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Falcons wrap up mini camp in Flowery Branch
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Falcons wrap up mini camp in Flowery Branch

Falcons wrap up mini camp in Flowery Branch

Falcons wrap up mini camp in Flowery Branch

Minicamp ended for the Falcons on Thursday, and players, coaches and staff have about a month away from the facility in Flowery Branch before training camp begins. 

Though he didn’t practice all three days, wide receiver Julio Jones said he will be ready for the season and is happy with his place on the team. Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that he and the Falcons are continuing to work on a long-term contract. Jones, who’s also nursing a foot injury, is scheduled to be the 13th highest paid receiver in the league in 2019, according to NFL stats. Tampa Bay’s Michael Evans ($20 million) is set to be highest paid, while Jones is at $13.4 million. The six-time Pro Bowler took more of a leadership role this minicamp, acting as a coach on the field and mentoring younger receivers during and after drills.

Former Georgia Tech and Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was in attendance for practice today, as coach Dan Quinn invited him in hopes of providing inspiration for the team’s younger players. 

Even if his production has slipped, Falcons pass rusher Vic Beasley said he doesn’t feel intimidated heading into an important season — both financially and on the field. The 2015 first-round pick skipped all team offseason programs after the Falcons picked up the $12.8 million fifth-year option on his contract instead of offering a longer-term deal.

Beasley, who compiled 15.5 sacks in 2016, has had only 10 sacks in the previous two seasons combined. Quinn said his project over the season is to help Beasley develop more moves off the line of scrimmage, so Beasley has different ways to get to the passer.

After skipping OTAs, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett reported for minicamp, but wore a hat instead of a helmet for all three days. Jarrett, too, skipped OTAs while he and the Falcons work out a long-term deal. The Falcons placed the franchise tag on the former Clemson Tiger in March and will pay him $15.2 million this season. On Tuesday, Jarrett deflected all questions from the media regarding his contract to the media. Heading into training camp, it’s possible Grady may continue not to participate if a long-term deal isn’t reached.

 

Matt Ryan has a problem every player in the league would dream of: How do you get better when you are already one of the best? The Falcons quarterback said he will continue to work on his strength and flexibility this season, and has enlisted professional help to do so. He also plans to organize a players-only camp to help the team create bonds together without coaches present.

