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Posts Tagged ‘McClure’

Should the Falcons draft an Offensive Lineman?

March 9th, 2011 Comments off
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OT Sam Baker

I keep seeing a bunch of mocks having the Falcons take an offensive linemen in the first round of the draft, and frankly from where I’m sitting, I think the odds are very, very, very low that happens. In fact, I think the odds are fairly low that the Falcons will take an offensive lineman at any point in the draft, let alone the first round. And I’ll explain why, and much of it has to do with the labor strife the league is currently undergoing.

I’m not certain what is going to become of the CBA labor situation the rest of this week or going forward. But let’s look at both scenarios: (1) the pessimistic one where a lockout occurs and there is essentially no player movement between now and the draft and afterwards. And (2) the optimistic one in that a new CBA gets hammered out at some point in the next seven weeks before the draft and that we get some semblance of free agency and a relatively normal off-season. How does either scenario affect the Falcons offensive line situation?

We know that Tyson Clabo, Harvey Dahl, and Justin Blalock all had their contracts expire at the end of the 2010 season. The Falcons quickly were able to re-sign reserve Will Svitek last week, getting him locked up for two more seasons as a Falcon. But those three players that aren’t yet signed represent 60% of the Falcons starting lineup, and arguably the best 60%. Clabo landed a Pro Bowl bid this year, and Harvey Dahl quietly had a second solid year in a Falcon uniform. And even Justin Blalock, the player I thought going into this season was the weakest link of the front five improved his play, and arguably was our most consistent blocker over the second half of the season.

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Babs questionable for Panthers

December 31st, 2010 Comments off

Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux was listed as questionable for the regular season finale this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in the team’s weekly injury report earlier today. Babineaux missed the entire week of practice with a shoulder injury. Also listed as questionable are defensive end Kroy Biermann (calf), linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee), and center Todd McClure (ankle). Defensive end John Abraham (groin) and wide out Roddy White (knee) were listed as probable on the report.

Babineaux was the lone Falcon to miss all three days of practice. Lofton, McClure, and White each missed Wednesday and Thursday practices, but White fully participated on Friday, and both Lofton and McClure had limited participation as well.

Second-year defensive tackle Vance Walker is listed on the team’s depth chart as Babineaux’s primary reason. His absence will likely mean increased playing time for Peria Jerry as well.

Matching Up With the Steelers

September 9th, 2010 Comments off

I’m not sure how regular this will be as the season unfolds, but I’ll try to do one each week if I can. Since this is the first game of the season, I really don’t have any excuses not to do it. But I’m going to be looking at the different matchups that I like and don’t like as the Falcons prepare for the Steelers.

Matchups I Like

Dennis Dixon vs. the Falcons defense

I know many Falcon fans were worried about the possibility of Dixon starting this week instead of Byron Leftwich. They’d rather face the statue of Leftwich rather than the mobile Dixon.

I’m not too worried. Dixon will likely be able to make some plays with his legs, but his accuracy and decision making are the biggest areas of concerns for the Steelers offense. He has only had limited work with the first team offense, so he isn’t likely to be on the same page with most of his receivers. He is only making his second NFL start, so he will also be prone to making a lot of rookie mistakes. How he recognizes defense, how he sees the field, and whether he can make good decisions and put the ball on the money with accuracy to his receivers must be a major concern for the Steelers brass, otherwise they would not have been so reluctant to start him.

The Falcons will likely look to confine him to the pocket where he is going to be less dangerous. Safeties Thomas DeCoud and Erik Coleman will likely be a big reason why if the Falcons are able to take advantage, sitting back and reading Dixon’s eyes and breaking plays on the ball. The hallmark of young quarterbacks is a tendency to stare down his targets, which allows defensive backs, especially safeties a greater opportunity to jump routes and break up plays.

Steelers Right OL vs. Falcons Left DL

This matchup features rookie center Maurkice Pouncey, right guard Trai Essex, and right tackle Flozell Adams versus the Falcons left side of their line which will feature mainly Kroy Biermann at left end, Peria Jerry at left tackle, and Jamaal Anderson splitting time at both spots.

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McClure not expected to retire or holdout

April 23rd, 2009 Comments off

Earlier this month, a report appeared on ProFootballTalk.com reporting that the Falcons might move in a different direction from starting center Todd McClure due to his holding out from voluntary off-season workouts. Earlier today, Dan Parr of Pro Football Weekly indicated those reports are overblown.

Pro Football Talk reported that McClure is seeking a new deal and is holding out from off-season workouts and threatening retirement. It also indicated that the Falcons in response to McClure’s actions started looking at free agent centers including Jeremy Newberry.

Pro Football Weekly reports that while McClure is seeking a new contract, he is not expected to miss mandatory workouts later in the off-season and is not facing pressure from the Falcons for missing the workouts. Parr’s report indicates that the Falcons would like to add a young center via the draft to groom behind McClure, but are not considering to replace him in the near future. The Falcons also aren’t likely to give into McClure’s desires to have a new deal.

McClure signed a new five-year contract extension in December 2006 worth $10 million.

Brett Romberg, center was one of the two free agents signed this off-season as well.

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Turner is All-Pro

January 9th, 2009 Comments off

Running back Michael Turner was the only Falcon player to be named to the Associated Press’s annual All-Pro team. Turner came in second place among voting at the running back position, garner 40 votes behind Adrian Peterson’s 45 votes.

Several other Falcons received votes however. John Abraham had 17 votes, coming in fourth place among defensive ends. Roddy White had four votes and was sixth in the voting at wide receiver. Fullback Ovie Mughelli, guard Harvey Dahl, center Todd McClure, and kicker Jason Elam eached garnered a single vote at their respective positions.

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Several Falcons return from injury

August 13th, 2008 Comments off

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that center Todd McClure and cornerback Chris Houston has returned to practice. They were out with a back injury and dislocated shoulder, respectively Also wide receiver Laurent Robinson has resumed work after missing time with a bruised tailbone.

No report yet on whether all three players will be healthy enough to play on Saturday in the preseason home opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Alex Stepanovich started for McClure last week at center against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but too has been injured due to a back injury. In his stead, the team has worked reserve tackle Quinn Ojinnaka to center to provide more depth behind Ben Wilkerson and Doug Datish.

Houston is expected to be a starting cornerback for the Falcons, but is being pushed by Chevis Jackson who replaced him in last week’s preseason game.

Robinson has been listed as third on the team’s unofficial depth chart at wide receiver behind Michael Jenkins and Brian Finneran, and will be involved in the mix for increased playing time.

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Rookie James out for year

August 5th, 2008 Comments off

The Falcons announced that they waived/injured rookie linebacker Robert James, who has missed time with a concussion. If James clears waivers, he will be placed on the Falcons injured reserve, joining cornerback Von Hutchins and offensive lineman Pat McCoy, as all will miss the season.

James was a fifth round draft choice for the Falcons competing for a reserve spot at weakside behind Keith Brooking. But he had recently been leapfrogged by veteran Coy Wire already in camp on the depth chart.

In other injury news, the AJC reports that tight end Martrez Milner is not expected to play this Saturday in the team’s preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Also Todd McClure, who has been nursing a back injury is expected to return to practice this week, but it’s still unknown if he’ll be held out of the Jaguars game. According to an AP report, offensive tackle Todd Weiner will also be held out this week’s preseason game.

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