Posts Tagged ‘Senior Bowl’

Takeaways from Last Week – February 17, 2014

February 17th, 2014 Comments off

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Fisher’s strong Combine workout benefited him greatly in 2013

This week, the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off in Indianapolis. Next to draft weekend and the first week of free agency, this week represents one of the more pivotal points of the NFL’s offseason.

It’s the first time that all 32 NFL teams are going to be in one place. Sure, all NFL teams sent representatives to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl in January, but that is primarily for scouts. Not to mention, two teams were busy with their Super Bowl preparations, limiting their ability to have a large presence in Mobile. That is not the case for Indianapolis, where the Combine signals that the beginning of free agency is right around the corner (March 11).

This is where teams can really start to talk shop about potential moves that are forthcoming in the offseason. While trades won’t become official until March 11, teams can start to sniff around about possible moves at the Combine. I’m sure that with the trades that sent Alex Smith to Kansas City last March and the rights to Robert Griffin III to Washington the year before, talks began in earnest or picked up steam during the week of the Combine.

Agents are also putting out feelers for their respective clients that are on the verge of hitting free agency. It’s that sort of furtive tampering that resulted in the NFL adopting the three-day window before the start of the league year that allows teams to openly negotiate with prospective free agents.

It’s also during this period that NFL teams can begin to designate certain free agents as franchise or transition players. That also means that negotiations for players and teams that want to avoid using the franchise or transition tag really pick up in earnest during the week of the Combine.

All in all, it’s a big week for NFL teams with a lot of things that go on behind closed doors that fans like you and me aren’t privy to and can only guess at. But that doesn’t mean that the Combine doesn’t have value to the everyday fan like ourselves.

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Browns Now Looking at Dirk Koetter as Head Coach

January 21st, 2014 Comments off

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Koetter

Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports that Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will interview for the vacant head coaching position for the Cleveland Browns.

No timing on when the interview will occur, although it will likely occur within the next day or two. The Browns remain the only NFL team with a vacancy at head coach. Koetter was linked to the Browns a year ago for the same job before opting to sign an extension to stay on with the Falcons. That was followed by the subsequent hire of Rob Chudzinski by the Browns. Chudzinski was then fired after one season when the Browns finished 4-12 after beginning the 2013 season 3-2.

Browns officials are currently in Mobile, Alabama along with representatives from every NFL team to watch Senior Bowl practices. The Falcons are coaching the North team, and it makes sense that the Browns would take advantage of the access they gain from Koetter being there. Word of Koetter’s impending interview comes in the wake of news that Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase has withdrawn his name from the Browns’ search. The Browns are scheduled to interview Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine tonight in Mobile, according to reports. It is likely Koetter’s interview will occur shortly thereafter.

Koetter was a candidate this past fall for the head coaching job at Boise State University before the school opted to hire someone else. Koetter is finishing his second season as the Falcons offensive coordinator. Prior to joining the Falcons, he spent five seasons in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Prior to his time in Jacksonville, Koetter was a head coach on the college ranks for nine years where compiled records of 26-10 at Boise State and 40-34 at Arizona State.

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Takeaways from Championship Weekend 2013

January 20th, 2014 Comments off

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Smith gets chance to coach up some draft prospects at Senior Bowl

This week will be all about the Senior Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons as the team is tasked with coaching the North squad in the prestigious annual college football all-star game.

The potential boost coaching the Senior Bowl could give to the team drafting this May could be significant. It is by no means a guarantee that the team will be able to draft well, but it does give Atlanta a potential leg up. They will get to know the many players that they will be coaching during the course of the week better than several other teams.

The Falcons will get a first-hand look at how players react to hard coaching, decipher information, and just interact with teammates and competition in general. Much of this information a team can discover with painstaking research about a particular draft prospect, but it would all be second-hand based and can’t be completely trusted.