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Local News

  • There are reports of a homicide on Athens’ east side: the victim is said to be a pregnant woman, 24 years old, killed in Carriage Court off Barnett Shoals Road. Athens-Clarke County Police say the shooting happened around 9:30 Monday night. The victim is identified this morning as Auriel Callaway. She died after being taken to an Athens hospital. Callaway was four months pregnant with a fetus that did not survive. A 2 year-old who was in the home at the time of the shooting is being taken care of by other family members. There are reports that the boy’s mother was the shooting victim and that she was holding his hand at the time of the homicide. There is no word yet on suspects or motive.  Police say they are questioning possible witnesses and other persons of interest.    Athens-Clarke County Police say someone apparently stole upwards of $20,000 from a pizza restaurant on Hull Road, theft of cash from the restaurant that has taken place over the past year. Police investigators say they are looking at restaurant employees as suspects.    Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies say they have found and arrested the man who ran away from a car on I-85, leaving the scene of a traffic stop and leaving a child inside the car. Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas says the child is safe, turned over first to DFACS and then to a grandmother in Atlanta. The suspect was spotted and arrested Monday afternoon, walking along the Interstate in Banks County.  An 8 year-old boy from Hartwell is in the burn unit of a hospital in Greenville South Carolina: the boy was injured in an explosion at a home in Gillsville. Banks County EMS says the boy suffered burns on his face and arms when someone tossed a plastic bottle filled with flammable liquids into a burn pile.    The GBI is releasing more details about an officer-involved shooting in Dalton. A police officer was called to an intersection where a man was jumping on cars and running in and out of traffic. The suspect attacked the officer, who uses a taser on 32 year-old David Schmitt. Schmitt took the taser away and tried to use it on the officer. That’s when Schmitt was shot. He went to the hospital in Dalton with what are said to be non-life-threatening wounds. The officer suffered minor injuries. 
  • — Four former Georgia Bulldogs – Kenny Gaines, Albert Jackson, Travis Leslie and Charles Mann – will participate in the 2019 edition of “The Basketball Tournament,” which tips off on Friday. Known more commonly as simply the “TBT,” a 64-team bracket is competing for $2-million in winner-take-all prize money.   Interestingly, three of those Bulldogs will face off in one of the opening games of the tournament’s Lexington Regional. On Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET, Leslie and the “Ft. Wayne Champs” will face “Showtime,” the team for which Jackson and Mann are playing. That contest is set to be streamed on ESPN3.   Leslie was an All-SEC performer for the Bulldogs in 2011 and scored 1,099 points in three seasons with the Bulldogs before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was drafted by the L.A. Clippers in the second round of the 2011 Draft and has played primarily in France during his professional career. Last season, Leslie averaged 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game for Boulazac.   Jackson was a four-year letter winner from 2006-10 who moved into the Bulldogs’ starting five late during the 2008 campaign. Jackson had a pair of double-digit outings in Georgia’s improbable run to the 2008 SEC Tournament title when the Dogs won four games in four days – including two in one day – to secure an NCAA Tournament bid.   Mann was a SEC All-Freshman selection in 2013 and an All-SEC performer in 2014. He started 106 games for the Bulldogs, including 98 of 100 games during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He has since played professionally in Europe, Canada and the G-League. Mann ranks No. 15 among Georgia’s career scoring leaders with 1,411 points. Much of those came at the free throw line, where he is the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in attempts (896) and makes (618). In fact, he ranks second to only Pete Maravich in SEC history in trips to the free throw line.   Gaines will play for “Jimmy V,” competing in the Syracuse Regional beginning next Friday. They will face “Brotherly Love” on July 26 at 1:00 p.m. The “Jimmy V” team is competing in an effort to raise proceeds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.   Gaines also was named All-SEC in 2014, and he ranks No. 21 on the Bulldogs’ career scoring leaders ledger with 1,324 points. Among Georgia’s career statistical leaders, Gaines also ranks No. 4 in 3-pointers (213), No. 5 in 3-point attempts (569) and No. 7 in 3-point percentage (.374). Since graduating from UGA, Gaines has played professionally in France and Lithuania. He recently signed to play in Italy during the 2019-20 season.   'We are honored to work with the V Foundation in this year’s TBT,” said Alex Neumann, the team’s general manager. “To be able to play for such an incredible organization that does the kind of work for cancer research that they do is a special opportunity for us. We’ve seen teams participate in TBT in past years for great causes, and it’s an inspiration to see the way people can rally around them. We’re hoping to garner that kind of support playing for Jimmy V this year. We are excited about the roster that we have constructed and can’t wait to start turning some heads in July and for years to come.'   About The Basketball Tournament TBT is a 64-team, single elimination summer tournament airing on ESPN where the winning team takes home $2 million. TBT’s 2019 format divides a 64-team field into eight regions for Rounds 1-3, with each region seeded 1-8. The last team standing will claim a winner-take-all prize of $2 million and the champion of each regional will receive a cash prize equal to 25% of the ticket sales of that particular region. 
