Wednesday, October 26
Falcons sign 3 RBs following Coleman's hamstring injury
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons added insurance for injured running back Tevin Coleman on Tuesday by signing three running backs, including Stevan Ridley, who began his NFL career with New England and also played for the Jets.
The Falcons also signed Terron Ward from their practice squad. Free agent Jhurell Pressley was signed to the practice squad.
Coleman left Sunday's overtime loss to San Diego with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Coleman's injury left Devonta Freeman and fullback Patrick DiMarco as the only healthy running backs on the active roster.
Ridley has 2,907 yards rushing in five seasons. Ward had 29 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown for Atlanta last season and could be the top backup to Freeman in this week's game against Green Bay.
The team released linebacker A.J. Hawk and guard Mike Person. Each was inactive against the Chargers. Hawk signed with Atlanta on Oct. 4.
GEORGIA TECH-ROOF'S DEFENSE
Georgia Tech's Roof working on takeaways, third down stops
ATLANTA (AP) — Ted Roof is looking to solve Georgia Tech's abysmal rankings in takeaways and third-down stops.
Roof, in his fourth season as defensive coordinator, knows those will be keys when the Yellow Jackets play Duke on Saturday.
Roof had a record of creating big plays with his aggressive defenses at Minnesota, Auburn and Penn State before his return to Georgia Tech, his alma mater, in 2013.
This year has been a struggle. Georgia Tech's six takeaways are the fewest in the Atlantic Coast Conference and rank 119th in the nation.
Roof, Duke's coach from 2003-07, said his coaching emphasis on creating turnovers is as strong as ever.
"If I had an answer for you I'd give it to you and better yet we'd do it, more importantly," Roof said Monday. "We've just got to keep trying. If you just stay after it and stay after it one day it happens and one (turnover) can lead to two and two can lead to three."
The Yellow Jackets' 126th-ranked third-down defense was a focus of coach Paul Johnson's weekly news conference on Tuesday. Opponents have been successful on almost half of third downs (50 of 101).
"We've got to be better on third downs and try to get off the field," Johnson said. "We've beat that horse to death, but that's the bottom line. ... I think if we could be better on third down everything will fall into place and make everything better."
Georgia Tech (4-3, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a streak of three straight losses by beating Georgia Southern 35-24 on Oct. 15. Johnson said the defense "made some plays" but added that two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Eagles made the score "disappointing."
GEORGIA-SEASON ON THE BRINK
Georgia's season on the brink heading into 'Cocktail Party'
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Davin Bellamy isn't ready to give up on Georgia's season.
Sure, there's no more talk of contending for a championship, and the honeymoon is definitely over for rookie coach Kirby Smart. A home loss to Vanderbilt has a way of turning everything sour.
But Bellamy, a junior outside linebacker, said the Bulldogs are eager to make a good impression the rest of the way.
"You've still got that 'G' on your helmet," he said. "You've still got your last name on your back. You've still got the family you build with your fellow players. And no one wants to give up on each other like that."
Make no mistake, it's a season on the brink after the shocking 17-16 loss to Vanderbilt two Saturdays ago.
Georgia (4-3, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) has dropped three of its last four games, already matching the number of losses in each of the final two seasons under former coach Mark Richt. And it could be worse — remember, the Bulldogs barely held off FCS school Nicholls and needed a fourth-down touchdown pass in the final minutes to knock off Missouri.
With a remaining schedule that includes Saturday's game against No. 14 Florida, plus No. 15 Auburn and Georgia Tech down the road, Georgia faces the possibility of its worst showing since a 6-7 mark in 2010.
Then again, a victory over the Gators (5-1, 3-1) could quickly turn things in the right direction.
Smart is hoping the Bulldogs finally put together a complete performance Saturday in Jacksonville.