Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Urban Meyer gets it wrong on Tim Tebow

  • 8:17 pm Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Urban Meyer should know there's a reason Tim Tebow is wearing a suit, not a uniform. (AP)

It was never my intention to write another blog about Tim Tebow or why he’s not cut out to be an NFL quarterback (still). But then Urban Meyer told the assembled media at Big Ten Media Days, “I still don’t get that part of it. He’s the second-most efficient passer ever to play college football.” And that sound was me slapping my forehead.

If you ever wondered whether Meyer could work in the personnel department — or coach — in the NFL, there’s your answer: no.

Tebow obviously was a great college quarterback at Florida and remains one of the greatest [More]

Poll: Falcons open camp, what’s your pick?

  • 9:59 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
061114 falcons CC21

FLOWERY BRANCH — I usually get a feeling how good or bad I think a football team will be. That doesn’t mean I’m right, but something about the previous season and the offseason at least gives me some sense of direction.

But about the 2014 Falcons: I have no idea what’s going to happen.

If you missed it, I have a column posted on MyAJC.com on the start of training camp later today. Here’s a free link to it.

I’ve posted a simple poll because I’m curious what you think. Rather than guess how many games this team will win, let’s focus [More]

Falcons make wrong call saying yes to ‘Hard Knocks’

  • 2:20 pm Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Make no mistake: "Hard Knocks" is preferred by Arthur Blank, not Mike Smith. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

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]

Weatherspoon out (Is this happening again?)

  • 9:49 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Sean Weatherspoon, who had been working his way back from previous injuries, is lost for the 2014 season. (AP photo)

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]

Atlanta will get Super Bowl despite weather

  • 10:32 am Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Pay no attention to this memory, football fans. (David Tullis)

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]

Falcons not wowing Vegas: Are concerns real?

  • 9:15 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Has Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff done enough to plug holes? (AP photo)

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]

UPDATE: Falcons take Jake Matthews

  • 11:30 am Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jadeveon Clowney , left, Sammy Watkins, center, and Khalil Mack may be the top three players drafted tonight. (AP photo)

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]

Mettenberger flagged for diluted drug test

  • 8:18 am Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Zach Mettenberger submitted a suspicious urine sample at the NFL draft combine. (Jason Getz/AJC

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]

Falcons may see tougher Mike Smith in ’14

  • 8:01 pm Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Falcons coach Mike Smith was candid about the team's weaknesses. (Kent Johnson, AJC)

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]

Texans could deal pick (Clowney, anyone?)

  • 2:19 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jadeveon Clowney will fly off draft board early, but maybe not to Houston. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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]