  • The Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office says there is a new tool to help local residents better manage their water use. City Hall says the Water Smart Portal is an online resource that allows water customers to set up leak notifications and monitor water bills.    From the ACC Government website… Water customers now have access to a free, online tool to manage their water use. Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Public Utilities Department is introducing the WaterSmart AMI Portal, an online tool that allows residents to set up leak notifications and monitor their water bill.The WaterSmart system has the potential to save residents money and protect the local water supply through leak detection. By creating a WaterSmart account, customers can receive leak alerts and other notifications by text, voice, and email. Customers also have the ability to track their water use in near real-time, allowing residents to find and resolve leaks more quickly with careful monitoring.Other WaterSmart features include water-efficiency tips, water use and bill forecasting, and comparisons of home water usage to similar ACC households. To take advantage of these online tools, ACC Public Utilities Department (PUD) water customers can enroll for WaterSmart by visiting www.accgov.com/WaterSmart.The recent PUD upgrades to the water meters throughout the county provide the means to offer this service to customers. Using the same positive displacement meters the PUD has relied on for years to measure water use, the new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) changed the way meters are read. Instead of manually reading meters on a monthly basis, the AMI System now remotely sends water usage data daily. The consumption history is then made available to customers in easy to read graphs with WaterSmart technology.The PUD values customer feedback. A frequent request from customers is for the ability to pay water bills online with the use of a credit card. The PUD is currently evaluating options to offer this feature on the WaterSmart platform in the near future. Sign up for a WaterSmart AMI Portal account to receive notification of when this feature is available.For questions about how to register for your free WaterSmart account or to schedule a presentation, please contact Laurie Loftin at 706-613-3729 or visit www.accgov.com/WaterSmart.
  • Falcons safety J.J. Wilcox, who signed with the team in the offseason, went down with a right knee injury about an hour into the first practice of training camp on Monday. “I don’t have an injury updates from today,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after practice. “I’ll follow up with anything tomorrow. Nothing from the training staff today that I can share.” Before Quinn could follow up, it was reported by NFL Media that Wilcox is out for the season with a torn ACL.  However, a source familiar with the injury, would not confirm the torn ACL, but said that Wilcox will get a second option on the injury this week.  Also, reserve defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle, according to NFL Media.  Wilcox, 28, who played at Georgia Southern and Cairo High, was working his way to the ball as a runner was getting down the field when he went to the ground. Wilcox was escorted to the sideline by defensive backs Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal. He couldn’t put any pressure on the leg and was immediately attended to by the two members of the training staff.
  • The University of North Georgia campus in Dahlonega is hosting today’s Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Forum. It’s underway at 8 o’clock this morning in the University’s Convocation Center.From the Ga Chamber of Commerce… The Georgia Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the first-ever Rural Prosperity North Georgia Forum on July 23 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of North Georgia Convocation Center.  Following the widely successful annual Rural Prosperity Summit in Tifton, the newly introduced North Georgia Forum focuses on the unique aspects of rural communities in North Georgia and seeks to bring solutions that cultivates prosperity for these portions of our state. For the first time in the North Georgia community, guests will have the opportunity to hear from speakers about the local challenges and solutions that are often faced. There will be networking opportunities for attendees, local business owners, and industry leaders to make meaningful connections and build relationships that could strengthen their business.    The honorable Senator Steve Gooch and Representative Rick Jasperse will discuss the legislative outlook on rural revitalization. There will also be a North Georgia regional speaker, Chuck Reece, who is the Editor of The Bitter Southerner. Additional speakers include representatives from the Office of Attorney General of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Georgia EMC, Paladin Wireless, Hart County IBA and many more.    “The Georgia Chamber works diligently with our statewide partners to address the challenges that face rural Georgia. The Rural Prosperity North Georgia Forum is an opportunity for attendees to hear from industry leaders, government officials, business owners, and key community partners about new concepts to help our rural communities grow,” said Chris Clark, President and CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “We are invested in finding real solutions for Georgia and believe that this Forum is an important part of that process.”

