Player News - Falcons

Date: Team: Pos:

Falcons G/C Mike Person is expected to compete for the starting job at right guard.

Person started 14 games at center last season, but the addition of Alex Mack will allow him to switch back to his more natural position. Person's main competition is Chris Chester, who played well last season but turned 33 in January. Person has a decent shot to win the job.
Jul 23 - 9:22 AM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter reports Falcons second-round LB Deion Jones finished the offseason program with the first-team defense.

ESPN's Vaughn McClure recently predicted Paul Worrilow will open the season in the starting lineup, but Jones will push him hard throughout training camp. Even if Jones does not win the starting job outright, he is expected to supplant Worrilow on passing downs. It is only a matter of time before the talented rookie is a three-down player.
Jul 23 - 9:15 AM

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure believes ILB Paul Worrilow will hold onto his starting job.

Second-rounder Deion Jones will certainly make a run at the veteran, but McClure thinks Worrilow will hold him off. At the very least, Jones should supplant Worrilow in passing situations. Fourth-round rookie De'Vondre Campbell is expected to start on the weakside.
Source: ESPN
Jul 21 - 12:42 PM

Falcons LG Andy Levitre isn't a lock to keep his starting job this season.

Despite grading out favorably in Pro Football Focus' guard rankings, particularly as a run blocker, ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure noticed Levitre got pushed around far too often and doesn't believe he has a firm grasp on his starting job. Sixth-round rookie Wes Schweitzer is expected to compete with Levitre in camp. Levitre is due a $4 million salary this season.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 20 - 1:05 PM

Mohamed Sanu didn’t have any drop issues at OTAs.

Sanu struggled with drops in 2014, but was fine in a limited role last year. He reportedly showed improved hands at spring workouts. Signed to a five-year, $32.5 million deal, Sanu will open the season as Atlanta’s No. 2 pass-game option.
Jul 13 - 4:39 PM

Falcons first-round SS Keanu Neal is working out with Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor.

Considering Falcons coach Dan Quinn earned his reputation as Chancellor's coach in Seattle, there is not a better person for Neal to be working with before training camp. The No. 17 overall pick earned praise for his focus, maturity, and work ethic during the offseason program, and his decision to put in extra work with a Pro Bowler who knows the system inside and out puts those traits on full display. Neal is fully expected to open the season in the starting lineup.
Jul 12 - 12:05 PM

Falcons RBs coach Bobby Turner says the team wants Tevin Coleman to get the ball more this season.

"(I’d) obviously like to get Tevin more involved and that also keeps (Devonta Freeman) fresher," Turner said. "We want them competing. ... They both can catch the football. They both have run instincts. When it comes down to it, the one difference is the flat out long speed of Tevin Coleman." A bigger role seemed like a certainty for Coleman this season, but it's noteworthy that the Falcons are already confirming it before camp. Freeman remains a low-end RB1, but Coleman is one of the league's highest-upside handcuffs. He's worth a mid- to late-round pick in all formats.
Jul 11 - 2:12 PM

The Falcons want to reduce Devonta Freeman's workload, and want Freeman and Tevin Coleman "competing."

Freeman touched the ball 337 times last season, and seemed to run out of gas down the stretch. "It’s about growth," RBs coach Bobby Turner said. "Free had a good year, but I’m expecting even a better year. ... It can be even better with less carries or less catches because I’d obviously like to get Tevin more involved and that also keeps Free fresher." Coleman was one of the league's better change-of-pace backs last season, and was ticketed for a bigger role before a rib injury sidelined him as Freeman exploded. "We want them competing," Turner said. "They are very similar. ... When it comes down to it, the one difference is the flat out long speed of Tevin Coleman." Freeman should still be drafted as a low-end RB1, but has no shot at matching last year's RB1 overall finish.
Jul 11 - 2:07 PM

Falcons secondary coach Marquand Manuel said 2015 seventh-round CB Akeem King is "starting to come into his own."

King played just 15 snaps as a rookie, but he is expected to take on a much bigger role this year with Jalen Collins suspended the first four weeks. King should play on the outside in sub packages with Robert Alford switching to the slot. If King is not ready for prime time, the Falcons could add a veteran slot corner like Brandon Boykin in training camp.
Jul 7 - 9:22 AM

Falcons DC Richard Smith was impressed with No. 17 overall pick Keanu Neal's offseason.

"He's extremely focused, he’s very mature, he’s very, very talented. I love his demeanor and his work ethic," Smith said. "We can bring him on pressures, we can drop him into coverage, he can man up — so it’s a really good addition. More importantly, I love his maturity and how important it is to him as a young guy." Smith said he believes the first-rounder can be "pretty special." Neal could play upwards of 1,000 snaps as a rookie.
Jul 4 - 2:24 PM

Third-round TE Austin Hooper has impressed OC Kyle Shanahan with his route running.

"He really comes off the ball hard," Shanahan said. "He's not the fastest guy, but he's fast enough. He’s got good cutting, so he can break off at the top." The Falcons hope Hooper will improve their red-zone offense after they struggled mightily in scoring position last season, leading the NFL in red-zone turnovers. Hooper only has to beat out Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo for regular snaps.
Jun 29 - 5:06 PM

Falcons DL coach Bryan Cox said they must find a way to turn Vic Beasley's QB hurries into sacks.

Pressure is production, so Beasley's 33 hurries and five QB hits as a rookie are nothing to scoff at, but Atlanta wants more than the four sacks Beasley was able to manage. Beasley is expected to move to SAM linebacker in the base defense, but most of his snaps will likely come off the edge as a rusher. Beasley's 33 hurries were 12th-most among 48 qualified 4-3 ends last season.
Jun 29 - 10:51 AM

Matt Ryan has tried to improve his footwork this offseason by practicing in front of a mirror.

Ryan has used the mirror to work on his timing after a career-worst 2015 season that included just 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. The 31-year-old still completed over 66 percent of his passes, so he doesn't need to overhaul his approach. The Falcons remain thin at wide receiver behind Julio Jones, though offseason signing Mohamed Sanu should be an improvement on Roddy White, who had nothing left last year.
Jun 22 - 5:21 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter projects 2015 seventh-rounder Akeem King to open the season as a starting outside corner.

King stands 6'1/212 and has the size coach Dan Quinn desires outside. Last year's No. 249 overall pick played just 16 snaps as a rookie. With CB Jalen Collins suspended Weeks 1-4, King may be someone to pick on matchup-wise in DFS. Robert Alford will cover the slot. Desmond Trufant is on the other side.
Jun 22 - 9:16 AM

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff admits he's on the hot seat.

"Of course, I’m on the hot seat," Dimitroff said. "This is a very urgent league right now." The Falcons are just 18-30 (.375) over the past three seasons, while Dimitroff has ceded power to Scott Pioli. Dimitroff's rosters have long been amongst the thinnest in the league. 2016 could be a make-or-break year.
Jun 21 - 4:54 PM


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