Archive

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Falcons LB Marquis Spruill Tears ACL

August 7th, 2014 No comments
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Marquis Spruill

The Atlanta Falcons announced today that linebacker Marquis Spruill will miss the entire 2014 season due to a torn ACL. Spruill suffered an undisclosed leg injury in practice yesterday.

Spruill was a fifth-round pick out of Syracuse by the Falcons in this past May’s draft and was expected to compete for a reserve inside linebacker spot. That has been a problem spot for the Falcons in recent weeks as the team has added Pat Angerer prior to camp, but he has missed time due to a concussion. The team has shown recent interest in other free agents at the position, including Will Witherspoon and Nick Barnett since signing free agent linebacker Tim Dobbins in June.

Spruill marks the fourth out of the Falcons last five draft classes where a player has suffered a season-ending injury prior to the start of the regular season. Last year, the unfortunate honor went to seventh-round quarterback Sean Renfree. A year prior, it was fifth-round fullback Bradie Ewing, while the 2010 class saw fifth-round wide receiver Kerry Meier.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Falcons 2014 Training Camp: Day 11 Report

August 7th, 2014 No comments
From Malcolm Johnson/WGXA

Dylan Hoyt and Roddy White. From Malcolm Johnson/WGXA

Let’s take a look at the various tweets, articles, reports, news and rumors that surfaced from the 11th day of Atlanta Falcons training camp yesterday:

Linebacker Marquis Spruill went down with an undisclosed leg injury yesterday and left practice.

Jay Adams gives us his five things from yesterday’s practice including Dezmen Southward’s return to practice from a knee injury. Southward had missed six days of practice since injuring his knee last week.

Vaughn McClure writes about his own observations from yesterday’s practice.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters’ return from a torn Achilles might be improving.

Falcons will make a decision soon about whether to increase wide receiver Julio Jones’ workload. Thus far in camp, he’s been on the one day on, one day off practice schedule.

Of course, another fight broke out in camp, this time between former college teams, guard Mike Johnson and cornerback Javier Arenas.

Our good friend, Dylan Hoyt, who appeared on the FalcFans Podcast back in March, got the red-carpet treatment at camp yesterday. If you don’t remember, Dylan famously won a twitter bet with wide receiver Roddy White when Mercer upset Duke in the NCAA Tournament, and will receive Falcons season tickets this season.

Check out these photos from yesterday’s practice.

Falcons 2014 Training Camp: Day 10 Report

August 5th, 2014 No comments
From AtlantaFalcons.com

Ricardo Allen. From AtlantaFalcons.com

Let’s take a look at the various tweets, articles, reports, news and rumors that surfaced from the tenth day of Atlanta Falcons training camp yesterday:

The Falcons gave their official update on the statuses of offensive tackle Terren Jones and defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman this morning. Head coach Mike Smith indicated that Jones was released from the hospital late Sunday and is currently in the league’s concussion protocol after a scary incident Sunday afternoon in which he was carted off the field and taken away via ambulance. Smith also confirmed what various reports indicated in that Hageman did not suffer any break in his hand or wrist, but did not specify the exact nature of whatever hand injury Hageman sustained that forced his exit from practice Sunday.

Clearly, the injury wasn’t that serious as Hageman did participate fully in Monday’s combined practice with the Tennessee Titans.

Jay Adams gives us five takeaways from the day’s work, including Kemal Ishmael’s preparation, Jacquizz Rodgers’ superior pass protection skills and an injury update.

To no one’s surprise, the Falcons and Titans got into it early during practice on special teams, with a fight that involved cornerback Robert McClain. Center Joe Hawley was ejected from practice not long after for fighting and would spend the rest of the day in the locker room. Titans safety Bernard Pollard had choice words for the Falcons during practice. His attitude towards the Falcons seemingly even bothered his own teammate.

Falcons offensive lineman Gabe Carimi also left practice, but his was due to an undisclosed injury he suffered. According to a tweet by FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez early this morning, the team is cautiously optimistic that Carimi only suffered an ankle sprain. How severe that sprain is is not yet known, but it doesn’t sound like Carimi’s season is over. But in the competition for a reserve spot, any missed time will hurt him.

