Jump to content

Falcons Off Season News


Recommended Posts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 133
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 2 weeks later...

Falcons president wants to see throwback uniforms at new stadium in 2017


9:55 AM ET
  • mcclure_vaughn_m.jpg&w=80&h=80&scale=cro
    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay doesn't anticipate a new uniform or logo change for the team when it moves into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017, but McKay would like to see the throwback uniforms dusted off a couple of times a year.

McKay brought up the topic after the media toured the $1.5 billion venue Thursday."We've worn throwbacks for a number of years, (but) when we weren't allowed to wear the red helmets (2013), then we have not worn throwbacks (since then)," McKay explained. "We're going to go back and find ways and put our throwbacks on. As you've seen them potentially with the black helmet, we're going to try and get that back in our routine."

So does that mean the possibility of all-black uniforms?

"We haven't decided yet," McKay said. "We have many options. We can go black with white pants. We can do whatever. But we'll go back and we'll use the old logo. We like to celebrate history. And our players like it."

McKay sees it as a positive way to appeal to the players and fans heading into the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"Absolutely," McKay said. "I love the old '66 ones we wore with the red helmet. I thought that was a really cool look. But I think anytime you wear a throwback, it just brings back ... you've got a lot of your fan base that you know, those were their teams. We want to honor those teams. One way to do it is to wear their uniforms. I like it. I like the concept."

During the Falcons' inaugural season in 1966, they wore black jerseys with white numbers and red trim at home with a white Falcon crest on the sleeves with the red helmets and white pants.

A new logo was introduced during the 2003 season. The all-black uniforms with the new logo were worn between 2003 and 2008. Then the red jerseys became the preferred home jerseys in 2004, while black became the third alternate jersey.

In 2009, the Falcons unveiled the throwback 1966 uniforms in Week 2 against Carolina in honor of franchise's first team. They went 2-0 in those uniforms that season, defeating the Panthers (28-20) and Buccaneers (20-17) at the Georgia Dome.

Then in 2013, the NFL established a rule that required teams to wear the normal helmet along with the throwback uniforms, thus keeping the Falcons from wearing the throwback red helmet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NFC South Q&A: Will Julio Jones be the first to crack 2,000 receiving yards?

Today's question: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones had the second-highest single-season receiving yardage total in NFL history last season, compiling 1,871 yards. The NFL record is 1,964 by the now-retired Calvin Johnson. Going into 2016, the additions of Mohamed Sanu and rookie tight endAustin Hooper, along with the growth of second-year receiver Justin Hardy, could create more one-on-one matchups for Jones. Will Jones be the first receiver in NFL history to reach the 2,000-yard mark? If not, who will it be?

Jenna Laine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter: It's crazy to think that Jones had that type of production despite a bit of an adjustment year in Kyle Shanahan's offense. I'd chalk that up to the Falcons not having a whole lot of other options at receiver. Another season in that system should help, especially in the red zone, and so should the emergence of Devonta Freeman, who rushed for 1,061 yards last season, which will keep defenses honest if the ground game can remain consistent. If Jones doesn't reach that mark, I think the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown could. Brown finished with 1,834 receiving yards last season and has gained 1,499 or more the past three seasons. He had the same number of regular-season catches as Jones last year (136) with fewer targets (195 to Jones' 204). Aside from sheer production, he's just so hard to cover.

David Newton, Carolina Panthers reporter: That's a pretty tall order, so I'll go with no. Make that heck, no. Now if anybody could do it, Jones would be my pick -- if he played for New England or possibly even Carolina. The Atlanta offensive line doesn't give Matt Ryan time to get Jones the ball enough for 2,000 yards. And the new offensive scheme doesn't promote throwing it enough times for Jones to get that many yards. Of course, the defenses in the NFC South are pretty bad, outside of Carolina's, so Jones will have opportunities to rack up big numbers. But 2,000 yards doesn't seem realistic for any receiver, even in this pass-happy age.

