Falcons headlines

VOTE: How many games will Falcons win in 2018?

VOTE: How many games will Falcons win in 2018?

The Atlanta Falcons will open the 2018 season against the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game. » Game-by-game breakdown: 2018 Falcons schedule The Eagles are already favored to win the first game. Atlanta will play its three divisional rivals within the first six weeks of the season. How will they do? » Mark...
Falcons have a gaping hole at defensive tackle 

Falcons have a gaping hole at defensive tackle 

The Falcons’ board is set for the draft, which runs Thursday through Saturday in Arlington, Texas. The question is not if the Falcon will select a defensive tackle, it’s when they will do so.  The Falcons have a gaping hole at defensive tackle with the departure of starter Dontari Poe. He signed with the Panthers in free agency. The top two defensive tackles in the draft, Washington&rsquo...
Falcons schedule: Game-by-game breakdown

Falcons schedule: Game-by-game breakdown

The Falcons’ 2018 schedule was released on Thursday night and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter broke down each opponent for the upcoming season. After the exhibition schedule, the Falcons will play at the Eagles in a rematch of last year’s NFC Divisional Playoff game to kick off the NFL season. Friday, Aug. 10 at Jets, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17...
The Falcons’ schedule is tough at the start and finish. Maybe too tough

The Falcons’ schedule is tough at the start and finish. Maybe too tough

With this schedule, a well-coached team might win 10 games. When last we saw the Atlanta Falcons, they were not a well-coached team. If that latter part changes, this club could dream realistic dreams of playing host to the Super Bowl. If it doesn’t, I doubt they’ll make the playoffs.  The kneejerk response is to say the Falcons could be pretty darn good and still start 0-3 &ndash...
Trust Thomas Dimitroff to draft for Falcons? Here’s why you should

Trust Thomas Dimitroff to draft for Falcons? Here’s why you should

Has Thomas Dimitroff redeemed himself? Eleven drafts into his gig the Atlanta Falcons’ general manager, the son of a former coach and longtime scout, the former kid who cut grass and lined the field as a member of the Cleveland Browns’ groundscrew, has certainly come a long way. » Jeff Schultz: Time to forget Falcons’ past Before the 2018 NFL Draft, the Falcons exec...
Remember when Falcons’ Dimitroff was in trouble? Yeah, not anymore

Remember when Falcons’ Dimitroff was in trouble? Yeah, not anymore

Before allowing visitors into his Chamber of Secrets, Thomas Dimitroff walked in, closed the door behind him, digitally whitewashed the walls of his office of all depth charts and player rankings, cleaned his desk, turned off his computer screen and flipped the two big screens to a Falcons’ screensaver and, I think, the Food Network. It’s draft week. NFL general managers and coaches are...
Dimitroff ready to move up for right player 

Dimitroff ready to move up for right player 

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn tinkered with the team’s digital draft board on Thursday. The NFL Draft is less than a week away and final preparations are being made. Dimitroff wouldn’t reveal the rankings or how much a player was shifted up or down on the ordered list.  The Falcons currently hold the 26th overall pick in the draft, which is set for Thursday...
Super Bowl Q&A: NFL seeks ‘wow factors’ around Atlanta game

Super Bowl Q&A: NFL seeks ‘wow factors’ around Atlanta game

Even since the last time Atlanta hosted the Super Bowl in 2000, the event has grown considerably, turning into a 10-day series of festivities that draw combined crowds of up to 1 million people. Popular attractions surrounding the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston included an out-of-this-world experience: a virtual-reality ride to Mars. And the 2018 Super Bowl festivities in Minneapolis included zip-line...
Falcons ‘do not anticipate’ single-game ticket sales

Falcons ‘do not anticipate’ single-game ticket sales

The NFL will announce its 2018 schedule Thursday night, an occasion that might make some Falcons fans wonder about ticket availability.  Here’s the answer from the team: Yes on season tickets. No on single-game tickets.  “We do have a select number of season tickets available in varying categories, including club (seats) and upper level,” a Falcons spokeswoman said...
Godfather: Falcons held private workout for Fort Hays State’s Nathan Shepherd

