Another Falcons apology: Are these guys morons or what?

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

Apparently this discussion did not involve diversity training. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

There was, I confess, a time when I referred to the Atlanta Falcons’ brain trust as smart (Jim Mora), smarter (Rich McKay) and smartest (Arthur Blank). In my defense, that time was more than a decade ago. In the here and now, I wouldn’t use any of those words to characterize this organization. I would use …

What’s the opposite of smart?

It takes hard work to botch the NFL combine. All you have to do is show up in Indianapolis, watch guys run around in shorts, ask a few questions and not overeat at St. Elmo’s. The enterprising Falcons managed to botch the combine. Assistant coach Bryan Cox shoved an Arizona scout, for which he apologized. Now comes word that a so-far-unnamed Falcons assistant asked Ohio State’s Eli Apple: “Do you like men?”

The Falcons have apologized for that, too. If you’re keeping score, that’s one combine, two apologies. Ye gods.

According to Apple, the unnamed coach also said: “If you’re going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that’s how it is around here. You’re going to have to get used to it.”

So: If you get drafted by the Falcons, you can look forward to dealing with a bunch of morons on a daily basis. We around here have gotten used to it. Lucky us.

More good news: An NFL spokesman has told Pro Football Talk that the league will “look into” the matter. And maybe that’s the only way to keep the Falcons from embarrassing themselves at the combine. Strip them of all their draft picks — they lost one for fabricating crowd noise — so they’ll have no reason to attend.

Further Falcons reading:

At issue: Should the Falcons pursue DE Charles Johnson?

Cutting Roddy White was the right move.

Shoves at the combine: The Falcons are at it again.

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

115 comments
jpfromtheA
jpfromtheA

I'm just waiting on Blank's next full page apology in the AJC. If he's as smart as they say he is, I'm sure he's already budgeted it, just waiting on the right screw up!

candlin14
candlin14

One of the biggest idiots associated with Atlanta Sports is YOU, MARK BRADLEY... Your ridiculous articles, especially, "BOOK IT DANNO" might go down as one of the worst mid season articles of all time. Your articles regarding every ATL Braves story is laughable. 


All ATL fans want are championships and a group of writers that can ask tough questions when the teams do not perform. The softball questions you, Schultz, and Mr. Ebonics (DLED) throw out there are piss poor. 


We need NEW EVERYTHING in this city!!!

DrPhill
DrPhill

We know that the gods of baseball sometimes indulge in cursing baseball teams. I am beginning to think that there may be an NFL equivalent.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DrPhill 

There's actually an ATL equivalent--for all the city's pro teams. 

ONE championship in 164 seasons of pro sports competition spanning half a century says it all!

Peachs
Peachs

I keep going back to the Braves, who somehow got more criticism than the Falcons, but even handles that like professional  and adults.  The Falcons are usually too politically plastic, say all the right things to a fault, and now they have a black Donald Trump loose cannon on their coaching staff.  It must be Blanks being sick.

ZAZ
ZAZ

You don't allow involvement in the process if proper training hasn't been provided. Hard to believe this wasn't properly covered before cutting a bunch of bubba's loose. 

jezel
jezel

Ha....Until the Falcons win big.....they will have to apologize. Winning seems to be everything.


And yea...questions about coverage....about personal goals...about football goals...about technique....Should be the primary inquiries. 


All else is rubbish.

ZAZ
ZAZ

@jezel Yeah, when you you haven't won in half a century fans tend to be demanding in that way....or not.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Leave it to the Falcons to make the interview process look like a scene out of the movie "Airplane" - where the pilot is asking the young boy if he liked watching gladiator movies.

Aunt T
Aunt T

Well, the Washington Post did just include us on a list of dumb states. This is unbelievable. The buck needs to stop with Dan Quin. Blank is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, so he may or may not be involved with the team day to day. Quinn is. These are his coaches. He needs to set a line for the others and give zero tolerance for any other stunts.



Screech Man
Screech Man

This coach who interviewed him probably wants to be the first one to help him "get used to it." 

derickrichards
derickrichards

Now you've done it, Mark.  You have offended morons everywhere.

George911
George911

My money is on Cox.  Every staff is entitled to one Neanderthal. Hopefully he's the only one.

JD101
JD101

Agree with comments Mark.  However, it's also really easy to overreact.  Not sure why Bryan Cox is still with the team - I've not observed a particularly great round of improvement in his d-line group in his 2 years leading that group.  Is he a guy you just can't replace?


Quinn/Blank have a problem now in that there is all kinds of distractions that are unnecessary.   Not an easy situation to overcome when you have a requirement to improve by 2-3 wins..