Mike Triplett, New Orleans Saints reporter: That record is going down. Maybe not this year, but it will happen more sooner than later, the way the NFL keeps airing it out. Jones wasn't alone last year, with Antonio Brown racking up 1,834 yards for fourth place in NFL history. Of the two, I would probably bet on Brown getting to 2,000 first because the Steelers have more options for defenses to worry about, and I think Brown is a safer bet for a higher volume of catches. But Jones has obviously proved he can thrive, even when he's double-teamed. And he has the best size-speed combination of any receiver in the NFL right now. If I were drafting a team from scratch for the 2016 season, Jones would be the first receiver off my board.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Falcons DC: Keanu Neal is going to be a 'pretty special'

  • 0ap1000000236552.jpg
  • By Kevin Patra
  • Around the NFL writer
  • Published: July 5, 2016 at 10:33 a.m.
  • Updated: July 5, 2016 at 03:08 p.m.

Some Atlanta Falcons fans were not thrilled when the team made safety Keanu Neal a first-round pick at No. 17. But the rookie has impressed the coaching staff during offseason workouts.

"I'll tell you what, I've been very impressed with (Neal)," defensive coordinator Richard Smith said, via the team's official website. "He's extremely focused, he's very mature, he's very, very talented. I love his demeanor and his work ethic. He's the first one in the building trying to get more coaching; he wants to be coached so much. I think he's going to be pretty special.

PIRATED VIDEO IS ILLEGAL the Amazon Original Series "All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals" on Prime Video. 

"We can bring him on pressures, we can drop him into coverage, he can man up -- so it's a really good addition. More importantly, I love his maturity and how important it is to him as a young guy."

The Falcons needed an upgrade at safety and Neal should slide into the strong safety spot from Day 1. The hard-hitting defensive back was compared to Kam Chancellor during the draft process. Since being drafted by Dan Quinn, that comparison has only grown. If Neal comes close to proving that evaluation true, he'll be plenty worth a mid-first round pick.

The biggest concern for Neal will be how he plays in space. There was concern he would get lost in coverages while at Florida. But the Falcons' run defense should immediately improve with Neal at the strong safety spot.

Atlanta's defense largely lacked toughness and explosive playmaking last season. Neal is one of several rookies, along with linebackers De'Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones, who should immediately contribute and add physicality in Quinn's second season at the helm. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just some opinions about TRU from around the NFC South.  I agree with there assessments.  


NFC South Q&A: With Josh Norman gone, is Desmond Trufant division's best CB?


  • Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

Today's question: Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant made his first Pro Bowl last season, and the 2013 first-round draft pick out of Washington firmly believes he should be considered among the elite corners in the league. As he approaches his fourth NFL season, Trufant hopes to elevate his play to another level. With Josh Norman moving on from Carolina to Washington, is Trufant hands down the top cornerback in the NFC South?

David Newton, Carolina Panthers reporter: Not just the top corner in the NFC South, but the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks have completed below 60 percent of their passes against Trufant the past three years. If he had a better pass rush in front of him that number would be lower, and he'd probably have more plays on the ball. According to Pro Football Focus, no cornerback was targeted less in 2015 than Trufant. That speaks to what quarterbacks think of the 2013 first-rounder. As the Atlanta defense improves, and I believe it will, Trufant will rise in stature just as Norman did at Carolina.

Jenna Laine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter: I'd say so, and the numbers don't lie. If you look at last season, Trufant got the type of treatment typically reserved for elite cornerbacks like Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman-- his side of the field was basically ignored. Trufant played 979 total snaps in 2015, yet was targeted ony 56 times, the NFL's lowest among CBs who played at least 75 percent of their team's defensive snaps (per the Falcons' media relations department). I don't think he's in Revis' or Sherman's league yet, but he's blossoming into a nice lockdown corner.

