Tag Archives: Arthur Blank

NFL News: DeAngelo Hall, one small step for truculent kind

But first. You know Terrelle Pryor?  Click here to see which University this highly sought high school footballer has chosen to spend the next four years of his time on Earth.

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Understandable truculence.

In a previous post, I expressed a combination of surprise and disheartenment that DeAngelo Hall might be migrating to the Pacific Coast.

Wail, according to this little video clip from NFL.com, the cornerback is going to (if he hasn’t already as of 1:01 pm East Coast time) meet with the Raiders elite for some conversation.

Whether or not I think he’s a sensational cornerback is irrelevant. The first time I saw him on the local news, I was struck by his mise-en-scene. Looks like I’ll never get a glimpse of that vibe in person, n’est-ce pas?

So I asked a friend of mine, also a Falcons fan/supporter, about this whole cast-replacement situation and he offered me the following insights:

[The Falcons were] a team built around michael vick, last year he sunk the franchise like no player has ever done before. With a new general manager, a new head coach, and a whole new cast of players, it looks like arthur blank has made the decision to hit the reset button, restart the franchise, and hope things are better the second time around.
i do it all the time while playing madden08, blank just have the money to do it in real life.

NFL News: Moss grows, Dunn to go, Crumpler northwards

Eye-catching news items from NFL.com:

Patriots re-sign Moss after record-setting season

NFL.com Wire Reports

BOSTONRandy Moss is staying with the New England Patriots. 

The defending AFC champions re-signed the record-breaking receiver on Monday to a three-year deal worth $27 million, his agent said. The signing was confirmed by the team shortly after Moss posted a message to fans on his Web site.

“I want to take time out to thank all of the fans for their support and for wishing me well in my return to New England,” therealrandymoss.com quotes him as saying. “I’m ready to get back. We have some unfinished business to take care of.”

Moss’ agent, Tim DiPiero, said the deal included guarantees of $15 million, including a $12 million signing bonus to the receiver who set an NFL record with 23 touchdown catches and helped the Patriots reach the Super Bowl in his first season with the team.

“Randy was serious about wanting to stay,” DiPiero wrote in an e-mail. “Because of Randy’s record-breaking year, the interest in him was very high. Randy took less than he could have to rejoin his teammates.”

This story saddens me.  Tears were practically welling up (partially due to listening to “Am I Dreaming?” by Atlantic Starr while reading this article).

Falcons release three-time Pro Bowler Dunn

NFL.com Wire Reports

ATLANTAWarrick Dunn was released by the Atlanta Falcons on Monday, one day after the club signed free agent running back Michael Turner.

Last season, Dunn became the 22nd back in NFL history to rush for 10,000 yards. But his days in Atlanta were numbered after the Falcons doled out a six-year contract to Turner, reportedly for $34.5 million with about $15 million guaranteed.

The 33-year-old Dunn had three straight 1,000-yard seasons with the Falcons, helping the team lead the NFL in rushing from 2004-06. He ran for a career-high 1,416 yards in 2005, earning his third Pro Bowl appearance.

But the 11-year veteran found little room to run after the Falcons fired coach Jim Mora and brought in Bobby Petrino. Dunn rushed for just 720 yards and averaged 3.2 yards per carry during a dismal 4-12 season, which was marred by Michael Vick‘s dogfighting case and Petrino’s sudden resignation 13 games into his debut season.

With a new coach and general manager, the Falcons decided to go for a younger running back, signing Turner to a team with 24-year-old Jerious Norwood.

“The legacy he leaves in Atlanta will be long-remembered and appreciated by his fellow players, fans and the community,” Atlanta owner Arthur Blank said. “In my mind, Warrick will always be part of the Falcons family.”

 

Titans reach terms on two-year deal with Crumpler

NFL.com Wire Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans agreed to a two-year contract with former Atlanta tight end Alge Crumpler, one of many veterans released last month by the Falcons.

Crumpler, voted to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 2003-06, is expected to help an offense that had only nine touchdown passes in 2007. He will get to play with a quarterback in Vince Young whose mobility is similar to Michael Vick.

“I really am excited about the opportunity to work with Vince Young. I’ve admired him as a peer from across the league, and I was itching to get a chance to play with him,” Crumpler said.

The 30-year-old Crumpler had eight touchdown receptions in 2006, and he and the Titans believe he will be a good fit for an offense that needs to improve red zone production.

“He has 35 career touchdown catches, so he knows how to get open in the end zone,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Monday while introducing Crumpler. “He knows how to get in the end zone.”

“And I like getting in the end zone,” Crumpler said.

“The thing that stands out when you look at Alge as a player is his production and reliability,” Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said in a statement Monday. “He is a complete tight end: a dynamic receiver for the Falcons offense, who also contributed as a blocker to a run offense that ranked first in the league in three of the last four years.”

For more Randy Moss, click here.

Read more about Warrick Dunn here.

Get more Alge Crumpler here.

NFL News: Mike Smith signs up in Atlanta

But first–I didn’t watch How She Move on Friday, because I was having one of those days where I had to use the facilities every five minutes.  I watched it today.  I’ll have an entry about it within the next 30 hours.   