Read more…

Terren Jones Taken to Hospital; Hageman Injures Wrist in Practice (UPDATE)

August 4th, 2014 No comments
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ra’Shede Hageman

The Atlanta Falcons conducted their ninth practice of training camp this afternoon, but were witness to a scary sight as offensive tackle Terren Jones was carted off the field and transported to the hospital via ambulance with an apparent head injury. The exact nature of the injury is not yet known, and Falcons head coach Mike Smith gave no updates after practice besides expressing a general concern for Jones. In other news, rookie defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman suffered a hairline fracture in his wrist according to a league source of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. Hageman suffered the injury while fighting with center Joe Hawley at practice today.

Jones is a second-year player that finished last season on the Falcons roster after beginning the year on the practice squad. He was competing for a reserve spot, primarily at left tackle. Jones was seen to have his eyes closed while he was being loaded into the ambulance after being strapped to a backboard with a neckbrace, the usual protocol for when anybody suffers what is believed a head or spinal injury.

Smith had the following to say about Jones after practice:

“We certainly hope Terren is going to be all right. We don’t have any update right now. But as soon as we do, we’ll release that information. Any time a player doesn’t leave the field on his own power, you’re always concerned about it.”

Hageman got into a fight with Hawley early in practice and was taken into the locker room to have his hand check out and did not return to practice. According to McClure, his wrist injury takes four weeks to heal, but could be padded up to allow him to continue playing immediately.

Smith had the following to say about Hageman following practice:

“I think we’re all talking about competing and fighting for jobs, but we’re not talking about fighting each other. We’ve got to understand that. It’s not what we’re about. We’re about competing and going out and trying to win a job. But we’re not about fighting one another. That’s something that happens when it gets hot. Today, it was hot, or hotter than what we’ve been used to practicing. But we’ve got to definitely get that fixed.”

UPDATE: While Jones’ status has not been officially updated, he did tweet a “thumbs up” late Sunday night. Ross Jones of FOX Sports indicates that Terren Jones suffered a concussion.

Also various reports from Pro Football Talk, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, and FOX Sports’ Jones all indicate from an unspecified source that Hageman did not suffer any break of any kind in his hand or wrist. Sources, huh?

Falcons Add Veteran Safety Tyrell Johnson

August 3rd, 2014 No comments

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrell Johnson

The Atlanta Falcons addressed their questionable safety depth today by signing free agent safety Tyrell Johnson, formerly of the Detroit Lions. To make room for Johnson, the team cut fullback Roosevelt Nix, an undrafted free agent that was attempting to convert from defensive tackle.

Johnson last played in the NFL with the Lions in 2012, but was with the team last summer in training camp before being cut. Johnson was arrested last September for public urination in Miami following his release from the Lions. That was not his first run-in with the law since becoming an NFL player in 2008.

Originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Arkansas State, Johnson was immediately thrust into the starting lineup at free safety due to a neck injury to Madieu Williams. He finished that season with 24 tackles and an interception while starting the first seven games. Johnson moved to strong safety the following season after the departure of Darren Sharper and started 15 games. He recorded 53 tackles, an interception and seven pass breakups that season. The following summer, Johnson lost in the competition to retain his starting spot at strong safety and spent the next two seasons in limited action off the bench. In 2010 and 2011, he started a combined five games with a total of 18 appearances. He recorded 30 tackles and one pass breakup in that span, while also getting some work on special teams. In 2010 he was bothered by a knee injury, limiting his effectiveness, and his 2011 season ended prematurely due to a torn hamstring. Johnson signed with the Lions in 2012 and appeared in just four games, mostly as a special teams player. He had three tackles that year on defense.

Johnson was initially on the Falcons radar back in 2008 during the pre-draft process. He helps add an experienced safety to the team’s roster, which is desperately needed given injuries to Dwight Lowery (concussion), Dezmen Southward (knee) and Zeke Motta (neck). The Falcons are currently employing Kemal Ishmael and Sean Baker opposite strong safety William Moore in the absence of those players. Ishmael has only appeared in four NFL games, all coming on special teams in 2013 during his rookie season. Baker has appeared in none in two years in the pros.