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

Wonder if Mr. Blank is having any second thoughts over firing Mike Smith?  If he isn't now, bet that he may have multiple thoughts after he faces Smith's defense a couple of times later this year.


Mr. Blank's more immediate thoughts may surround the question:"HOW IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO FILL THE SEATS IN MY NEW STADIUM WITH MY FALCONS TEAM?  HOW??"

etherdome
etherdome

Ask the real journalists around you (the few) to pressure Artie to fire the idiot interviewer and to set Mr Quinn on the right path.  


If you want to get under Artie's skin, mention that this sort of thing does not happen in Kraft's organization.

he_of_stinky_wind
he_of_stinky_wind

@etherdome


Kraft's organization only secret records opposing teams workouts and modifies the playing conditions when their team has the ball.  Other than that, they are strait up.  

etherdome
etherdome

Thank you, Mr. Bradley for doing your job.  

Constantine156
Constantine156

It's pretty obvious the coach was coming on to him and tried to back out when the player said no.

E983
E983

Ok, somebody loses their job. Call em a moron, idiot or whatever in this blog but the reply from The Branch should be short and swift. The crawlers from the sports stations should be simple....NFL ATL FALCONS announced dismissal of......

That's all it should say and you and I will get it. By the way, whoever pissed Bryan Cox off should have better sense.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@Edgar I hope this can be handled with a reprimand and a public apology from the offending coach.  


By itself, it doesn't seem to be a hanging offense.

Aunt T
Aunt T

@CardiganBoy @Edgar I have to disagree. This coach not only embarrassed the team and prompted the NFL to investigate, but he also broke the law and opened the team up to fines or a lawsuit. Some things can't just be fixed with an apology.

Gman84
Gman84

A new low by Rankin Blank's organization. Rankin Smith was an awful owner; completely inept. Turns out our homegrown billionaire is actually worse. Fans really cannot catch a break.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@Gman84  You don't remember much about the Smith family ownership now do you? This is stupid but that group groveled in being inept. They hated to be right about anything other than profits.

patriotdog
patriotdog

the Falcons have been to one Super Bowl in 50 years. It was on the Smith's watch. Lay off the Smiths,

JAS0N
JAS0N

"Are these guys morons or what?"


Mark sure is worked up.  

You know, you don't have to feign sensitivity to gay culture.

Perhaps your problem is that the groups of people you hang out with don't call you out when you are acting like a girl.


So tell us, when you act like a girl, do your friends call you out on it?

JD101
JD101

@JAS0N Don't be a moron yourself Jason.  Even if you personally  think it should be ok to ask that question - you actually DO have to feign sensitivity in certain environments and circumstance.   AS a rep of the NFL and in that work environment - that's one of those places.  


So - don't to act like a tool yourself.  

Aunt T
Aunt T

@JAS0N This is not about fake sensitivity to any one. It is about the law. Your friends analogy is ludicrous. There are not federal laws regulating friendship, but there are federal and state laws defining what can and cannot be asked in what amounts to a job interview.  You just cannot ask this type of question ever - be it about gay or straight relationships.

chuck100d
chuck100d

Arthur Clampett & Tommy Dummytroff in charge.......enough said

rgbutterfly
rgbutterfly

The Falcons asked at the combine he was a cat or dog.  Well, the question to the Falcons is "Are your present players puppies or kittens?"It seems that we are seeing mix directional players without coordination on the field.  It's not like their players have any idea what tackling or attacking is.  B. Cox should is a bully.  He likes to shove players and other people. He should be FIRED!  To question a player about his like of men is so disrespectful and embarrassing to the Falcons.  They just don't get it!  This organization has gone from silly to downright ignorant.  D. Quinn seems to be over his head with  silly people in management crew.  Dude you need to get a grip on your people! You guys are more embarrassing than the tackling on the field!

Big Wally
Big Wally

Hey Quinn as tomorrow is another day, which means there will be another embarrassment, would you like to just go ahead and apologize now and get it over with?

Aunt T
Aunt T

@Big Wally We're not ever the most embarrassing franchise in the NFL. We're just close. The problem is we stay close to the bottom even as other teams move in and out. We are a perennial joke.

mgunter
mgunter

Really funny! Falcons/NFL/Sports Writers ........what a silly waste of everyone's time!

Big Wally
Big Wally

Famous Oxymorons:

1) Military Intelligence

2) Jumbo Shrimp

3) Journalistic Integrity, and

4) Atlanta Falcons "brain trust".

DewayneDixon
DewayneDixon

Military intelligence huh? Spoken like true non military keyboard commando!

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

You wife told me you were semi boneless.... guess that's why she won't stop calling me

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


How about


dog Championship(s)?


I'll go with semi-boneless.