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Atlanta Falcons


Freeney to become unrestricted free agent

Former Falcons defensive end Dwight Freeney is set to enter free agency again. Freeney, 37, wants to play a 16th season in the NFL, according to a USA Today sports report, which cites an unnamed source. Freeney played 415 defensive snaps (37.4 percent) for the Falcons last season and had three sacks in the season and one in the playoffs. He was credited with helping to develop second-year outside...

Falcons’ official 2017 draft order with no compensatory picks

Falcons’ official 2017 draft order with no compensatory picks

Keanu Neal was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Falcons. (Getty Images) FLOWERY BRANCH – Last season the Falcons landed three defensive starters and their tight end of the future in the first four rounds of the draft.
Collective Soul’s Ed Roland on music, sports and Super Bowl pain

Collective Soul’s Ed Roland on music, sports and Super Bowl pain

Georgia native Ed Roland, the long-time lead vocalist and songwriter for Collective Soul and the Sweat Tea Project, suffers with you.
NFL combine invitee: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (Gainesville High)

NFL combine invitee: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (Gainesville High)

September 22, 2016 Atlanta – Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before their game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, September 22, 2016.
NFL combine invitee: Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama (Henry County)

NFL combine invitee: Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama (Henry County)

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Presscott (15) being tackled by Alabama’s Dalvin Tomlinson (54) and linebacker Rashaan Evans (32) in a Nov.
Vote: Who stays or goes on Falcons’ offense

Vote: Who stays or goes on Falcons’ offense

The Atlanta Falcons reached the 2017 Super Bowl with a roster that included an offensive line that remained intact through the entire regular season. With free agency and the NFL Draft approaching the team has decisions to make on a number of free agents and underperforming players. Look through the 2016 Super Bowl Atlanta Falcons' offensive roster and decide on whether the player should stay or go...
Vote: Who stays or goes on Falcons’ defense

Vote: Who stays or goes on Falcons’ defense

The Atlanta Falcons reached the 2017 Super Bowl with a roster that included a defense that included three rookie starters. With free agency and the NFL Draft approaching the team has decisions to make on a number of free agents and underperforming players. Look through the 2016 Super Bowl Atlanta Falcons' offensive roster and decide on whether the player should stay or go.  See how your answers ...
NFL combine invitee: Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee (Jonesboro High)

NFL combine invitee: Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee (Jonesboro High)

Cameron Sutton suffered a fractured right ankle last season. (Mark Humphrey/Associated Press) FLOWERY BRANCH — We are powering through the list of 330 players invited to the NFL scouting combine.
Matt Harpring part of latest Georgia Sports Hall of Fame class

Matt Harpring part of latest Georgia Sports Hall of Fame class

Former Georgia Tech basketball player Matt Harpring will be inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday night in Macon. “It’s a big honor. It’s something that I never thought I’d get when I was in high school or college,” Harpring said about being inducted. “It’s something that goes along with the top things in my life that will never be forgotten...
Georgia Dome down to its final days

Georgia Dome down to its final days

If you want a last look inside the soon-to-be-demolished Georgia Dome, you’ll have to get it this weekend or next.
NFL combine invitee: Jalen Myrick, DB, Minnesota (Savannah Christian Prep)

NFL combine invitee: Jalen Myrick, DB, Minnesota (Savannah Christian Prep)

Minnesota defensive back Jalen Myrick tackling Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones. (Associated Press) FLOWERY BRANCH — We are powering through the list of 330 players invited to the NFL scouting combine.
NFL combine invitee: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State (Liberty County)

NFL combine invitee: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State (Liberty County)

FILE – In this Oct. 4, 2015, file photo, Ohio State’s linebacker Raekwon McMillan, (5), celebrates with teammates after returning an interception for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md.
NFL combine invitee: Corey Levin, OL, Tennessee-Chattanooga (Dacula High)

NFL combine invitee: Corey Levin, OL, Tennessee-Chattanooga (Dacula High)