This week will definitely help in the team’s draft evaluations, even if the team doesn’t fully take advantage by targeting players they coach. But in all likelihood, the Falcons will take advantage thanks to their history under general manager Thomas Dimitroff of targeting Senior Bowl players. Since taking over the team in 2008, Dimitroff and the Falcons have drafted 14 players that participated in the Senior Bowl:

Falcons Senior Bowl Picks (since 2008)

2008Baker, SamNorth1
2008Jackson, ChevisSouth3
2008Douglas, HarrySouth3
2008DeCoud, ThomasNorth3
2009Jerry, PeriaSouth1
2009Moore, WilliamNorth2
2009Sidbury, LawrenceSouth4
2009Walker, VanceSouth7
2010Weatherspoon, SeanNorth1
2010Johnson, MikeSouth3
2012Ewing, BradieNorth5
2013Trufant, DesmondNorth1
2013Alford, RobertSouth2
2013Goodman, MalliciahSouth4

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Categories: Features Tags: , , ,

Falcons to Coach North Team in Senior Bowl

January 2nd, 2014 Comments off
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Smith

The Atlanta Falcons announced today that Mike Smith and the rest of the team’s coaching staff will coach the North Team in the Senior Bowl that will be played later this month in Mobile, Alabama. The Senior Bowl is an annual all-star game featuring the top senior players from college football preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars will coach the South team. Each team will handle the week of practices with their stable of players, and then coach them in the game which will be played at the end of the week on January 25 in Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.

This will mark the first time the Falcons have coached at the Senior since 1978 per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC. Assignments for who coaches the two teams generally go to teams with stable coaching situations near the top of the draft. Given the changes made among coaching staffs with the Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns, and uncertainty surrounding the status of Dennis Allen with the Oakland Raiders, the Jaguars and Falcons became the obvious choices for heading up Senior Bowl practices. The Jaguars hold the third overall selection, while the Falcons are set to pick sixth.

The week of close exposure to the players on the North team should give the Falcons a leg-up in terms of player evaluations. In most years, it typically leads to several prospects being drafted for the respective teams.

Categories: Draft Central Tags: ,

Tracking the Falcons 2012 Senior Bowl Interest

January 25th, 2012 Comments off

As has been the case in past years, we’ll be looking at which players have reportedly talked to the Atlanta Falcons during the week of practices for the Senior Bowl, a collegiate all-star game that will be played on Saturday, January 28, 2012.

Sources for this information, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Twitter.

  • CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia
  • TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • WR Brian Quick, Appalachian State

As more information becomes available, we’ll continue to update this list.

Categories: Draft Central Tags: ,

Falcons Senior Bowl Interest

January 28th, 2010 Comments off
Jeff Owens

Owens at the Senior Bowl

We’ll be tracking which prospects the Falcons will be looking over the course of the time that NFL coaches and scouts descend on the city of Mobile, Alabama for a week of Senior Bowl practices. These prospects will come from a variety of sources, which include the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,, Draft Countdown, and others.

  • QB Jarrett Brown, West Virginia
  • CB Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
  • TE Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh
  • FB Rashawn Jackson, Virginia
  • WR Donald Jones, Youngstown State
  • DE Brandon Lang, Troy State
  • CB Trevard Lindley, Kentucky
  • DT Jeff Owens, Georgia
  • LS Mike Windt, Cincinnati

We’ll continue to update this list as information becomes available throughout the week.

Categories: Draft Central Tags: ,

Tracking the Falcons Draft Interest

April 16th, 2008 Comments off

Using various sources including but not limited to,, New Era Scouting,,, NFL Draft Countdown, and various local newspapers covering schools and individual prospects, we have compiled a list of prospects that the Falcons have worked out, interviewed, or reportedly shown mild interest in.

