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Falcons cut Coleman, re-up with Wire

February 9th, 2011 Comments off
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Coy Wire

Jay Adams of AtlantaFalcons.com reports that the team has signed linebacker Coy Wire to a two-year extension and parted ways with safety Erik Coleman. The move to release Coleman has been in the pipeline since yesterday. Wire’s contract expired at the end of the 2010 season, and he was set to become a free agent.

Wire has added valuable depth for the Falcons since joining the team in 2008. He’s played in 47 games with 5 starts, recording 31 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 3 recoveries in that span. He also has been among the leaders each year and has combined for 32 special teams tackles the past three years.

Coleman’s value to the team was diminished due to the emergence of William Moore this past year. Moore replaced an injured Coleman in Week 2 and never relinquished the job. He finished the year with 71 tackles and 5 interceptions. In the same role in 2009, Coleman had 115 tackles and no interceptions.

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Falcons set to release Coleman

February 8th, 2011 Comments off
Erik Coleman

Erik Coleman

NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora reports that the Falcons are expected to release safety Erik Coleman according to league sources.

Coleman, 27, began this past year as the starting strong safety, a role he held last season, but a knee injury cost him some early goes. During which William Moore emerged and failed to relinquish the job when Coleman was able to return. Coleman finished the year with 18 tackles in 12 games. Coleman was one of the team’s first signings in the offseason in 2008, serving that year as the starting free safety before moving to the strong safety position a year ago to make way for Thomas DeCoud.

According to ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas, the Falcons can free up $2.5 million by releasing Coleman.

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Camp Battles ’10: Safety

July 25th, 2010 1 comment

The safety position may feature one of the few legitimate competitions for a starting position.

The battle may come between incumbent strong safety Erik Coleman and second-year player William Moore. It was obvious last season that when the Falcons took Moore in the second round of the draft, they envisioned him as a starter. But an injury early in camp derailed his chances of winning that job. And the Falcons plugged in Thomas DeCoud at free safety, and moved Coleman from his natural spot to the strong safety position. Coleman was serviceable as a starter, but his drop in production from 2008 to 2009 indicates that he is not a natural fit at his current position. So if Moore puts together a strong summer, then odds are he can win that position, and Coleman will be relegated to utility reserve.

But the Falcons won’t force Moore into the starting lineup after missing almost the entirety of his rookie year due to injury. They can afford to give him another year to develop before putting him into the lineup. The key for Moore’s chances of winning the job is if he can show that the mental awareness and discipline is there for him to man the starting position. Knowing his assignments in coverage are key for his success.

But after those three players, the competition is wide open. The Falcons may only need to keep four safeties because Coleman can play two positions. And that fourth spot will likely come down to Matt Giordano or Shann Schillinger. And who wins that battle will likely be largely dependent on who plays well on special teams this summer, since that is primarily what that player will do in the regular season. Giordano has more experience, but Schillinger is a rookie draft pick and thus has more long-term value. That probably gives Schillinger a slight edge in the competition.

Gabe Derricks and Rafael Bush are two undrafted free agents that will be in the mix and with good summers of producing on special teams and making some plays on defense could land practice squad roles.

Falcons Weekly Round Up, 3/27

March 27th, 2010 Comments off

Looking back over the Falcons-related news from the past week…

Owner’s Meetings

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)

Extra Paycheck

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)

Draft Notes

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.

Erik Coleman moves to strong safety

August 10th, 2009 Comments off

Erik Coleman

Erik Coleman

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the team has had Erik Coleman and Thomas DeCoud switch safety positions. Coleman was the starting free safety, but will now man the strong safety position that DeCoud was previously working at. The move might be prompted by the injury to William Moore, who was competing with DeCoud for the starting strong safety position. Moore is expected to be out up to four weeks.

DeCoud played free safety during his time at California, and worked at free safety for most of last year. Coleman has played both safety positions during his career, although he started every game at free safety last year.

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