Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons

Player News - Falcons

Date: Team: Pos:

Falcons signed OG Chris Chester, formerly of the Redskins.

He'll slide into Prince Shembo's roster spot. Chester, 32, started every game for the Redskins over the past four seasons, and has experience at all three interior positions. Coached by Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan in Washington 2011-2013, Chester is a fit for Atlanta's new zone-blocking scheme. Last year, Chester fared well as a pass blocker but had run-game struggles as the Redskins implemented a power-rushing attack. He becomes the favorite to start at left guard in Atlanta, with Jake Matthews at left tackle, Joe Hawley at center, Jon Asamoah at right guard, and Ryan Shraeder or Tyler Polumbus at right tackle.
May 29 - 9:18 PM

Free agent G/C Chris Chester is scheduled to visit the Falcons and Eagles.

Chester has played primarily guard in the NFL, but was a center at Oklahoma and could fill a reserve swing role or compete to start in Atlanta or Philadelphia. The Eagles' need is at guard with LG Evan Mathis holding out, and journeyman Allen Barbre currently penciled in at right guard. 32-year-old Chester played for new Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan in Washington 2011-2013.
May 29 - 2:24 PM

Falcons DE Tyson Jackson has hired a personal chef in order to drop weight.

Jackson played around 322 last season, but wants to be about 305 in coach Dan Quinn's new 4-3 scheme. Jackson has never played in a 4-3, admitting but he's expected to line up as the "big" left end in the old Red Bryant role. Jackson will play the run on early downs before coming off the field in sub-packages.
Source: ESPN.com
May 29 - 9:26 AM

Falcons CB Dezmen Southward underwent knee surgery on Wednesday.

It's likely a clean-up procedure after Southward was limited by a knee issue in OTAs. Southward will miss valuable practice reps as he attempts to transition to corner. His status for training camp is questionable.
May 27 - 7:54 PM

Redskins released RG Chris Chester.

Chester, 32, has started all 64 games for Washington the past four seasons, but isn't a fit for coach Jay Gruden's power-blocking scheme at just 305 pounds. The veteran remained a serviceable guard last season, especially in pass protection, so he should get another look. The Redskins save $4 million against the cap with the move. Spencer Long is now the favorite at right guard.
May 27 - 10:30 AM

Devonta Freeman opened Falcons OTAs as the first-string tailback.

Rookie Tevin Coleman ran with the twos. Freeman best projects as a role-player back, and was likely given the first-team nod out of veteran deference. In Kyle Shanahan's historically productive zone-run scheme, Coleman versus Freeman versus Antone Smith will be one of fantasy's top camp battles to watch.
Source: ESPN.com
May 26 - 6:01 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirms that second-year S Dezmen Southward is moving to cornerback.

It's where Southward has been lining up in OTAs, though he's currently sidelined by a minor knee issue. Southward was a bust as a rookie, failing to advance past Kemal Ishmael on the depth chart before playing 257 ineffective snaps. The Falcons' need to move him to corner lessened when they selected Jalen Collins in the second round, but the new coaching staff must believe corner is Southward's best spot. Standing in at 6-foot, 211 with high-end athleticism, Southward could be molded into a press corner, though ball skills are an issue.
May 26 - 1:47 PM

Falcons SS William Moore (shoulder surgery) has yet to resume practicing.

Moore underwent a "significant" shoulder operation in January. He'll likely sit out the Falcons' entire offseason program before returning for training camp.
May 26 - 1:31 PM

Falcons LT Jake Matthews (Lisfranc surgery) has yet to resume practicing.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in February that Matthews was expected to miss "most" of the Falcons' offseason program. It's quite possible he'll miss all of it, and he should be considered questionable for the start of training camp. Week 1 is not a concern.
May 26 - 1:30 PM

Julio Jones reported for voluntary OTAs Tuesday.

It's only notable because Jones is entering the final year of his contract and is in the process of extension negotiations. No one would fault him for working out on his own as a way to accelerate those talks. But Jones, healthy and set for an eruption as the "X" receiver for Kyle Shanahan, is showing some good faith.
Source: ESPN.com
May 26 - 10:34 AM

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure says Roddy White "wasn't himself a year ago due to a variety of injuries and age catching up to him."

We'd agree. Fighting nagging knee and ankle injuries, White finished with a respectable 80-921-7 line but couldn't threaten defenses over the top and offered nothing after the catch. Now 33 years old, he's going to fall further down the cliff and also gets a downgrade in scheme. Kyle Shanahan offenses pepper the "X" receiver (Julio Jones) with monstrous volume and treat the No. 2 wideout as a complementary piece.
Source: ESPN.com
May 26 - 9:20 AM

Falcons SLB Brooks Reed could miss the start of OTAs because of a groin injury.

He suffered the injury during the team's recent veteran minicamp. We'd expect the Falcons to be as cautious as possible with Reed after inking him to a five-year, $22.5 million contract this offseason. O'Brien Schofield is likely to get first-team reps when OTAs open on Tuesday.
Source: ESPN.com
May 24 - 11:07 AM

The NFL overturned Joplo Bartu's two-game suspension.

He received a two-game ban for pleading no contest to DUI, but after filing paperwork with the league, the NFL dropped Bartu's suspension and instead fined him $50,000. Bartu finished third on the team with 83 tackles last season.
May 24 - 10:08 AM

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure believes Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will see "equal reps" in a two-back system.

It is unlikely Coleman and Freeman finish the season in a perfect timeshare, but it make sense for Atlanta to let their two young backs duke it out in training camp and early in the season. As the hand-picked back of the current regime, Coleman should be seen as the favorite to win the lion's share of the work, but his questionable fit in OC Kyle Shanahan's scheme could make his transition to the NFL difficult. A more natural fit in a zone-blocking scheme, Freeman could earn a bigger role than anticipated in training camp, especially if Coleman struggles.
Source: ESPN.com
May 23 - 9:16 AM

Mike Person has been lining up as the Falcons' starting left guard at OTAs.

Signed to a three-year, $3.35 million deal in the offseason, Person has never started zero of his 17 appearances since entering the league as a 2011 seventh-rounder. With Peter Konz and Sam Baker still recovering from injuries, Person will certainly face competition. He's no lock to even make the roster.
May 22 - 8:28 AM


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