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Posts Tagged ‘Palmer’

Falcons release Peelle

August 19th, 2011 Comments off

Aaron Wilson of Scout.com tweets that the Falcons have reached an injury settlement with tight end Justin Peelle, resulting in his release from the team.

Peelle hurt his knee during the Falcons preseason opener against the Dolphins, and his future began to look bleek when the Falcons lured free agent Reggie Kelly out of retirement earlier this week to fill his roster position.

Peelle first joined the Falcons in 2008 as a reserve experienced in Mike Mularkey’s offense from their shared days with the Dolphins in 2006 and 2007. He wound up starting much of that season, replacing an injured Ben Hartsock and caught 15 passes. With the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez the following off-season, Peelle returned to his reserve role. He missed three games last season due to a sports hernia, but combined for 22 catches in 28 games with 16 starts during the past two years.

Peelle’s departure creates more opportunity for young tight end Michael Palmer to move up on the team’s depth chart. Kelly is set to sit out Friday’s preseason contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, making Palmer the favorite to be the primary backup to Gonzalez in 2011.

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Spotlight Players vs. Dolphins

August 12th, 2011 Comments off
ICON SMI

WR Julio Jones

These are some of the names and positions you should keep your eye on during the Falcons preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins tonight:

WR Julio Jones

It is no doubt that all eyes will be on Jones tonight. With Ray Edwards being held out, he is by far the biggest new addition to the Falcons lineup. He has been tearing it up in camp so far by all accounts, and fans should be eager to see if that early success translates to the field tonight. Jones will get first team reps, but it will be interesting if the Falcons pull the plug on him with the rest of the first team members early in the game, or get him some more minutes and work with the second unit.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers

The other big name from this year’s rookie class, figures to get some extensive reps on the ground. Rodgers should get some touches in the first half of the game, and fans should be eager to see his quickness and explosion as a runner and hopefully in the passing game. If the Falcons are re-incorporating the screen pass back into their offense, it would be an opportune time to break it out tonight.

TE Michael Palmer

Palmer has a chance to move up the depth chart if he can have another strong performance this summer. A big key for Palmer will be how much progress he’s made as a blocker if he hopes to supplant Justin Peelle as the top reserve to Tony Gonzalez.

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Camp Battles 2011: Tight End

July 12th, 2011 Comments off

There isn’t likely to be a ton of turnover at this position. Like some of the other offensive positions, the primary focus will likely be on getting Tony Gonzalez ready for the regular season.

Like quarterback, there may be an open competition for who serves as his primary backup. The Falcons are likely keen to see what progress, if any, Michael Palmer has made during this off-season. Palmer flashed ability as a reserve receiver, and any improvements he’s made as a blocker can go a long way to push incumbent backup Justin Peelle. As of the end of last year, Peelle was the superior inline blocker, while Palmer flashed a bit more of a skillset as an H-back. The Falcons make ample use of the two-tight end formation. That may decline somewhat with the introduction of Julio Jones at wide receiver, but it’s not going to be completely scrapped. Which means any competition between the two is important for the success of the offense.

Also in camp are Robbie Agnone and Marquez Branson. Neither player is likely to get a lot of opportunity to make headway as far as a roster spot. Although things could change with the introduction of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, under old rules, it appears both would be ineligible to make the team’s practice squad this fall. So in the case of both, they will need to shine in limited opportunities during the preseason and display enough upside that makes the coaches feel they are worth developing long-term.

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The Falcons will hold local pro day on April 14

April 6th, 2011 Comments off
Michael Palmer

Who will be the next Michael Palmer?

It was previously reported by Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post that the Falcons would host North Alabama defensive tackle Nate Frazier as one of many local draft prospects at their own pro day. Each team is allowed to bring in players each year before the draft for drills and workouts that have local connections either via their college or high school. The Falcons will hold theirs next Thursday, April 14. Pro Football Talk lists both Georgia Tech running back Anthony Allen and Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent as also working out on that date.

Frazier hails from Atlanta, where he attended Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs. He originally went to the Naval Academy, before being dismissed from the school in 2009 for multiple honor code violations. He finished his career at North Alabama,  where he had 30 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack last season.

Last year, Clemson tight end Michael Palmer was one of several local prospects that worked out for the Falcons at their pro day. Palmer was able to land an undrafted free agent contract with the Falcons and made the team’s roster. He appeared in 14 games this past year, with one start, and caught 5 passes and a touchdown.

Rarely do any of the top draft prospects show up for local pro days. So it’s unlikely that the Falcons will get an opportunity to work out the likes of Auburn’s Cam Newton or Georgia’s A.J. Green. Typically local pro days are for players hoping to impress teams and get picked in the late rounds or potentially as free agent pickups. Besides players from Georgia and Georgia Tech, the Falcons can take a closer look at prospects from smaller schools like Albany State, Fort Valley State, Georgia Southern, Valdosta State, Clark Atlanta, and West Georgia, including WR Ricardo Lockette, who the Falcons talked to at the Combine and also attended his pro day.

No word on any players besides the three previously mentioned, but the Falcons have already shown reported interest in several prospects with high school connections including: Miami defensive end Allen Bailey, Auburn running back Mario Fannin, East Carolina receiver Dwayne Harris, and North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates.

