Falcons Hire Ex-Bears GM Emery and Ex-Titans GM Webster

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The Falcons have hired both ex-Titans general manager Ruston Webster and ex-Bears GM Phil Emery according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Falcons’ front office is getting mighty crowded. Emery was director of college scouting for Atlanta from 2004-2008 before taking over in Chicago, where he was eventually deposed two years ago after whiffing on most of his major personnel decisions. It is expected that Emery will once again primarily be involved in college scouting for the Falcons.

The Titans let Webster’s contract expire at the end of the 2015 season but he looked hopelessly overmatched in his four years as general manager in Tennessee. He does have over 25 years of personnel experience in the NFL but the exact role he will play in Atlanta is unclear at this point.

The Falcons are trying to restock one of the weakest rosters in the NFL and now have four GMs/ex-GMs on their payroll. In addition to Webster and Emery, current Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is still clinging to power and former Patriots and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli also has the ear of owner Arthur Blank.

Saints at Falcons NFL Week 17 Inactives

Saints inactives: QB Garrett Grayson, TE RaShaun Allen, DT Kaleb Eulls, OTs Terron Armstead and Andrus Peat, WR Marques Colston and LB Dannell Ellerbe

Falcons inactives: RB Tevin Coleman, DE Malliciah Goodman, OLB Tyler Starr, T Bryce Harris, TE D.J. Tialavea, G Ben Garland, S Robenson Therezie

Panthers vs Falcons NFL Week 16 Inactives

Panthers inactives: RB Jonathan Stewart, LB Davis Mayo, DT Kyle Love. WR Brenton Bersin, S Dean Marlowe, RB Brandon Wegher, WR Kevin Norwood

Falcons inactives: RB Tevin Coleman, NT Grady Jarrett, Tyler Starr, CB Akeem King, OT Bryce Harris, OG Ben Garland, NT Joey Mbu

Falcons Coach Dan Quinn Has No Problems with a ‘Players-Only’ Meeting

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he had no issues with the team calling a players-only meeting to address the team’s four-game losing streak, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, along with linebacker O’Brien Schofield, huddled after Sunday’s 20-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and decided it was a necessary step. The meeting took place Monday.

“This is a really close group already,” Quinn said. “When you take that to a new spot, I think that’s when it can be productive. I think the only times I’ve seen where a situation like that wasn’t as effective, it was a third time, a fourth time, where some points that the group together didn’t get across.

“Having a [players-only] meeting has happened to lots of teams I’ve been a part of. … It’s kind of a pretty cool thing in a lot of ways because it’s like: ‘Hey, man, I’m all in for you. Whatever you need, you can count on me.’ … Knowing the group that we have, I couldn’t be more pleased that they got together; what they stand for [and] how bad they want it.”

Vikings at Falcons NFL Week 12 Capsule

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-3) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (6-4)

SERIES

  VIKINGS FALCONS
SERIES LEADER 16-10  
STREAKS   2 of past 3
COACHES VS. OPP. Mike Zimmer: 1-0 Dan Quinn: 0-0
LAST WEEK L 30-13 vs. Packers L 24-21 vs. Colts
LAST GAME 9/28/14: Falcons 28 at Vikings 41. Minnesota RB Matt Asiata rushes for 78 yards & 3 TDs. Vikings WR Jarius Wright has 8 receptions for 132 yards.
LAST GAME AT SITE 11/27/11: Falcons 24, Vikings 14. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan throws for 262 yards & 3 TDs. Falcons WR Roddy White has 10 receptions for 120 yards & TD.
REFEREE Clete Blakeman
BROADCAST FOX (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker. SIRIUS: 108 (Min.), 82 (Atl.). XM: 82 (Atl.).

STATS

PASSING Bridgewater: 188-291-2106-8-6-86.6 Ryan: 264-403-2982 (2C)-15-10-89.6
RUSHING Peterson: 208-1006 (1L)-4.8-6 (T3L) Freeman: 167-764-4.6-9 (1L)
RECEIVING Diggs (R): 36-573-15.9-2 Jones: 89 (1L)-1189 (1L)-13.4-6
OFFENSE 330.0 399.5 (3C)
TAKE/GIVE +1 -1
DEFENSE 334.9 335.7
SACKS Griffen: 6.5 (T3C) 4 tied: 2
INTs Newman: 2 4 tied: 2
PUNTING Locke: 41.7 Bosher: 48.7 (1C)
KICKING Walsh: 83 (17/20 PAT; 22/26 FG) Bryant: 68 (26/26 PAT; 14/18 FG)