UTC’s Corey Levin (62), (70) Hunter Towson and (52) Jacob Revis face off against Mercer.Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.
NFL combine invitee: Brandan Langley, CB, Lamar (UGA, Kell High)

NFL combine invitee: Brandan Langley, CB, Lamar (UGA, Kell High)

Lamar University senior corner back Brendan Langley was named American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS All-America.
NFL combine invitee: Bug Howard, TE, North Carolina (Wilcox County)

NFL combine invitee: Bug Howard, TE, North Carolina (Wilcox County)

090316 ATLANTA: Georgia defensive back Malkom Parrish knocks a third down attempt into the endzone away from North Carolina wide receiver Bug Howard preventing a touchdown during the final minute of the second quarter in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Saturday, Sept.
NFL combine invitee: Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville (Lowndes High)

NFL combine invitee: Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville (Lowndes High)

090515 ATLANTA: Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis gets in the endzone past Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons for a 31-10 Auburn lead during the fourth quarter in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Saturday, Sept.
Ex-Tucker standout A.J. Bouye is a top NFL free agent

Ex-Tucker standout A.J. Bouye is a top NFL free agent

Cornerback A.J. Bouye, the classic late-bloomer, is set to become a very rich man in a few weeks. Coming out of Tucker High school in 2010, Bouye had exactly one college scholarship offer. “There were some small schools,” Bouye told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently. “Some small schools. UCF offered me. I know that I talked to West Virginia. They came late or whatever. It...
NFL combine invitee: Antonio Garcia, LT, Troy (Charles R. Drew High)

NFL combine invitee: Antonio Garcia, LT, Troy (Charles R. Drew High)

Troy left tackcle Antonio Garcia (53) blocking against Georgia’s Jordan Jenkins (59) back in 2014.
NFL combine invitee: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson (Grayson High)

NFL combine invitee: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson (Grayson High)

September 22, 2016 Atlanta – Clemson Tigers running back Wayne Gallman (9) eludes a tackle by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive back Corey Griffin (14) in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, September 22, 2016.
NFL combine invitee: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama (Columbia High)

NFL combine invitee: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama (Columbia High)

Gerald Everett, South Alabama.Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports FLOWERY BRANCH — We are powering through the list of 330 players invited to the NFL scouting combine.
NFL combine invitee: Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse (McEachern)

NFL combine invitee: Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse (McEachern)

FILE – In this Sept. 17, 2016 file photo, Syracuse’s Amba Etta-Tawo, center, runs on the field with teammates before an NCAA college football game against South Florida in Syracuse, N.
NFL combine invitee: Dylan Donahue, DE, West Georgia

NFL combine invitee: Dylan Donahue, DE, West Georgia

He also had 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, which was a single season Gulf South Conference sack record.
NFL combine invitee: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida (Camden County)

NFL combine invitee: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida (Camden County)

Leonard Fournette #7 of the LSU Tigers runs pas Jarrad Davis #40 of the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
NFL combine invitee: Chris Carson, RB, Oklahoma State (Parkview High)

NFL combine invitee: Chris Carson, RB, Oklahoma State (Parkview High)

Running back Chris Carson (32) of the Oklahoma State Cowboys drives the ball in for a touchdown in the first half against Iowa State in Nov.
NFL combine invitee: Eric Austell, OL ,Charleston Southern (Macon)

NFL combine invitee: Eric Austell, OL ,Charleston Southern (Macon)

Photo courtesy Shane Roper/CSU Athletics FLOWERY BRANCH — We are powering through the list of 330 players invited to the NFL scouting combine.
A great effort by UGA and Frazier goes for naught

A great effort by UGA and Frazier goes for naught

In a game Georgia absolutely had to win, its best player was lost to a knee injury after 95 seconds. Oh, and Georgia was facing Kentucky. This would seem to meet every definition of “worst-case scenario.” But the Bulldogs nearly won the thing, and no, this isn’t the equivalent of saying the Falcons nearly won the Super Bowl. Georgia fought a superior team to a standstill without...
Report: Falcons to meet with Earl Mitchell