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS, Ga. The SEC Media Days voters have spoken, making their (Alabama) picks, and scattering brad crumbs around the rest of the league. To be the best, you have to beat the best, they say, and so previously little attention or credit is doled out to other schools when it comes to preseason All-SEC selections. RELATED: Six biggest Georgia snubs on preseason All-SEC team The Crimson Tide's dominance on the first team (11 to Georgia's 4) has been well-documented, with much of this year's voting based on last season's results. The Bulldogs, however, have several players with All-SEC ability who have yet to put up the stats or turn enough heads outside of Athens to have been noticed. Here are 12 All-SEC candidates from Georgia who did not make the first, second or third- All-SEC preseason teams, a couple of them having already been nominated on the 'biggest snubs' list: James Cook Out of the backfield, in the slot or as a return man, Cook possesses the game-breaking speed and cutback ability to score from anywhere on he field. Demetris Robertston One year bigger, stronger and tougher after his transfer from Cal, look for D-Rob to take the top off defenses and make plays whether outside or in the slot at receiver. Eric Stokes A sticky cover cornerback who produced when called upon, Stokes is also adequate in run support. Tyson Campbell Toasted early but seasoned late, there's a reason Kirby Smart started Campbell on the corner as a true freshman. Malik Herring NFL frame, good quickness and strength and a desire to live up to his head coach's expectations bode well for Herring on the D-Line. Tae Crowder Converted running back will be reacting more than thinking from inside linebacker this season, already on NFL scouts radar Trey Hill Sophomore takes to the center position naturally, teammates refer to his legs as 'tree trunks' Brian Herrien Hungry and durable, 1,000-yard season could be in reach depending on D'Andre Swift and Zamir White workloads. Tyler Simmons Simmons is all about speed and toughness, a committed team player who competed most of last season wearing a shoulder brace at receiver. Jordan Davis The first of the three players that follow in this article off the 'snubs' list, Davis was an FWAA Freshman All-American defensive tackle who dominated at times. Monty Rice Perhaps the biggest snub of all, Smart has earmarked Rice for greatness, and certainly, a captain role in the linebacker corps. Lawrence Cager The Miami transfer receiver is a 6-foot-5 former high school high jump champion with a 40-inch vertical, and while speed is a question, catch radius is not. DawgNation from SEC Media Days Kirby Smart says no emotion figures into Jacksonville talks Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' South Carolina weighs in on Georgia-Clemson toughness debate Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post 12 Georgia football players with All-SEC potential not on preseason lists appeared first on DawgNation.
  • CBS officially announced that Georgia and Notre Dame will be played under the lights in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 21. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Jamie Erdahl will be on the call for CBS. This will be the first time Georgia has hosted Notre Dame and only the third time these two historic programs have ever faced each other. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in the series against the Fighting Irish with a 17-10 victory in the 1981 Sugar Bowl and a 20-19 victory at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017.
  • HOOVER, Ala. There were many questions posed to Jake Fromm during one single whirlwind day at SEC Media Days last month. He took at least three hours of questions. Give or take a photo opp or a sunglass pose or two. Alabama? Yes. Mock draft white noise? Yep. Fish or hunt? Yes. Duck hunt or play football? Yessir. DawgNation wanted to know the answer to a specific question: How does he rate his performance after games? When he turns on the film, what is he looking for? Fromm, the quarterback known for having the clear head at all times due to immense preparation, shared a little insight into his work behind the scenes with that one. 'It kind of starts [number] one with decisions,' Jake Fromm said. 'Do we make the right decisions? The right checks? Pre-snap? Before the play? Do we make the right decision after? Did I try to force a ball? Did I check it down too soon? Are my eyes in the wrong spots? So a lot of different things, you know.' 'Really just kind of seeing what kind of throws did we make. The kind of errors. Did we make really bad errors? Did we make small ones and really did we move the ball on third down? There are a lot of different things we are looking at. Really trying to critique decisions. Then we will kind of go into physically like Hey is my foot off a little bit? Is my shoulder off? Am I not getting my elbow up when I throw?' so a lot of different little things.' 'You kind of watch it once or twice. Sometimes three times and see what you see and you see something different every single time.' Grading Jake Fromm: What does he see as his best games? Media can point to a stat line. The metric followers can pour over his QB rating and its intricate formulas. There can be a highlight-worthy throw that goes viral everywhere. The trifecta: ESPN. SEC Network. Social media. But that's how Joe Media or Joe Fan gauges a good game for the Georgia QB. Which games did Fromm feel he was at his best? The junior All-American candidate said he was closest to his standard (a likely unattainable one) at the end of the 2018 season. 