The Falcons have gotten plenty physical in practice against each other and had a taste of going against competition during a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans. Now they have to show they can do it in a game situation. Keep an eye on first-round draft pick Jake Matthews, particularly if the right tackle gets a chance to work a little longer than the other starters. And also watch second-round pick Ra'Shede Hageman and what kind of push he gets up front on the defensive line.

2. In the running: Veteran Steven Jackson probably wouldn't have played much anyway if healthy, but a left hamstring injury will keep him out of action. That means Jacquizz Rodgers is likely to start, and it remains unclear how long the starters will play. So rookie Devonta Freeman should get plenty of touches against his hometown team. Freeman already showed he can take contact and catch out of the backfield. Now he has to show the ability to pick up the blitz in a live situation. And don't forget about Antone Smith and Josh Vaughan; they'll get a few chances to state their cases, too.

3. Rush hour: It remains unclear exactly where the Falcons stand with developing their pass rush. There have been a few flashes in practice, but nothing outstanding. This would be an ideal time for rookie outside linebackers Tyler Starr and Jacques Smith to show what they bring as pass-rushers. Second-year player Stansly Maponga has had trouble with technique during training camp, but outside linebackers coach Mark Collins continues to express faith in him. Let's see which of three gets a sack first.

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