Godfather: Falcons held private workout for Fort Hays State’s Nathan Shepherd

The Falcons’ top personnel men and coaches went to Hays, Kansas to hold a private workout for defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd.  “Their whole group went up to Fort Hayes State to work out Nathan Shepherd is what they did,” said “Godfather” Gil Brandt, a NFL analyst for Sirius XM NFL radio, on Wednesday.  “I think that’s what they are looking for...
In this draft, the Falcons’ biggest need is on offense

In this draft, the Falcons’ biggest need is on offense

Credit where it’s due: Through the ongoing influx of young talent, the Falcons have brought their defense, which not so long ago was a swinging gate, up from oblivion. The 2017 Falcons were ninth among NFL teams in yards against. It marked only the second time since 2007 – and the first since 2012 – this club had cracked the top 10 in total defense.  Two problems here. First...
The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons’ 2018 draft board is set 

The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons’ 2018 draft board is set 

In the 52nd episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast, we discuss the Falcons’ draft board. The Falcons have the 26th overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft, which is set for April 26 through 28 in Arlington, Texas. General manager Thomas Dimitroff has traded up in the first round of four of his 10 drafts since joining the team in 2008. He’s traded up for left tackle Sam Baker...
Cover 9@9: Sanu ready to move on from loss to Eagles

Cover 9@9: Sanu ready to move on from loss to Eagles

1. RECONCILED LAST SEASON: At least the Falcons don’t have to spend this offseason addressing the Super Bowl collapse, but they still had to reconcile a tough loss to Philadelphia that ended with them sputtering on the 2-yard line in a 15-10 defeat to a backup quarterback.  The Eagles then parlayed the win into a Super Bowl victory and Nick Foles went on to win the championship game&rsquo...
Falcons schedule to be released Thursday

Falcons schedule to be released Thursday

The NFL will release its schedule for the 2018 season on Thursday. The home and away opponents for the Falcons were determined after the regular-season in January. Here is a reminder of what the schedule will look like before dates and times are announced. Home: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Baltimore...
Jones plans to build on breakthrough Pro Bowl season 

Jones plans to build on breakthrough Pro Bowl season 

Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones, in just his second season in the NFL, had a breakthrough campaign in 2017. He led the team with 138 tackles and three interceptions while being named the first-alternate to the Pro Bowl. He played in the game after the Panther’s Luke Kuechly withdrew because of injury. Jones is already planning an encore.  He was one of the 27 Falcons players running...
Falcons sign two defensive tackles and cornerback 

Falcons sign two defensive tackles and cornerback 

The Falcons signed former Seattle defensive tackle Garrison Smith on Tuesday. The team also signed defensive back Tyson Graham and defensive tackle Justin Zimmer. Smith, who is from Atlanta’s Douglass High and played at Georgia, was not tendered by Seattle as an exclusive rights free agent this offseason. The 26-year old was listed at 6-foot-1 and 295 pounds last season. He has played in eight...
A peek inside the Falcons’ offseason program 

A peek inside the Falcons’ offseason program 

The Falcons’ had 27 players, including quarterback Matt Ryan, work out during the open portion of their offseason program on Tuesday. The team’s  offseason program started on Monday. The team’s OTA (organized training activities) will be held on May 21, May 23-24, May 30-31, June 1, June 4-5 and June 7. The Falcons mandatory minicamp will be held June 12-14.  The Falcons...
Falcons held private workout for Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall 

Falcons held private workout for Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall 

The Falcons held a private workout with Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall over the weekend, according to a person with knowledge of the workout.  Falcons general manager Thomas Dimtroff, head coach Dan Quinn, assistant general manager Scott Pioli, defensive line coach Bryant Young and director of college scouting Steve Sabo were on hand for the workout. Hall is 6-foot-1 inch and 308...
Five things to know about the Falcons on Monday