So the NHL All-Star weekend is in Atlanta this year.  I was browsing Myfoxatlanta.com (my local Fox station) and came across this pretty nifty article about Willie O’Ree, dubbed the “Jackie Robinson of hockey” in the days of his ice-puck career.  

Now on to the matter occupying many Falcons fans (and administrators) for some time.  

Falcons have a new head coach! It’s official.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — It was hard not to notice the hunk of gold seemingly encasing the ring finger on Mike Smith’s right hand Thursday. The markings on the massive band identified it as a Super Bowl ring, a relic of Smith’s past life as a coach for the Baltimore Ravens.

In his new life as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Smith hopes to someday replace the hardware with something sporting a few more diamonds and the unmistakable red and black bird of his new team.

“I’m committed to making this football team one of the most competitive football teams in the National Football League,” said Smith, who was introduced Thursday as the 14th coach in franchise history. He was joined by Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur Blank, newly-hired General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and his wife and 7-year-old daughter.

The 26-year coaching veteran and former defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars brings a diverse background to the fold. He has made stops with just five teams prior to joining the Falcons with positions ranging from “college assistant coach” to “professional defensive coordinator.” He broke into the NFL on his brother-in-law Brian Billick’s staff in Baltimore after spending 11 years coaching defense and special teams at Tennessee Tech.

He led the Jaguars defense from 2003 to 2007. The group ranked fifth in the AFC last season, allowing 100.3 rushing yards per game and 12th in the NFL in total defense. The Jaguars ranked third in points allowed and fourth in overall defense in the 2006 season. Three defensive players in Jacksonville went to a total of six Pro Bowls during Smith’s tenure.

“First of all, I’m very happy for Smitty,” Jags defensive tackle Marcus Stroud said. “He’s definitely a deserving coach and will be a very good addition to the Falcons. He’s ready for this opportunity. He’s been a good coach for a long time. He is going to bring stability and a tough-minded approach. He’s a leader and will do a great job in Atlanta.”

Click here to read the complete piece from the Falcons web site.

Click here for more information on the new coaching staff.

NFL News: Thomas Dimitroff–learn his name

Took a stroll through the Falcons’ web site today.  Feast your neurons on the following:

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons today announced that Thomas Dimitroff has been named the club’s new General Manager.

Dimitroff, who joins the Falcons immediately, will direct all aspects of football operations and, working with the new head coach of the Falcons, will have final authority over all personnel decisions related to the signing of free agents, the selection of players in the NFL Draft, trades, terminations, and related decisions. He will also handle coordinating other football-related activities with the head coach.  Dimitroff will report to club President Rich McKay.

“Thomas is a really bright football mind who comes out of the most successful franchise in sports today,” McKay said. “He has an excellent track record of evaluating players, and I certainly look forward to working with him.”

Dimitroff’s first priority will be completing the search for the new head coach.

“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to become a part of the Atlanta Falcons organization,” Dimitroff said. “I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Blank and Rich McKay, two highly respected men in the world of professional football.”

Falcons Owner & CEO Arthur Blank added, “I want to personally thank Robert Kraft for making Thomas available to us now. In doing so, he is helping us complete our head coach search in a timely manner, and ensuring the most positive and productive relationship between the new head coach and general manager. Robert represents the best of spirit of the NFL and between owners.”

Read the rest of this news item here.

Stunned and Crushed is Arthur Blank

 The upper echelons respond.

Blank, McKay talk about Petrino resignation

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Falcons Owner and CEO Arthur Blank used a visual aid when he spoke with the media Wednesday afternoon about Bobby Petrino’s abrupt resignation as the team’s head coach after just 13 games on the sideline.

The owner, speaking in the team meeting room with President and General Manager Rich McKay, pointed to a list of values hanging on the wall to his right. Petrino had the board installed at the beginning of his tenure. It includes motivational words linked directly to football — four points for four quarters tied together by a one key word at the bottom.

“Finish.”

Thumping his hand on the podium with each point, Blank made it clear that Petrino did not “finish” what he started with the Falcons. The owner said the coach showed poor timing in the move and that he assured him as late as Monday afternoon that he would be the coach of the Falcons heading into next season.

“I think the best way to describe it is that we feel betrayed and let down,” Blank said in front of 16 cameras from various news sources and more than two dozen reporters.

Read the rest of the article here.

Read more at NFL.com here.

I’m saddened by the way 2007 (as a year and not just a football season) will end for the Falcons.  The chaos that is brewing as a result of Petrino’s departure is only going to intensify.  Moreover, there is the quarterback question.  I’m no talisman of hope and glory; I don’t know any saviors, but I wish I could help reign in the chaos.  The Falcons have fallen a long way down and are in the market for a redemption narrative.  They’re nearly at the point where they don’t have anything left to lose.  Thus, Mr. Blank, if your eyes happen across these words, I’d like to lend a hand (or an ear, photoshopping skills, or a joy of organizing paper and other objects).