Falcons Owner Arthur Blank Feels Team is Close to Winning a Super Bowl

Falcons owner Arthur Blank believes his team has the makeup of a Super Bowl winner, with some tweaks here and there leading into the 2018 season, Vaughn McClure of ESPN reports.

“You know, I think we’re close,” Blank said when asked about his team’s chances of winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl, not just getting there. “Obviously, we were there last year. We got to the second round this year. We could have proceeded further, but we didn’t. So, I think the team is in good shape. We have some areas that need to be improved on and worked on. And I think the coach [Dan Quinn] and [GM] Thomas [Dimitroff] are aware of those. That’s why we have the draft and free agency, and we’ll be focused on those.”

“I feel good about where we are,” Blank said. “I think our defense was consistently good throughout this past year. Our offense didn’t have that consistency. I think another year of Sark in the system and a year with [new quarterbacks coach] Greg Knapp, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

A return to the Super Bowl next season would carry a little added significance for Blank, considering the game will be played in the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium he was the mastermind behind.

Falcons Defensive End Takkarist McKinley Has ‘Clean Up’ Surgery

Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley had surgery that was described as a “clean up” by a person familiar with the procedure, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

McKinley took to Twitter to ask for prayers.

McKinley appeared to suffer a left arm injury in the 15-10 loss to the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. After the injury, he returned to the game.

McKinley had offseason shoulder surgery in March. McKinley, a rookie this season, said he played his last two seasons at UCLA with a torn labrum and fractured socket.

Greg Knapp to Be Named New Falcons QB Coach

Former Falcons offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is set to be named the team’s quarterbacks coach, a person familiar with the search told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Knapp, 54, a longtime NFL assistant, was the Falcons offensive coordinator from 2004-06. He helped the Falcons get to the NFC title game with Michael Vick at quarterback after the 2004 regular season.

He has also coached at San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Houston and Denver.

He coached with Falcons coach Dan Quinn in San Francisco (2001-03) and Seattle (2009). He was Peyton Manning’s position coach when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50.

Jedd Fisch, Ken Dorsey and Darrell Bevell also were considered for the position to replace Bush Hamdan, who left to become the offensive coordinator at the University of Washington. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said last week that starting quarterback Matt Ryan would not have input in the decison. Quinn added that Ryan said he trusted the coach to select a quarterbacks coach that would be a good fit.

Falcons Kicker Matt Bryant Says He’s Coming Back to Kick in 2018

After the Falcons loss to the Eagles in Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game, there was of course the question about what roster changes will be coming.

One player who today sounds like he will be back is that of kicker Matt Bryant, who says that he’s got more kicks left in him, and is not walking away from the game.

Bryant made all 35 extra points this year for the Falcons, and on field goals was 34-for-39 with a long of 57 yards.

Falcons Suffer Bitter Playoff Loss to Eagles 15-10 to End Chance to Repeat as NFC Champions

It was not meant to be for the Atlanta Falcons Saturday in Philadelphia, as a fourth-down pass play to Julio Jones with 58 seconds fell short, and the Falcons lost a heartbreaker, 15-10 stopping them from a trip to the NFC championship game for a second straight season.

“It just didn’t work out, and that’s disappointing,” Falcons QB Matt Ryan said of the play, a sprint-out to the right. “That’s the life that you kind of live as a competitor when you get in those situations. You want the ball in your hand. We’re disappointed that we didn’t make the play, but I thought it was a good call. It felt like we had the right players in mind, and the right time.”

The Falcons couldn’t get much going on offense despite holding a lead for most of the first half, but then the Eagles offense, led by a great effort by their O-line against the Falcons front, chipped away, kicking field goals to take a keep a lead.

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott kicked three field goals after missing an extra point earlier, which was enough to give Philly the lead they would not lose.

On that fateful fourth-down play to Jones there was no doubt there was contact Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills, but in the end Jones felt he should have made the play.

“I don’t know,” Jones said about him going to the ground. “But at the end of the day I can make those plays. I ended up on the ground when I came out of my route. That’s a tough call to make in that situation at the end of the game. That was it. I ended up on the ground, in that situation, it’s very difficult for an official to call that play.”

On the day Jones had 101 yards, but it was the final two that will go down as the two that lost the Falcons their chance to repeat as NFC Champions.

Julio Jones Not Practicing with Falcons, but Didn’t Suffer Any Setbacks in Win Over Rams

The Falcons appear healthy as they get set for the Divisional Playoff game against the Eagles on Saturday, as reports say the only player sitting out practice is Julio Jones – and even he didn’t suffer any setbacks in the playoff win over the Rams.

Falcons Fly High, Top Rams 26-13 in Wild Card Game to Move on to Philadelphia

Not many felt that the Falcons could top the high flying Rams on the road, but they did just that on Saturday, and the defending NFC Champs will move on, as they beat the Rams 26-13.

The Falcons jumped out to a 13-0 lead, and on defense they played about as well as any game this season, holding Todd Gurley in check and making sure not to allow many if at all big plays.

Matt Ryan played great, and overall it was a solid team win for the Falcons, who will now move on to play the number-one seed Eagles on the road next week – without Carson Wentz.

Here’s a video recap of the Wild Card win.

Falcons Center Alex Mack Questionable for Sunday’s Huge Game vs Panthers

One of the big pieces in the Falcons offensive line may or may not go on Sunday against the Panthers, as today Falcons coach Dan Quinn said that center Alex Mack is officially questionable with a calf injury.

Questionable means that he’s 50/50 to go in the huge NFC South contest.

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