Report: Falcons to meet with Earl Mitchell

Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who was recently cut by the Miami Dolphins, is set to visit the Falcons, according to report by NFL Network. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is pleased with the roster, but this signals that the team is trying to strengthen the defensive front before the combine starts later this month. “I really believe that we don’t have any major holes in this...
Sports biz week: Emptying the Dome; Braves stock surge; UGA project

Sports biz week: Emptying the Dome; Braves stock surge; UGA project

Five things we learned in Atlanta sports business this week: 1. A St. Louis-based company has been hired to liquidate the contents of the soon-to-be-demolished Georgia Dome: seats ($599 per pair), lockers, signs, pieces of artificial turf, furniture from the suites, kitchen equipment, you name it. Schneider Industries has a history of selling contents of abandoned stadiums. The company once auctioned...
How Falcons can build off of breakthrough 2016 season

How Falcons can build off of breakthrough 2016 season

The Falcons reclaimed the NFC South title and became NFC champions for the second time in franchise history last season. The Falcons, calling themselves a Brotherhood, had a major breakthrough in coach Dan Quinn’s second season as head coach before collapsing in the Super Bowl in grand fashion against New England, blowing a 25-point lead. The offense soared to new heights, and the young and...
Unit-by-Unit analysis: Special teams

Unit-by-Unit analysis: Special teams

FEBRUARY 5, 2017 HOUSTON TX Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) kicks the extra points following a score as the Atlanta Falcons meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Unit-by-Unit analysis: Defensive backs

Unit-by-Unit analysis: Defensive backs

Robert Alford (23) celebrates with teammates in the locker room after defeating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta.
Who got invited to the NFL scouting combine? (FULL LIST)

Who got invited to the NFL scouting combine? (FULL LIST)

Arkansas’ Jeremiah Ledbetter (55) and Tevin Beanum (97) celebrate a big play. (Photo: Samantha Baker, AP) FLOWERY BRANCH — Here are 10 players with Georgia connections who have been invited to the combine.
5 things to know about the Falcons on Friday

5 things to know about the Falcons on Friday

February 5, 2017 Houston, TX – Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) instructs in the second half at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Falcons add Charlie Weis Jr. to round out coaching staff

Falcons add Charlie Weis Jr. to round out coaching staff

Bush Hamdan was named the Falcons quarterbacks coach Friday, along with a few other assistants. In addition to Hamdan, the team announced the hiring of Dave Brock as an offensive assistant, Kyle Flood as the assistant offensive line coach and Charlie Jackson as a defensive assistant. The Falcons also announced Justin Outten as an offensive assistant, Jess Simpson as a defensive assistant, and Charlie...
Young returns to coaching after son’s battle with cancer

Young returns to coaching after son’s battle with cancer

Colby Young’s two-year battle with pediatric cancer ended in October. “Colby was a big football fan,” Falcons defensive line coach Bryant Young said of his son who died at the age of 15. “He loved to be around it. My wife (Kristin) and I talked about just what would Colby think about today. He would be so excited to be a Falcon.” Young spent the past two seasons out of...
Matt Ryan relaxing in Mexico with wife and … Matthew Stafford

Matt Ryan relaxing in Mexico with wife and … Matthew Stafford

Even the NFL’s Most Valuable Player needs a little time away with his wife and  ... another NFL quarterback? According to TMZ.com, Falcons QB Matt Ryan is in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with his wife, Sarah, and one of his best buddies, Detroit Lions and former Georgia Bulldogs star Matthew Stafford. Stafford’s wife, Kelly, is pregnant and did not make the trip. Sarah Ryan posted a photo...
Evaluating all of Vic Beasley’s 15.5 sacks in 2016

Evaluating all of Vic Beasley’s 15.5 sacks in 2016

After recording four sacks over 16 games as a rookie, Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley had a breakout season in 2016, leading the NFL in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles (six). The second-year starter was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Clemson. Winner of the Deacon Jones Award for most sacks in a season, Beasley was an anchor in a defense that helped Atlanta win...
Unit-by-Unit analysis: The linebackers

