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Tag:Atlanta Falcons
Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.23.11: Brady, Gisele frolic poolside

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • You think Tom Brady spent his weekend sweating the Rapture? Hell no he did not. So what did he do? He spent his weekend at a resort in Mexico, frolicking around a pool on a waterslide with his mildly attractive soulmate, Gisele. Yes, there are pictures. And yes, it's entirely possible to enjoy the lockout without actually SAYING SO. 



Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:01 pm
 

Dimitroff open to Falcons on 'Hard Knocks'

Posted by Will Brinson

We already know that the Bucs won't be on "Hard Knocks," and we learned yesterday that the Broncos are already out.

But what about the Falcons? The seemingly odd fit for HBO's reality television series about training camp should be considered a possibility, according to Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff.

"Two years ago we were approached and decided that it wasn’t right for us at that point,” Dimitroff said on Sirius, via Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That’s not to say we wouldn’t go down that road if it was presented to us at another time. We are much closer to being in that spot where it’s not going to be as much of a distraction as it would have been another time.

"It’s such an individual thing. Hard Knocks could be right for some of the teams that are fairly entrenched. It could be right for some team that wants to kick off some more brand recognition."

Brand-iness is certainly something that the Falcons could use: look no further than where they fall amongst the elite teams from 2010. You had the Steelers, the Packers, the Bears, the Jets, the Patriots ... and the Falcons.

You can argue more teams were "elite" (or less) if you want, but whatever. The point is that the Falcons are easily the most vanilla of the teams listed there.

Vanilla isn't bad, per se, but it's not gonna sell jerseys outside of the ATL. A "Hard Knocks" appearance won't turn a team into a pile of superstars overnight, but it will make the general football-watching world vastly more interested in what happens to the Falcons the year of the show.

That might not seem like the type of thing Dimitroff would be interested in, but you can definitely argue that making the team more marketable falls under his responsibilities as well.

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Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:04 am
 

Curtis Lofton recovering from knee surgeries

Posted by Andy Benoit
C. Lofton
Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton revealed in an interview with Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he had offseason surgery on both knees.

The fourth-year pro has spent his spring rehabbing and is just now rounding back into full shape. “This is probably the strongest that I’ve ever been because all I had to do was focus on my upper body,” Lofton said. “Now, it’s time to get these legs back right.”

Lofton has shown consistent improvement in his career. He is not a raging athlete, but his patience and stout tackling make him solid between the tackles. The Falcons will surely monitor his health closely, as 2011 is the final year of his contract.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.10.11: Using unsafe helmets



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • It’s interesting that a large percentage of players wear helmets that don’t do a very good job of reducing the risk of concussions. The players choose their own helmets, and many do so based on comfort and familiarity, NOT on the latest technology that will help reduce brain injuries. Which is a problem.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Mike Freeman has the astounding, yet somewhat predictable, news that players and coaches have been keeping in contact during the lockout. Check it out. Freeman’s reporting here is very strong.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:27 am
 

Podcast: post draft analysis and debate

Posted by Will Brinson

The draft is over, and Andy Benoit and I have recovered just long enough to bring you a full-blown draft recap podcast. Yes, you're welcome.

After a quick discussion of the current labor issues (what you need to know), we dive right into the winners/losers thing, and spend time making fun of the Seahawks and then making fun of Seahawks for making fun of us making fun of the Seahawks. It's quite perplexing. Then we debate the run of quarterbacks in the first round, the value of getting "your guy" instead of getting someone at the correct value spot, whether the Browns and Falcons deal was smart and how various teams fared with their individual drafts.

Just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:02 pm
 

NFC South draft truths revealed

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the best things about the draft is that from it we can find out what teams really think about their current players. Excluding examples of teams filling obvious needs, here are some of the more revealing draft picks from 2011, with a quick blurb of what the team was really saying by making this pick.

Atlanta FalconsJ. Jones (US Presswire)

1st round, Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
We’re one playmaker away from being Super Bowl-bound. (And if you couldn’t figure for yourself that this was our reason, you might as well stop following pro football right now.)
 
5th round, Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
We wish Jerious Norwood could stay healthy, but we’ve been disappointed too many times.
 
Carolina Panthers


3rd round, Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida
Derek Landri and Nick Hayden played hard for us last year, and both were decent against the run, but we’re looking for a little more dynamite inside.
 
3rd round, Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
Again, more dynamite.
 
New Orleans Saints

1st round, Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Yeah, we didn’t hardly notice Alex Brown last year either.
 
1st round, Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
He may have been productive as a rookie, but we’re not buying into Chris Ivory (there’s a reason the guy was undrafted). Also, no way in hell we’re going to pay Reggie Bush a single dime more than he’s worth to us. If Bush is looking to roll major bank, he’d better call his realtor.
 
