Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Owens’

Peelle out 4-6 weeks with sports hernia

October 20th, 2010 Comments off

Jay Adams of Atlanta Falcons.com reports that Falcons tight end Justin Peelle will miss the next four to six weeks due to undergoing sports hernia surgery on Tuesday. Backup Michael Palmer will move up in the depth chart to take over for Peelle, who’s duties are mostly as a blocker, but he’s added value as a receiver. For the year, Peelle has 3 catches for 26 yards. Palmer has made catches in each of the past two games likely due to increased playing time from Peelle not being 100%.

Also on today’s injury report, running back Antone Smith was held out with a shoulder injury, suffered vs. the Eagles on special teams coverage.  Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon missed practice and has already been ruled out for this week’s matchup vs. the Cincinnati Bengals as he continues to recover from a knee injury he suffered in Week 5 vs. the Cleveland Browns. The Falcons have a bye next week, which should allow Weatherspoon an extra week to rest and recover. Stephen Nicholas is expected to continue starting in place of Weatherspoon.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson also sat out practice due to the concussion he suffered vs. the Eagles. He also received $50,000 fine from the league for his hit on Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson that caused a concussion in both players. Robinson is appealing his fine. Due to league rules on concussions, his status vs. the Bengals won’t be known until he is cleared by an independent doctor. If he misses the Bengals game, Chris Owens is expected to be the starter.

Chris Owens: Why He’ll Start in 2010

July 30th, 2010 Comments off
Icon Sports Media, Inc.

Chris Owens

First off, let me point out ATLJBO’s excellent highlight video of Chris Owens on YouTube. Because this was what first put the nugget in my head that Owens would win the competition this year at cornerback. What probably stands out to you as you finish the clip, is how good Owens was against the run last year. He made several big hits and good tackles there. I also noticed this in the final weeks of the season when I was recently reviewing games for Moneyball.

This shouldn’t be underestimated. Over the years, tackling has become a lost art among cornerbacks and defensive backs in general. To the point that if and when you come across a corner that does it well, it makes him stand out. This is one of the reasons why the Falcons brass have been so keen on Dunta Robinson over the years.

I also noticed that the times when Owens was beat in coverage, it was largely due to poor footwork and sloppy technique. I believe that new assistant secondary coach Tim Lewis was indicating this when he was interviewed by the AJC back in February and talked specifically about improving these things. If Lewis is successful at getting these corners to improve their technique and footwork, then Owens stands to potentially benefit the most.

Read more…

Camp Battles ’10: Cornerback

July 24th, 2010 Comments off
Dunta Robinson

Dunta Robinson

The cornerback position may face the most competition of any unit on the roster from top to bottom.

Essentially the only player that is assured a roster spot is free agent pickup Dunta Robinson. Robinson was the Falcons most major addition to the roster this off-season. Solid preseason play from this position has been a rarity since Mike Smith took over, and the Falcons hope Robinson can help reverse that.

The other starting position will face heavy competition. Brian Williams is the incumbent, re-signed to a one-year contract, but is coming off a knee injury. Williams had already lost a step before the injury, and it remains to be seen if he still has enough in the tank to hold off the youth the Falcons have at the position.

His chief competition should come from Brent Grimes and/or Chris Owens. Grimes played well in the nickel role last season, and was a playmaker late in the year as a starter. Owens didn’t get a ton of playing time until the last month or so of the season, but showed promise. It would appear the team would prefer having one of them manning the other outside spot opposite Robinson.

Williams was utilized as a slot corner last year, and he it remains to be seen if either Owens or Grimes will get opportunities there as well. Last year when WIlliams went down, that position was manned by Chevis Jackson. Jackson had a disappointing sophomore year, but the coaches hope he can bounce back with a strong summer. Because of his experience playing in the slot, he has a legit chance of earning the nickel back position.

Pushing Jackson will be rookie Dominique Franks. A fifth round pick, Franks probably won’t be counted on to make a big impact as a rookie. He will have a chance to push for a reserve role, but more than likely the Falcons will utilize him on special teams at least early on. But a strong summer from Franks could spell and end to Willaims or Jackson’s Falcon career.

