Tag:Jamaal Anderson
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:42 pm

Ray Edwards agrees to 5-year deal with Falcons

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Looks like Ray Edwards is going to have to put his boxing career on hold for, say, the next five years. That’s because the defensive end, formerly of the Vikings, has agreed to a five-year deal with the Falcons, Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer is reporting.

This news comes on the heels of Atlanta cutting loose former No. 1 draft picks, DL Jamaal Anderson and WR Michael Jenkins, which saved the Falcons nearly $8 million against the salary cap.

Edwards definitely should help Atlanta’s defensive line. He’s accumulated 16.5 sacks in the past two seasons, and he’ll team up with John Abraham and Kroy Biermann to form what should be a pretty solid pass rush for the Falcons.

But if you just want to see what Edwards can do in a boxing ring and what he (and you!) will be missing while he plays football, click the video below.

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Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:07 am

To punt or not to punt

D. Brees and J. Graham celebrate a New Orleans win (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

ATLANTA – In the immediate aftermath of the Falcons 17-14 loss to the Saints on Monday night, an interesting debate arose about coach Mike Smith’s decision to punt on fourth and six from the Atlanta 43 with 2:52 to play, his team holding two timeouts and losing by three points.

Personally, I liked the decision. The Falcons defense had been whipping the Saints offensive line for most of the game and Drew Brees hadn’t played extraordinarily well. Atlanta fans seemed upset at the move, but I didn’t mind it all.

That’s not how Brian Burke of the NY Times saw it. This morning, he wrote that, stastically, it made sense for the Falcons to take their chances and go for the first down.

From the Times:

The conversion attempt would have been the percentage play, by a margin of 0.23 to 0.15 (in Win Probability). One way to think of it is that the Falcons’ decision to punt lopped between a third and a half off their chance of winning. …

I also think game-specific considerations would tend to favor going for the conversion and keeping the ball out of Drew Brees’s hands. Normally offenses ahead in that situation are very reluctant to do anything but run straight ahead, making them predictable and easy to stop. But the Saints trust Brees to make completions.

He makes a good point about Brees’ ability. The Saints ended up converting two first downs and running out the clock, and in part, that was because Brees completed seven-yard passes to TE Jimmy Graham and RB Pierre Thomas that gave New Orleans second-and-short and third-and-short situations in which Thomas could run for the first down with ease.

Smith, though, thought he made the right call.

“Definitely thought it was the right thing to do,” Smith said. “On fourth and six, we felt like the way we’d been playing defensively, and we had two timeouts and we hopefully could wrap one around the two-minute warning. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done there at the end.”

The problem, I think, was that the Falcons defense seemed to tire a little, because suddenly, the New Orleans offensive line began picking up the Atlanta front four with relative ease.

“I think it was a little bit of that (fatigue),” DE Jamaal Anderson said. “But they’re the Super Bowl champions. They know what to do in those situations. They rally.”

And though I don’t think Smith made a bad decision, the Saints took advantage of a conservative play-call that might have cost his team a chance to win the game. Thus, he opens himself up to the easy second-gues.

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Posted on: December 28, 2010 1:13 am

Falcons still have reason to smile

With tonight's loss, Atlanta is now 19-2 when M. Ryan is quarterbacking the squad at the Georgia Dome (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

ATLANTA – When the Falcons are in a sticky scenario, and especially if they’re playing in the comforts of the Georgia Dome, the Falcons rely on QB Matt Ryan.

And why not? Despite the horrendous Matty Ice nickname, Ryan oftentimes bails out his team with strong late-game play. Yes, Ryan was 19-1 at home before the Saints beat Atlanta 17-14 tonight, but Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson has come to understand that his team is relying too much on its third-year quarterback.

It’s almost not fair to one of the NFL’s fringe MVP candidates. They can’t expect him to win them games every time they need it.

“We just didn’t make the plays,” Anderson said. “We were looking at Matt late in the game, because he’s been there for us so many times. We shouldn’t have put him in that position. You have to be accountable on defense. We didn’t close out the win again. Even with some of the wins, the defense hasn’t closed it out.”

Much of the time, the defense hasn’t needed to seal the win, because Ryan and the offense have been so eager to do it themselves.

This time, after the Saints offense finally took a break from getting whipped by the Falcons defensive front four and scored to take a three-point lead with 3:24 to go, Ryan couldn’t make himself that late-game hero. He scrambled for a 20-yard gain on the first play of the drive, but he missed two passes, and Atlanta had to punt.

Ryan instead had to rely on his defense to bail him out this time, but the Falcons couldn’t stop Saints RB Pierre Thomas.

Now, the mystique of the immortal Falcons fielding an unbeatable team at home has been shattered. Though the 70,000-plus fans in attendance were loud and though the Falcons, assuming they beat the Panthers next week in the regular-season finale, will get home-field advantage all the way until the Super Bowl, the Saints proved Atlanta is beatable at home.

Illusions shattered, fans muted and leaving early in frustration, Saints grinning.

“Coach said to give (the Saints) their dues, but we didn’t make the plays we needed to make. I don’t even want to watch film, because it’ll be so terrible,” said DE John Abraham, who should, nevertheless, watch tape of his interception of Drew Brees (because it was pretty awesome).

Look, while Atlanta’s postgame locker room was stoic – though not depressing – the Falcons are still in a pretty good spot. Win next week against the Panthers, and they’re guaranteed home games through the Jan. 23 NFC championship game. That means no chilly trips to Chicago or no numbing journeys to Philadelphia. That means comfortable temperatures inside with a stadium full of newly-converted Falcons fans.

Plus, it could mean another home game against the Saints. That’d be kind of nice, right Tyson Clabo?

“We can have a rubber match,” the OT said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Besides, Ryan is a career 19-2 when playing at home. That’s not so terrible, is it?

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 8:29 am

Biermann could garner a starting job in Atlanta

Posted by Andy Benoit

Kroy Biermann was one of the few bright stars for the Falcons in their Thursday night loss to the Patriots. So maybe it should come as no surprise that the third-year pro from Montana is inching closer to a starting job.

Biermann has two sacks and two forced fumbles in the preseason. His high energy and ability to shed blocks on the lateral move make him as potent (or at least almost as potent) against the run as against the pass.

After Thursday’s game, Falcons head coach Mike Smith was asked if Biermann was in contention for a starting job.
"There’s no doubt about it," Smith said. "Production is what it’s all about, and Kroy is definitely making a statement with his play in these first two ballgames."

Biermann isn’t getting carried away. "I want to help this team win," he said, according to Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journa Constitution . "I don't care how they want to use me. I don't care if that's special teams. If it's on the [defensive] line dropping into coverage or rushing. Whatever they want me to do, I'll do it and do it to the best of my ability."

Biermann, a former fifth-round pick, had five sacks last season as a situational pass-rusher. If he is to start, he’ll have to beat out former first-round pick Jamaal Anderson. Anderson has been a disappointment as a pass-rusher, but he is very stout against the run.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com