Mike Triplett, New Orleans Saints reporter: The Saints have two really underrated corners in Keenan Lewis, who was playing at a Pro Bowl-level before he suffered a hip injury last summer, and Delvin Breaux, who had a breakout year in 2015. And Tampa just signed Brent Grimes, who is the most accomplished corner in the division. But I don't think any of them top Trufant right now, since he is entering his prime and really does seem to have the talent to be one of the league's premier corners. I asked Drew Brees about Trufant, and it's clear that the young rival has made an impression on him. "I think he's an extremely good player," Brees said. "I think he is as quick and athletic and fast as any corner in the NFL. And you see him play with good body position. You see him decipher things. I've just kind of watched him grow from his rookie year until now. And when you take a guy who has the skill set and then all of a sudden he begins to gain the experience, that's when a guy can become dangerous."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Paul Worrilow will be pressed hard by rookie Deion Jones for starting role

Jul 19, 2016
  • mcclure_vaughn_m.jpg&w=80&h=80&scale=cro
    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

The Atlanta Falcons open training camp on July 28 at their home facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Here's a starting lineup projection:


Quarterback (Matt Ryan): Ryan has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in each of the past five seasons, although he's coming off a poor overall showing in 2015.

Running back (Devonta Freeman): Freeman was a fantasy hero last season while tying for the league lead with 14 total touchdowns en route to the Pro Bowl.

Fullback (Patrick DiMarco): A first-time Pro Bowler last year, DiMarco helped open holes in the run game and also contributed two touchdown catches.

Julio Jones was targeted 204 times last season, which produced 136 receptions and 1,871 yards. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Receiver (Julio Jones): Arguably the best receiver in the league, Jones posted the second-highest, single-season total for receiving yards with 1,871 yards on 136 catches.

Receiver (Mohamed Sanu):Newcomer who spent his first four seasons in Cincinnati, Sanu had a career-high 56 receptions for 790 yards and five touchdowns in 2014.

Tight end (Jacob Tamme):Steady contributor in first season with the Falcons last year, Tamme is coming off a 59-catch season. RookieAustin Hooper could start here depending on personnel grouping.

Left tackle (Jake Matthews):Former first-round draft pick continues to show flashes, but he needs to be consistent and play up to his tremendous potential.

Left guard (Andy Levitre): Veteran acquired in a trade last season got pushed around too much. Levitre had a team-leading 11 penalties last season.

Center (Alex Mack): A three-time Pro Bowler with the Cleveland Browns, Mack brings immediate stability to a position where the Falcons sorely needed help.

Right guard (Chris Chester): Veteran who started every game last season and was unsure about his future after offseason shoulder surgery but is back for another year. Rookie Wes Schweitzer could surpass Chester for the starting job.

Right tackle (Ryan Schraeder): A former undrafted player, Schraeder has evolved into a solid starter who will fight with anyone. Just needs to be consistent.


Defensive end (Derrick Shelby): Newcomer previously with the Miami Dolphins has impressed defensive coordinator Richard Smith with his rushes and ability to stop the run. Shelby's versatility should earn him plenty of reps.

Nose tackle (Grady Jarrett): Although a knee injury limited Jarrett some this offseason, he still possesses outstanding explosiveness and could be a true impact player.

Defensive tackle (Tyson Jackson): The veteran has made the transition from defensive end to defensive tackle and Jackson always contributes strength up front.

Defensive end (Brooks Reeed): The coaches insist there will be a new and improved version of Reed in 2016 after he slimmed down and went through the offseason injury-free. Adrian Clayborn will be counted upon in pass-rush situation, but he is not a run-stuffer.

Linebacker (Vic Beasley): Beasley will transition to the Sam linebacker role but will continue to be an edge rusher in nickel downs coming off a four-sack rookie season.

Linebacker (Paul Worrilow): The team's leading tackler the past three seasons will be pressed hard by rookie Deion Jones and is likely to be replaced by Jones in nickel situations.

Linebacker (De'Vondre Campbell): Rookie might be a key element on defense if he truly can use his speed and length to cover tight ends, as advertised.

Cornerback (Desmond Trufant): Pro Bowl corner has emerged as one of the league's best while continuing to perfect his technique and rely on his speed.

Cornerback (Robert Alford): Alford has gotten plenty of reps covering the slot in preparation for that role in the nickel, with Akeem King, C.J. Goodwin orDeMarcus Van Dyke playing outside until Jalen Collins returns from a four-game suspension.