Other noteworthy prospects with Georgia high school ties include (scouting reports linked): Alabama OT James Carpenter; Appalachian State DE Jabari Fletcher and S Mark Legree; Arkansas OG Ray Dominguez; Auburn WR Darvin Adams; Central Florida DE Bruce Miller; Florida P Chas Henry, OG Maurice Hurt, and DT Lawrence Marsh; Florida State OC Ryan McMahon; LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard; Memphis S Marcus Ball; Middle Tennessee QB Dwight Dasher; Ole Miss DT Ted Laurent; North Carolina S Da’Norris Searcy; Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward; South Carolina OT Jarriel King; South Carolina State OT Johnny Culbreath; South Florida WR Dontavia Bogan; and UT-Chattanooga CB Buster Skrine.

Week 11 Stock Report

November 17th, 2010 Comments off

Brent Grimes

Is Brent Grimes slipping?

I did this in the preseason when it came to discussing which players had their stock up and down as far as making the roster, but I think it’s time to break it out for the regular season as well. Just trying to look at which players stock is up and down as far as playing well, poorly, etc. And since this feature was non-existent through the first 9 games of the season, for this first time, I’ll try to incorporate performances in recent weeks.
 

Stock Up

Roddy White – This is a no brainer. Roddy is on a ridiculous pace so far this year with his production. His 70 catches in 9 games makes him on pace for 124 receptions this year. For the record, the single season record for receptions is 143 which Marvin Harrison accomplished in 2002. But the second most ever is 123, accomplished by Herman Moore in 1995 and Wes Welker in 2009.

Michael Palmer – In the absence of Justin Peelle, the undrafted rookie has performed well as a role player, contributing as a receiver and blocker. His play hasn’t been stellar but he’s made some key blocks in recent games and been a very reliable outlet for Ryan underneath. He looks like a keeper long-term. If his play continues to improve, the Falcons may have little reason to bring Peelle back next year.

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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.

Falcons cut 20 including two 2008 draft picks

September 4th, 2010 Comments off

The Falcons announced 20 roster moves today in an effort to get their roster down to 53 players. With these twenty moves, the Falcons roster stands at 55 players, although the Falcons hold two extra spots due to the exemptions gained from the suspensions of both James and Babineaux. The Falcons moves included tight end Robbie Agnone, wide receivers Troy Bergeron and Tim Buckley, safeties Eric Brock and Rafael Bush, cornerbacks Dominique Daniels and Chevis Jackson, linebacker Weston Johnson, fullback Dan Klecko, defensive end Maurice Lucas, running back Dimitri Nance, centers Brett Romberg and Blake Schlueter, defensive end Emmanuel Stephens, wide receiver Andy Strickland and Ryan Wolfe, offensive tackle Jose Valdez, linebacker Bear Woods, and tight end Keith Zinger. The team also waived/injured wide receiver Brandyn Harvey, meaning he will be placed on the injured reserve if he clears waivers meaning no other team signs him.

Many of these players will go on the team’s eight man practice squad that can be made starting tomorrow. Included in the cuts are several players that made the Falcons last year, including Romberg, Zinger, and Jackson. Romberg was a free agent signing last season. Zinger and Jackson were both draft picks of the team in 2008.

These moves mean that none of the Falcons seven 2010 draft picks were released and made the roster. Although that is not counting wide receiver Kerry Meier was was placed on injured reserve earlier this summer. Prominent newcomers to the Falcons roster this season include running back Antone Smith, tight end Michael Palmer, and center Rob Bruggeman. Palmer is the only undrafted rookie to make the team. Bruggeman and Smith both spent time on the Falcons practice squad last season.

Final 53 Roster prediction

September 3rd, 2010 Comments off

I’ve gone through this twice before, once before camp started and once midway through camp. But now the final roster cuts are upon us, and I’m going to pick the 53 players I think will be Falcons on opening day.

Quarterbacks

Starter: Matt Ryan
Backups: Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson

This is a no-brainer.

Running Backs

Starters: Michael Turner, Ovie Mughelli
Backups: Jason Snelling, Jerious Norwood, and FREE AGENT

I think the Falcons will keep five running backs, with the fifth filling the same slot that Aaron Stecker filled last year. But I don’t think Antone Smith or Dimitri Nance have played at a high enough level to earn that role. So I think the Falcons will sign someone. Dan Klecko is a good special teams player and his versatility can be an asset, but he’s not a good enough blocker from what I’ve seen this summer to merit keeping around.

Wide Receivers

Starters: Roddy White, Michael Jenkins
Backups: Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran, Eric Weems, Troy Bergeron

I think the injury to Jenkins will make the Falcons keep six receivers to start the season. I think Bergeron has done the most to earn that sixth spot, but it would not surprise me one bit if the Falcons sought a veteran receiver to fill this spot.

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Revisiting the Final Roster Prediction

August 23rd, 2010 Comments off

We’re halfway through the preseason and training camp has finally wrapped up. I wanted to look at the final roster prediction that I made at the start of camp to see if there were any revisions that I wanted to make.

And there aren’t a lot.

QB: This spot remains unchanged with Ryan, Redman, and Wilson locking up spots.

RB: I am not as confident with my prediction of Antone Smith, because I think he and Dimitri Nance overall have been relatively even. However, I am tending to lean towards the Falcons signing a veteran running back off the waiver wires come the end of this month rather than going with either of the youngsters. I do think the Falcons will keep a fourth running back because of the injuries woes of Jerious Norwood. I just am less sure it will be someone currently on this roster, and instead Smith or Nance will wind up on the practice squad. And I don’t think Klecko has shown enough to stick as an extra fullback.

WR: At wide receiver, Meier is out for the year with injury. And because of the injury to Jenkins, I still think the team will keep six wideouts. I think Bergeron is the front runner for that sixth and final roster spot, although again, I do think the Falcons will be paying attention to which players are cut next week in case a veteran becomes available.

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