Nix was a highly productive defensive tackle at Kent State over the past four seasons, collecting a total of 24 sacks and 65 tackles for loss to become the school’s all-time leader in both categories. The Falcons were attempting to convert Nix to the offensive side of the ball given his smaller stature (5’11″ 260 pounds) made it unlikely he would play his natural position in the NFL. His departure leaves fellow undrafted rookie Maurice Hagens and incumbent starter Patrick DiMarco as the lone remaining fullbacks on the roster.

Categories: News Tags: ,

Falcons 2014 Training Camp: Day 8 Report

August 3rd, 2014 No comments
From AtlantaFalcons.com

Mike Smith. From AtlantaFalcons.com

Let’s take a look at the various tweets, articles, reports, news and rumors that surfaced from the eighth day of Atlanta Falcons training camp yesterday:

It was an overcast day on Saturday with a few drops of rain to highlight the Falcons practice.

Reid Ferrin gives five things we learned from Saturday’s practice including update on Dwight Lowery’s concussion, Tyson Jackson’s mentoring of Ra’Shede Hageman and assistant coach Keith Armstrong’s focus on special teams, where Bernard Reedy has stood out.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure adds five notes from practice including some of the same subjects but also adds discussion of Tyler Starr’s fight with Brian Wozniak during practice. Starr spoke to the media after practice about the event. Thankfully, safety William Moore was on hand during the scuffle to prevent both benches from clearing into an all-out melee.

McClure also gives a thorough update on Lowery’s concussion as well as the Falcons attempts to cross-train a pair of cornerbacks in Robert McClain and rookie Ricardo Allen to work at safety. Both players got work there on Saturday, while Kemal Ishmael and Sean Baker held down the starting spot in Lowery’s absence. In this video from the AJC, head coach Mike Smith provides his take on the Falcons safety depth. Speaking of McClain, it appears that he is now getting first-team reps at the nickel position.

Read more…

Falcons 2014 Training Camp: Day 7 Report

August 2nd, 2014 1 comment
From AtlantaFalcons.com

Fans line up for Friday Night Lights. From AtlantaFalcons.com

The Atlanta Falcons conducted their seventh annual Friday Night Lights scrimmage in front of over 12,000 Falcons fans at a local high school last night.

AtlantaFalcons.com had a live blog of the event and Reid Ferrin also gives his five takeaways from the event, including which young Falcon wide receiver deserved the game ball and which made the play of the night.

Some of the Falcons lesser known receivers got the better of Falcons cornerbacks with double moves. But Desmond Trufant would not be denied and rebounded with a nice play. Bernard Reedy was the star of the night however.

One of the notable takeaways from the event was an apparent head injury to starting free safety Dwight Lowery. Lowery missed most of last season with a concussion, making this one even more potentially problematic. The Falcons depth is already stretched at safety given injuries to Dezmen Southward and Zeke Motta. The Falcons will seemingly be putting more on the plates of both young safeties in Kemal Ishmael and Sean Baker. However by many accounts, both players have been impressive thus far this summer when given the opportunities.

The Falcons also added defensive tackle Theo Agnew to the roster, who will don Peria Jerry’s vacated No. 97 jersey. Agnew is an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State and tried out for the Falcons during their rookie mini-camp in May. He played predominantly as a 3-4 defensvie end during his collegiate days and will attempt to shore up depth at that position in light of Jerry’s departure.

Rookie linebacker Prince Shembo also continued his solid play from training camp into the scrimmage, making a number of tackles.

Other players who appeared to take advantage of Friday night’s event were running back Josh Vaughan, linebacker Jacques Smith and rookie receiver Tramaine Thompson. Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert was also impressive.

Also be sure to check out Jeanna Thomas’ notes from the event on the Falcholic.

Falcons 2014 Training Camp: Day 6 Report

August 1st, 2014 No comments
From AtlantaFalcons.com

Prince Shembo. From AtlantaFalcons.com

Let’s take a look at the various tweets, articles, reports, news and rumors that surfaced from the sixth day of Atlanta Falcons training camp:

The Falcons got Wednesday off and appeared eager to get back into the action yesterday on Thursday. The team donned pads for the third consecutive practice.

