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Archive for May, 2009

Ojinnaka arrested on battery charges

May 29th, 2009 Comments off

Josh Green of the Gwinnett Daily Post reports that Falcons offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka was arrested on battery charges this past week stemming from a domestic dispute involving his wife.

According to the report, Ojinnaka was arrest Tuesday night, posted $2,400 bond, and was released from Gwinnett County Jail a few hours later. Reportedly, the dispute started from Ojinnaka’s wife Ebony questioning him about an online acquaintance on Facebook.com. At one point during the dispute Ojinnaka reportedly spit in his wife’s face.

Ojinnaka is a fourth-year player for the Falcons, who appeared in 8 games this past season. He started 7 games in 2007 at left tackle. Ojinnaka primarily plays offensive tackle, but has also played some guard and center during his stint in Atlanta. He was a fifth round pick selected by the team in 2006.

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Vick released on Wednesday

May 19th, 2009 Comments off

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick will begin his home confinement at some point tomorrow after he is released from federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas some time after midnight tonight.

Vick will spend two months in home confinement in Hampton, Virginia, before being released from federal custody in July. During that time, he will work for a construction company in nearby Newport News, Virginia.

Vick is currently under contract with the Falcons and is serving an indefinite suspension from the league stemming from his conviction on federal charges stemming from dogfighting in 2007. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated in the past that in order for Vick to be reinstated in the league after his prison term ends, he will have to show genuine remorse.

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Falcons cut three

May 15th, 2009 Comments off

The Falcons announced the release of three players this morning including linebacker Derek Nicholson, cornerback Ronnie Prude, and safety Marcus Paschal. Nicholson was an undrafted rookie free agent signed after last month’s draft, while Prude and Paschal were both added following the season.

These roster moves leave the Falcons at 74 players on their roster, not including the eight unsigned rookie draft picks. League rules prohibit teams from carrying more than 80 players on their roster during the off-season. That means that the Falcons have the options of carrying up to six more players between now and when their draft picks begin to sign their contracts, likely to be in June and July. Or the team will have to release at least two more players in order to get all eight draft picks signed.

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Bergeron returns

May 10th, 2009 Comments off

The team announced on Sunday that they re-signed wide receiver Troy Bergeron. Bergeron was released by the team on April 28, after failing his physical the day after initially being signed by the team. He was among six players that the team invited to mini-camp for tryouts.

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Jerry should be ready to go later this month

May 10th, 2009 Comments off

Saturday morning, the Falcons top draft pick defensive tackle Peria Jerry suffered a mild sprain in his right knee according to team officials. He was held out of practices later on Saturday and Sunday. Per an AJC report, Falcons head coach Mike Smith indicated that he should be ready to go later on in the month as the Falcons convene for another mini-camp beginning on May 16.

Jerry suffered a torn lateral meniscus in the same knee a year while at Mississippi. He had surgery on it this past August. Jerry was the team’s first round selection this past year, taken with the No. 24 overall pick.

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White, Falcons working on new deal

May 10th, 2009 Comments off

Both the AJC and ESPN reported over the weekend that the Falcons are in the process of negotiating a long-term extension with receiver Roddy White. White is entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed back in 2005. This year due to escalators in his contract, he will make $2.28 million in base salary instead of the $780,000 as originally expected in his contract, as it was first reported by Scout.com in March.

However, the Falcons may not be in a rush to get White signed so quickly due to the looming status of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. If there is no extension of the deal before free agency starts next March, then White will only be a restricted free agent. 2010 will be an uncapped season under the current CBA, and only players with six or more years of experience will be allowed to test unrestricted free agency. Since White is entering only his fifth season, his free agency status will be limited.

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2009 Draft Review

May 1st, 2009 Comments off

With basically a week to let the Falcons picks mull over in my brain, here’s my insights on the Falcons 2009 draft.

1. Peria Jerry – I’m not in love with this pick, but I didn’t expect to be either. Jerry will be a solid addition to the Falcons interior defense and has nice upside to play either defensive tackle position. Much like the versatility that Marcus Stroud showed under Mike Smith in Jacksonville. I don’t think Jerry is quite as talented as Stroud is, but he should be a capable starter. I’m not confident that down the road Jerry will have the same sort of billing you expect out of a first round pick, but I think he should at least be as capable as Babineaux is. The issue with Jerry is injuries. He’s had a lot of lower body injuries, which means him getting much bigger than he is currently is probably not in his best interests.

