Skip to main content

Notebook: July 30


Mention the name Aaron Rodgers and Falcons fans will give you nasty looks.

He's the Green Bay Packers quarterback that had one of those days you hope you have in the playoffs last year to end Atlanta's season.

Ray Edwards, Atlanta's newest addition, knows a thing or two about him.

Meeting with the media for the first time after Saturday afternoon's practice, the defensive end knew immediately that he sacked that particular quarterback twice last season, something the Falcons struggled to do when it counted most.

He couldn't quite remember how many times he'd brought down Rodgers in his career (he thought it was six, says it was four), but all of that is irrelevant.

He's here to get to the quarterback. He's here to team up with John Abraham. He's here to help Atlanta win.

The best thing is, Atlanta is the team he chose.

"It was a sigh of relief, knowing that your career is going to continue," Edwards said. "I definitely came to a great team who went 13-3 last year and hasn't lost any key components. I feel like I was just the missing piece."

Teaming up with Abraham is something he's interested in as well. Edwards, a member of more than a few impressive defensive line groups with the Minnesota Vikings, knows how helpful a few guys who can rush the passer can be.

"I believe that myself and Abraham are going to be a great tandem," he said. "We'll work on playing off each other and causing a lot of havoc."

Head coach Mike Smith is pretty pleased about all of this as well. In Edwards he gets a guy who wants to be on his team and wants to help them win. He also gets a guy who is committed to doing more than one thing well, a trait Smith thinks rather highly of.

"I'm excited he's on our football team," Smith said. "He's going to be a great addition. He's going to help us with our pass rush. He's also a very good run defender. He's a very good all-around defensive end that is going to line up and play our left defensive end. I just can't wait to get him out here and see what he can do."

Smith wouldn't go as far as to say the addition of Edwards gives him the opportunity to field the best defense during his time in Atlanta, but he's happy about the prospects.

"I think it's very strong," Smith said. "We've got to go play the games, but I'm very pleased with the way that this is coming together for us. When we first got here we said it was a process. You're never going to have the perfect roster but you're always striving for it."

It may still not be perfect, but the addition of Edwards means the Falcons defense is quite possibly better than it was on Thursday.


The recent signing of former Falcons guard Harvey Dahl by the St. Louis Rams signals the end of a three-year run of continuity on the offensive line for Atlanta.

A new starter will emerge at the guard position this season and from the early glimpes of the line in training camp, Garrett Reynolds or Mike Johnson will fill that role.

Reynolds, a right tackle in college, spent all offseason working at guard and he feels good about the transition he's made. Entering his third season, Reynolds has worked at both guard and tackle in previous seasons.

"This past offseason I've been working at left and right guard on my own and when we had seven-on-sevens, just to get more familiar with it," Reynolds said. "It feels good right now and I'm looking forward to staying in that spot for a little while."

The battle between Reynolds and Johnson will be one of the most-contested position battles during training camp and it's got Smith's eye.

"I think it's going to be very competitive," Smith said. "We know that Harvey will not be back with us. There's definitely an open competition there between Garret Reynolds and Mike Johnson. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out through training camp. Both of those guys have worked extremely hard to get this opportunity."


William Moore's shot came last season in the second game of the year. An injury put him into the starting lineup and his play kept him there.

Now in his second season with the starting role opposite free safety Thomas DeCoud firmly in his grasp, Moore isn't resting on his laurels.

"I've got expectations that are real high for myself," the 2009 second-round pick said. "I'm continuing to get better, I don't know it all, I'm still a young player. I just want to go out and take advantage of being a starter in the NFL."

Even with the unusual offseason taking valuable time for the young safety to spend with coaches, Moore feels this year he's more in control of how he fits into the Falcons' defense.

"I didn't know last year as far as what to expect," he said. "This year I've got a good grasp on what to expect: the speed of the game, the quarterbacks that we're facing next year. It was a great experience overall last year."

Like all the players, he's excited to be back on the field and carry the torch for another winning season. He's also excited to be back with his secondary running mate, DeCoud.

"I get excited just thinking about playing with Thomas," Moore said. "That's my leader and I want to continue to grow with him. I feed off of him."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content