Unit-by-Unit analysis: The linebackers

February 5, 2017 Houston, TX – Atlanta New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gets off a pass under pressure from Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) in the first half at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The defensive line

2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The defensive line

FEBRUARY 5, 2017 HOUSTON TXNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (97) as the Atlanta Falcons meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Clayborn started rehab of torn bicep

Clayborn started rehab of torn bicep

Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn, the team’s second-most effective pass rusher last season, started rehab on his torn bicep on Wednesday. Clayborn, who’s set to enter the last year of a two-year $9 million contract, suffered the torn bicep during the Falcons’ 36-20 victory over the Seahawks the NFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 14. Clayborn missed the remainder of the playoffs...
12 key offseason dates for Atlanta Falcons

12 key offseason dates for Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have begun the process of evaluating talent. Here are the key dates to know about as the team heads into the 2017 offseason. The Falcons have two weeks to decide if they want to use one of the three tag options available to keep a top-tier potential free agent. A tag has to be placed on a player no later than 4 p.m., March 1. The last time the Falcons applied the franchise tag...
Atlanta’s countdown clock to college football title game starts today

Atlanta’s countdown clock to college football title game starts today

Atlanta is on the clock — literally — to host college football’s national title game. A new 50-yard-long digital marquee on the front of the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta will be activated today and, on one end, will count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the city hosts next season’s College Football Playoff championship game Jan. 8, 2018...
5 memorable Atlanta Falcons trades

5 memorable Atlanta Falcons trades

As part of a monthly series of notable sports events from 1992 — a 25th anniversary, if you will — the AJC’s Steve Hummer took a look back at Feb. 11, 1992, when the Falcons traded Brett Favre to the Packers. To go with that, here’s a look at five other memorable trades in Falcons history: The Falcons traded three draft picks to San Diego for the first pick in the 2001...
Twenty-five years ago: Looking back on day Favre got away from Falcons

Twenty-five years ago: Looking back on day Favre got away from Falcons

There being such a noted absence of the Actually Historic Moment, the Falcons’ history instead is dotted with a maddening number of What-If Moments. What if they had run the ball at the end against New England in the Super Bowl? What if Michael Vick hadn’t fallen into the pit of dogfighting? What if Eugene Robinson had stayed in that day in Miami before the Falcons first Super Bowl? What...
2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The offensive line

2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The offensive line

FEBRUARY 5, 2017 HOUSTON TX – Falcons center Alex Mack (51) was playing with a fractured leg. The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New England Patriots in overtime, 34-28, in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, Sunday, February 5, 2017.
2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The tight ends

2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The tight ends

New England Patriots’ Patrick Chung (23) breaks up a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons’ Austin Hooper during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday, Feb.
Cover 9@9: Quinn’s new staff taking shape

Cover 9@9: Quinn’s new staff taking shape

February 1, 2017, Houston: Falcons head coach Dan Quinn holds his press conference during Super Bowl media availability on Wednesday, Feb.
Report: Hamdan to be named Falcons’ QB coach

Report: Hamdan to be named Falcons’ QB coach

Bush Hamdan, a former quarterback at Boise State, is set to be named the Falcons new quarterbacks coach, according to The Sporting News. The team said the move is not official at this time. Hamdan was the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at the University of Washington. He’ll replace Matt LeFleur, who became the Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator and work under new offensive...
Ex-prep coach Simpson makes jump to NFL

Ex-prep coach Simpson makes jump to NFL

While coaching at Marietta High, Dexter Wood spotted the barrel-chested 16-year-old in the hallway and thought he could help the football team. It turned out that Jess Simpson could. “I saw something special in him,” Wood said. Simpson remembers that day fondly. “Dexter said, ‘I know who this is,’” Simpson recalled. “‘This is Jess Simpson, and he&rsquo...
Podcast blog: Roddy White dishes on Falcons, Super Bowl, blackjack

