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blkbigdog35

Falcons In-Season News

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Falcons' Dan Quinn says Dwight Freeney coming to rush, not coach

2:59 PM ET
  • mcclure_vaughn_m.jpg&w=80&h=80&scale=cro
    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the addition of 36-year-old Dwight Freeney is about enhancing the pass rush and not necessarily related to mentoring young pass-rushers such as Vic Beasley Jr.

"That certainly wasn’t the case, to bring him in to mentor," Quinn said. "But what I can tell you is this: Any time a guy has had really good success, there’s things to gain from that. And some of that’s coming from the younger player asking those questions, too. ... But we didn’t bring him here to coach. We brought him here to rush."

Freeney, who has 119.5 career sacks and 47 forced fumbles, will receive $2 million up front and possibly another $2 million based on sacks, according to ESPN’s Ed Werner. Last year with Arizona, the seven-time Pro Bowler registered eight sacks and three forced fumbles in 11 games, including three sacks of Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. He played 245 defensive snaps.

Quinn said it was too early to say how many snaps Freeney might play, adding it will depend on the opponent. The Falcons will face the top two quarterbacks in pass attempts from last season in San Diego’s Philip Rivers (661) and New Orleans’ Drew Brees (627), although Brees tends to get the ball out quickly. Expect to see a lot of Freeney in those two games, among others.

"For us, the role that we’ll see him and that I’ve explained to him is he’s going to be one of our nickel rushers," Quinn said. "That’s the role that we’ll feature him and add him as part of the team. And that’s what he and I discussed and that’s the area that I’m going to put the most focus on."

The attention Freeney is likely to draw with his speed rush and spin move could free up one-on-on opportunities for others. The Falcons had a league-low 19 sacks last season, led by Beasley with four. The low sacks numbers contributed to the Falcons ranking 27th in the league in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 43 percent of the time.

Beasley, who showed flashes of his playmaking ability during Wednesday’s practice, talked about the addition of Freeney.

"Yeah, I’m looking forward to it," Beasley said. "He’s a great a pass-rusher and he’s been playing in the league for quite a number of years. It will be great for me to be able to learn from him."

Added defensive end Adrian Clayborn: "It’s Dwight Freeney, so it’s going to do nothing but make us better. It’s going to be interesting to see where he fits at. And it’s going to be a good thing because we need it, obviously. We were last in the league last year. Freeney only makes us better."

Quinn said Freeney will fly in Thursday and go through a physical.

"And then we’ll start getting him acclimated into the system, starting really from Friday, Saturday, Sunday and into next week," Quinn said.

The Falcons have a Friday night practice and then Saturday off. Their first preseason game is next Thursday night against the Washington Redskins at the Georgia Dome.

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Veteran Dwight Freeney ready to help Falcons turn corner

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Dwight Freeney, the 36-year-old pass-rusher who just signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, arrived in Atlanta on Thursday and brought a sense of humor with him.

"I love the game and I love to play," Freeney said. "I'm one of those guys you're going to have to pull me off the field. ... So if it's 18 snaps, then it's 18 snaps. If it's 30 snaps, it's 30 snaps. If it's 45, 50, they're going to have to get me an IV, but I'll still go out there and then still play."

The Falcons need Freeney to help inject life into a listless pass rush, one that resulted in a league-low 19 sacks last season. Freeney has 119.5 sacks, including eight in 11 games with the Arizona Cardinals last season. He'll be a nickel rusher for the Falcons, not a guy asked to drop into coverage.

"I'm excited," Freeney said. "This (Falcons) team that, for the last few years now, I've always looked at this team as having a lot of potential to do some great things. They have a lot of talent, definitely offensively. And then defensively, we're getting it together now. I know I wanted to come here because I see possibilities are endless, especially having a coach like (Dan) Quinn. He has the right attitude, a standup guy. I'm just here just to help turn that corner; one more piece to help this team win."

Freeney is eager to help some of the young players such as Vic Beasley Jr. develop, as well as show the world he still has "a lot left" to be a difference-maker on defense. He aims to bring leadership to a defense which could have as many as three rookie starters -- strong safety Keanu Neal and linebackers De'Vondre Campbell and Deion Jones.

"You know, it's just being able to help some young guys maybe avoid some of the issues or help them grow as a player," he said.

This will be Freeney's 15th NFL season. The seven-time Pro Bowl and former first-round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts even has a little gray in his beard now.

"I've got to color that out," Freeney said with a laugh "It goes by so fast. You never think about it too often, but when you sit back and think, you know 15 years playing in this league, that's a long time. I've been very blessed. I've been a part of some great organizations.

