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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 17 “The One About the Falcons”

June 10th, 2012 Comments off

In this week’s episode, Ryan and I get back to the grind of talking about the Falcons. Taking segments of recent live shows where we talk about different position groups on the offense, this episode is an amalgamation (I know, big word) of those discussions. Also included in this episode is our interview with The Bleacher Report’s Scott Carasik, another knowledgeable Falcon fan. If you want to hear practically every offensive player on the Falcons roster get discussed, then this is the episode for you. Topics range from who will make the roster to what can be expected from different players this year. What if any changes that Dirk Koetter has will affect different players and positions. Ryan and I get into a long debate about what exactly is an elite quarterback. Michael Turner’s future, Chris Redman, Kerry Meier, Julio Jones, and Sam Baker are other Falcon players that get extensive discussions in this episode.

Ep. 17: The One About the Falcons [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 39 minutes

 

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop Ryan an e-mail at: ryan-valdez@live.com. Don’t forget to drop by every week to hear our live broadcast at: justin.tv/didziojo

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Free Agent Focus: Quarterback

January 23rd, 2012 Comments off
Getty Images/K.C. Cox

Chris Redman

The Falcons have to make a decision with their backup quarterback this off-season. Chris Redman is a prospective free agent, and they will have to determine whether he’s worth bringing back. Redman has been solid reserve for the Falcons, but with a new offensive coordinator coming into the fold and him on the verge of turning 35, it may be the right time to move in a new direction.

It seemed like the Falcons were hopeful that John Parker Wilson would develop into the clear-cut choice for the No. 2 position by now, but Wilson showed minimal progress this past summer. So little that he was cut by the team and kept on the practice squad for most of the season. If the Falcons saw Wilson as the eventual backup to Ryan, it’s very unlikely they would have risked losing him to waivers last summer.

So that means that if the Falcons want to address their backup quarterback situation, they are likely to look elsewhere. Two options that immediately jump to mind are Luke McCown and Trent Edwards. What both players have in common is experience in Dirk Koetter’s offense. McCown had a disappointingly short stint as the Jaguars starter this year before being benched by Week 3 in favor of rookie Blaine Gabbert. But he has been a Jaguar since 2009 after getting traded there by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Edwards was picked by the Jaguars in 2010 after the Buffalo Bills cut him, and spent this past summer with the Oakland Raiders before being cut loose.

Neither player has really shown that they are better than Redman in recent years, but a good strategy for the Falcons would be to sign both players and have them compete directly for the No. 2 job. Unlike Redman, they won’t need to be taught a new system and their experience can help facilitate Ryan’s knowledge of the system as well. And one imagines that via the competition, the better of the two would emerge and in theory should be as competent as Redman would be.

One of the issues I have with Redman is that I think he is perfectly content to being the backup here in Atlanta, and collecting his $3 million or so paycheck. While people think that he could and should get looks by other teams, I don’t think there are any teams that are viewing him as a potential starter, just a backup with the same role/function he had here in Atlanta. And personally, I don’t think a team’s backup should be content. I’d much rather have someone that has some desire to be the starter and therefore will do everything in his power to try and push the starter, even when he has no realistic chance of landing said gig (like here in Atlanta).

Redman is going to be 35, and the end of his career is right around the corner. He should be chomping at the bit to try and get one more chance to be a starter elsewhere. If Redman had the previously mentioned mentality, the Falcons would have virtually no chance of re-signing him. But I don’t get that vibe from him. It’s somewhat a Catch-22, if the Falcons can re-sign Redman then they should not want to, and if they cannot, then they should want to.

I don’t know whether or not Edwards or McCown have such a mentality, but given their relative youth (29 and 30, respectively), I assume they are probably a bit hungrier.

What the Falcons do with the fourth arm in camp is up to them. They could give Wilson another shot, or they could look at other options in the draft. But they certainly should be looking into developing somewhat long-term that can be a backup to Ryan.

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Falcons add seven to the practice squad

September 4th, 2011 Comments off

The Falcons announced they have signed seven players to their practice squad, all of whom were cut by the team yesterday. Safety Rafael Bush, wide receivers Kevin Cone and D.J. Davis, guard Andrew Jackson, linebacker Robert James, offensive tackle Jose Valdez, and quarterback John Parker Wilson were all added to the team’s practice squad. Teams are allowed to keep up to eight players on their practice squad throughout the year.

Bush, James, and Valdez all have previous experience on the Falcons practice squad. Jackson, a draft pick, along with Cone and Davis are first-timers on the practice squad. Wilson joins the practice squad for the first time after spending the last two seasons on the team’s roster.

Falcons cut 10 to get down to 53

September 3rd, 2011 Comments off

The Falcons announced the last ten roster moves to get down to the 53-player limit today. The cuts included: S Rafael Bush, WR Kevin Cone, WR D.J. Davis, OG Andrew Jackson, LB Robert James, C Brett Romberg, DE Emmanuel Stephens, OT Jose Valdez, and QB John Parker Wilson. The team also announced that it reached an injury settlement with TE Ryan Winterswyk, resulting in his release as well.

