Ryans and Burners and Bears, Oh my!
Well, once again I’ve been slacking and haven’t posted anything in the past couple of weeks. The off-season sucks and most of what you hear is embellished team speak anyways. I’ve read multiple articles of late and it seems like everyone is getting into the Matt Ryan man love committee. I’ll delve more into that but I’d like to address something else first.
As a lifetime Falcons fan and longtime poster over at the Falconsroost I’m sad to report that Andy Smith, a huge Falcons fan, passed away at the age of 55 of heart failure. He never had a bad thing to say and supplied the site with music for the intro page. It’s truly a shame he won’t be around to see the Falcons hoisting the Lombardi one day. My deepest condolences go out to his family.
Now, back to the Matt Ryan man-love discussion. I find it a little odd for the media to go out on a limb and call Ryan elite just yet. That said, John Clayton did exactly that is his article on Wednesday.
“Expect Ryan to dazzle in Year 3. Trust me, he’s elite,” said Clayton is his write-up. I believe it’s a bold statement but if you’re going to roll the dice, he picked a pretty safe player to gamble on. Ryan studies as hard as the players he’s trying to emulate like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Each of those players are the first ones to the facility and the last ones to leave. That’s what it takes to not only become elite, but to remain there.
Someone should let Vince Young know about that theory. I don’t believe you’ll become a better quarterback getting beatup by anti-Longhorn fans in a strip club at 3:30am. But he does have a Texas degree, so maybe he’s smarter than me.
One thing I took away from Claytons article that made me smile was the comments made receiver Roddy White. I need to hear more interviews with this kid, I like him!
“He is throwing the ball harder,” wide receiver Roddy White said. “I’ve never seen a quarterback actually work that hard in the weight room. He’s getting the ball out quick, and it has a little more mustard on it.”
One of my gripes about Ryan last season was arm strength. I heard all about the “core” workout he was doing but his arm strength has always been an issue. If what White says is true, I expect to see more 20 and 30 yard passes down-field to spread that defense out more.
AJC writer Jeff Schultz got in on the Falcons love with his article about how the Falcons are a better team than the Saints. Bold statement considering the Saints just won the Superbowl. But hey, who am I to question the word of a clearly sane human being.
I too believe the Saints caught a lot of lucky breaks last year that in the pre-Katrina days would never have happened. It doesn’t change the fact that the Falcons almost beat the Saints with Chris Redman at quarterback and 3rd string running back Jason Snelling last season. So with both teams healthy I can’t wait to see the fireworks erupt in 2010. I will be in attendance for the Week 16 Monday night game in the Georgia Dome to close out Monday Night Football for the season. That one will have playoff implications for one of, if not, both teams.
Anyways, back to Schultz article. He was going off something written by Rich Gosselin on Monday ranking the Falcons one spot ahead of the Saints. He made some good points but the bottom line is the Saints got their rings this week, the Falcons have yet to get one. So I have to digress personally.
A few other articles that came out in the past two weeks that peeked my interest included interviews with some Falcons rookies as well as a fishing trip the Falcons took with some of our fine military people in from Iraq and Afghanistan. As usual, Jerious came up empty. For a guy that spends all his free time hunting and fishing he has some bad luck with the fish in the clutch.
“We didn’t catch a single fish today, man,” Norwood said, laughing. “This is the second year in a row, man. Skunked. I’ve got to shake this skunk off.”
As everyone should know by now, I’m against anything that could possibly injure our home run threat running back. Can we find him a nice chess club to visit or maybe a job judging a bunch of kids trying to earn singing contracts? Enough of the outdoor, go-kart events. He’s injured more than Rod Coleman and big Rod had to run over deer to get injured!
Now lets talk about some of the rookie interviews. I’ve read them on Weatherspoon, Franks and Johnson and let me tell you, I like each of them. We will start with Spoon. He reminds me a lot of Brooking when he arrived in Atlanta. He’s full of energy and wants to be a leader. As long as he can make tackles above the knee he’s a keeper. Normally I would quote him somewhere but to be honest, he didn’t get asked any questions that really intrigued me. He was cheering for the Celtics, but that’s about as much as I learned during his chat.
So we can move on to a guy I fell in love with before the draft, Dominique Franks. I heard an interview with him on Sirius show Moving the Chains with PK and T-Rock about two weeks prior to the 2010 Draft. When I heard the story about taking his mother to prom and his hunger to be the best I knew he’d make a solid NFL player. He was a good interview and one worth reading.
“Not too many people in the world can say that they love their job,” said Franks. “Coming out here and being able to play a football game and really doing something you love, it really doesn’t seem too much like a job. I know it is but I just look at it to come out here, have fun and enjoy what you’re doing.”
Love that attitude! I hope his time in the NFL doesn’t take away that love of the game and turn everything into money like it has for so many players. It’s a shame that so many players lose that appreciation for what they do because of their own greed. I wish Franks the best and hope he turns into a solid Falcon for years to come.
That brings us to Mike Johnson. He’s a candidate to take a starting role on the offensive line for the Falcons this season. Unfortunately, his interview didn’t leave me much to work with as far as quotes and such. I learned he’s a Cubs fan. So I suppose he’s used to disappointment therefore will be able to take losing like a man. He’s another of those dark horse 2010 draft selections that should see some playing time this season.
Other than that, it’s been pretty quiet at Flowery Branch. The Falcons signed rookie offensive lineman Joe Hawley, cornerback Franks and third round tackle Corey Peters. I’m hoping Spoon will be soon.
I’ll be on vacation next week so I’ll be back for the 4th of July ready to update you guys on everything I hear by then. Till then, take care!| ANDY SMITH, Atlanta Falcons, COREY PETERS, DOMINIQUE FRANKS, JERIOUS NORWOOD, matt ryan, michael turner, Mike Johnson, SEAN WEATHERSPOON