Podcast blog: Roddy White dishes on Falcons, Super Bowl, blackjack

Julio Jones (right) was going to hook up his close friend and former teammate Roddy White with Super Bowl tickets but White stayed back in Las Vegas after a bad night at the blackjack table.
Roddy White sounds off on Super Bowl and lost Las Vegas weekend

Roddy White sounds off on Super Bowl and lost Las Vegas weekend

As historically miserable moments for teams go, the Falcons established a new Atlanta sports low at the recent Super Bowl. As historically miserable moments for fans go, Roddy White also reached a new bottom the same weekend. The team’s former All-Pro wide receiver and recent NFL retiree traveled from his Atlanta area home to Las Vegas for what would be the start of a dream weekend: Living large...
2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The wide receivers

2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The wide receivers

Here’s Falcons receiver Julio Jones’ spectacular catch that nearly saved the Falcons from their Super Bowl collapse.
Atlanta United player Twitter handles

Atlanta United player Twitter handles

To help you, the Atlanta United supporters, here is the roster as of Feb. 14, with each player’s twitter handle. Handles which aren’t verified, or haven’t been used in a while, weren’t included. My twitter handle is @DougRobersonAJC Atlanta United’s is @ATLUTD - Roster Position: Midfielder Home: Asuncion, Paraguay Age: 22 Twitter: N/A - Position: Left fullback...
How the Georgia Dome will be emptied and liquidated

How the Georgia Dome will be emptied and liquidated

The company hired to liquidate the contents of the soon-to-be-demolished Georgia Dome once auctioned off a urinal from the St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouse to a baseball fan for about $2,500. “So don’t be surprised,” Schneider Industries chief operating officer Dan Rosenthal said with a laugh, if the company tries to sell a Dome urinal or two to Falcons fans. The St. Louis-based...
15 players with Georgia ties invited to NFL combine

15 players with Georgia ties invited to NFL combine

Prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft will head to Indianapolis for the weeklong NFL Combine, starting Feb. 28 to March 6, 2017.
2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The running backs

2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The running backs

Atlanta Falcons’ Devonta Freeman dives in the end zone after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb.
Ex-Buford coach Simpson leaving Ga. State to join Falcons

Ex-Buford coach Simpson leaving Ga. State to join Falcons

Jess Simpson’s tenure at Georgia State was very short-lived. The former Buford High School head coach, who was hired by new Panthers head coach Shawn Elliott in December, is now leaving the Panthers to join Dan Quinn’s staff with the Atlanta Falcons. Terms of the deal are being finalized. Simpson was part of 10 of Buford’s 11 state championships. His record at the high school was...
Jess Simpson to join Falcons’ coaching staff

Jess Simpson to join Falcons’ coaching staff

Buford head coach Jess Simpson argues with a referee during the second half against McEachern at Walter H.
Youthful Falcons defense expects big leap in 2017

Youthful Falcons defense expects big leap in 2017

In the end, the Super Bowl revealed what had been evident for much of the 2016 season when Falcons faced opponents with elite offenses. The Falcons were better on defense but not good enough. Questionable strategy and poor offensive execution played a part in why the Falcons couldn’t stop the Patriots late. Those are reasons why the defense was on the field for 93 plays and, according to coach...
Former defensive coordinator Smith lands with Chargers

Former defensive coordinator Smith lands with Chargers

Former Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith was named linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday. Smith, who was with the Falcons for two seasons, was fired after Super Bowl LI. However, the Falcons contended that his departure was not related to the defense blowing a 25-point lead while playing 95 defensive snaps, including the two two-point conversion attempts. After the bye...
6 semi-hidden keys to the Falcons’ Super collapse

6 semi-hidden keys to the Falcons’ Super collapse

This concerns the Falcons losing the Super Bowl, about which some of you have read too much and might well be saying, “Would you please move on?” Maybe someday I will. But this was a collapse the likes of which the NFL had never seen perpetrated by the team based in our city, and it happened only nine days ago. And I have, I confess, lain awake every night since asking myself, “How...
How might Falcons’ offense look different under Sarkisian?