"I still love the game. I talked to the Hall of Famer Howie Long and he said, 'Look, play as long as you can if you still love it, because when it's over, it's over, and it's done,'" Freeney said. "I said, 'Why not? I'll give it another try.'"

It was somewhat of a surprise to see Freeney sign now, considering he joined the Cardinals in Week 6 of last season. Now, he'll have to go through the grind of training camp.

"I tried to hold out as long as I could," Freeney said. "I'm like, 'Man, camp, I'm not looking forward to that. It's hot and the heat. Who wants to go to another camp?' But you know what? It's a blessing honestly, just to be playing, doing something like this, playing a kid's game. And it's still playing the game that I love 15 years. ... Overall, if I have to come a little bit early, I'm sure they'll take care of me."

 

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WTF I hate this dude!!!!!!!

 

Falcons sign a former rival in receiver Lance Moore

http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/21572/falcons-sign-a-former-rival-saint-in-receiver-lance-moore

  • Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

The Atlanta Falcons signed a former member of their bitter rival Friday.

Lance Moore, who had his best years with the New Orleans Saints, was added to the Falcons' roster Friday. His arrival coincided with the release of wide receiverChris King. The team also signed linebacker Dominique Tovell a day after cutting linebacker Torrey Green amid a sexual assault investigation.

Moore, who turns 33 at the end of the month, is a former undrafted player from Toledo. He has primarily played the "Z" and slot receiver spots throughout his career.

In nine seasons in New Orleans, Moore put up solid numbers, including 1,041 receiving yards on 65 catches with six touchdowns in 2012. He played for theDetroit Lions last season and had 29 catches for 337 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games, including eight starts.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn continues to emphasize making roster battles a competitive situation. We'll see how Moore fares throughout the rest of the preseason. The Falcons, of course, have one of the best receivers in the game inJulio Jones. Also in the group is newly signed Mohamed Sanu, emerging second-year player Justin Hardy, deep threat Aldrick Robinson, savvy veteranEric Weems and rookie Devin Fuller, who has been a pleasant surprise.

Moore also has been a kickoff and punt returner throughout the course of his career, although not really recently. He ranks among the top five receivers in Saints history in receptions (346) and touchdown catches (38) to go along with 4,281 yards. Moore also was the Saints' Man of the Year in 2012 for his off-the-field work.

 

Did I say I hate this dude!!!!! :rant:

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Devonta Freeman will keep momentum despite sharing load

 

Kevin Seifert

ESPN.com | 10:47 AM ET


 

A look at how Atlanta Falcons' running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will fare this season, with Coleman expected to take some of the load off Freeman.

Freeman

243.1 carries, 969.8 rushing yards, 6.9 rushing TDs, 2.3 TD receptions

Over or under: I'll go under on the yards just because the Falcons are intent on taking some of the load off Freeman with speedy tag-team partner Coleman. There's always a chance they could combine for 1,000 yards, like Carolina's DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart back in the day. But the Falcons also could have a dynamic passing game with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. I'm going to say Freeman scores 10 or more rushing touchdowns for this reason: During the first preseason game, Coleman ran the ball 10 yards down to the 2-yard line, then the Falcons put Freeman in the game at the goal line. That could be a pattern. And lastly, the mismatches Freeman can create in the passing game makes him a candidate for more than three touchdown receptions, so I'll go over.

Coleman

493.5 yards, 3.7 rushing TDs, 0.6 touchdown reception

Over or under: Of course, I'll go over on the yards, because the Falcons plan to utilize Coleman more and he's capable of taking it to the house with every touch. If he remains healthy and overcomes his fumbling issues, I could see Coleman averaging better than 5.0 yards per carry. With the rushing touchdowns, I'm going to say over, maybe five or six. I could see Coleman scoring on touchdowns of 20-plus yards with his explosive ability and a better line in front of him, led by three-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack. Maybe two touchdown receptions for Coleman since he has worked on his hands and seems to be a lot better catching the ball out of the backfield. Another go-route option. Coleman might also put up some points if he evolves as the team's primary kickoff returner.

Who else could see time: Pro Bowl fullback Patrick DiMarco might sneak a touchdown or two in there as a forgotten man. He had two touchdown receptions in one game last season.

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Dan Quinn lets Falcons get their kicks to end practice

 

Vaughn McClure

ESPN.com | 5:52 PM ET


 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The three horns sounded signifying the end of Monday's practice, but Mohamed Sanu wasn't done quite yet.

The Atlanta Falcons wide receiver took three steps back, shifted his hips, wiped his brow, then moved two steps forward and delivered a powerful, right-footed kick.

