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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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Quarterback is open competition

July 25th, 2008 Comments off

The AJC’s Steve Wyche cites Falcons head coach Mike Smith as indicating that the team’s starting quarterback position is up for grabs.

“We want them all to compete as if they’ll be starters…It’s going to be an open competition.”

– Mike Smith

From most indications, Chris Redman is the incumbent and enters camp atop the depth chart, but all four passers the team has in camp will have the opportunity to win the job. Redman finished last season strongly with four starts, passing for 1079 yards, 10 touchdowns, and a 90.4 passer rating. But the team drafted Matt Ryan with the third overall pick this past April, and he’s definitely slated to be the quarterback of the future. But Ryan will have the opportunity to be the quarterback of today as well if he performs well in camp. Also on the roster are Joey Harrington who started 10 games last year and D.J. Shockley who was a seventh round pick two years ago.

Roster could see lots of turnover

February 15th, 2008 Comments off

The AJC’s Steve Wyche reports that several Falcons veterans may not be back in 2008. Among players named by Wyche, who cites NFL officials and player agents, are safeties Lawyer Milloy and Chris Crocker, along with offensive linemen Wayne Gandy, Kynan Forney, and Todd Weiner, wide receivers Brian Finneran and Joe Horn, running back Warrick Dunn, quarterbacks Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich, and linebacker Keith Brooking. Wyche reports that many of these players could be released as soon as Friday, February 15.

Wyche indicates that one player that could be potentially safe is tight end Alge Crumpler, who is coming off a down year. But Crumpler may be retained since it’s doubtful the Falcons could add someone in the draft or free agency that could adequately replace him.

Crocker is an unrestricted free agent, and is not expected to be re-signed. The remaining players represent 10 of the team’s top 15 highest-paid players based on 2008 base salary. The Falcons currently have around $6 million in cap space for the 2008 season. Dunn, Gandy, Milloy, Forney, Harrington, and Leftwich are all entering the final years on their contracts. Brooking and Finneran have two years left on their deals, while Horn and Weiner have three and four, respectively. Among them, Brooking ($4.9 million), Dunn ($4 million), Gandy ($3.5 million), and Forney ($2.95 million) have the highest 2008 base salaries.

Harrington to start vs. Colts

November 21st, 2007 Comments off

The Falcons have made a short-term decision on who will be the starting quarterback at least for tomorrow night’s matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Joey Harrington will replace an injured Byron Leftwich in the starting lineup. Leftwich is listed among several Falcons as doubtful the Thanksgiving Night matchup against the Colts. Leftwich suffered an injured tailbone in last week’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Head coach Bobby Petrino was noncommittal on whether Harrington or Leftwich would get the start afterwards during this week’s press conference: “Since this is such a short week, we are worrying about the Indianapolis game right now. We’ll have a little break after that and we’ll see how everything goes.”

In other injury news, the Falcons listed tight end Dwayne Blakley (concussion), wide receiver Joe Horn (hamstring/foot), and offensive tackle Todd Weiner (knee) also as doubtful. Blakley is expected to be replaced by Courtney Anderson, a free agent pickup from a week ago. Rookie Laurent Robinson has filled in for Horn the past two weeks and will likely do again for a third consecutive week. Weiner was replaced by Quinn Ojinnaka at left tackle during last week’s game when he went out with injury. Ojinnaka is expected to do so again, although there might be a chance that Terrance Pennington may be given some reps on Thursday at left tackle.

Also on the injury report was tight end Alge Crumpler who was listed as probable with a foot injury.

Crumpler and Sanders on injury report

October 19th, 2007 Comments off

The Falcons released their Friday injury report and there weren’t any significant changes from a week ago. For the second straight week, tackle Todd Weiner (knee) and linebacker Stephen Nicholas (ankle) are both listed as out for this Sunday’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The notable changes occurred with tight end Alge Crumpler listed as doubtful due to a knee and ankle injury. Fullback Corey McIntyre, the team’s special teams captain is also doubtful with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Lewis Sanders (shoulder) is questionable.

Weiner will be replaced for the second straight week with Tyson Clabo at right tackle. If Crumpler does not play, then Dwayne Blakley is expected to make the start. Whether Sanders is healthy enough to play on Sunday may not determine if he starts or not since it is believed that rookie Chris Houston may already be very close to passing him on the depth chart.

Also on the injury report listed as probable are defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux and Rod Coleman, quarterback Joey Harrington, and wide receiver Joe Horn. Babineaux and Coleman were limited in practices on both Thursday and Friday, but still should play. Harrington had limited participation in practice all week, but with his recent demotion, his health is less of an issue. Horn’s injury probably won’t threaten his chance to play due to his eagerness to play against his former team.

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