Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not
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Falcons’ implosion may have just begun

  • 2:46 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Matt Ryan figures to be under duress even more after losing two (or three) more offensive linemen. (AP photo)

Well, look at it this way: The Falcons are still tied for first place.

A season that has the potential of spinning out of control quickly — and we reference last season as Exhibit A — took a bad turn Tuesday when the Falcons confirmed they’ve lost at least two more starters for the season. Center Joe Hawley (knee) and tackle Lamar Holmes (foot) were placed on season-ending injured reserve after injuries suffered in Sunday’s 41-28 loss in Minnesota. Safety William Moore was placed on designated for return-IR with a shoulder injury, which means he is not allowed to practice for [More]

Falcons: No defense, no line, no chance

  • 7:42 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Teddy Bridgewater celebrates after his 13-yard touchdown run. (AP photo)

MINNEAPOLIS — I’ll be back shortly with a column on the Falcons’ 41-28 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the column.

1. DEFENSE! (NOT); DEFENSE! (NOT): Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was making his first NFL start. He had tougher days at Louisville. He threw for 317 yards before leaving with an ankle injury. The Vikings drove 73, 53, 61, 80, 84 and 43 yards on their first six possessions for three touchdowns, two field goals and a missed field goal, as well as having one TD [More]

LIVE: Falcons face Vikings minus Peterson

  • 2:58 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Inside Vikings' fan store, Adrian Peterson's jersey is not for sale.

MINNEAPOLIS — Welcome to middle America, where the contrasting emotions of how Minnesota Vikings’ fans feel about suspended running back Adrian Peterson continue.

Outside of the University of Minnesota’s football stadium, where the Vikings are playing during new stadium construction, I saw several fans wearing No. 28 Peterson jerseys despite the fact he has been indicted in Texas on child abuse charges. But in the team’s official stadium pro shop, the player’s jersey is not available for sale. (See photos.)

Meanwhile, a Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll has ignited larger debates on: 1) whether parents are justified in hitting their children and, 2) [More]

Predictions: Falcons win, Rocker (duh) loses

  • 6:23 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
I got a feeling about this week. Honest. I think. (W.P. Glamour Shots)

Welcome back to what has been an enormously profitable investment season, if you ignore the 28 slight miscalculations against the spread — which I honestly was just joking about, so help me Roger Goodell — and this week’s big event! (No,  I’m not talking about John Rocker’s appearance on “Survivor,” which is something that happens when you can’t get a job any more, sit behind a folding table at Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown begging for spare change or Anabol, behind a sign that reads, “Speak English,” and most of the literate world views your place on the evolutionary [More]

Braves’ Hart is open to mentoring GM role

  • 2:18 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Braves interim GM John Hart acknowledged he's open to mentoring a young general manager. (AP photo)

Since the moment the Braves fired general manager Frank Wren, there has been speculation that the team would elevate senior adviser John Hart to the role, if not on a permanent basis then at least as a mentor to young rising assistant. Hart has mostly been evasive or issued non-denial denials with his comments, other than to say he wouldn’t pursue the GM’s position on a long-term basis.

That changed a little Thursday.

Hart, the team’s interim general manager, acknowledged that he and team president John Schuerholz have had conversations about him taking the job on a short-term basis if a young [More]

Should Braves avoid going ‘Braves Way’?

  • 8:52 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Maybe Braves, with John Hart, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz, need a fresh set of eyes in GM position. (Curtis Compton)

This isn’t meant as any disrespect to the candidates being circulated most in the rumor mill or to outright dismiss John Schuerholz’s belief that the Braves need to get back to the, “Braves Way” of doing things.

But would the Braves be better off perhaps doing something the, “Cardinals Way?” Or the “Dodgers Way”? Or the “1927 Yankees Way”?

Yahoo reported that the Braves have offered interim general manager and senior adviser John Hart the general manager’s job that came open with the dismissal of Frank Wren Monday. As David O’Brien reported, and anybody who attended Monday’s news conference can attest, [More]

Frank Wren failed at Braves’ major decisions

  • 11:35 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Three members of the Braves' hierarchy (from left): Terry McGuirk, John Schuerholz, Frank Wren. (AJC photo)

UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR A LINK to the fully updated column with quotes on MyAJC.com

Frank Wren is out as the Braves general manager, not because he failed to make some shrewd trades or sign some good players or even oversaw a minor league system that failed to produce talent.

Wren is out because he simply wasn’t good enough.

In his seven seasons, the Braves failed to reach the postseason four times and failed to win a playoff round even once (losing seven of their nine postseason games). Even with the difficulties that go with inheriting a bloated and aging roster that [More]

Braves’ Terry McGuirk is on the clock (UPDATE: Wren fired)

  • 9:10 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Braves CEO Terry McGuirk promised accountability this season. (Phil Skinner/AJC)

UPDATE: The Braves have fired general manager Frank Wren and named senior adviser John Hart, the former Cleveland general manager, as his interim replacement. The Braves made the announcement via Twitter.

Here’s a copy of the news release:

Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz announced today that executive vice president and general manager Frank Wren has been dismissed. Schuerholz has named former Major League executive and MLB Network analyst John Hart as the club’s interim general manager. 

In addition, the Braves have formed a three-person transition team that will include Schuerholz and Hart, as well as Hall of Famer and former Braves field manager [More]

Short takes on Georgia’s bodyslam of Troy (UPDATED)

  • 2:59 pm Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Sony Michel runs for one of his three first-half touchdowns in Georgia's win. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS — I’ll be back shortly with my column on Georgia’s 66-0 drumming of Troy. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game:

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column on MyAJC.com.

1. WHAT THIS PROVES: Well, not much. Beating a winless team from a non-power conference (Sun Belt) that your athletic department paid $900,000 to for the experience of getting pummeled generally doesn’t register much in the polls. But it does count for something that Georgia buried Troy early and never let up. That’s not a common occurrence in the Mark Richt era. The Bulldogs have [More]

LIVE: Winston’s exit could help Georgia

  • 11:04 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Todd Gurley and Georgia should have an easy game today against Troy. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

ATHENS — Good morning. What a beautiful day for college football … almost everywhere except Tallahassee.

In case you missed it, No. 1 ranked Florida State late Friday night suspended quarterback Jameis Winston for its entire game tonight against Clemson instead of just the first half for his profane goofball exclamation on campus the other day. It’s noteworthy that the announcement was made by FSU’s president and athletic director and not coach Jimbo Fisher, whose name wasn’t even on the news release.

The decision to suspend Winston for the whole game was the right one, given his off-the-field resume, even [More]

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