Shoves at the combine: The Falcons are at it again

Brian Cox instructs Ra'Shede Hageman in the finer points of shoving. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Bryan Cox teaches Ra’Shede Hageman the finer points of shoving. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

I wish I could tell you I’m convinced the Atlanta Falcons know what they’re doing. Alas, I’m not. They keep doing things that make me go, “Huh?” Maybe that means I’m not clever enough to divine the team’s Master Plan. Or maybe it means the team itself is … well, not all that clever.

1. Falcons assistant coach Bryan Cox had to apologize at the NFL combine in Indianapolis for shoving a Cardinals scout.

2. The same Bryan Cox shoved defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman during a 38-0 loss to Carolina in December.

3. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said at the combine the team hadn’t decided whether to keep or shed Roddy Whitethe team’s career receiving leader.

4. Quinn said this after lauding White to lavish lengths in a January conference call with reporters. This prompted one journalist to ask if Quinn’s gushing meant the Falcons had decided to keep the receiver. Quinn’s backpedaling quote: “He’s under contract now, and he’s one of the guys that I feel strongly on in terms of the competitor and the leader and the teammate (he is). I haven’t confirmed anything on that. He remains under contract, and I love all the stuff that he stands for as a player.”

5. That conference call was held so Quinn could explain his thinking in moving Raheem Morris, a career defensive assistant, to offense.

6. For the second consecutive offseason, the Falcons declined to fire general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Instead they rearranged their scouting department and added two more former GMs to the streamlined org chart, which meant the Falcons were employing six men who had been NFL general managers. (That number has shrunk to a mere five. Billy Devaney left last week to serve as personnel director for Nebraska, which at last check was a college team.)

7. That draft for which the Falcons are studiously preparing when they’re not shoving employees of other teams includes no fifth- and sixth-round selections. The Round 6 pick was sent to Tennessee for guard Andy Levitre, who led the Falcons in penalties and tied for 10th in the NFL. The Round 5 pick was forfeited as a penalty for pumping artificial crowd noise into the Georgia Dome in 2014.

8. The stadium set to replace the Georgia Dome next season is three months behind its construction schedule and has reset the operational target date to June 1, 2017. (Problems with the retractable roof, don’t you know.) The NFL exhibition season commences in August.

Other than that, everything’s copacetic. The Falcons haven’t had a winning season since 2012 but lead the world in GMs and shoves. And the spiffy new stadium will be ready one of these days.

Further Falcons reading:

Yikes. The Falcons’ 2016 schedule is the NFL’s toughest.

The Falcons cut Durant after one year, and I say, “Hmmm.”

A defensive coach to offense? The Falcons again stump the band.

Value bet to win the next Super Bowl? ESPN’s Tuley says the Falcons.

The Falcons retain Dimitroff, so I guess it’s still all Smitty’s fault.

Reader Comments 0

19 comments
HardyFalcon
HardyFalcon

Quinn inherited a good defense, so we really don't know if he knows talent or not. So far Quinn's coaching hires have been a BUST! When you hire a new Coach you get rid of all the thuds from the old coach, which Arthur didn't do. I think we will see a 3 ring circus at the Dome. Why Quinn ever hooked up with TD is a wonder. Td needs to go down the road along with the beat writer  D.Olander, he knows nothing about football and wastes good space on trying to write about football. I think the whole program is in a nose dive for failure.

Drknowledge
Drknowledge

I get the feeling the whole stadium issue is flying under the radar on purpose.....thanks again Arthur.   Are PSL sales behind or on schedule?  Will the price be lowered if enough aren't sold?  Am I an idiot for buying 3 to keep my season tickets? probably so.

SaulK
SaulK

dan will last another year or two, get fIred like the rest - -and Arthur will start over again-- things never change in loserville

Roger0922
Roger0922

I was convinced Quinn was out of his league as a leader/head coach when he did not make adjustments during the losing streak, and continued to let  the OC do things "his way" when it clearly wasn't working anymore. When Shanahan wasn't fired at the end of the season I knew it was going to be more of the same.  They will get rid of Roddy I'm sure. He's not costing that much against the cap and I'd like to see his days as a Falcon end on his terms. He's earned that much. This thing is going to implode this season.  Mark my words. Moving a career defensive coach to offense makes it clear Quinn thinks he's much smarter than everyone else. They'll be lucky to win 6 games this season and then watch the house cleaning next January.  They'll all be gone. I would have fired Quinn after one season.  It's clear he wants all "his friends" on the coaching staff regardless of how they perform. The O line needs a complete overhaul and 5 draft picks ain't gonna get it done. It'll be more of the same this season only worse because the schedule is so tough. Gonna be a long season. If they get rid of Roddy I'll be hoping they go winless so the rest of the bums in the organization will get canned too.

