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Sean Weatherspoon was inexpensive risk for worth taking for Falcons

Updated: 2:31 p.m. Friday, July 29, 2016

Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is all smiles as he lets go a laugh during training camp at the end of practice on Friday in Flowery Branch. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) FLOWERY BRANCH — There are a number of past Falcons draft picks that nobody ever wants to see again, spanning from Aundray ...

Weatherspoon was an inexpensive risk for Falcons worth taking

Updated: 10:56 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016

Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is all smiles as he lets go a laugh during training camp at the end of practice on Friday in Flowery Branch. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) FLOWERY BRANCH — There are a number of past Falcons draft picks that nobody ever wants to see again, spanning from Aundray ...

Falcons finally centered on their real problem
Falcons center Alex Mack points out the defense as quarterback Matt Ryan takes the snap on the first day of training camp in Flowery Branch on Thursday. (Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com)

5:28 p.m. Thursday, July 28, 2016

If football positions were ranked by degree of glamour, center would sit somewhere between last and the laundry room.Even on a good day, the center plays in the middle of the offensive line. Amid a mass of thundering blubber. Far from the unobstructed view on the outside, where blockers can ...
Falcons’ pass rush could get a boost from Dwight Freeney — and soon

Updated: 10:28 a.m. Thursday, July 28, 2016

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn (background) knows he needs to get more from the pass rush this season, including Vic Beasley Jr. (right). (Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com) FLOWERY BRANCH — It’s the first day of Falcons’ training camp, and I see no reason to hold off asking the same question we’ve ...

Braves’ Olivera says suspension ‘justified,’ determined to return

Updated: 2:48 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Braves will soon have to decide whether to bring back Hector Olivera, whose 82-game suspension under baseball’s domestic violence policy ends Aug. 1. Olivera is playing for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com) It was a year ago this week when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Hector ...

Quinn ‘embracing pressure’ of playoff expectations
Falcons coach Dan Quinn, right, here with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, opens his second training camp with the team this week and is under pressure to make the playoffs. (AP photo)

Updated: 2:36 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It was shortly after the draft when Arthur Blank, the Falcons’ owner and chief counter of all wins and PSL sales, declared his 2016 team to be playoff-bound. These are comments that sometimes keep coaches up at night because some would equate those words as a mandate, even if Blank ...
Hello again: On Braves’ second half, Shelby Miller and Falcons’ pass rush

Updated: 6:55 a.m. Monday, July 25, 2016

Braves pitcher Tyrell Jenkins reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado in the first inning Sunday. The Braves lost for the eighth time in 10 games since the All-Star break. (AP photo) Coming off some vacation time (and I learned that my Garmin doesn’t ...

Keys to success for Hawks, Falcons, Braves? Glad you asked
For Dwight Howard’s signing to be a success with the Hawks, the former All-Star center needs to have a greater offensive impact than he had when he played for Houston. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

4:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2016

If somebody had assured you at the outset of NBA free agency that the Hawks’ consensus title odds for next season would soon be the same as Oklahoma City’s, it would’ve caused excitement in a city known more for shoes being thrown at television sets during local pro sports events.But ...
Atlanta sports tracking poll: Whose future do you lean toward?

Updated: 6:56 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2016

  Can Hawks coach and defacto general manager Mike Budenholzer achieve success with the team’s remade roster? (AP photo) There seems to be a general consensus that the Hawks have gotten worse, not better, this offseason although  perhaps it’s really fair to judge the roster yet because there are still ...

Why Horford made right decision, and how this affects Millsap

Updated: 8:50 a.m. Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hawks center Al Horford walked off the court for the final time as an Atlanta Hawks player following a playoff elimination game against Cleveland. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com) Some lingering thoughts on Al Horford’s departure, Dwight Howard’s arrival and how things set up for the Hawks moving forward. If you ...

Why Horford made right decision, and will trade talks affect Millsap?

Updated: 8:44 a.m. Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hawks center Al Horford walked off the court for the final time as an Atlanta Hawks player following a playoff elimination game against Cleveland. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com) Some lingering thoughts on Al Horford’s departure, Dwight Howard’s arrival and how things set up for the Hawks moving forward. If you ...