Reid Ferrin gives us five things to take away from Thursday, including coaches praising the likes of linebacker Prince Shembo, cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford and addressing what is the biggest story of the day in that defensive tackle Peria Jerry retired from football. Jerry is the second Falcon player to hang up his cleats this summer.

The AJC provides video of head coach Mike Smith’s post-practice media session, as well as several seconds of live practice.

Julio Jones has received new, custom-made cleats from Under Armour.

Other news to emerge was that the Falcons might not be quite done with adding depth at inside linebacker. According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Nick Barnett is still on the Falcons radar. Barnett worked out for the Falcons in June along with Tim Dobbins and Jonathan Vilma. The Falcons wound up signing Dobbins, but then added Pat Angerer earlier this month to shore up inside linebacker depth.

Speaking of Angerer, there is an update to the injury he suffered on Tuesday. That report also discusses the extent of rookie safety Dezmen Southward’s injury as well. In Southward’s absence, Sean Baker stepped up onto the second unit alongside Kemal Ishmael to man the safety positions.

Southward Out A Week With Knee Injury, Angerer Suffering from Concussion

July 31st, 2014 No comments
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dezmen Southward

The Atlanta Falcons announced today that rookie safety Dezmen Southward and linebacker Pat Angerer will miss time due to recent injuries. Both players were held out of Thursday’s afternoon practice with a knee injury and concussion, respectively.

Southward missed his first practice earlier today, but will still be able to participate in morning walkthroughs in upcoming practices. Southward is expected to miss a week.

Angerer left Tuesday’s practice early with an apparent leg injury, but it has later revealed that he was suffering from headaches and the team finally confirmed today that he was suffering from a concussion. He is currently in the league’s concussion protocol, so there is no timetable for his exact return to the practice field, which will have to be determined by team doctors.

Southward is competing as the team’s top reserve at safety, and with second-year player Zeke Motta currently on the team’s training camp Physically-Unable-to-Perform list, it leaves the team inexperienced at the safety position. Second-year safety Kemal Ishmael, who appeared in four games in 2013, is now the team’s lone reserve safety with NFL game experience.

Angerer was signed just prior to camp to shore up depth at inside linebacker, but his absence leaves the team without much experience behind starters Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu. Tim Dobbins, who was signed in June, is currently the only backup at inside linebacker that has NFL experience. The Falcons did however spend three 2014 draft picks on inside linebackers: Prince Shembo (fourth round), Marquis Spruill (fifth round) and Yawin Smallwood (seventh round). All three rookies are likely to see increased reps until Angerer’s return.

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Falcons DT Peria Jerry Hangs Up Cleats

July 31st, 2014 No comments
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Peria Jerry

First reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Atlanta Falcons later confirmed that defensive tackle Peria Jerry has announced his retirement from football. Jerry was a former first-round selection of the Falcons in 2009 that will most likely go down as one of the bigger draft busts in recent Falcons draft history, and perhaps the biggest one of Thomas Dimitroff’s tenure as general manager.

Jerry’s career showed promise in his first game, but was injured in his second and missed the rest of his rookie season. His return in 2010 left him as a reserve to then rookie Corey Peters, a role that Jerry continued for the remainder of his career. Jerry would fill in at various times when a starter was injured or suspended, starting four games in 2011 in replacement for Jonathan Babineaux and nine in 2012 due to an injury to Peters. This past year, he started a career-high 14 games thanks largely to the absence of defensive end Kroy Biermann. Jerry finished with career highs of 33 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He finishes his career with 29 career starts in 64 appearances, with 67 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

Jerry was a highly-touted prospect coming out of Ole Miss in 2009, having earned All-American honors with seven sacks as a senior. But Jerry’s college career was also marred by injury, having missed time due to ankle and knee injuries dating back to his prep career.

Jerry was potentially on the bubble this summer after re-signing with the Falcons this offseason. His departure could open up opportunities for Travian Robertson and Cliff Matthews to make the roster.

Categories: News Tags: ,