'Gosh, I think the last two,' Fromm said. 'The Georgia Tech game and the Alabama game last year. Kind of finished the season and kind of thought I was playing at a high level. Thought I was making really good decisions moving the ball. Those are the two that kind of jump out to me right at the moment.' 'Just moving the ball. Making good decisions and making the big-time throws when they were needed.' Here is how Fromm fared in those games: Fromm versus Georgia Tech: 13-for-16, 175 yards, 4 TDs, O INTs Fromm versus Alabama: 25-for-39, 301 yards, 3 TDs, O INTs The first game he played in 2018 was pretty strong, too. Fromm versus Oklahoma: 20-for-29, 210 yards, 2 TDs, O INTs The junior from Warner Robins actually finished his 2018 season on a surge which saw him throw for 17 touchdowns against two interceptions. That was coming off a poor performance for the entire team, including Fromm, at LSU. This year he is the clear starter and a team leader. There is no other 5-star peer on the depth chart to compete with for starting reps under center. This is his team. Fromm's name will be in the lineup every day in the same vein that a Freddie Freeman or a Mike Trout knows that one off night won't cost him a start. Fromm will still put in the exact same work in the film room regardless. Does he see that helping him to get better and play better in 2019? 'That kind of allows me to get back to [my] high school days and have a little more fun in practice,' Fromm said. 'Really go out and try different things. For me, in high school, there's a lot of kind of trial and error in what I did. It didn't always make [my] coach happy, but it really kind of helped me play. Do you know? Hey, this is what I can and this is what I can't do.' 'I'm going to have a little more fun at practice and go out and try to make some more plays and see what happens.' The post Fromm talk: How does Jake Fromm grade himself after a game? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • HOOVER, Ala. Jake Fromm and Jake Bentley go way back and have stayed friends throughout their careers at Georgia and South Carolina. So much so that Bentley said the quarterbacks might even meet up in Greenville, S.C., and go on a double date. ' I told some guys earlier, he dates a volleyball player, so do I,' Bentley said, 'so we were going to go double date up in Greenville at some point and time before the season starts, so that would be pretty cool.' WATCH: Carolina QB Jake Bentley compares Georgia to Clemson Bentley said he has been impressed working beside Fromm in the offseason. ' You watch Jake (Fromm), and he's just very consistent as far as how he plays, he doesn't miss many throws,' Bentley said. 'He's very detail oriented, just sitting with him in the meeting room, and how he goes about his business is very professional.' NFL scouts have noticed both Fromm and Bentley, both of whom could be in the 2020 NFL Draft class. The quarterbacks have both been trained at QB Country in Mobile, Ala., by David Morris. RELATED: Morris breaks down Jake Fromm Bentley, who led South Carolina to a bowl win over Michigan his freshman season, impressed at the Manning Camp. Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout with four Super Bowl rings who's now executive director of the Senior Bowl, heaped praise. ' Walked away from Manning Passing Academy last Friday night impressed with @GamecockFB QB Jake Bentleyand that was before he won 'Air It Out' competition,' Nagy said . 'Ball was coming out quicker and cleaner than past years.' Walked away from Manning Passing Academy last Friday night impressed with @GamecockFB QB Jake Bentleyand that was before he won 'Air It Out' competition. Ball was coming out quicker and cleaner than past years. Could mean a big year for @Edwards_Bryan4. #thedraftstartsinMobile pic.twitter.com/IFAO38Vs8t Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) July 1, 2019 Kirby Smart also had positive things to say about Bentley, who the Bulldogs will play host to in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 12. 'He's a leader, he's a guy who has played,' Smart said of Bentley. 'Any time you're playing a guy with that kind of experience, it's very similar to Jake (Fromm), except he's got one whole year on top of that, and they've got some good wideouts coming back with them.' Smart, of course, loves his Jake, too. 'This guy (Fromm) is the epitome of what college football is all about,' Smart said. 'Number one, he stands up for the right things, he's very strong in his faith, he lives it. 'I have a lot of respect for his ability to be who he is, be confident in who he is and still lead our team and not create any jealousy while he's doing it.' Jake Bentley Comparing the Jakes DawgNation from SEC Media Days Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' South Carolina weighs in on Georgia-Clemson toughness debate Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post WATCH: South Carolina QB Jake Bentley suggests double date with Jake Fromm appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Aaron Schunk was one of the most consistent hitters at Georgia throughout his three years with the Bulldogs. During his time wearing the red and black, Schunk had a career .312 batting average with 19 home runs and 114 runs-batted-in.  Schunk has not skipped a beat with the Boise Hawks throughout his first 32 games. During those 32 games, Schunk is slashing .311/.380/.500 with an .880 OPS. He has recorded three home runs, 12 RBI, 12 bases-on-balls and only 16 strikeouts in the Northwest League.  On July 20, Schunk recorded his first “perfect game” with the Hawks going 4-for-4 with a walk, one RBI and three runs scored.