Posts Tagged ‘Leftwich’

Falcons dump Crumpler, Coleman, and others

February 15th, 2008 Comments off

Getty Images/Chris Graythen
The Falcons released seven players today in their attempts to begin the rebuilding process under new head coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff. Among those released were some prominent names including: defensive tackle Rod Coleman, tight end Alge Crumpler, offensive tackle Wayne Gandy, quarterback Byron Leftwich, cornerback Lewis Sanders, linebacker Marcus Wilkins, and wide receiver Jamin Elliott.

Coleman was one of the team’s big free agent signings in 2004. He earned Pro Bowl honors in 2005. In four years with the Falcons, he recorded 114 tackles and 30 sacks, and was considered one of the top interior pass rushers in the league. But this past year, he missed 11 games as he nursed several injuries, and was limited to just 7 tackles and 2 sacks in five starts.

Crumpler ends seven years with the Falcons. He was originally a second round pick in 2001, and led the Falcons in receiving yards for three straight seasons (2004-06). Crumpler went to the Pro Bowl four straight years (2003-06). Over his Falcon career, he had caught 316 passes for 4212 yards and 35 touchdowns, and ranks among the top receivers in Falcons history. Last season he had 42 catches for 444 yards, which was his lowest total in yards since his rookie season. His drop in production was mainly due to injuries and increasing age.

The Falcons acquired Gandy via trade in 2006. He started 16 games that season at left tackle, but missed 11 games this past year due to a torn ACL. Gandy turned 37 this past week and was likely released due to his age.

The Falcons added Leftwich after Week 2 of the season to challenge Joey Harrington for the starting position. Leftwich’s career has long been plagued by injuries, and he was unable to shake that stigma in Atlanta. He managed 2 starts this year, passing for 279 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.

Sanders and Wilkins were both free agent signings for the team last year. Sanders started 6 games before poor play forced him to the bench. In 14 games, he recorded 33 tackles with no interceptions. Wilkins played exclusively on special teams this year, not notching a single tackle on defense. He finished the year with only 5 tackles on special teams in 15 games. It was a marked decrease from previous production, since in his final three years with the Cincinnati Bengals, he tallied at least 16 stops on special teams.

Elliott sat out the entire year with injury, after going on injured reserve in August. He originally joined the team in 2006, and spent most of that season on their practice squad, before being activated to the roster for the final game of that season. Despite being in the league since 2002, Elliott has never had a reception and has only appeared in a total of 3 games.

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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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Coleman could get first action of the season on Monday night

October 12th, 2007 Comments off

Updating this week’s injury report, the Falcons are listing only two players as out for Monday night’s contest against the New York Giants. Those player are offensive tackle Todd Weiner and linebacker Stephen Nicholas. Weiner is expected to miss two to six weeks with a knee injury and Nicholas suffered a high ankle sprain last weekend and will miss two weeks.

Defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux (knee) and Rod Coleman (knee), along with linebacker Keith Brooking (hamstring) and quarterback Byron Leftwich (ankle) are all listed as questionable for the game as well. Babineaux was the only one among the four the participated in Friday’s practice. Coleman had limited participation on Wednesday and Thursday, and Petrino expressed optimism earlier in the week that he’d be ready to play on Monday. This game would mark the first for Coleman this season, as he’s been unable to practice for the most part since April. The extra day of rest should benefit the Falcons, as reports indicate that Leftwich’s injury is relatively minor, and he was held out on Friday so that he could extra rest.

Leftwich was promoted ahead of Chris Redman as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart this week. If Coleman and/or Babineaux are unable to go, Trey Lewis will make his third consecutive start of the season.

As for the players listed as probable on the injury report, they included tight end Dwayne Blakley (chest), safety Chris Crocker (knee), tight end Alge Crumpler (knee/ankle), defensive tackle Grady Jackson (back), and cornerback Lewis Sanders (shoulder). All are expected to play and/or start.

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