Strong safety (Keanu Neal): The rookie first-round pick showed more speed than initially expected during offseason workouts. He also possesses great leadership qualities.

Free safety (Ricardo Allen): Converted cornerback evolved into the team's best tackler last season and recorded a team-high three interceptions in 2015.

I want to see Jones at MLB and Clayborn at DE and Jackson at DT is a serious wait and see for me.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Help wanted: Bus drivers needed


By D. Orlando Ledbetter - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Posted: 1:39 p.m. Sunday, July 24, 2016


There are some known commodities for the Atlanta Falcons, who report for training camp on Wednesday.

Matt Ryan is the quarterback. Julio Jones is the No. 1 wide receiver and center Alex Mack will anchor the offensive line.

The Falcons are hopeful that rookie Keanu Neal and second-year linebacker Vic Beasley can become impact players on defense along with cornerback Desmond Trufant, who’s coming off his first Pro Bowl season.

However, if the Falcons are going to improve on their 8-8 record and challenge Carolina in the NFC South, they will need more players to develop and become contributors on the final 53-man roster.

Over the next six weeks of training camp and exhibition games before they open the season against Tampa Bay on Sept. 11 at the Georgia Dome, the Falcons are looking for more players to step forward.

Defensive back Corey Ivy, an undrafted 5-foot-8 cornerback, was a bus driver for Morris back in 2001. He made the team and went on to play nine years in the NFL.

“The bus is always driven by a guy like Corey Ivy or a young guy,” Morris said. “Now, it’s being driven by a young guy like (wide receiver) Justin Hardy, who’s in his second year and moving up.”

Hardy impressed the coaching staff with how he learned how to read the playbook and with his play on special teams last season. He was fearless and willing to hit.

The Falcons are expecting him to contribute on special teams and add some quality depth behind Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

There are several other bus driving candidates on the training camp roster.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn wants Beasley, cornerback Jalen Collins, running back Tevin Coleman, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and free safety Robenson Therezie to slide from being role players to becoming major contributors.

Last season, Therezie and running back Terron Ward made the opening day 53-man roster as undrafted rookies. Defensive tackle Joey Mbu, another undrafted prospect made the practice squad and was promoted to the roster on Dec. 11.

Also, wide receiver Nick Williams and linebacker Allen Bradford made the roster as veteran longshots.

Wide receiver J.D. McKissic, an undrafted rookie from Arkansas State made an impression on Morris over the offseason.

“He has gotten here and worked as hard as he can,” Morris said. “He has had his ups and his downs like you expect from most rookies. But he has a nice natural learning curve going for himself and he has been able to move to multiple positions.”

Cornerback C.J. Goodwin, a former practice squad player and wide receiver, will be closely watched.

Goodwin, who’s 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, was used in practice at cornerback last season and went against Jones.

“Guarding Julio Jones is not the easiest job on the planet,” Quinn said. “We said, ‘we might have something here.’”

Defensive cordinator Richard Smith spoke highly of linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, who’s set to enter his fifth year in the league. He was signed to a one-year $675,000 deal.

“He’s going to push hard,” Smith said. “Not only is he a really good special teams player, but he’s been making plays on the ball. He’s really impressed me.”

The Falcons believe that linebacker Ivan McLennan, an undrafted rookie from Washington State, has some pass-rush ability. The coaches are looking forward to evaluating him in the exhibition games.

Defensive back Brian Poole played in 49 career games for Florida and made 120 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions.

“We want to go out there and out-run people and out-hit people,” Morris said. “We want to go out there and out-compete people.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Free-agent O'Brien Schofield could return to Falcons


Falcons' goal is potent combo of Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman


Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons have added WR Corey Robinson and TE Arthur Lynch, who played at Georgia. Robinson last played with the Lions and was a preseason standout with the Giants in 2014. Lynch was a fifth round pick of the Miami Dolphins. Falcons first training camp practice is Thursday morning. Entered the day with three roster spots. Added two players and lost one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...