Five things to know about the Falcons on Monday

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Monday: 1. Back to work: The Falcons, who finished in third place in the NFC South with a 10-6 regular-season record last season, start their offseason program today. The Falcons beat the Rams (26-13) on the road in the wildcard playoff round before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles (15-10) in the divisional round.  Quarterback...
Pay Matt Ryan? Sure. But the Falcons might buy a better OC, too

Pay Matt Ryan? Sure. But the Falcons might buy a better OC, too

The Falcons will soon – and again – make Matt Ryan the NFL’s highest-paid player. (They did it once before, you’ll recall.) No argument here. He’s worth it. He’s the franchise. Anything the Falcons can do to make him happy should be done.  Much of making any quarterback happy isn’t just paying him, though that’s surely a factor. It’s putting...
Could Dez Bryant fit into the Falcons’ Brotherhood? 

Could Dez Bryant fit into the Falcons’ Brotherhood? 

Per multiple reports, the Dallas Cowboys released wide receiver Dez Bryant on Friday. Bryant was drafted 24th overall in the 2010 draft by the Cowboys. He went on to make three Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro selection in 2014.  He had three seasons with more than 1,200 yards receiving, but didn’t reach the 1,000-yard mark in each of the past three seasons. Bryant, 29, has 531 career catches...
Don’t worry about Ryan, he’ll get his share of QB mad money

Don’t worry about Ryan, he’ll get his share of QB mad money

Oddly, I have been able to sleep quite soundly of late, even as the clock ticks and Matt Ryan has not yet achieved official tycoon quarterback status. I have wasted not a single moment reading between the utterances of the interested parties to the latest contractual dance. Because they are all just long, rambling palindromes, making identical nonsense whether read forward or backward. There is no...
D. Led’s Mock Draft 4.0: Falcons have Isaiah Wynn fall into their laps  

D. Led’s Mock Draft 4.0: Falcons have Isaiah Wynn fall into their laps  

With the countdown to the draft in full swing, the Falcons’ needs have come sharply into focus.  They need a defensive tackle, offensive guard, fullback, linebacker and wide receiver/returner. The Falcons have seven overall picks and could trade up in the draft if one of the top two defensive tackles – Washington’s Vita Vea or Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne – slip...
Class AAAAAA football: Nine teams will have new head coaches in 2018

Class AAAAAA football: Nine teams will have new head coaches in 2018

Nine Class AAAAAA schools will have new head football coaches when the 2018 season begins in a little more than four months. Eight of those positions have been filled, while North Atlanta is still looking.  Here’s a recap of the moves that have been made in the offseason.  *Apalachee: The Wildcats hired West Hall head coach Tony Lotti to replace Steve Sims, who stepped down in December...
Leadoff: Talking World Cup and Super Bowl in downtown Atlanta this week

Leadoff: Talking World Cup and Super Bowl in downtown Atlanta this week

The timing was coincidental, but representatives of two of the world’s largest sports events -- the Super Bowl and the World Cup -- were in downtown Atlanta this week. NFL reps were in town Monday through Thursday for extensive planning sessions regarding the 2019 Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And a FIFA committee was here Wednesday for a one-day evaluation of the stadium...
All signs pointing toward Browns selecting Josh Allen 

All signs pointing toward Browns selecting Josh Allen 

General manager John Dorsey is the new man on the spot in Cleveland. The franchise, since being re-incarnated after the departure to Baltimore of the original Browns, has struggled mightily to land a franchise quarterback. The Browns, who own the first and fourth overall picks, will control the top portion of the NFL draft, which is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas. They will have two prime...
Top 10 quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL draft 

Top 10 quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL draft 

Here are the top 10 quarterback prospects (with projected round) for the 2018 NFL draft, which is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas: 1. Josh Rosen, UCLA, 6-foot-4, 226 pounds (first round): He has survived some questionable comments from his former coach Jim Mora, but is immensely talented. His bizarre behavior and ability to lead has been heavily scrutinized during the pre-draft process...
Falcons to face Jaguars in dress-rehearsal exhibition game

