FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s everything you need to know Friday about the Falcons (6-2), who play at San Francisco (2-6) at 4 p.m. Sunday at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
- PRACTICE: The Falcons will have their last practice of the week at 11:30 a.m. today. It's usually a brisk one.
GOING BACK TO CALLY: After the open locker room media session, the Falcons will travel out to California. "We’re leaving on a Friday," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. "We’ll have our practice here. And we’ll head out there Friday. Then we’ll have no meetings that night. Saturday morning will be like a typical Saturday here. We’ll have our walkthrough together and have our practice film. We love the routine that we go through, so we thought by getting out there a day early it allows us to have a Saturday routine like we like so that was the real decision behind it.”
Here's Gino Gradkowski at center with the first-team on Thursday. Don't know what that mark is on his head. (D. Orlando Ledbetterfirstname.lastname@example.org)
- GRADKOWSKI TO START?: The Falcons appear set to make a move at center. Mike Person returned to practice yesterday, but Gino Gradkowski was snapping with the first-team during warm-ups in the open portion of practice. Person and James Stone have had bad snaps in both of the losses. Gradkowski started 16 games with Baltimore in 2013.
- COLEMAN BACKUP KICKOFF RETURNER: With Devin Hester down (IR) and Nick Williams coming back from a hamstring injury, running back Tevin Coleman was tacking kickoffs behind Eric Weems with the special teams units. At Indiana, he returned 30 kickoffs for 690 yards (23 yard average) and one touchdown.
- COACH QUINN NOMINATED FOR MILTARY AWARD: Dan Quinn was announced as the Falcons nominee for the “Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.” The award, presented annual by USAA and the NFL, honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. USAA is the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL. Dan was nominated by the Falcons because of his dedication to providing military members and families with experiences they will cherish for a life time. He’s hosted a number of events that include a Military Appreciation visit at Fort Gordon and a fishing tournament with Wounded Warriors, coaches and players. On August 9, Dan also hosted the first ever Atlanta Falcons Military Day at Training Camp, awarding the first 1,000 guests through the gates with a Military ID with two complimentary Atlanta Falcons tickets. ( This is separate from the sponsorship program the team has in the controversy of "paid patriotism." The U.S. Senate report called "Tackling Paid Patriotism" says Atlanta is ground zero for military tributes bought and paid for with taxpayer funds: the Falcons ($879,000), Braves ($450,000) and Hawks ($225,000) each led their respective leagues in Defense Department contracts that included military tributes.)
The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter & CineSport’s Noah Coslov discuss how to approach the 49ers game with Blaine Gabbert starting, the Falcons issues at center & the biggest challenge facing the team.
How did the Falcons get to 6-2?
Here's a look back at the game stories, news and notes from the Falcons' 23-20 overtime loss to Tampa Bay, win over the Titans (10-7), the loss to the Saints (31-21) and their victories over the Redskins (25-19 in OT), Texans (48-21), Cowboys (39-28), Giants (24-20) and Eagles (26-24).
TAMPA BAY GAME COVERAGE -- Bucs 23, Falcons 20 in OT
TENNESSEE GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 10, Titans 7
NEW ORLEANS GAME COVERAGE -- Saints 31, Falcons 21
WASHINGTON GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 25, Redskins 19 in OT
TEXANS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 48, Texans 21
COWBOYS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 39, Cowboys 28
GIANTS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 24, Giants 20
EAGLES GAME COVERAGE -- FALCONS 26, EAGLES 24