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Falcons cut 13 including Shockley

September 5th, 2009 1 comment
On the bubble?

On the bubble?

The Falcons announced 13 cuts that get the team down to 53 players on the roster. The players released were: Troy Bergeron, Thomas Brown, Mike Butterworth, Robert Ferguson, Robert James, Aaron Kelly, Maurice Lucas, Will Middleton, Jason Rader, D.J. Shockley, Jose Valdez, Vance Walker, and Jamie Winborn.

Shockley was a 2007 draft pick, while James and Brown were taken in the 2008 draft. Middleton and Walker were draft picks this past year.

Kelly, Lucas, and Valdez were undrafted rookie free agents this past year. Bergeron and Butterworth were free agent pickups last year. Ferguson, Rader, and Winborn were veteran pickups.

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Camp Battles: Special Teams

July 11th, 2009 Comments off

Relatively speaking, this is the most settled spot on the roster. Jason Elam and Michael Koenen will held into camp unchallenged for their spots. Mike Schneck will be pushed by undrafted rookie long snapper Robert Shiver. Shiver will have to have a really strong summer to push Schneck off the roster, but it’s happened before to Schneck in Buffalo and here in Atlanta with an unknown guy named Derek Rackley.

In the return game, it seems doubtful that Jerious Norwood and Harry Douglas won’t be the team’s kickoff and punt returners, respectively. Thomas Brown, William Middleton, Aaron Kelly, and Chandler Williams may get opportunities this summer, but barring really strong showings in camp and the preseason, the team won’t mess with a good combo.

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Camp Battles: Running Backs

June 28th, 2009 Comments off

Already previewed what to expect as far as competiton at quarterback, now it’s time to move on to the running backs.

Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood are entrenched at the top two spots at running back, and won’t have to worry about their jobs being up for grabs. Ovie Mughelli isn’t going anywhere as well as far as the starting fullback position goes. Meaning that leaves probably two roster spots open to the rest of the team.

Most likely to grab one of those spots is Jason Snelling, who offers versatility both to play either fullback or running back. Snelling’s playing time increased as last season wore on, and assuming the coaching staff is still high on him, it’s unlikely he’ll be left out in the cold.

The other spot will come down in a battle between Thomas Brown and Verron Haynes. Brown has the edge, given that he was a draft pick by the team a year ago. Brown gives them another potential option on third downs as well as special teams. Haynes is a bigger back, that like Snelling has played some at fullback in the past, and is a capable receiver and blocker on third downs too.

But Haynes is set to go to trial in September for writing some bad checks when purchasing a car a few years back. And while it’s not a terrible black eye, it’s not likely to grant Haynes any favors when it comes down to roster decision time.

Snelling’s ability to play either running spot means the team only really has to keep four backs when most NFL teams keep five. But the fifth back is more likely to be Brown if one is kept. The team also still has the option of throwing Brown on the practice squad if need be.

Falcons get three back from injury

March 24th, 2009 Comments off

The AJC reports that three Falcons have been cleared to participate as the team opens off-season workouts today. Those three were injured last season and include running back Thomas Brown, linebacker Robert James, and defensive tackle Trey Lewis.

Both Brown and James were draft picks last year, but were injured during camp and missed their rookie seasons. Brown is expected to add depth at running back while James is expected to see time as a reserve outside linebacker.

Lewis is probably the most significant return. Lewis suffered an injury midway through the 2007 season and re-aggravated the injury last off-season, forcing him to miss the entire season. With the loss of free agent Grady Jackson to the Detroit Lions this off-season, there is a void at nose tackle which a healthy Lewis may be able to fill. He replaced Jackson as the starter for 5 games in 2007 before his injury.

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Harrington, Forney among final cuts

August 31st, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons announced their cuts today to get their roster down to the 53-man limit for the regular season. This likely won’t be the only moves the team makes before their opener against the Detroit Lions on September 7, as they will pilfer through the waiver wire looking for players other teams released today.

Most prominent among those players released were quarterback Joey Harrington and guard Kynan Forney. Harrington started 10 games for the Falcons last year and was the team’s leading passer, but lost out in the battle this summer against D.J. Shockley. Forney had started 89 games over the past seven seasons with the Falcons, but fell out of favor by the coaching staff early on with the emergence of Harvey Dahl in off-season workouts.

The other players released were: guard D’Anthony Batiste, safety Eric Brock, offensive tackle Mike Butterworth, safety Deke Cooper, center Doug Datish, defensive end Willie Evans, cornerback Wilrey Fontenot, defensive end Brandon Miller, defensive tackle Rashad Moore, offensive tackle Terrance Pennington, linebacker Mickey Pimentel, tight end Marcus Pollard, cornerback Glenn Sharpe, defensive tackle Montavious Stanley, safety Daren Stone, linebacker Cameron Vaughn, wide receivers Eric Weems and Chandler Williams, and tight end Keith Zinger. The team also placed running back Thomas Brown on injured reserve, as he’ll miss the season with a torn muscle near his groin, suffered on Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Ravens.

Along with Brown, Fontenot and Zinger were the only draft picks that did not make the final roster. Datish and Stone were draft picks for the team in 2007. None of the other players released had joined the team prior to last season.

Tomorrow, the Falcons will also establish their eight-man practice squad. Already on the developmental practice squad is wide receiver Noriaki Kinoshita, who counts as a ninth member, but won’t be allowed to be elevated to the team’s roster during the season.

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Falcons sign rookie RB Brown

June 18th, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons announced the signing of yet another draft pick on Wednesday, signing sixth round pick running back Thomas Brown out of Georgia. Brown is the team’s sixth draft pick to sign his contract. Despite an injury-marred career at Georgia, Brown finished his career ranked 5th all-time in the school’s record books with 2,646 career rushing yards. He also scored 26 total touchdowns and passed for one more. He is expected to compete for playing time as the team’s third running back with 2007 seventh round pick Jason Snelling.

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More rookies could sign soon

June 13th, 2008 Comments off

According to the Sports Xchange team report, the Falcons are close to signing two more draft picks: second round linebacker Curtis Lofton and sixth round running back Thomas Brown. The Falcons already have signed four of their draft picks, more than other teams except the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.

The AJC reports that with two fellow third rounders signed, wide receiver Harry Douglas could also be close to signing as well.

The Falcons have eleven total draft picks.

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Falcon choose Thomas Brown

April 27th, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons shore up some running back depth with Thomas Brown with their sixth round selection. Brown, out of the University of Georgia, has battled injuries in his career, but was a productive player for the Bulldogs. He finished his career with 2,646 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He’ll get a chance to compete with Jason Snelling for a reserve running back position this summer.

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