How might Falcons’ offense look different under Sarkisian?

Steve Sarkisian said he’s not looking to make big changes to the Falcons’ offense. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) Steve Sarkisian said he’s “an aggressive play-caller by nature,” and I can almost hear the cringing by Falcons faithful still stung by the Super Bowl.
Falcons sign seven players for roster depth

Falcons sign seven players for roster depth

The Falcons have signed seven players to either the practice squad or free agent contracts last week. Guard Blake Muir (Baylor) was signed to the practice squad on Friday. The practice squad currently includes running back Jhurell Pressley, quarterback Matt Simms and cornerback Ryan White. Tackle Carter Bykowski (Iowa State), wide receiver B.J. Daniels (South Florida), tackle Kevin Graf (Southern...
2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The quarterbacks

2016 unit-by-unit analysis: The quarterbacks

CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 24: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball against the Carolina Panthers in the 3rd quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
5 things to know about the Falcons on Monday

5 things to know about the Falcons on Monday

February 1, 2017, Houston: Falcons head coach Dan Quinn holds his press conference during Super Bowl media availability on Wednesday, Feb.
Dimitroff: ‘We don’t have any major holes in this roster’

Dimitroff: ‘We don’t have any major holes in this roster’

In the post-Super Bowl aftermath, the Falcons must pick up the pieces and move on to free agency and then the NFL draft. The team’s No. 1 offseason priority is reaching a long-term deal with veteran cornerback and two-time Pro Bowler Desmond Trufant. “He’s a very valuable asset to this team,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We are going to get him signed...

In a way, Falcons really did win

Now that time has begun to heal the wounded hearts – and pride – of Atlanta Falcons fans, we can state what might not have been received well last week, if received at all. Which is that, where it perhaps counts the most, the Falcons really did win. Yes, you read that right. The team handily scored everywhere outside of Houston’s NRG Stadium. So how did the team and its corps of...
Julia Emmons ready for induction into Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame

Julia Emmons ready for induction into Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame

A former executive director of the Atlanta Track Club, Julia Emmons will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017 on Feb. 17. “I’ve never been in a hall of fame where an Atlanta Falcons football player is one of my fellow inductees or nationally known sports commentators, so it’s a great thrill,” Emmons said on being inducted. “I feel slightly out...
One thing worth remembering: Julio Jones’s Super catches

One thing worth remembering: Julio Jones’s Super catches

We’ve had several days to mourn the loss to the Patriots so maybe it is time to focus on some positives in the Super Bowl. The biggest may have been Falcons receiver Julio Jones’ spectacular play.
Morris gets passing game duties on offense

Morris gets passing game duties on offense

Raheem Morris was named wide receivers/passing game coordinator/assistant head coach Friday. Morris, who is entering his 15th season in the NFL and his third with the Falcons, was the assistant head coach/wide receivers last season. In his first season, he was assistant head coach/passing-game coordinator on defense. He’s getting added responsibilities on the offense, with Steve Sarkisian being...
Are Atlanta teams really and truly cursed?

Are Atlanta teams really and truly cursed?

This much I know: When Kyle Shanahan called a pass on second-and-11 at the New England 23, the Falcons’ then-offensive coordinator did not think, “This will be just like Mark Wohlers throwing his third-best pitch to Jim Leyritz!” One had nothing to do with the other, except that both involved Atlanta teams playing for championships and, to be blunt, blowing the un-blowable game....
Falcons had a penchant for blowing fourth-quarter leads in 2016

Falcons had a penchant for blowing fourth-quarter leads in 2016

February 5, 2017 Houston, TX – Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) instructs in the second half at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Falcons promote Manuel to DC, Young named defensive line coach

Falcons promote Manuel to DC, Young named defensive line coach

Marquand Manuel, who served as the secondary/senior defensive assistant for the past two seasons, was promoted by the Falcons to defensive coordinator to replace Richard Smith on Friday. Former NFL standout Bryant Young will become the defensive line coach, and Doug Mallory, who was the assistant defensive backs coach, will replace Manuel. Jerome Henderson, who was the passing game coordinator for...
ESPN says the Falcons will bump Manuel to DC, but does it matter?

