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More from Jeff Schultz

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Here’s good news: Falcons are leaving country
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is sacked in the second quarter by outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil #58 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 19, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Updated: 6:47 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

It seems to be happening again. It might dangerous to declare last rites over an NFL team only seven games into a season, but there’s nothing about the Falcons that suggests they’re getting better, while there’s mounting evidence that the bottom is falling out. Again. Mike Smith, the Falcons’ beleaguered ...
Schultz’s short takes on Falcons’ loss
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons talks with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter  and head coach Mike Smith (R) in the first half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 19, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

4:04 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

I’ll be back shortly with a full column to wrap up some of the ugliness associated with the Falcons’ 29-7 loss to Baltimore. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes.” 1. So where’s the explosive offense? The Falcons were expected to struggle defensively this season. But nobody could have ...
Georgia Tech stomps on hope again
North Carolina's T.J. Logan chipped in with 75 yards on the ground and the game-winning score against Georgia Tech.

12:06 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – For two weeks, they pumped up their fan base. They inflated hopes. They made people believe that a season in which not a whole lot was expected could morph into a bowl game well north of Shreveport. Then Georgia Tech took that balloon and shot it ...
Does NCAA care that sentiment favors Gurley?
A Georgia fan holds a sign in support of Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who was suspended earlier this week, during the Bulldogs’ game against Missouri on Oct. 11, 2014, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

4:25 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

In most instances of law-breaking or rule-breaking, two factors play into whether the accused is condemned to time in prison or a semester without football (at least in jurisdictions other than Tallahassee, Fla.):1.) What did the person do?2.) What can anybody prove?But there’s another part of the equation in the ...
Midway through college season, little makes sense
STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 11:  Fans cheer prior to the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Updated: 5:38 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014

When the lords of college football finally approved a playoff system to begin this season — and all it took were years of BCS humiliation and a $5.64-billion contract with ESPN — there was a sense of relief. The overwhelming expectation was that the sport’s postseason would unfold with greater ...
Georgia’s response heard loud and clear
Georgia Bulldogs freshman running back Nick Chubb made his first career start Saturday, October 11, 2014, vs. the Missouri Tigers. He ran for 143 yards and scored a touchdown. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

6:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The defense committed a personal foul with a late hit on the first play from scrimmage. There was a fumble the first time Georgia touched the ball on a punt return, and another fumble on the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession. “It seemed like we fumbled three or ...
NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead

2:19 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The last famous No. 3 to play football for Georgia never concerned himself with signing jerseys or mini-helmets for cash. He wasn’t irritated when fans wearing his jersey number walked past him, wondering why the term “royalties” never came up when he signed his national letter of ...
If Gurley guilty, blame him, not NCAA

9:05 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

Let’s start with this: The NCAA long ago was exposed as an archaic, dishonest and generally useless organization. Their leaders preached the importance of academics but sold their souls and the likenesses of “amateur” athletes to TV networks and memorabilia corporations and video-game companies without a thought of, you know, ...
Blank stands by Smith, avoids mandates
When asked specifically if he was left wondering about Mike Smith as his head coach after last season, Blank said, “I didn’t have any wonder before the season and I still don’t have any wonder. Smitty and the team delivered over a long period of time.”

Updated: 11:55 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014

The first five games don’t qualify as a defining stretch of an NFL season. But five games can trigger sirens and social media meltdowns, particularly when the team is the Falcons and a familiar string of injuries and shortcomings provoke scorched-earth memories of going 4-12 in 2013. Arthur Blank is ...
 Tech’s season may be turning into something special

Updated: 1:06 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014

It was five years ago when Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson heard a late-night knock on his front door and, hoping only for no more than a fruit basket, instead was presented with a goal post from several delirious and possibly drunk members of the student body. It was a ...
Short takes: Tech’s defense … a strength?

Updated: 12:25 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014

1. DEFENSE: This might be the first time Georgia Tech’s defense has ever been one of the short takes … well, at least in a positive way. The Jackets allowed Miami to drive for long touchdowns on two of its first three possessions, but gave up only three points the ...
Hawks are still playing wrong games

5:04 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

On the court, there is the sport. Off the court, there is the puppet show. The Hawks met with civil rights leaders. They mandated diversity training for all employees, created a job opening for a “Chief Diversity Officer” and sent a letter to fans apologizing for their transgressions (opening line: ...
 Falcons’ losses like this are on Smith

Updated: 11:49 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014

These are the kinds of games where you look beyond a team’s obvious physical limitations and address other issues.These are games where you ask: What is going on between the ears? What has everybody been doing since the last game 10 days ago — straining muscles from excessive back-slapping, getting ...
Hart: Braves ‘lethargic,’ need changes

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014

In the final month of the season, the Braves went from a flawed team to flawed and disinterested. Bobby Cox, the former manager now back as a member of the organization’s post-trauma, “Sunshine Boys” executive team with John Schuerholz and John Hart, was determined to smother any suggestion the other ...
SEC East still there for Georgia’s taking

3:31 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

When Georgia loses an early-season football game, the reaction among the apoplectic masses usually is along the lines of, “Fire Mark Richt,” or, “Doomed, doomed, we’re Liberty Bowl doomed.” But this might be a good season to avoid obsessing over September results. Georgia plays host to Tennessee on Saturday. It ...
Wren fixed some things but failed in big picture
Frank Wren had been the Braves' general manager since October 2007.

4:31 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

Frank Wren is out as the Braves’ general manager, not because he failed to make some nice trades, or struggled to sign good players amid budget constraints, or oversaw a minor league system that produced no talent. He had degrees of success in all three areas. Wren is out simply ...
Georgia’s next 7 games count for more than this

6:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

Opponents like Troy aren’t put on the schedule to provide a challenge. They’re put there to provide a rest. Georgia sought rest and tranquility between the South Carolina and Tennessee games, and if there’s one certainty about Sun Belt Conference members, it’s that they’re always happy to take the SEC’s ...
Falcons now realize they need to step on gas
Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) runs past Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Scott Solomon (60) in the first half during the first half in their NFL football game on Thursday, September 18, 2014. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

12:24 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

To suggest the Falcons returned to some reality Thursday night after Sunday’s beat down in Cincinnati wouldn’t be completely accurate. That would suggest their opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, exists in an NFL reality, as opposed to, say, a toxic waste dump.The 2014 Bucs aren’t just bad, they’re punchline bad. ...
 Fredi Gonzalez: ‘It’s my team, I take full responsibility.’

Updated: 8:35 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

There are two main clubhouses at Turner Field: The one that houses the Braves and the one with the red velvet rope out front because that’s where the champagne is usually opened.Atlanta has become celebration central for opponents since the 1990s. So the fact the Washington Nationals clinched the National ...
Falcons let everybody see their ugly side
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas (83) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall and outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) in the second half.

Updated: 7:26 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014

This is the alternate universe. The offense that last week looked like it had been designed by a secret society of astrophysicists, producing 37 points and 568 yards, didn’t break 100 yards Sunday until early in the third quarter and managed only a field goal until midway through the fourth. ...
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