Private Workouts
Each NFL team is limited by the number of official visits it can have with draft prospects. Here is a list of players that according to various sources have been visited by the Falcons or have visited the Falcons for such. Dates if specified are included in parentheses:

QB John David Booty, USC
QB Brian Brohm, Louisville
QB Joe Flacco, Delaware (Mar. 28)
QB Chad Henne, Michigan
QB Josh Johnson, San Diego
QB Matt Ryan, Boston College
QB Andre Woodson, Kentucky
RB Jamar Brittingham, Bloomsburg
RB Jamaal Charles, Texas (Apr. 8-9)
RB Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech
RB Matt Forte, Tulane (Mar. 17)
RB Chris Johnson, East Carolina (Apr. 11)
RB Kalvin McRae, Ohio (Apr. 10)
RB Ray Rice, Rutgers
FB Mike Cox, Georgia Tech (Apr. 10)
WR Adrian Arrington, Michigan (Mar. 28)
WR Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech
WR Mario Urrutia, Louisville
TE Scott Kuhn, Louisville
TE Martin Rucker, Missouri (Mar. 28)
TE Craig Stevens, California
OT Nate Garner, Arkansas (Apr. 16-17)
OT Jake Long, Michigan (Mar. 27)
OT Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh (Apr. 16)
OT Jeremy Zuttah, Rutgers
DE Lawrence Jackson, USC
DE Kendall Langford, Hampton
DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU
LB Cliff Avril, Purdue
LB Dan Connor, Penn State
LB Curtis Lofton, Oklahoma
LB Brandon Miller, Georgia (Apr. 8)
CB Charles Godfrey, Iowa
CB Leodis McKelvin, Troy State (Apr. 10-12)
CB Aqib Talib, Kansas
CB Terrell Thomas, USC
CB Jack Williams, Kent State
S Tyrell Johnson, Arkansas State (Apr. 14)

Reportedly Interested in:
Some of these players were among many the Falcons spoke with at either the Senior Bowl or the Combine, or have been players that the Falcons have been on hand to see at their pro days. It’s quite possible that many of these players have also worked out privately for the Falcons, but that has yet to be confirmed. If so, they will be moved to the above list accordingly.

QB Erik Ainge, Tennessee
QB Colt Brennan, Hawaii
QB Dennis Dixon, Oregon
QB Paul Smith, Tulane
RB Thomas Brown, Georgia
RB Justin Forsett, California
RB Rafael Little, Kentucky
RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas
RB Dantrell Savage, Oklahoma State
RB Steve Slaton, West Virginia
RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon
RB Chauncey Washington, USC
FB Owen Schmitt, West Virginia
WR Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma State
WR Harry Douglas, Louisville
WR James Hardy, Indiana
WR Andrew Hawkins, Toledo
WR Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State
WR Darius Reynaud, West Virginia
TE Gary Barnidge, Louisville
TE Brad Cottam, Tennessee
TE Fred Davis, USC
TE Matt Mulligan, Maine
TE Jacob Tamme, Kentucky
OT Mike Butterworth, Slippery Rock
OT Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
OT Anthony Collins, Kansas
OT Carlton Medder, Florida
OT Chad Rinehart, Northern Iowa
OT Barry Richardson, Clemson
OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
OC John Sullivan, Notre Dame
DE Johnny Dingle, West Virginia
DE Chris Ellis, Virginia Tech
DE Greyson Gunheim, Washington
DE Bryan Mattison, Iowa
DE Hilee Taylor, North Carolina
DT Dre Moore, Maryland
DT Carlton Powell, Virginia Tech
DT DeMario Pressley, N.C. State
DT Pat Sims, Auburn
DT Lorenzo Williams, Missouri
LB John Lee, Charleston Southern
LB Wesley Woodyard, Kentucky
CB Dwight Lowery, San Jose State
S Josh Barrett, Arizona State
S Thomas DeCoud, California
S Brad Mueller, Slippery Rock
S Tom Zbikowski, Notre Dame
K Brandon Coutu, Georgia

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Senior Bowl interest heats up

January 26th, 2008 Comments off

During their annual Senior Bowl coverage, also tracks which NFL teams show particular interest in certain players during the course of the week. Teams conduct formal and informal interviews with players during the day. Here are the players that has reported that the Falcons have shown interest in, and the date of the report:

Jan. 21: QB Joe Flacco, Delaware
Jan. 22: QB Erik Ainge, Tennessee; QB Colt Brennan, Hawaii; RB Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech; TE Fred Davis, USC; RB Matt Forte, Tulane; DT DeMario Pressley, N.C. State; RB Dantrell Savage, Oklahoma State; OT Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
Jan. 23: DE Chris Ellis, Virginia Tech; RB Justin Forsett, California; QB Chad Henne, Michigan; OT Barry Richardson, Clemson; TE Martin Rucker, Missouri
Jan. 24: K Brandon Coutu, Georgia; CB Terrell Thomas, USC; RB Chauncey Washington, USC; LB Wesley Woodyard, Kentucky

NFL Draft Countdown also lists several players the Falcons spoke to or were looking at during the week:

Jan. 22: WR Harry Douglas, Louisville; RB Rafael Little, Kentucky; C John Sullivan, Notre Dame
Jan. 23: S Thomas DeCoud, California; DE Bryan Mattison, Iowa; OT Chad Rinehart, Northern Iowa; TE Jacob Tamme, Kentucky

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Mutual interest between Falcons and Okoye

January 25th, 2007 Comments off

Draft reported in their Senior Bowl draft blog on Monday evenning that the Falcons talked to Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. Okoye at age 19, is the youngest player to ever play in the Senior Bowl.

Not surprisingly, Okoye conversed with his former head coach and new Falcons head man Bobby Petrino during Monday’s practices. In his draft diary on, he noted that he took notice of many of his former coaches from his collegiate days at the Senior Bowl practices, now members of the Falcons coaching staff. In that diary, he noted joining the Falcons would be a good fit due to the presence of Kevin Wolthausen, his former position coach and now the Falcons defensive line coach.

Okoye is an interesting story, since upon relocating to this country from Nigeria, he skipped middle and entered high school at age twelve. He enrolled at Louisville at age sixteen and earned his degree in psychology in three and a half years.

Okoye measured in at the Senior Bowl at 6’2″ 287, significantly less than his listed playing weight of 317 pounds. With the significant drop in weight, Okoye has been better able to showcase the quickness that allowed him to record 8 sacks this past season.

Okoye is widely considered to be the second best defensive tackle prospect available in this draft, and is the most highly touted prospect that various draft sources have indicated the Falcons have looked and spoken to midway through Senior Bowl week. Some experts project him to be a top ten draft pick, which would make him a legitimate target of the Falcons in the first round this year, considering they hold the tenth overall draft pick.

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Falcon eye punter at Senior Bowl

January 24th, 2007 Comments off

Daniel Sepulveda, property of Baylor Bears.comThe NFL Experts at, reported that the Falcons showed interest in Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda, interviewing him during Tuesday’s practices at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL.

Sepulveda won the Ray Guy Award this past season, awarded to the nation’s best punter, making him the only two-time winner ever after winning the award in 2004 as well. Sepulveda tore the ACL in his non-kicking knee in April prior to the season, making his accomplishment all the more significant. He had originally suffered a partial tear of the ligament in his knee in 2004, but it was not caught on the MRI at the time.

Sepulveda is widely considered to be this year’s top punter in the draft, and is considered a potential late round pick. Many reports out of Mobile have remarked on his impressive 6’2″ 228 physique and that he is built like a linebacker. Notably, Sepulveda contemplated a position change to that position earlier in his career at Baylor.

If the Falcons are seriously interested in drafting Sepulveda, it might indicate that the team is prepared to try punter Michael Koenen again at kicker in 2007, instead of re-signing Morten Andersen.

Koenen began 2006 as in the dual role as both punter and kicker, but struggled in the latter duties, only making 3 of 9 field goal attempts in the first two games. The team then signed Andersen, who made 20 of his 23 attempts. Andersen is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 2.

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