Columbus68
Columbus68

@Roger0922 you would do yourself a huge favor and just keep silly, immature judgement like this to yourself.Maybe Quinn knows that coach BETTER than you and why he doing what he is doing. He HAS been in more than one SUPERBOWL and WON primarily because HIS DEFENSE WAS AWESOME!  Maybe it is going to lead to something down the road and this was step ONE. Also Quinn has not even had his first draft and free agency period yet. No last year was not his. Give him a full off season after his FIRST year to start putting it together. His talent on the field is lacking BADLY in several areas and we will not even get into the TREMENDOUS  LACK OF DEPTH!  this off season is all his after he got to put in his system and coaches and see where things were with who he INHERITED.  Now after he has assessed the players in games it is his time to address the MANY needs and I ASSURE you he will do a MUCH better job overall at it than anything we have seen in a long time. Come on man, the roster has HUGE HOLES! You think he comes in and we are suddenly a threat?!!  Look at the defensive IMPROVEMENT JUST BECAUSE HE IS THE COACH!  Wait until he gets a few STUDS on that D! Forget we do not have an OL or pass rush and receiver depth is so SAD!  If the suits do not let him get who he wants, he should tell everyone publicly that he did not get to pick his players for what he is trying to build and he is unhappy about it. So we would all know that nothing has changed in how much say so the head coach has on how to build his team. He should have ALL the power unless it is a salary cap issue. You do NOT know what Quinn is going to do, what positions. So chill. He might get all OL and receivers in the draft! Or a big FA OL. Defense was pretty good last year. HUGE improvement. Get some OL and a couple of receivers AND/OR A TE and Falcons are IN THE PLAYOFFS AND A THREAT...If we get receivers and pass blocking, and Beasley is 100% and steps it up for a pass rush...Falcons will be fine...oh ye of very little faith in the man barely in town 1 year one 1 season on the field...Patience man. Its not year 5!   

Keith_Brasher
Keith_Brasher

Kinda miss Norm van Brocklin.  His comment to charmin Harmon Wages when his face was rearranged was "welcome to the NFL kid".

pride
pride

Getting worried that Quinn may be out of his league as a leader/head coach.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Quinn says absolutely nothing, he just says a lot of it.    

gulfwavesgary
gulfwavesgary

MB, I do not think The Falcons have any idea what they are doing. TD retained as GM was a crazy decision, but Arthur Blank signs the paychecks. Having all these ex GM's as scouts sounds really screwy. Right now I am not even sure Dan Quinn was the right choice as Coach. I am willing to give this crew one more year before I say kick them all to the curb. MB, thanks for saying what many people are thinking. Next put your microscope on the management of the Atlanta Hawks.

Towner Family
Towner Family

Cox has been a disappointment as a D-Line coach.  At a position where the most desperate and passionate player usually wins, I thought he would be able to ignite players to really provide a push.  That obviously hasn't happened with any level of consistency.  Maybe it's a depth issue such that we haven't been able to rotate folks in and out without losing significant capability.  Either way, I am bothered much more with the lack of D-line play than with Cox pushing another assistant coach at the combine.  


Need Cox to make the falcons play angry....like he did.  Maybe it's not something that's taught.

Constantine156
Constantine156

Too much is made about the stadium being pushed to June instead of March 2017. The Falcons won't be playing until August so why whine and gripe about it? 

Savga13
Savga13

Until Blank gets the balls to FIRE thomas dumbwitrof it will be more of the same.....same.....same.  The overall talent level on the Falcons continues to decline...decline.....decline.....

mark513
mark513

I'm not sure what this obsession is over Roddy White. True it is a slow sports time but I mean the franchise is not going to change much if they keep him or let him go. Quinn was right to praise White but that does not mean he stays on the roster. I imagine they are having hard time b/c White has many intangibles but he cost 4.5 million to keep and his production has declined in the last 3 years. This year could be argued was b/c of the new offense, but still a 32 or 33 year receiver who is your 3rd or 4th option behind Jones, Freeman, and Tamme is not that big a deal. What matters more is free agency and then the draft. Before we start crafting the narrative that the franchise has no idea what is doing, lets see what they do first. And the Brian Cox thing is much to do about nothing, oh so he pushed a guy, unless he broke some law or hurt someone who cares. I might add that the Hageman was long time in the making and that after that Hageman had some good games. Not firing Dimitroff this year is less of mystery than   last year, when you fired Smith. This years failures  was more on individual player performance than lack of talent, specifically Ryan had his worst year ever as a starting QB, something no one saw coming. The 5th round pick hurt, the 6th is what it is, but not enough to kill the draft. Draft's are made in the first 3 rounds not with the 5th and 6 pick. Stadium delays happen and is irrelevant to the day to day running of the  franchise. When you wrote this where you bored or just that empty of new ideas?

UGA76
UGA76

@mark513 Many people knew that Ryan was going to have a tough year.  This past year was the 3rd year in a row that he got sacked, hit or hurried on half of his pass attempts.  Being sacked, hit or hurried turns an excellent QB into a mediocre one.  Look at the last three games of the season for examples of Brady and Palmer in the NFL championship games and then Cam in the Super Bowl.  

Dimitroff ruined the roster and I have no faith that he can rebuild the team.  If the Falcons don't find a new starting center and at least one new guard then Ryan will have a tough year again.

dtanner311
dtanner311

bryan cox has a big mouth but so far his D-line has sucked,shut up and prove it on the field or get on down the road

SaulK
SaulK

bryan's tired of people not doing what he say! when the man wants something, you need to get out of the way!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Give him a helmet and a mouth piece!

jdub2527
jdub2527

@MarkBradleyAJC good Lawd!! This article makes me wanna shoot myself in the face with a water gun that's filled with bleach.