The other corner on the roster is Daylan Walker, an undrafted rookie. It’s also possible that fellow rookie Gabe Derricks may get opportunities here as well, despite being listed as a safety. Both players are long shots to make the roster, and essentially will need strong preseason performance to make the practice squad.

The Falcons will certainly keep five corners, but may opt to go for six, especially if Williams and Jackson show enough to merit being kept around.

Mid-Preseason Stock Exchange

August 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Re-assessing which players have raised and lowered their stock after two preseason games.

STOCK UP

Thomas Johnson – He started the first preseason game and has added some size. It remains to be seen if Johnson will be the opening day starter, but he’s made an impression that he should at least land a reserve spot in the rotation.

Chris Owens – He’s given up two touchdown passes in the preseason, but Owens has impressed the coaches throughout the summer with his speed and instincts. While he’s probably not in the hunt for a starting position with Brent Grimes taking the lead there, he still stands a good shot of landing the nickel back spot by opening day.

Michael Turner – There was no doubt that Turner is the man. But he’s looked very strong in his two preseason performances so far.  Questions still remain whether Turner’s workload last year will have a detriment later in the season, but just like in 2008, Turner seems poised for a strong start in 2009.

Eric Weems – He seems almost a lock to make the final roster because he’s been the most consistent return threat, and has shown an ability to contribute somewhat on offense as a potential slot receiver. Weems isn’t the player that Harry Douglas is, but if he continues to play like he’s done, the team’s need to find that player elsewhere will be less by the end of the preseason.

STOCK DOWN

Peria Jerry – He is still in the hunt for the starting position, and the coaches will give him plenty of chances to win it. But Jerry hasn’t done much in the first two preseason games, suggesting that he may be better off working off the bench as the season starts.

Mike Peterson – Peterson hasn’t had great days in the first two preseason games. While he’s no threat to lose his starting job, don’t be surprised if he loses a lot of reps to Coy Wire or Jamie Winborn once the regular season starts.

D.J. Shockley – Shockley hasn’t been overly impressive in his two preseason performances, and may need a strong finish to salvage his roster spot. He just hasn’t shown the mastery of running an NFL offense that one should seem coming from a fourth-year veteran and a guy with a year’s experience in this offense. Comparing him to John Parker Wilson right now, it’s hard telling who’s the rookie and who’s the fourth-year veteran.

Camp Battles: Secondary

July 10th, 2009 Comments off

There should be some of the fiercest competition on the roster in the secondary this summer. Erik Coleman seems locked in as the starting free safety. But at the other safety spot, William Moore and Thomas DeCoud are set to compete. Chris Houston is probably a longshot to lose his starting job this summer, but could be challenged somewhat if he doesn’t have a strong summer. The other corner spot will be up for grabs however.

Competing for that vacant corner spot will be Chevis Jackson, Von Hutchins, Brent Grimes, and Chris Owens. Jackson is currently ahead on the depth chart, but there have been reports that the team would rather have him working inside as  the nickel corner this year. That opens up opportunity for the others. Hutchins has the experience, but missed all of last year with injury, and will need to bounce back with a really strong summer. Owens has the speed the team would like to see outside, but he’s a rookie and with veterans ahead of him, it might be best to bring him along a bit more slowly. Grimes handled the gig for the first half of last year before losing his job to Domonique Foxworth. He’ll need to re-instill confidence in the coaching staff. He’s tough and fast, but undersized and it showed too often last year. Unless he’s grown a few inches, he’ll be hard-pressed to win.

Without a strong summer, Grimes could find himself released by the team since he didn’t show great special teams ability last yera.

Also in the mix are David Irons and William Middleton. Both players are likely only going to play on special teams this year. The team likes Middleton’s athleticism, which means he may have greater upside on defense than Irons, who has only gotten a handful of snaps there in the past two seasons.

