Monday, April 4
-- There was no better way to start the week with a bang than by wishing Jessie "The Hammer" Tuggle a happy birthday. It's amazing to think the Falcons Ring-of-Honor member turned 51 years old when he looks as if he could still suit up and dominate the way he did years ago. We put together a pretty sweet set of his highlights to celebrate his born day.
-- Our friends at the Atlanta Braves got their season underway Monday and we had to provide that social support. Atlanta native Vic Beasley Jr. did, too.
-- Monday night also happened to feature one of the best NCAA National Championship finishes in history. With a team full of basketball fans, there were plenty of reactions to the way things ended. Let's start with Falcons alum and Nova grad Brian Finneran having the honor of calling color during the Team Stream broadcast for Villanova.
The Villanova teamstream call of the final shot pic.twitter.com/vTYkVo4txm — The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) April 5, 2016
If you follow any of our players on Twitter, you could probably tell exactly when that final shot hit net... Here's just a small sample:
-- More from Monday:
Tuesday, April 5
-- Let's start Tuesday the way we usually do around this time of year: by checking in with the latest mock draft experts to see who they have the Falcons selecting at No. 17 this week. Hint: They're pretty infatuated with a particular Buckeye.
-- Speaking of that particular Buckeye...
-- RB Devonta Freeman had a big announcement Tuesday with a great opportunity for kids.
-- FB Patrick DiMarco made us all jealous with windy beach videos.
-- Meanwhile, WR Mohamed Sanu continues his hard work this offseason. We featured his interesting and impressive regiment last weekend and he added another video worth ranking with this one below.
-- Also on Tuesday, the NFL announced an expansion to the rookie transition program. Basically, the Rookie Symposium has been done away with and replaced by a program that will be hosted by each team. It puts the onus on teams to help their own athletes learn about their new surroundings, as well as general information about being a professional football player.
Wednesday, April 6
-- Thumbs up if this guy helped you win your fantasy league in 2015! It's no mistake that many of you were the beneficiaries of Freeman's on-field accomplishments. As far as value goes, no player had more from a fantasy perspective than Freeman as he eclipsed his forecasted production more than anyone else in the NFL during a period from 2011-2015. Yeah, that's something to smile about. It's safe to say Freeman won't exactly be sticking around in your fantasy draft much past the first few picks, so if you were one of the smart ones that picked him up last year for a song and won your league because of him, get those brags in as much as you can. He won't be around in Round 13 come football season.
-- ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. is wishy-washy on what the Falcons will do at No. 17 later this month as he released his fourth mock draft of 2016. He's changed his projection for us in every version of his mocks so far, starting with Clemson DE Kevin Dodd, shifting to his teammate Shaq Lawson, then moving up to Ohio State for Darron Lee. Kiper now has the Falcons taking another prominent linebacker.
-- TE Jacob Tamme was featured in an article about his Kentucky roots. You can check that out in the link below.
-- What's more is that Tamme was hanging out in The White House this week.
-- Left tackle Jake Matthews doesn't tweet much, but when he does, we point it out. Here's a photo of his brother, Mike, who will likely be drafted by some lucky NFL team as a center, continuing the long line of Matthewses who have spent time on NFL fields.
Thursday, April 7
-- Freddie Falcon and long snapper Josh Harris took a visit to Egleston Pediatric Hospital this week to give them a night to remember forever: Prom Night. Don't miss this one.
-- Let the debates begin. The offseason is usually a time for us to drag up arguments that never have a winner because, let's face it, we miss football and we love to talk about it and potentially ruin friendships over our hot takes. NFL Now provided its top 5 Falcons of all-time, which is certainly open to criticism in my humble opinion. Whatever you do, watch the video below, then take a scorched-Earth approach to voicing your opinions on Twitter at the dinner table or wherever you like to deal out your hottest of takes.
-- You know the 2016 season is right around the corner when we get the announce who the Falcons will face during the preseason. I know a lot of you have a hard time getting overly excited about the preseason, but hey, it's football and any football is better than no football. I, for one, enjoy the preseason because of the chances for all the young undrafted guys to make a mark. I can't help it: I love a good underdog. If you missed any of it, the Falcons will host Washington, travel to Cleveland and Miami, then end the exhibition slate at home against Jacksonville. There's some matchups of interest here. If Cleveland goes with a QB high in the draft, the Falcons could see plenty of whoever that is in Week 2. I would have loved to see the Falcons face Jacksonville in Week 3, when your starters generally play into the second half. The Jags are a team on the rise and they spent a whole lot of money on their defense in free agency. They'll also return last year's first-rounder Dante Fowler to the fold, so seeing how the Falcons fared against the Jags starters for at least a half of football would have been a nice measuring stick.
-- If you have a Twitter account and you're not following Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn, well, you're missing out. He's been particularly chatty lately and he's voiced some funny opinions on various topics. You've gotta feel for him here:
-- Devin Hester is recovering from toe surgery this offseason, but that clearly hasn't stopped him from putting his youngsters through their paces. Hill sprints before the age of 10? That's preparation for perhaps some future elite athletes.
Friday, April 8
-- We get a little funky on Fridays. I started playing around with this facial recognition software that matches your photo with the celebrity you look like the most, so yeah, I put some of our players through it. It did not go well. Check out the gallery below and read the captions for my commentary on how that software is basically throwing darts in the dark.
Celebrity lookalike software has become popular on the web, so we put one of the latest sites to the test with some of the Falcons with interesting results
-- OK, let's get serious again. You and I both know the Falcons are likely drafting a linebacker in the first round, right? ... Right? Well, we'll find out in a few weeks. In the meantime, we asked writer Andrew Hirsh to give us seven options at the LB spot the Falcons could go with. My favorite of the group? Leonard Floyd from Georgia. First of all, Falcons fans in the state are hungry for any Bulldog on the roster, so that solves that. Second, the projections for him as the draft season has worn on have blasted through whatever ceiling you thought there was for him. Lots of reasons to like him.
-- Along with draft projections and debating over the top 5 anything of all-time, we tend to get a lot of musical jersey numbers with the roster. We've got another change as linebacker Brooks Reed, who wore No. 56 last year, has worked out a deal to return that number to Sean Weatherspoon. Reed has chosen a new number to don, and could his choice spell the end of a possible free-agent return?
-- The FalconCast crew of myself, DJ Shockley and Brian Bocek (John Michaels was busy with a fancy meet-and-greet this week) take a closer look at the preseason opponents and dive into the regular season, where we realize just how brutal that slate could be for Atlanta.
-- CB Jalen Collins, the league announced, is suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.
-- DT Joey Mbu got some work in this morning. Nothing like the smell of kettlebells in the morning, am I right?
-- As you saw above, Desmond Trufant is no stranger to throwing out first pitches. He got another chance this week with his brothers as the three got the honor at a Tacoma Rainiers Triple-A baseball game Thursday night.
-- And we'll end the week on a photo you can't help but smile at.