Prominent among the moves was the departure of Wilson, who made the Falcons team as their third quarterback the past two seasons since being an undrafted rookie in 2009. Jackson, was the Falcons lone draft pick in their 2011 draft class that did not make the roster. James was a 2008 draft pick that had bounced off and on the Falcons roster over the past two seasons, spending most of the past two seasons on the practice squad. Valdez spent the past two years on the practice squad as well. Bush was on the Falcons practice squad a year ago. Romberg was signed by the Falcons earlier this week to add depth behind injured center Todd McClure, but the team opted instead to keep Rob Bruggeman as the team’s third center on opening day for the second year in a row.

Prominent among the players that the Falcons apparently are keeping on their 53-man roster is cornerback Darrin Walls, who made the team as an undrafted free agent. Also defensive tackle Carlton Powell made the roster as a fifth defensive tackle. Powell joined the Falcons on August 14, only a week before they broke training camp, showing he could beat the odds and impress the team despite others getting a two-week head start.

The Falcons will need to establish a practice squad tomorrow consisting of eight players. Many of the players cut today and yesterday will be eligible. The Falcons may make other moves in the week before the regular season starts as they scour the waiver wire to add other players were cut around the league.

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Final 53-man Roster Prediction

September 2nd, 2011 Comments off

Well, here is the prediction for who will make the Final 53 as teams have until Saturday afternoon to make those decisions. Only one player from my previously mentioned locks won’t make the team, due to the Falcons roster moves earlier this week.

QUARTERBACKS
Matt Ryan
Chris Redman

Wilson’s poor performance vs. the Ravens I think might have gotten him cut, especially given the injury issues the Falcons have on their lines.

RUNNING BACKS
Michael Turner
Ovie Mughelli
Jason Snelling
Jacquizz Rodgers

Despite a strong performance last night against the Ravens, I don’t see either Antone Smith making the roster, but he remains eligible for the practice squad. Injuries on both lines I think will prevent the Falcons from carrying a fifth running back in Week 1. But once those units get healthy, do not be surprised if you see them pick up someone later in September.

WIDE RECEIVERS
Roddy White
Julio Jones
Harry Douglas
Kerry Meier
Eric Weems

Brandyn Harvey showed enough to potentially make the roster, but the Falcons don’t appear able to afford a sixth receiver when they have other injury issues elsewhere.

Read more…

Edwards, Johnson return to practice, Peters goes down

August 14th, 2011 Comments off

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards and guard Mike Johnson returned to practice on Sunday, although neither qualified as a full participant. Edwards practiced in pads for the first time since joining the Falcons on July 29. Johnson is expected to participate fully in practice beginning tomorrow according to Jay Adams of Atlanta Falcons.com. Johnson has been out of practice since Sunday, August 6, when he suffered a concussion. Both Edwards and Johnson missed Friday’s night preseason opener against the Dolphins.

Two other players that missed the Dolphin game: tight end Marquez Branson and defensive tackle Vance Walker are expected to return to practice Monday according to Knox Bardeen of CBS Sports.

Starting defensive tackle Corey Peters was injured during practice today, and was carted off the field with a left leg injury according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC. There has not yet been an update on the extent of his injury.

The team also announced that Akeem Dent, Justin Peelle, and John Parker Wilson are likely going to be out for Friday night’s preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wilson suffered a concussion during the Dolphin game in the third quarter. Dent and Peelle also played, but had limited snaps. Trey Lewis returned to practice today after injuring his arm against the Dolphins.

Camp Battles 2011: Quarterback

July 9th, 2011 Comments off

While it’s still unknown when exactly NFL training camps will open, this is about the time of year when we begin to start looking at what is going to happen when they do. As typical, it’s time to take a position-by-position look at what to expect when camp does commence and what roster battles will unfold for the Falcons. If/when, undrafted and veteran free agency occurs, subsequent and corresponding updates will be made.

At the quarterback position, it’s unknown if the Falcons will try and bring in a fourth arm without any form of free agency. But even if they do, whomever that player is will face long odds to get significant reps. Without a typical off-season and the possibility of a condensed preseason schedule, the Falcons will probably be giving Matt Ryan more reps than usual to get him ready for the regular season.

It means that a premium will be placed on passers that know the offense and can remain functional and ready without a ton of reps. If there is going to be a position battle at this position, it may come in the form of an open competition for the No. 2 spot between Chris Redman and John Parker Wilson. Redman is entering a contract year, and Wilson his third year in the system. The time is ripe for Wilson to push Redman enough to outright take the job or at least inspire enough confidence that the team can opt to not bring Redman back.

But again, due to the team’s desire to get Ryan ready for the season, they are not going to spare a ton of snaps. So whomever wins the job is really going to have to hit the ground running. It’ll be interesting to see if Wilson’s extra time spent at Camp Exile will benefit him.

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Lockout might hurt and help Wilson

May 24th, 2011 Comments off
Icon Sports Media, Inc.