Falcons to face Jaguars in dress-rehearsal exhibition game

The Falcons’ exhibition schedule was released by the NFL office Wednesday. The Falcons will open the exhibition season on the road against the New York Jets. The Falcons will play Kansas City at home before going on the road for the third exhibition game against Jacksonville.  The final exhibition game will be at home against the Miami Dolphins. The dates and times will be announced at...
Falcons waive Ifedi, Tupou 

Falcons waive Ifedi, Tupou 

The Falcons waived defensive tackle Taniela Tupou with a non-football injury designation on Wednesday. Defensive end Martin Ifedi was waived on Tuesday. 
NFL to release exhibition season schedule tonight

NFL to release exhibition season schedule tonight

The NFL is set to announce the full exhibition season schedule at 5 p.m. tonight on NFL Network. The Hall of Fame game, the first exhibition game, has already been announced. The Ravens and the Bears will play on Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio. The league is expected to release the full schedule next week on April 18 or 19. The Falcons game at Philadelphia has attracted the attention of several of the league&rsquo...
NFL draft rewind: 10 players to remember from the 1998 draft

NFL draft rewind: 10 players to remember from the 1998 draft

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Peyton Manning-Ryan Leaf debate prior to the 1998 NFL draft. The quarterbacks were selected first and second in the draft, and the Falcons used their first-round pick on Georgia Tech linebacker Keith Brooking. With the 2018 draft less than two weeks away, here’s a video of some notable players - and a few with local ties - selected in the draft 20 years...
Cover 9@9: Ryan’s cousin, McGlinchey to visit Falcons today

Cover 9@9: Ryan’s cousin, McGlinchey to visit Falcons today

1. FAMILY AFFAIR. Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, who is Matt Ryan’s first cousin, is set to visit the Falcons today, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s schedule. The Falcons are allowed 30 visitors and this is the last week for the players to come in before the draft, which is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas. McGlinchey, who’s 6-foot-7 and 309...
The Bow Tie Chronicles: Ryan has a message for the Falcons 

The Bow Tie Chronicles: Ryan has a message for the Falcons 

In the 51st episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses what he plans to say to the team when they gather to start the offseason program on Monday. He also gives his views on the franchise’s plan in free agency and how they plan to replace wide receiver Taylor Gabriel.  Subscribe to “The Bow Tie Chronicles” podcast with the AJC&rsquo...
Falcons held private workout with Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander

Falcons held private workout with Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander

The Falcons, who hold the 26th pick in the NFL draft, held a private workout with highly rated Louisville corner Jaire Alexander over the weekend, according to a person with knowledge of the workout. Falcons coach Dan Quinn, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and assistant general manager Scott Pioli were on hand for the workout. Alexander, who’s 5-foot-10 and 196 pounds, is the third rated cornerback...
2018 NFL Draft: Atlanta Falcons

2018 NFL Draft: Atlanta Falcons

The 2018 NFL Draft begins with the first round on Thursday, April 26, 2018, from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Twenty-two prospects are expected to attend ceremonies that will continue Friday, April 27 with selections in rounds two and three. The draft will conclude on Saturday, April 28 with rounds four through seven. The Atlanta Falcons hold the 26th overall pick in the first round, along with...
World Cup committee will tour Atlanta on Wednesday

World Cup committee will tour Atlanta on Wednesday

Members of FIFA will be in Atlanta on Wednesday, touring the city as part of a fact-gathering trip for the 2026 World Cup. The United States, Mexico and Canada are trying to land the World Cup as a united bid. They are competing against a bid from Morocco. FIFA will announce the winner June 13 in Moscow, one day before this year’s World Cup kicks off in Russia. Five members of FIFA will tour...
Falcons add Jones, Durde to coaching staff 

Falcons add Jones, Durde to coaching staff 

Former Georgia player and longtime NFL assistant coach Travis Jones was added to the Falcons coaching staff on Monday. Jones, 45, had “mutually agreed” to part ways with Seattle after five seasons and was named the Falcons assistant defensive line coach. He replaces Jess Simpson, who left for the college ranks to become Miami’s defensive coordinator for coach Mark Richt.  Also...
Matt Ryan talks about past, upcoming ‘busy couple of months’

Matt Ryan talks about past, upcoming ‘busy couple of months’