The ball sailed high through the uprights to a chorus of roars from Sanu's teammates.

His extra-point conversion at the end of practice came after a failed first attempt which was nullified as a result of a timeout. Still, seeing Sanu boot the 33-yarder might have inspired sidelined veteran kick Matt Bryant to return from his injury sooner than later.

OK, that's a stretch, but at least the Falcons had fun with it.

Such is the approach Falcons coach Dan Quinn takes with his team: building a competitive atmosphere while keeping things fun to establish unity. Other than Sanu's kick, the Falcons challenged 6-foot-3-inch, 310-pound nose tackle Joey Mbu to drop back and field a punt. His first two attempts were unsuccessful and rather hysterical to watch, but he corralled the third.

"We just like putting guys in random spots when everybody's on it and looking," Quinn said. "Sanu likes to brag about the athlete that he is because he can throw it and kick it. So we said, 'All right. Let's get out here and go.' His receivers saved him. He missed the first one. Somebody said they called a timeout, so he came back and nailed the second one."

To start it all off, the team had assistant equipment manager Kenny Osuwah race equipment intern Izzy Osiah in a 50-yard dash. Osuwah, representing the players, won the race and helped subtract time from the walkthrough. Osiah, representing the coaches, had to carry running back Devonta Freeman's pads off the practice field after losing.

"Even in the equipment room, it's all about competing," Quinn said.

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How would Julio Jones fare in a race against Usain Bolt?

 


AL.com  


 


The final question directed toward Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn during his press conference on Monday at the NFL team's training camp didn't have anything to do with the 23-17 victory over the Washington Redskins in the preseason opener last week or Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns.

Instead, the which Falcon player Quinn would choose to race three-time Olympic 100-meter champion Usain Bolt.

Quinn picked Julio Jones, the former Foley High School and Alabama Crimson Tide standout who is an All-Pro wide receiver for Atlanta.

It wasn't just speed that caused Quinn to pick Jones. The coach also thought the runner needed match Bolt's size. Bolt is unusually tall for a sprinter at 6-foot-5. Jones is 6-3.

So how would Jones fare in a race against the "Fastest Man on Earth," who on Sunday became the first runner to win the 100-meter dash in three consecutive Olympics?

Jones ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011 despite have an injured foot.

Bolt won the 100-meter gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 9.81 seconds.

The Falcons pegged Jones' top speed at 22.46 mph. But Bolt was more than 5 mph faster at 27.8 mph.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM'S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OUR NFL PAGE

 

Copyright © 2016 by STATS LLC.All rights reserved.

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Falcons believe Vic Beasley Jr. can shoulder heavier preseason load

9:36 AM ET
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    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

Naturally, there has to be some level of concern for the Atlanta Falconsregarding Vic Beasley Jr's health.

Beasley, the No. 8 pick in the NFL draft in 2015, played with a torn labrum in his right shoulder last season. And now he is recovering from an unrelated sprained AC joint in the same shoulder. The injury occurred last week in practice and led to the outside linebacker missing the second preseason game at Cleveland.

As the Falcons return to practice Sunday, it's fair to wonder if Beasley should rest as much as possible for the rest of the preseason in preparation for the games that count. That doesn't appear to be the plan. In fact, Falcons coach Dan Quinn is confident Beasley will play in Thursday night's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins in Orlando -- the most meaningful preseason game in terms of the starters getting significant playing time.

So why not hold Beasley out and get him fully healthy?

``We're hopeful that the time that we're taking now to get it right and ready will be the case,'' Quinn said, referring to sitting Beasley the last game with the ``minor'' sprain. ``We'll take it through the injury protocol. He'll do the individual work back into play starting on Sunday, in a limited fashion. And then Monday and Tuesday, we'll see where he goes.

``We'll kind of do the normal way we like to bring guys back through -- a part-time practice, then a three-quarters and then all the way back. If he can go through those tests and pass all those, then we feel comfortable about getting ready for the game this week. I'm anticipating that happening, but I don't want to cross that bridge until he kinds of goes through the three days.''

The Falcons expect Beasley to have a significant impact on their pass rush this season despite making the transition from defensive end to strong-side linebacker. He'll still rush off the edge in the nickel package and will likely to be asked to blitz from his Sam linebacker spot. But Beasley himself has emphasized the importance of being more violent with his hands this season, so overcoming his shoulder issues will be a significant element to the equation.

Beasley did not have surgery to fix the torn labrum, saying rehab helped him cope with the pain. He refused to use it as an excuse for a mediocre rookie season.

"No excuses, not at all," Beasley said back in December. "I mean, I had the labrum injury, but I'm a tough guy. I play through pain. It hasn't limited me from anything.''