ESPN says the Falcons will bump Manuel to DC, but does it matter?

Before the fall. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo) According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to name secondary coach Marquand Manuel their defensive coordinator.
Matt Ryan encourages Atlanta to cheer ... cheer every team

Matt Ryan encourages Atlanta to cheer ... cheer every team

A few days ago, the league MVP told Atlanta Falcons fans his “heart hurt,” following the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. In a new message to fans, Matt Ryan appears ready to move on. In a Twitter video recorded from his Atlanta high-rise, he thanks fans for their support and their cheers. He encourages fans to keep on cheering when the Falcons move to Mercedes-Benz...
5 things to know about the Falcons on Friday

5 things to know about the Falcons on Friday

FLOWERY BRANCH — In the Super Bowl aftermath and coaching changes, the Atlanta Falcons are evaluating the free agency market and the draft class to see how the talent stacks up. The defense has to improve internally and could add some more pieces through the draft. Also, on offense the Falcons need to look at the guard and center positions. Center Alex Mack (31), guard Andy Levitre (turns 31...
Kyle Shanahan: Falcons’ loss 'as hard as anything I’ve gone through'

Kyle Shanahan: Falcons’ loss 'as hard as anything I’ve gone through'

Former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has moved on to a new team but he says the pain of Atlanta’s Super Bowl loss to the Patriots Sunday is still with him. “I was definitely grieving it and I probably will for a while,” said Shanahan, who was introduced as the San Francisco 49ers’ new head coach Thursday. “But to be able to go up to the building in Atlanta...
Sarkisian’s task: Keep Falcons’ offense humming

Sarkisian’s task: Keep Falcons’ offense humming

The Falcons just scored the sixth-most points in NFL history during the 2016 season. That bar is so high that there isn’t much that new Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian can do to make the unit perform significantly better in 2017. The Falcons will essentially have the same offensive player personnel next season with quarterback Matt Ryan, the league MVP, under center. The pressure...
Photos: 49ers welcome ex-Falcon Kyle Shanahan as new coach

Photos: 49ers welcome ex-Falcon Kyle Shanahan as new coach

Former Falcons offensive coordinator was introduced as San Francisco’s new head coach Thursday. 
Tweetcap of Steve Sarkisian from today’s conference call

Tweetcap of Steve Sarkisian from today’s conference call

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2017 file photo, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian stands on the sidelines during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Clemson in Tampa, Fla.
Falcons in position to draft best player available

Falcons in position to draft best player available

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff speaks to the media at the team’s practice facility, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Flowery Branch, Ga. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL FLOWERY BRANCH — Working on a Sunday story on how the Falcons plan to address their roster moving forward. But one quote from general manager Thomas Dimitroff jumped off the notebook. He doesn’t feel there are no...
Falcons’ Quinn fires assistants Smith, Cox

Falcons’ Quinn fires assistants Smith, Cox

Falcons coach Dan Quinn dismissed defensive coordinator Richard Smith and Bryan Cox on Wednesday, moves that the team said weren’t motivated by the collapse against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Falcons are considering three internal candidates to replace Smith: passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson, secondary coach Marquand Manuel and linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich. None of those...
Falcons promote Keith Carter to running backs coach

Falcons promote Keith Carter to running backs coach

The Falcons promoted Keith Carter to running backs coach to replace Bobby Turner, the team announced Wednesday. Carter was the team’s assistant offensive line coach for the past two seasons. Turner was set to join the staff of ex-Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who was officially hired as 49ers head coach on Monday. Carter played tight end, “H” back and fullback at UCLA...
The Falcons’ defense will be better for changing; the offense won’t

