- 2:20 pm Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The Falcons have decided to be the subject of the annual NFL-HBO voyeuristic enterprise called, “Hard Knocks.”
Well. This isn’t the worst decision they’ve ever made in recent years. There was that one year they hired Bobby Petrino.
So let me understand this: The same organization that fell apart a season ago, and not just because of injuries, has decided to let a cable television show go behind the scenes in training camp and follow players in practices and meetings and areas of Fort Flowery Branch normally off limits to non-team personnel?
Headquarters in Flowery Branch will be a sea of wires, cameras [More]
- 9:49 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Last September, when the Falcons were in only the early stages of what would become a calamitous string of injuries, I offered my, “Can’t Afford To Lose” top 10 list of players. The list: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson on offense; Sean Weatherspoon, Osi Umenyiora, William Moore, Jonathan Babineaux and Asante Samuel on defense. (Looking back, I don’t know if I overrated the aging Samuel before last season or he just couldn’t get healthy.)
This year’s list wouldn’t change much, which means the Falcons just took a big hit — and they didn’t even [More]
- 10:32 am Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The Falcons decided to hold an “historic” (quoting from a news release) ground-breaking for their new stadium Monday night, complete with fireworks. It was a curiously timed event in that the team has already bulldozed the first of two churches to make room for the stadium and has been plowing land for several weeks.
But NFL owners were in town for spring meetings so actually it makes perfect sense. This was all for show. It was for Falcons owner Arthur Blank to try to change the talking points in Atlanta for residents who still may be unhappy about public money being [More]
- 9:15 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
According to the first post-draft odds in Las Vegas the Falcons are 40-1 win the Super Bowl (via Bovada). That places them tied for only 13th overall, and maybe more significantly only tied for eighth among NFC teams.
These odds fall in line with previously released over-under win totals. The Falcons are projected to win only eight games in 2014 season (via Cantor gaming), which puts them behind New Orleans and Carolina in the NFC South, as well as Seattle, San Francisco, Green Bay, Chicago and Philadelphia in the conference. (Complete odds are listed below.)
As we know, oddsmakers set odds based [More]
- 11:30 am Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked 44 times last season and hit another 42 times but somehow finished the regular season without having a psychotic break.
Maybe Jake Matthews will help.
The Falcons took Matthews, the 6-foot-5, 308-pound Texas A&M tackle, with the sixth overall pick. He is the son of Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews and one of seven members of the Matthews family to play in the NFL. Two others: Former Cleveland Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. and Green Bay pass rusher Clay Matthews III.
The Falcons went into the first round desperate to improve their offensive line or [More]
- 8:18 am Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Few have ever questioned Zach Mettenberger’s talent as a college and potential NFL quarterback. But the former Georgia and LSU player is raising some eyebrows for the wrong reasons again.
Pro Football Talk first reported that Mettenberger, who is coming off of a torn ACL, submitted a diluted urine sample when he was at the NFL scouting combine. The league generally considers a diluted sample the equivalent of a positive drug test.
There might be an innocent explanation for this. Mettenberger’s agents and physical therapist both claim that the watered-down sample is the result of him over-hydrating after experiencing cramps at the [More]
- 8:01 pm Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
I’ve posted a column on MyAJC.com on my Tuesday conversation with Falcons coach Mike Smith. Having spoken to the man a few hundred times since his hiring in 2008, I can attest he was as candid as he has ever been. (Going 4-12 last season after a string of winning seasons might left him believing there was little reason to hold back.)
Smith didn’t talk about specific players. But he admitted he saw warning signs about the team’s offensive and defensive lines as far back as training camp in July and August, particularly when the Falcons held practices against the [More]
- 2:19 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
I’m tired of waiting for the draft.
I’m tired of sifting through bad rumors about the draft.
I’m really tired hearing about debates over Johnny Manziel. Seeing video posted everywhere (and below) of him throwing a football to a guy on a Jet Ski and people saying, “Wow!” – as if that mad skill will somehow translate to playing in Cleveland in December – didn’t help.
But while we’re waiting for the draft to finally get here (May 8-10), here are a few things I’m 100 percent certain of (at least until tomorrow).
1. HOUSTON IS STUCK: I’m more convinced than ever that the [More]
- 3:32 pm Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
I spent some time earlier in the week with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff. The column, which can be viewed online now at MyAJC.com and is in print in Sunday’s newspaper, mostly focuses on how quickly Dimitroff lost the benefit of the doubt with many in the public after the team went from a perceived Super Bowl contender to finishing 4-12 last year.
Dimitroff has made several changes to his personnel staff and the Mike Smith’s coaching staff. He has issued a strong message to everybody in the team’s Flowery Branch complex: “OK. We’re 4-12. Adapt and deal with it.”
- 1:21 pm Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has admitted to abusing painkillers in the past and as recently as five months ago claimed to have not had a drink in 15 years. But he was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, and now many are wondering if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will deal with an owner as severely as he does the league’s players.
If Irsay has relapsed, that’s far more significant than anything else that may come his way, including the four felony charges stemming from his arrest. Carmel, Ind., police said they [More]