Budenholzer’s makeover of Hawks comes with major risk
The Hawks have re-signed Atlanta native Dwight Howard, left, who played the past three seasons in Houston, but has had a checkered career, and lost Al Horford to Boston as a free agent. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

8:24 p.m. Saturday, July 2, 2016

A great coach is important. A great builder is more important. An average coach can win a championship with a great roster, one constructed by a general manager with an eye for talent, a sense for chemistry and a vision for where the league is headed. A great coach can ...
Hawks’ signing of Howard: Wrong player, wrong time, wrong plan

Updated: 3:47 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2016

Dwight Howard, an Atlanta native who spent the last three seasons with the Houston Rockets, reportedly has agreed to a three-year, $70 million contract with the Hawks. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) The Hawks are signing Dwight Howard. For three years. In 2016. This is not a fire drill. It might be ...

Losing Horford would mean Hawks’ return to irrelevance
Al Horford is being pursued by several teams in free agency and the Hawks would take a big step back if they don’t re-sign him. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Updated: 5:16 p.m. Thursday, June 30, 2016

When people fret over how expensive an athlete’s contract might be, they tend to look at all of the bad stuff. So in the interest of minimizing Al Horford’s value to the Hawks, let’s consider his perceived weaknesses. He’s seldom the first option on offense. He’s often not even the ...
Market for Horford is real, Thunder reportedly clearing space for him

Updated: 6:33 a.m. Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hawks center Al Horford walks off the court for possibly the last time as an Atlanta player following the team’s season-ending playoff loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Horford is an unrestricted free agent. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com) The problem with the days leading up to NBA free agency is separating ...

Hawks can’t continue to have top free agents ignore them
High profile free agents like Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant have generally ignored the Hawks’ overtures in the past. Can the team change that? (Nate Billings/The Oklahoman)

Updated: 6:16 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It’s that time of year again when NBA free agency begins and everybody in Atlanta wonders: Why is everybody ignoring us?Because for as much progress as the franchise has made on the court over the last three years, the Hawks’ haven’t been destination central for high-profile free agents. If NBA ...
Hawks are right to want Durant, but signing him remains a longshot

Updated: 2:03 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Forward Kevin Durant may have played his final game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals. (AP photo) One month ago, in a blog that was headlined, “Hawks dreaming of Kevin Durant but OKC may be his best option,” I ...

Hawks are right to want Durant, but signing remains longshot
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) speaks during a news conference at the team's practice facility in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Durant, the face of the Oklahoma City franchise since its move from Seattle in 2008 is heading into free agency, and what he chooses to do could shake up the NBA landscape. Durant said Wednesday that he has not yet "wrapped" his mind around the idea of being a free agent. (Nate Billings/The Oklahoman via AP) LOCAL STATIONS OUT (KFOR, KOCO, KWTV, KOKH, KAUT OUT); LOCAL WEBSITES OUT; LOCAL PRINT OUT (EDMOND SUN OUT, OKLAHOMA GAZETTE OUT) TABLOIDS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Updated: 9:11 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Forward Kevin Durant may have played his final game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals. (AP photo) One month ago, in a blog that was headlined, “Hawks dreaming of Kevin Durant but OKC may be his best option,” I wrote ...

Film doesn’t lie, but Matt Ryan learning from mistakes
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan spends hours watching game film in the quarterback room at the Falcons’ training facility in Flowery Branch. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, June 11, 2016

The lights are off, the door is cracked open and inside a small meeting room at the Falcons’ practice facility, Matt Ryan is sitting in a chair, holding a remote, his eyes shifting from the two computer monitors in front of him to a large screen on the far wall. ...
Roddy White says he’ll only play for contender, or will retire
Wide receiver Roddy White (10,863 receiving yards, 63 TDs) is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and the Atlanta Falcons' all-time leading receiver after 11 NFL seasons. White, 34, remains a free agent after Atlanta released him in March. He has not been linked with any prospective teams.

11:45 a.m. Thursday, June 9, 2016

Former Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, who was released from the team in March after 11 seasons, says he has had opportunities to sign with other clubs but only wants to play for a Super Bowl contender, otherwise he plans to retire. “When my agent and I went down the ...
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