3rd round, Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
We aren’t disappointed with Randall Gay per se, but we’re not exactly thrilled with him.
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1st round, Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
2nd round, Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
We’ve told you before: we rebuild our roster in bunches. Two years ago we stunk at defensive tackle and wide receiver. This past year, we stunk at defensive end. Problems solved (we hope).
 
3rd round, Mason Foster, OLB, Washington
We’ll move him to the middle and not re-sign Barrett Ruud. Why? Because the biggest secret in football is Ruud is iffy if not terrible. Why do you think we’re always finishing near the bottom of the league in run defense?

Check back throughout the week for other division’s Draft Truths Revealed. To see all Draft Truths Revealed, click the “Draft Truths” tag.

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RSS Feed.

Posted on: April 30, 2011 8:10 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 10:28 pm
 

2011 NFL Draft: Winners and losers

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- The grind of the NFL Draft -- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, three days of straight picks is definitely a grind -- is finally over. Which means we should probably take our time to sit back and reflect on who did well and do not do well. Or, alternately, we can just start calling people names right ... now!



WINNERS
Atlanta Falcons: Been flopping on these guys all weekend long it feels like -- I like Julio Jones a lot, but I didn’t like all the picks the Falcons needed to get him. I do, however, freaking LOVE Jacquizz Rodgers. They got a steal when they landed a lot more offensive explosiveness in the seventh round. Couple that with a few more solid adds in Andrew Jackson, Akeem Dent and K/P Matt Bosher and it was a good haul for Thomas Dimitroff. Good enough to have me thinking about picking them to win it all. Again.

Peyton Manning: Not only is the best quarterback in the NFL going to get real paid as soon as we get a new CBA, but he’s going to have two new guys -- Anthony Castonzo and Benjamin Ijalana -- in town to help keep him healthy.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills started off their draft with a good blueprint: DEFENSE. And they stuck to that blueprint throughout the rest of the draft too, only diverting twice to pick up Chris Hairston from Clemson to beef up the offensive line and Johnny White for backfield depth and special teams. Da’Norris Searcy out of Chapel Hill could be a steal for them in the fourth.

Wade Phillips: Not that you expected the Texans to actually go out and get anyone that’s an an offensive player early in the draft, but did a great job with their first five picks, particularly in trading back up to grab Brandon Harris. Given all the limitations on that defense and the switch they have to make, it’s good for him to at least get a head start out of the draft.

Cleveland Browns: Giving up a top-10 selection when you’ve got a young quarterback that needs weapons is no easy move ... unless you’re getting five picks in return and turn those into serviceable offensive products and some defensive standouts. Buster Skrine’s value fell post-Combine but he could be a good find, Jason Pinkston out of Pittsburgh will help and already-physical offensive line. Phil Taylor/Jabaal Sheard immediately improve the defensive line and Greg Little and Jordan Cameron give Colt McCoy some guys with good hands and upside.

Ryan Mallett: My man Freeman thinks Bill Belichick might have taken too big a gamble, and there’s a good chance he might be right. But if Mallett goes anywhere else, you would have heard everyone saying that about the GM that grabbed him. (Can you imagine the reaction if Carolina took him or, dare I say, the Bengals?) The pressure of falling in the draft because of character issues and having to play/perform well at an early time is lifted with his move.

Green Bay Packers: Not that it’s hard to “win” if you’re Green Bay, coming off a Super Bowl-winning season and sitting on a young, stacked roster. But “In Ted We Trust” applies here, because Thompson beefed up the Packers’ offensive line depth, got a superb second-rounder in Randall Cobb to potentially replace and just generally marked everything he needed off his checklist. Standard Packers draft, really.

Arizona Cardinals: They had a good first two days nabbing Patrick Peterson and Ryan Williams and then fared quite well in the later rounds, particularly with their selection of Quan Sturdivant, a pretty stupendous value in the sixth round. Some would argue they didn’t address their QB need and that’s fair, but they’ll be the leaders in the clubhouse for a veteran or a Kevin Kolb trade.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The rich get richer, per usual. Cameron Heyward is the future at defensive end, Marcus Gilbert -- a reliable offensive lineman -- is exactly what the Steelers need, and the Steelers stepped up and addressed their cornerback issues early on Day 3 of the draft by grabbing Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen.

America: For awesomeness’ sake, I’m going to hold out eternal hope that the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, Ricky Stanzi ends up shirtless in a downtown BBQ joint with an American flag as a cape, holding a huge turkey leg while belting out the “Star Spangled Banner” in celebration and this scene makes its way onto YouTube. America needs that.