The Falcons’ defense will be better for changing; the offense won’t

The Brotherhood just drummed two out of the fraternity. Two days after the biggest Super Bowl collapse in the history of humankind, the Falcons booted/reassigned defensive coordinator Richard Smith and D-line coach Bryan Cox, neither of whom seemed up to snuff. Still, this is a lot of self-imposed turnover for a team that led New England by 25 points with 17 minutes and seven seconds left in...
I’m not sure Dan Quinn gets it

I’m not sure Dan Quinn gets it

Dan Quinn doesn’t seem to get it. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL TO AJC FLOWERY BRANCH–The other day I wondered what Kyle Shanahan was thinking with his play-calling strategy late in the Super Bowl.
Quinn does what he needed to do – find a better defensive coordinator

Quinn does what he needed to do – find a better defensive coordinator

Richard Smith, former DC. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo) The team that came within an eyelash of winning the Super Bowl will start 2017 with new offensive and defensive coordinators.
Falcons release figures on PSL sales since Super Bowl loss

Falcons release figures on PSL sales since Super Bowl loss

The Falcons say they have have sold hundreds of new personal seat licenses for Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the days since their loss in the Super Bowl. The team released these figures early Wednesday: 256 seat-license sales completed online from the end of the game Sunday night through the close of business Monday. 347 seats sold from the close of business Monday through...
Smith, Cox fired by the Falcons

Smith, Cox fired by the Falcons

Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith and defensive line coach Bryan Cox were fired by the Falcons, according to the team. Smith, a veteran coach, may stay on in an advisory capacity, but will assess his options. The Falcons are considering three internal candidates for defensive coordinator — secondary coordinator Jerome Henderson, defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel and linebackers...
Tweetcap of Quinn, Dimitroff from today’s pressers

Tweetcap of Quinn, Dimitroff from today’s pressers

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff speaks to the media at the team’s practice facility, Tuesday, Feb.
With Saban’s approval, Falcons hire Sarkisian

With Saban’s approval, Falcons hire Sarkisian

After the dust began to settle from the Falcons’ traumatic 34-28 overtime loss in Super Bowl, Falcons coach Dan Quinn was back on the job Monday. First big phone call: legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban Topic: Steve Sarkisian. It fell together quickly. With Saban’s blessing, the Falcons quickly agreed to terms with Sarkisian on Tuesday to become their offensive coordinator, replacing Kyle...
If Sarkisian takes care of himself, he’ll take care of Falcons’ offense

If Sarkisian takes care of himself, he’ll take care of Falcons’ offense

Steve Sarkisian has a drinking problem. We can say this because he has said it himself, and he made it the basis of a $30 million wrongful termination suit against USC, the team that fired him as head coach during the 2015 season. If somebody wants to call somebody an alcoholic, that’s fine. But it’s only when the addict says, “I’m an alcoholic,” that it really matters...
Photos: New Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

Photos: New Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

Nick Saban statement on Steve Sarkisian leaving for Falcons

Nick Saban statement on Steve Sarkisian leaving for Falcons

Alabama head coach Nick Saban issued a statement Tuesday following the news that Steve Sarkisian is leaving Alabama to become the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator.   Sarkisian,42, replaced Lane Kiffin who left Alabama before the national championship game to coach Florida Atlantic. Sarkisian,who joined the Tide in September as an offensive analyst, coached one game as the...
Photos: Falcons clean out lockers, prepare for offseason

Photos: Falcons clean out lockers, prepare for offseason

Schraeder doesn’t need ankle surgery

Schraeder doesn’t need ankle surgery

Falcons right tackle Ryan Schraeder will not need surgery on his left ankle that he injured in Super LI in Houston. “No surgery,” Ryan Schraeder said. “It’s not that big of a deal. It just hurts like heck.” Schraeder suffered the injury left the game, but he returned to action. He played 39 of 49 snaps (80 percent). Backup tackle Tom Compton played 10 snaps (20 percent)...
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