Looking back over the Falcons-related news from the past week…
The media got a chance to hear from the Falcons top brass during this week’s owners meetings. D-Led has a nice write-up on a Q&A session that occurred there with head coach Mike Smith. We learned that Smitty supports the changes to overtime, although that’s not too surprising since Rich McKay is co-chair of the competition committee, and the Falcons should be on board with all the proposals.
We also learned from Smith during the week that defensive tackle Peria Jerry and wide receiver Harry Douglas, both recovering from season-ending knee injuries last year won’t be participating in spring mini-camps and OTAs, but will be shooting to return at the end of July for training camp. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are back and ready to go now. And safety William Moore is simply “progressing” with no known timetable on when he will be completely recovered from his injury a year ago. (Source: Pat Yasinskas, ESPN)
Brent Grimes and Thomas DeCoud were the biggest earners this year for the Falcons in the performance-based pay system. (Source: D-Led, AJC)
Also interesting to note that Falcons safety Erik Coleman has been the biggest earner overall since the league instituted the system in 2002. (Source: Tim Yotter, Scout.com)
Beefing Up the Middle
The Falcons appear to be very interested in getting stronger up the middle along their offensive line, having scheduled several workouts this week with draft prospects. They are working out three center prospects this weekend: Matt Tennant (Boston College), J.D. Walton (Baylor), and Ted Larsen (N.C. State). The team also has unspecified upcoming workouts with Maurice Pouncey (Florida) and Mike Iupati (Idaho) who are often predicted to be first round picks. Indiana offensive tackle Rodger Saffold also will work out with the Falcons this past week, who many project as a possible guard. (Sources: FalcFans Draft Central)
They are being speculated as a potential destination for Miami Dolphins guard Justin Smiley. (Source: Armando Salguero, Miami Herald)
The Falcons had a busy week of visiting pro days, attending those of N.C. State, Connecticut, and Central Michigan this past Wednesday. They checked out UNLV’s on Thursday. You can find out more information on which prospects the Falcons are targetting at FalcFans Draft Central.