The latest shoulder injury kept Beasley from suiting up against the Browns last Thursday, but he was feeling better as of Friday. Sprains of the AC joint can lead to four-to-six weeks of missed time if it's serious, or no time missed at all if it's a minor issue. Beasley's injury seems to fall into the latter category so expect to see him back on the field sooner rather than later.

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Julio Jones: Usain Bolt amazing but not football-ready

 

Vaughn McClure

ESPN.com | 9:54 PM ET


 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- It sounded like wrestler Ric Flair was back in the building Monday when Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was asked if he caught Usain Bolt's gold-medal performances at the Rio Olympics.

"Wooo ... wooo," Jones said, marveling at Bolt's blazing speed. "Bolt, he's amazing. Amazing what he can do out there as far as his speed and the length. (He's) 6-5, I think. Those guys, once he opens up, they really don't stand a chance, just how much ground he covers when he gets going. But he's very impressive. Knowing he's going to win, you still watch it. It's exciting, though."

So how would Bolt, with that speed, transition to playing wide receiver in the NFL? The speed probably wouldn't since Bolt doesn't have that quick burst, Jones said.

"You've got to have that burst to get going," Jones said. "Like (U.S. sprinter) Justin Gatlin. Justin Gatlin gets out quick. There's like a bunch of Justin Gatlins in football. They get to that speed quick and they can catch it before you open up. So it would be hard for (Bolt) to really pull away from guys in football."

What about Bolt as a kickoff returner?

"But you've still got to change direction," Jones explained. "You've got to get to a spot, and then you've got to open back up. So it would be difficult for him."

Renaldo Nehemiah, a former world record-holder in the 110-meter hurdles, made the transition to football, playing wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers from 1982-84.

Jones was asked if he could make the transition the other way and, like Bolt, run the 100 meters.

"I could do whatever I put my mind to," Jones said with a smile.

A reporter asked Jones if his estimated 100-meter time would be around 10.5 seconds. Bolt ran a 9.81 in Rio and holds the world record at 9.58 seconds.

"That's something if I train for it, who knows?" Jones said. "That was pretty high though, a 10.5."

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Falcons to hold out Ward, Ishmael against Dolphins

 

By CHARLES ODUM

The Washingtion Times  


 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Running back Terron Ward and safety Kemal Ishmael will miss their second straight preseason game when the Atlanta Falcons play the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

Ward (ankle) and Ishmael (shoulder) ran on the side in Tuesday’s practice. Coach Dan Quinn says each has “a good shot” to return for next week’s final preseason game against Jacksonville.

Ward played in 13 games in 2015.

Ward’s injury has given Brandon Wilds, Gus Johnson and Cyrus Gray more opportunities in the competition for a roster spot at running back behind starter Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Gray had 18 carries for 76 yards in last week’s win at Cleveland.

Linebacker Vic Beasley (shoulder) is returning this week after missing one game.

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Falcons' Vic Beasley Jr. expected to be full-go vs. Dolphins

1:30 PM ET
  • mcclure_vaughn_m.jpg&w=80&h=80&scale=cro
    Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said outside linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., who sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder last week in practice, is expected to be full-go for Thursday night's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.

Beasley, who sat out last week's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, was limited to individual drills during Sunday's practice. On Monday, Beasley participated in 11-on-11 drills.

"We did about 12 to 15 reps, so we anticipate (Beasley) being full for the game," Quinn said following practice.

Vic Beasley should be good to go for Thursday's game against the Dolphins. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

During one period of Monday's practice, the pass-rush group of Beasley,Derrick Shelby, Adrian Clayborn, and Dwight Freeney lined up together for several plays. That's the same group Quinn wants to get a close look at Thursday night.

In other injury news, Quinn said 41-year-old kicker Matt Bryant, who has been sidelined with muscle tightness, won't be available Thursday. Newly-signed veteran Shayne Graham will kick instead. Quinn said Bryant, who dealt with a quad strain last year, doesn't need surgery.

"We're anticipating him kicking Sunday," Quinn said. "After this game, we anticipate him kicking for the Jacksonville game."

The Jaguars are the last of four preseason opponents for the Falcons.

Also ruled out for the Dolphins game along were safety Kemal Ishmael(shoulder) and running back Terron Ward (ankle).

Wide receivers Justin Hardy (ankle) and Jordan Leslie (leg) both got banged up Monday but finished practice.