NOTES

VIKINGS: QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER won only start vs. Atl, passing for 317 yards with 98.9 rating & rushing for TD…RB ADRIAN PETERSON made NFL debut vs. Atl (9/9/07) & rushed for 103 yards. Since entering NFL in 2007, leads league with 11,196 rush yards & 92 rush TDs. Aims for 4th in row with rush TD…TE KYLE RUDOLPH had 6 catches for 106 yards & TD last week, 1st career 100-yard game. WR STEFON DIGGS leads NFC rookies with 573 rec. yards. In 7 games, has 36 catches for 573 yards (81.9 per game) & 2 TDs. In last meeting, WR JARIUS WRIGHT had career-high 8 catches & 132 yards. Since 2009, WR MIKE WALLACE is 1 of 2 in NFL with 6,000+ rec. yards (6,152), 45+ rec. TDs (48) & 15+ rec. avg. (15.3)…DE EVERSON GRIFFEN had sack in last meeting in Atl. Has 16.5 sacks in his past 21. DT LINVAL JOSEPH has 26 tackles, 0.5 sack & FF in past 3. LB ANTHONY BARR had sack in last meeting. S HARRISON SMITH had INT in last game vs. Atl…FALCONS: QB MATT RYAN aims for 3rd in row vs. Min with 3+ TD passes. Has 106.5 rating in past 2 meetings. In career, is 42-17 (.712) at home with 96.1 rating…RB DEVONTA FREEMAN leads NFC with 11 TDs (9 rush, 2 rec.). In past 8 (1st 8 career starts), has 1,078 scrimmage yards (134.8 per game) & 10 TDs (8 rush, 2 rec.). FB PATRICK DI MARCO had career-high 2 rec. TDs last week…WR JULIO JONES leads NFL with 89 catches, tied for most in team’s 1st 10 games in NFL history. Has 121 catches for 1,802 yards (128.7 per game) & 8 TDs in past 14. Jones (1,189) & Freeman (1,184) lead NFL in scrimmage yards. WR RODDY WHITE has 14 catches for 193 yards (96.5 per game) & 2 TDs in past 2 vs. Min & aims for 3rd meeting in row with TD…CB DESMOND TRUFANT had 1st career sack last week. Has 42 PD since entering NFL in 2013, most on club. S RICARDO ALLEN had INT last week. LB PAUL WORRILOW leads team with 62 tackles. Has INT in 2 of past 4 games.

Buccaneers at Falcons NFL Week 8 Inactives

Buccaneers inactives: QB Ryan Griffin, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Tony McDaniel, DT Clinton McDonald, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Tim Jennings, S Major Wright

Falcons inactives: C Gino Gradkowski, DE Malliciah Goodwin, WR Leonard Hankerson, T Bryce Harris, S William Moore, CB Dezmen Southward, WR Nick Williams

NFL Week Eight Preview – Tampa Bay vs Atlanta

Atlanta Falcons v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Falcons will look to continue their success Sunday as they play host to first overall pick Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta is coming off a game in which they clearly didn’t play their best, but were able to overcome a game Tennessee Titans team 10-7 in Nashville last Sunday.

The Falcons are 6-1, and would like to get back to the form of what they did to the Bucs last season when they beat the Buccaneers 56-14 last September 18th.

Atlanta hasn’t looked as dominant as they did in their first few games, as in their last three contents they have turned the ball over eight times, and are putting up 18.7 points per game.

By comparison in their first four games Atlanta put up 34.2 points and 403.2 yards of total offense with two total turnovers.

“We are just in a funk,” Falcons WR Julio Jones said. “We have to get out of it. We have to keep battling and keep going and keep trying to get better and fix these things.”

Devonta Freeman is still running the ball well, as he leads the league in rushing with 621 yards. He’s averaging 136.0 yards with 5.68 per carry in the last three and hasn’t turned the ball over all season.

The Bucs will focus in on him, which could open up for a big day for Matt Ryan, who will see a Tampa defense that is a lot better against the run than the pass.

Tampa Bay is coming off Sunday’s 31-30 loss in Washington after leading 24-0 late in the second quarter, and they’ve allowed 20.3 points per game in the second half over the last three.

“I’ve made the statement that we are getting better as a football team,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said.

“I think first off you have to be a decent team to get up 24-0 on a team in the NFL. That’s telling you a little bit of what you can be. Hopefully, that’s going to tell us a lot about what we’ll be in the future.”

The Bucs may not have all their weapons on offense, as wide out Vincent Jackson (knee) and Louis Murphy (ACL) were both injured against the Redskins.

Murphy landed on injured reserve and Jackson is still being evaluated, which could mean Russell Shepard and rookie Donteea Dye are forced into significant roles.

That will put more pressure on the run game and Doug Martin, who has run for 541 yards this season and will do his best to keep the Falcons offense off the field.

The two teams know each other well, and while the Falcons need to be careful with the ball, they should be able to squeak out a home win against a Bucs team that should have won last week on the road.

Atlanta 24 Tampa Bay 20

Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston 212 yards 1 TDs, Doug Martin 114 yards 1 TD, Donteea Dye 78 yards receiving 1 TD
Atlanta – Matt Ryan 241 yards 2 TD’s, Devonta Freeman 94 yards rushing 2 TD’s, Julio Jones 118 yards receiving 1 TD

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Buccaneers at Falcons Wednesday Injury Report

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
 
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday T Reid Fragel (concussion), WR Vincent Jackson (knee), DT Tony McDaniel (groin), DT Clinton McDonald (pectoral)
 
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday DT Gerald McCoy (shoulder), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder), C Evan Smith (ankle), S Major Wright (hamstring)
 
  FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday WR Russell Shepard (hamstring)
 
ATLANTA FALCONS
 
Practice Report
  DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring), S William Moore (groin)
 
  LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
  Wednesday DT Jonathan Babineaux (back), LB O’Brien Schofield (knee), WR Nick Williams (hamstring)
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