Player News - Falcons

Date: Team: Pos:

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." Atlanta expects Hooper to improve their red-zone offense after their 2015 struggles there. 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

AtlantaFalcons.com reports converted WR C.J. Goodwin has "raised a lot of eyebrows" at corner this spring.

Goodwin picked off passes on back-to-back days in minicamp, also getting the attention of ESPN's Vaughn McClure. Coach Dan Quinn praised Goodwin last month for sticking with Julio Jones in coverage. Goodwin, who has never played a regular season snap, is still an extreme long-shot, of course.
Jun 16 - 8:09 PM

Falcons coach Dan Quinn expects seventh-round WR Devin Fuller (hamstring) to be ready for training camp.

Fuller missed the entire offseason, but it shouldn’t impact his roster chances with Devin Hester also sidelined. Fuller is competing for one of the final receiver spots.
Jun 16 - 10:30 AM

Falcons RG Chris Chester (shoulder) has been cleared for minicamp.

Chester is penciled in opposite Andy Levitre, but doesn't have much job security. He worked with the third-team offense in his first practice.
Jun 16 - 10:21 AM

Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan expects to take more deep shots this season.

"We didn't take every opportunity we should have," said Shanahan of last year's offense. "Usually, explosive plays have never been an issue. Julio got a bunch at the beginning of the year, but it's a little harder when there's always a second guy over the top." Jones got most of his yards after the catch despite leading the league in receiving. The Falcons hope the additions of Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper will get Jones more single coverage.
Source: ESPN
Jun 15 - 5:56 PM

Falcons second-round LB Deion Jones is up to 230 pounds.

He weighed in at 222 at the Combine. Bracing for his role as the Falcons' starting middle linebacker, Jones is trying to bulk up a bit without losing his 4.4 speed. He's a dark horse for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
Jun 15 - 1:01 PM

Brooks Reed has been working with the Falcons' defensive ends this spring.

Reed was expected to open last season as the starting SAM, but he only started five games due to groin surgery. The Falcons opted for speed at linebacker this offseason, pushing Reed down to the defensive line where he dabbled a bit with the Texans. He'll compete with Adrian Clayborn and Courtney Upshaw.
Jun 10 - 9:32 AM

Falcons DL coach Bryan Cox said he is hoping "to see some improvement" from third-year DL Ra'Shede Hageman.

"He’s more alert in meetings. He’s trying to work his butt off," Cox said. "I think he’s done a good job this offseason of working to get his pad level lower and working on his ankle flexing and some of the things that can make him a better player." After struggling in limited snaps at defensive tackle through two seasons, the Falcons are moving Hageman to end to help get his career on track. This could be a make-or-break season for the former second-round pick.
Jun 6 - 12:04 PM

Devin Hester (toe) says he’s about 75 percent healthy.

Hester hasn’t been cleared to run five months after surgery. He’s sitting out OTAs and will miss the entire offseason. Hester’s training camp status is up in the air.
Jun 1 - 7:21 PM

Falcons fourth-round LB De'Vondre Campbell is running as the first-team weak-side linebacker at OTAs.

The Falcons made it a point to add more speed to their linebacker corps this offseason, and Campbell fit the bill after blazing a 4.58 forty at the Combine. At 6'4/232, he also has the height to cover tight ends. The Falcons' best LB grouping may be WLB Campbell, MLB Deion Jones, and SLB Vic Beasley. It's unclear where Brooks Reed, Paul Worrilow, and Sean Weatherspoon will factor in.
May 31 - 5:10 PM

ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure cautioned to "not count out" Tevin Coleman at running back.

The Falcons' higher-ups have been talking up Coleman since the season ended, with coach Dan Quinn calling Coleman-Devonta Freeman a "unique combination" and GM Thomas Dimitroff labeling the duo a "tandem" in the backfield. Per McClure, Freeman "can't afford to let his guard down" with the team still believing in Coleman's big-play ability. Coleman is a solid late-round flier in fantasy drafts right now. He was handpicked by the current regime.
Source: ESPN.com
May 23 - 9:57 AM


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