2. William Moore – I really like this pick, no I love this pick. I was really high on William Moore, and I think he was the most underrated prospect in this entire draft. I know people are stuck on his issues in coverage, but he’s not horrible in coverage, just not good enough to project well at free safety. I think he’ll fit very nicely in our scheme as a strong safety, and if we ask him to do the same things we asked Milloy to do, then he should be able to perform them at least five times better, and still with the potential for growth.

3. Chris Owens – I know some Falcon fans were scratching their heads with this pick, with perceived better corners on the board. But I thought Owens was one of the few cornerback prospects that could emerge from this draft class and be a starter here. He’s not the most talented player, but he’s a hard worker and is a pure football player. Clearly, with the selection of Chevis Jackson last year, we can now see the trend of the team preferring ball skills and toughness over athleticism. I think it’s Chris Houston that is going to have to keep an eye on Owens since he’s the holdover. I think it’s very possible that Owens and Jackson could be a capable pair of starters by the end of 2010.

4. Lawrence Sidbury – He’s a bit of a project if you ask me. His edge speed is not really in question, but I think he’s more athlete than football player at this point. He’ll certainly help as a situational pass rusher coming off the edge, but I’m not sure he will progress much more than that. Even still, he should help the team out, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be a starter for us down the road.

5. Will Middleton – A bit of a surprising pick, but from what I hear about him he has the chance to help us out on specail teams, and also might get somewhat of a look at safety. Probably only as a dime back, but he can push for time. I don’t know enough about him to really like or dislike this pick. I’m just assuming he’s another Kroy Biermann, except in the secondary. Good player from a small school that will probably be a capable reserve, but that’s about it.

5. Garrett Reynolds – Reynolds probably will only be a swing tackle here in Atlanta, but given our immediate need there it makes sense. I would have rather had Andrew Gardner, but Reynolds is a decent backup option. If he can add strength he’ll add nice depth, but he’ll probably be limited as a starter.

6. Spencer Adkins – From what little I saw of Adkins last year, I was impressed by him. He has loads of speed, which you like. I don’t think he’s physical or big enough to really like his chances to contribute on regular defense, but there is some potential there if the team can capitalize on his athleticism. More than likely, he’ll be a solid special teams player, that just might be another Chris Draft in the making.

7. Vance Walker – He’ll help out the rotation, but I’m not sure he’s going to do much more than become a third or fourth option off the bench. I was impressed with Walker initially because he has nice burst as a pass rusher, but the more I saw of him the more limited he appeared to be. Lacks great burst and isn’t much of a factor vs. the run. But the Falcons need help in the rotation, and he can help.

Overall, I give this draft a solid B+. The Falcons needed to add some playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, and I think Moore is exactly that. I don’t think Jerry or Owens will be top starters, but I do think they can definitely contribute as above average to good starters. Everybody else is really depth more than likely, but that’s often the case with picks after the third round.

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Falcons make some changes in the front office

May 1st, 2009 Comments off

The Kansas City Chiefs announced today that they have hired Phil Emery to serve as their director of college scouting. Emery most recently served as the Falcons Eastern regional scout and has been with the Falcons since May 2004. Emery served as the director of college scout in Atlanta before being re-assigned when the team hired David Caldwell last year.

The team also announced yesterday that they made additional changes in their front office. Marvin Allen will replace Emery as Eastern regional scout, coming over to the team after sixteen years working within the New England Patriots organization, most of which as an area scout. Allen played running back for the Patriots from 1988-91 before joining the team’s front office.

The team also promoted Mark Olson to be Western regional scout, after ten years working in the team’s scouting department. He joined the team as a scouting assistant in 1998, and has been scouting the West for the past four years.

The team also hired Bob Kronenberg to join as an area scout. Kronenberg was an assistant coach with the Georgia Force of the AFL for the past seven years. He was an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator with the team which is also owned by Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Prior to joining the Force in 2002, he worked as an assistant coach with the Nashville Kats.

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