As for safety, William Moore is probably the safer bet since he’s a better fit for the scheme at strong safety and has much greater upside. But Moore will need to show he’s not a liability in coverage, something that he proved to be on occasion while at Missouri last year. DeCoud is not stellar in coverage either, but is a bit undersized than what the team is looking for at the position. But he’s got a year’s worth of experience over Moore and thus could potentailly have a shorter learning curve as a starter.

Jamaal Fudge has more experience, performing well in a season finale start last year. But he’s only likely looked up on as a fallback option in case either Moore or DeCoud don’t work out. Also in the mix at safety are Eric Brock and Antoine Harris who will need to show ability on special teams and in coverage on defense to stick, since at best they will only be used in the occasional dime package there.  Also at corner are Tony Tiller and Glenn Sharpe, both of whom are unlikely to land a roster spot, but could wind up on the practice squad.

The Falcons will likely keep up to ten defensive backs on the roster. Right now, the safe bets for the starting spots appear to be Jackson and Moore, but Owens and DeCoud aren’t bad options as dark horses.

Rookie contracts approved

July 2nd, 2009 Comments off

Updating a previous report, Scout.com reports that the three rookie contracts that were disapproved by the league have now been approved. The contracts of third round pick Chris Owens, fifth round pick Garrett Reynolds, and sixth round pick Spencer Adkins had to be re-done. Pro Football Talk reported previously that the reason for the league’s disapproving of the contracts was due to language oversight involving incentives.

According to the NFLPA website, all three players signed four-year contracts with base salaries of: $310,000 (2009); $395,000 (2010); $480,000 (2011); and $565,000 (2012).  Owens received a signing bonus of $688,000, while Reynolds got around $180,000. It is unknown how much of a signing bonus Adkins got. But as the 176th overall pick, he likely got a sum around $115,000 considering that the 178th overall pick (Seahawks quarterback Mike Teel) signed for $114,000.

Categories: News Tags: , , , ,

NFL disapproves of three rookie contracts

June 25th, 2009 1 comment

Scout.com reports that the contracts signed by three of the Falcons recent draft picks have been disapproved by the league. The specifics of what exactly in the contracts was disapproved is unknown, but according to the report they were all minor and all should be fixed and up to league standards by early next week.

The three contracts disapproved were offensvie tackle Garrett Reynolds, cornerback Chris Owens, and linebacker Spencer Adkins. Per Scout.com, all three players signed four-year deals. Reynolds received a signing bonus of just over $180,000 while Owens got $688,000 in bonus money. All three players signed their deals within the last ten days.

Categories: News Tags: , , , ,

Falcons sign Adkins

June 22nd, 2009 Comments off

The team announced the signing of sixth round linebacker Spencer Adkins today. He becomes the fifth draft pick to sign with the team, following the signings of Chris Owens and Garrett Reynolds last week.

Adkins is expected to add depth for the team at linebacker, having played both inside and outside linebacker at Miami during his collegiate career. The team only has three remaining unsigned rookies: first rounder Peria Jerry, second rounder William Moore, and fourth rounder Lawrence Sidbury.

Terms of Adkins’ contract were not announced, but it is expected to be a four-year deal like the others signed by the team’s draft picks.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Second day of draft kicks off with Owens

April 26th, 2009 Comments off

he Falcons continue their push to improve the defense by taking San Jose State cornerback Christopher Owens with their third round pick (90th overall).

A bit undersized at 5’10″ 181, Owens was a productive player at San Jose State. A three-year starter with 13 career interceptions and 20 pass break ups. He had his most productive year as a junior with six interceptions, where he was constantly tested due the presence of Dwight Lowery across the field who started 10 games this past year as a fourth round pick for the New York Jets. This past year his production slipped to only 1 interception, perhaps because opposing teams learned their lesson from the previous year.

Owens helps bolster the Falcons cornerback position, as the team hopes he can alleviate the loss of free agent corner Domonique Foxworth. Owens can potentially push and challenge for a starting position right away.

Categories: News Tags: ,