A day after announcing the birth of twin boys, here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say on Monday before his Pro-Am golf tournament to help raise money for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta:  RYAN ON THE TWINS: “It certainly has been a busy couple of months. We are really excited to have the two sons at home. They are getting big, strong and healthy. Sarah is...
Ryan excited about Julio Jones practicing this offseason

Ryan excited about Julio Jones practicing this offseason

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is looking forward to getting in offseason work with All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones.  The Falcons report for their offseason program on Monday. Jones, who was out last offseason after foot surgery, will fully participate this year. “It’s huge when you get any player to be able to participate fully,” Ryan said. “That’s critical. But...
Ryan on his contract: ‘Everything is good. I think the discussions have been very positive’

Ryan on his contract: ‘Everything is good. I think the discussions have been very positive’

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is being patient as his agents and the team iron out the details on his contract extension. The Falcons stated that retaining the services of Ryan was their No. 1 offseason priority, but the deal has been complicated by a shifting marketplace at the quarterback position.  “I think it’s been good,” Ryan said on Monday. “Obviously, it&rsquo...
Ryan on the birth of the twins: ‘It’s been a wild ride for us, but well worth it’

Ryan on the birth of the twins: ‘It’s been a wild ride for us, but well worth it’

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discussed the birth of his twin sons before raising money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Pro-Amateur golf tournament at TPC Sugarloaf on Monday.  “It certainly has been a busy couple of months,” Ryan said. “We are really excited to have the two sons at home. They are getting big, strong and healthy. Sarah is doing great. She was amazing...
With 300 days to go, Super Bowl planning intensifies

With 300 days to go, Super Bowl planning intensifies

The countdown to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta reaches a numerical milestone Monday: 300 days to go.  And on the same day, planning will intensify for the Feb. 3 game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as a large delegation of NFL staffers, partners, contractors and vendors arrives in Atlanta for four days of meetings.  “It will be a key week for us,” said Brett Daniels, chief operating officer...
Ryan announces birth of twin boys 

Ryan announces birth of twin boys 

Sarah Ryan, the wife of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, announced the birth of their twin boys on instragram on Sunday.  Marshall Thomas Ryan and John Matthew Ryan were born six weeks after Sarah Ryan was put on bed rest on Jan. 9.  Ryan left practice on that date to be with his wife. Ryan admitted to being nervous about becoming a Dad after the announced the pregnancy in November...
D. Led’s Mock Draft 3.0: Falcons select the ‘Wyoming Wildman’ 

D. Led’s Mock Draft 3.0: Falcons select the ‘Wyoming Wildman’ 

Here in the Mock Draft 3.0, with the 26th pick in the NFL draft the Atlanta Falcons will select Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan. It’s a “needs” pick as the Falcons must replace defensive tackle Dontari Poe, who left for Carolina and a boatload of cash in free agency. After free agency and a quick glance at the depth chart, the Falcons have pretty clear draft needs.  The...
5 questions with Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne

5 questions with Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne

Former Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, who reportedly visited the Falcons on Thursday, is one of the top players in the NFL Draft, which is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.  He spoke about his career at with the Crimson Tide and his pro prospects at the scouring combine: Q: What is it about Alabama that they produce so many defensive linemen? A: Definitely just the way...
Falcons’ draft needs have come sharply into focus 

Falcons’ draft needs have come sharply into focus 

As head coach and football czar of the Falcons, Dan Quinn is in the final stages of preparing for his fourth NFL draft. Since the season ended after the excruciating 15-9 loss to the Eagles in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, Quinn has been getting ready for the draft and the offseason program, which starts April 16. The draft is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.  Quinn and general...
Roquan Smith, Bradley Chubb to attend NFL Draft 

Roquan Smith, Bradley Chubb to attend NFL Draft 

Former Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith and former N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb will attend the NFL draft, according to the league. Smith and Chubb, who played at HIllgrove High, are projected to be selected in the top 10 of the NFL Draft, which is set for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.  The league released a list of 22 players that will attend.  Here’s the full list: Louisville...
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