LOSERS
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers were a classic example of how trading early-round picks and finding yourself extremely weak at certain positions can kill you: in a draft with ridiculous defensive line depth, they still couldn’t add to a weak position until the third round when they picked up a pair of undersized defensive tackles in Terrell McClain and Sione Fua. Kealoha Pilares was a good grab at the top of the fifth, though. And, of course, they were essentially forced to take Cam Newton at the top spot. If he busts, this draft is a total nightmare. It might even be a situation of Carolina just taking their medicine in the best-case anyway.

Carson Palmer: Marvin Lewis says the Bengals have “moved on” for Palmer too; you gotta think they’ll try and trade him just to get something in return, but it’s shame because the best scenario for him might actually be returning to the ‘Nati and helping to bring A.J. Green and Stanford product Ryan Whalen into the fold of Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley. Those are nicer weapons than he’ll find in retirement.

Jacksonville Jaguars: I think Blaine Gabbert will end up being pretty good. If he’s great, this ranking could change, but if Jack Del Rio’s job is on the line, how does he not convince Gene Smith to go out and get him some freaking secondary help before fourth round? (Caveat: Smith has killed drafts since he got to J-Vegas, so if he thinks Gabbert’s “the guy” going forward, more power to him.)

Ronnie Brown: There was some talk Brown might stick with the Dolphins even after they took Daniel Thomas out of K-State in the second round. Nabbing Charles Clay -- even if he’s a fullback -- probably means Brown is done with the ‘Fins. (And it might also mean they’re not as set on paying DeAngelo Williams whatever he wants too.)

Washington Redskins: All weekend long, the Redskins looked like winners as they kept avoiding making huge mistakes by trading down and piling up picks. But did they really end up getting anything of substantial value for it? Leonard Hankerson could be a nice pull in the third round, certainly, but for all the Redskins’ surprising patience, they didn’t once address their (very serious) quarterback issue or linebacker issue.

Reggie Bush: Sean Payton’s saying that he’s open to Bush coming back. That might be true. And it might not be true. But what he’s not doing is making a dumb, knee-jerk reaction on Twitter simply because his team drafted Mark Ingram. Which is what Bush did and it’s not going to help him in the short or long term.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos accumulated a lot of picks, and added a linebacker trio that could be dominant in a few years (Von Miller as the pass rusher, Nate Irving as the tackler and Virgil Green as the cover guy). But two tight ends and not a single defensive lineman? Did someone show John Elway the wrong depth chart before this thing kicked off on Thursday?

Oakland Raiders: Al Davis didn’t have a first-rounder, so it’s okay to temper expectations a little bit, but Al really isn’t going to stop over-drafting athleticism until the day he dies. And considering how hot it was in Radio City Music Hall when they played “California Girls” for the second time on Saturday, I can’t imagine hell’s freezing over any time soon.

David Akers: With the Eagles’ decision to reach up into the fourth round and grab Alex Henery out of Nebraska, as well as the fact that Akers wasn’t happy about his transition tag, it’s pretty obvious that the incumbent kicker’s days as a Philly legend are numbered. (You could also add Henery as a loser here, too: having to come in and kick in front of Eagles’ fans sounds worse than listening to drunk Jets’ fans boo everything for eight-straight hours.)

Seattle Seahawks: Maybe Pete Carroll’s drafts are just too “zany” for me to understand, but the James Carpenter pick strikes me as possibly the biggest reach of the first round, maybe even ahead of Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. Unless bring Matt Hasselbeck back or land another veteran QB in the offseason, it’s almost impossible to imagine them sniffing the playoffs again.

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Falcons focusing on offensive explosiveness

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- When the Atlanta Falcons moved a pile of picks to the Browns to grab Julio Jones, GM Thomas Dimitroff said, "We are not one player away from anything." He's probably right.
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But in the fifth round, Atlanta got another player closer towards being that much more explosive offensively, when they drafted Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

Shortly after the pick, highlights from Rodgers' career with the Beavers started flashing on the big screen and the crowd went nuts -- as they should have, because Rodgers was plowing over people, breaking ankles and fighting his way into the end zone.

Is he likely to be a feature back in the NFL? Probably not. But the Falcons have Michael Turner to be their main guy and Rodgers just might compliment Turner perfectly.

The knock on the Atlanta Falcons heading into 2011 was a lack of offensive explosiveness. With their addition of Jones and Rodgers to the skill positions, that problem could already be eliminated.

And the Falcons, despite having given up some substantial future draft picks, might have suddenly revamped their entire offense in an offseason that wasn't supposed to be made for revamping.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com