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Falcons land three players in #NFLRank Top 100

Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports
2:24 PM ET
  • ESPN.com
atl.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=true

Our panel of 50-plus NFL experts picked the greatest 100 players in the NFL headed into the 2016 season for the annual #NFLrank Top 100. The Atlanta Falcons landed three players on the list:

#NFLrank: Players No. 100-51 | No. 50-26 | No. 25-1

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Free-agent safety William Moore wants another shot with Falcons

http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/22077/always-ready-safety-william-moore-wants-falcons-return

  • Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

Free-agent strong safety William Moore, who made one Pro Bowl in seven seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, said he hopes to generate interest from his old team following an injury to rookie Keanu Neal.

"Absolutely I’d come back," Moore told ESPN. "It’s home."

The Falcons need help at strong safety after Neal, this year’s first-round pick, went down with a right knee injury during Thursday night’s 17-6 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins. Neal will have arthroscopic surgery Monday and will miss the season opener against Tampa Bay. Plus Neal’s backup, Kemal Ishmael, is currently out with a shoulder injury, leaving the Falcons thin at the position.Sergio Brown is next on the depth chart.

"I just stay ready," the 31-year-old Moore said. "This is my first time going through this process. Everything happens for a reason, but nothing has changed for me.

"My health is great. I haven’t had absolutely any issues working out and staying in shape. You look at my past injuries, it’s ankles and stuff that heal up. I’m blessed that I’ve never had any serious issues like blown knees."

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Friday that they are not considering Moore at this time.

Moore, a second-round pick of the Falcons in 2009 out of Missouri, didn’t fit well in Quinn’s scheme with his sometimes reckless playing style. But the big-hitter vowed to alter his approach if given another opportunity.

"He’s an awesome coach," Moore said of Quinn. "I absolutely loved playing for him, the short time I did have with him."

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Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said in a conference call today that rookie strong safety Keanu Neal missing the first three regular season games vs. Tampa Bay, Oakland, and New Orleans would be the worst-case scenario, and he's hopeful Neal will miss just two once the first-round pick undergoes a right knee scope Monday. Quinn optimistic about Kemal Ishmael returning from a shoulder injury to replace Neal.

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3h

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15 hours ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said in a conference call today that rookie strong safety Keanu Neal missing the first three regular season games vs. Tampa Bay, Oakland, and New Orleans would be the worst-case scenario, and he's hopeful Neal will miss just two once the first-round pick undergoes a right knee scope Monday. Quinn optimistic about Kemal Ishmael returning from a shoulder injury to replace Neal.

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3h

I have confidence in Ishmael 

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Just now, WhenFalconsWin said:

I think the team is done with Moore according to Quinn?

Whitner worked out for the panthers two days ago. Im sure they are probably going to look at some camp casualties.

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1 minute ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Whitner worked out for the panthers two days ago. Im sure they are probably going to look at some camp casualties.

Yes, more than likely.  

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1 hour ago, WhenFalconsWin said:

Yes, more than likely.  

Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer 

Can now confirm that the Falcons are bringing in veteran safety Dashon Goldson for a visit today, as NFL Network first reported. Goldson last with Redskins after stint with Bucs and 49ers. Falcons looking for help with first rounder Keanu Neal set to undergo knee scope Monday. Kemal Ishmael's progress from shoulder injury might indicate if Falcons turn to veteran such as Goldson.

Damm pretty quick huh??

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2 minutes ago, blkbigdog35 said:

Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer 

Can now confirm that the Falcons are bringing in veteran safety Dashon Goldson for a visit today, as NFL Network first reported. Goldson last with Redskins after stint with Bucs and 49ers. Falcons looking for help with first rounder Keanu Neal set to undergo knee scope Monday. Kemal Ishmael's progress from shoulder injury might indicate if Falcons turn to veteran such as Goldson.

Damm pretty quick huh??

For sure...plug the hole

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Falcons lose rookie WR Devin Fuller to IR

 

By Matthew Chambers@FalconsM5 on Aug 30, 2016, 1:05p 105

The Falcoholic  


 

The rookie pass catcher and return specialist is likely done for the season.


Atlanta's seventh round draft pick this year made some flashes during the preseason. He was fighting for snaps from the surprisingly effective Aldrick Robinson and J.D. McKissic. Instead of a tough roster battle, Fuller will be stashed on injured reserve.

Fuller hurt his shoulder against the Miami Dolphins. Coach Quinn said they were waiting on a second opinion before making a move, so it looks like the second opinion was not great. No word if he is undergoing surgery.

On the positive side, the Falcons can hold onto Fuller and give him another offseason to get up to NFL speed. Shoulder injuries don't typically hobble non-Vic Beasley players for very long, so there is no long-term concerns. The team can hold onto a few other wide receiver/special team-type players like McKissic.

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