Posted July 31, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Comments on the Atlanta Falcons by the AP Pro32 panel (ranking in parentheses):
ATLANTA FALCONS (13)
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 7): A model organization from Arthur Blank to Mike Smith to Matt Ryan on down, and it now has to man up in playoffs.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 8): Falcons are hoping change of offensive and defensive coordinators leads to first playoff win under head coach Mike Smith.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 10): Bounty scandal means Falcons move to top of division.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 10): Wait continues on QBs Matt Ryan of Falcons and Joe Flacco of Ravens to elevate their teams from playoff to Super Bowl contenders.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 10): Have no problem winning in regular season (43 victories over four years). Can they win in postseason with their pass rush and pass protection?
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 11): Falcons will improve on D with Mike Nolan at helm.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 11): That sea...
BEST OF MAXIM
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. In one of his innumerably colorful moments less than a week into Falcons training camp, cornerback Asante Samuel volleyed a comment across the divide that separates offense and defense in the direction of new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
After an incomplete pass, Samuel's words were to the effect that Koetter should check the spacing between the receivers...
The statue of former Saints safety Steve Gleason blocking a punt against Atlanta is probably one of the coolest statues I personally have ever seen. Gleason’s blocked punt sent him into the annals of Saints history as a symbol of the rebirth of a city ravaged by natural disaster. The controversy, though, is that the falcons don’t want to be remembered as the team on the receiving...
Matt Ryan entered the league with a very similar scouting report as Peyton Manning: scouts praised his football IQ and accuracy, touted him as a pro-readyquarterback, but questioned his arm strength. Both quarterbacks started from day one and are at their best when in the no-huddle offense.
Much like Manning early in his career, Ryan has been branded as a quarterback who is a regular...
Matt Ryan likes to undersell his athleticism in a self-deprecating manner.
The Atlanta Falcons' fifth-year quarterback doesn't talk much about it publicly, but Ryan is usually among the first to poke fun at his speed and arm strength.
''Matt is a very humble guy, and Matt is a better athlete than you think,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said on Monday. '...
Albert Breer of the NFL Network has changed from being generally insufferable to being awesome because he visited Falcons camp. Breer believes the new coordinators, Mike Nolan and Dirk Koetter, reflect the belief that Atlanta needs more of a "gun slinger mentality." Certainly there was need for change after Atlanta schemed to lose in the playoffs the last few years.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Grizzled, long-time NFL coaching veterans shepherded Matt Ryan's entry into the NFL.
In quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, he had someone who played the position in the league behind greats such as Joe Montana and Steve Young and then coached it.
When Musgrave left after Ryan's first three seasons to become offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings...
Matt Ryan has accomplished a lot in his career. He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2008, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2010 and has led the Falcons to the playoffs three times in the last four years.
So that should make him one of the top 100 players in the NFL, right? Well, not necessarily, because when the league came out with their top 100 list, 13 quarterbacks made...
For one of the most talkative players around, Asante Samuel doesn't have much to say when the media are ready to listen. That's just fine with the Atlanta Falcons, who hope their new cornerback just keeps chatting - and ball-hawking - on the field.
Traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Falcons in April, Samuel has met with local reporters just a few times since then...
Aron White making most of opportunity
White said he is using every opportunity to benefit from being around Gonzalez, whom he called “the greatest to ever play.”
“Anything that he does mention, you try to take in as much as possible and be a sponge,” White said. “At the same time, you don’t want to crowd a guy. We all have to act professionally and take care of our...