John Parker Wilson

John Parker Wilson’s name has pinged the radar of Falcons fans twice this off-season. The first was when he became the face of Verizon Wireless’ “Know it Forward” anti-sexual assault campaign. The second was when his name was mentioned in articles discussing the team’s player-organized workouts due to his ability to help his ex-Crimson Tide teammate Julio Jones get acclimated to the Falcons offense.

That’s exactly two more times than anything we’ve seen to date from Wilson.

Wilson was arguably the top prospect among a 2009 class of undrafted quarterbacks that have managed to make some minor waves since. In New England, Brian Hoyer has carved out a niche as the No. 2 behind Tom Brady. Chase Daniel is carrying the clipboard behind Drew Brees in New Orleans. Graham Harrell is expected to push Matt Flynn behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay this summer. And Hunter Cantwell has an opportunity to compete for the No. 2 spot behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore this season.

All five players have arguably done as much to date as any of the eight non-first round quarterbacks drafted ahead of them (the most notable of which is the Colts’ Curtis Painter).

Wilson will face a similar challenge this summer to what Chase Daniel faced a year ago with the Saints. Daniel faced direct competition against veteran Patrick Ramsey for who would claim the No. 2 spot behind Brees. Daniel won.

It’s unlikely that the competition that Wilson faces with veteran Chris Redman will result in a zero sum in which one stays and the other goes. But there is that potential, if Wilson can put together a strong summer.

The ability to do so will be dependent on if the league and players can come to an agreement which will not shorten training camp and the preseason. Wilson will likely need all four games to put up enough of a body of work for the Falcons brass to place that much trust in him.

Read more…

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Falcons sit down with Louisville QB Froman

March 19th, 2011 Comments off

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that the Falcons had an “extensive sit down” with Louisville quarterback Adam Froman during his pro day last week on March 10.

Froman had a strong performance displaying passing skills and athleticism. He completed 33 of 35 passes during passing drills. He ran his 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds, and have a 3-cone drill of 6.6 seconds, and short shuttle of 4.08 seconds. Those latter two times would have been tops at least month’s Scouting Combine among quarterbacks, and his 40 time would have placed third.

Froman has gone under the radar due to injuries limited him at Louisville. Injuries cut short both his junior and senior years after transferring from Santa Rose Junior College. He managed 15 starts in those years, managing to complete 60.3% of 403 passes for 2987 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Froman still has a lot to learn as a quarterback, as he didn’t start playing football until his sophomore year of high school.

The Falcons are relatively set at quarterback with Matt Ryan as the starter and Chris Redman as the backup. But the team could be interested in bringing in a fourth arm to compete and push third stringer John Parker Wilson.

Preseason Week 1 Stock Exchange

August 15th, 2010 Comments off

It’s time to look at a handful of players whose stock is up or down based on their performances through the first game of the preseason.

Stock Up


Kroy Biermann, DE -
Expectations that Biermann would be able to step up his game were not let down with a good preseason opener. Two tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble indicate that Biermann seems poised to build off a breakout year as a pass rusher.

Dominique Franks, CB – He is not in the mix to be a starter this year, and probably doesn’t have a realistic shot of winning the nickel role, but Franks has reportedly had a strong camp so far, and continue to flash his ability in the game against the Chiefs. He showed his tackling ability with two good sticks on Chiefs receivers. He missed another tackle by taking a bad angle and gave up another long play in coverage, indicating that he still has a ways to go before he can be a reliable contributor on defense. But if his tackling ability is any indicator, Franks should be a valuable contributor early on special teams. Chris Owens had a similar path a year ago, going from special teams maven into regular contributor on defense by year’s end.

Kerry Meier, WR – We continue to hear nice things about the fifth round pick who has snagged everything so far at camp. Meier finished the preseason opener with two catches for 27 yards. He isn’t likely a serious option to fill in time for the vacant Michael Jenkins, but if Meier continues to play at a high level, he may get opportunities on offense rather than being relegated to special teams duty only. He has a chance to pass Eric Weems as the teams’ No. 4 receiver with Jenkins out of the lineup.

John Parker Wilson, QB – It seems the Falcons decision to enter camp with only three arms (one short of the usual in the NFL) seems to be a smart move since Wilson has performed at a level that makes a fourth arm pointless. Wilson didn’t have a great night statistically, completing 8 of 16 passes for 80 yards, but shined at times making some really good throws and showing his NFL arm.

Stock Down


William Moore, S
– Moore has missed time by re-aggravating a groin injury he suffered in the spring. Many expected Moore to be a serious challenger for a starting position at strong safety, but he has yet to prove he can remain healthy for a long enough stretch to give the coaching staff something to think about. Barring some absolutely brilliant performances in the remaining preseason games, it would appear Erik Coleman is locked in as the starter for at least another year.

Antone Smith, RB – Despite leading the Falcons in rushing on Friday night’s game against the Chiefs, Smith had at least two key drops in the passing game. He is in direct competition with undrafted rookie Dimitri Nance for a potential fourth running back spot on the depth chart. Given that spot’s role likely to be limited to third downs and special teams, whichever of the two proves to be the more reliable receiver would likely go a long way to settling the competition.