Buzz Ball (Fomerly Bird Talk) – 8/3

A Hot Time in Flowery Branch

Courtesy: Vevo

The Falcons weren’t just learning to master the coming football season, they were also trying to do it under an unforgivingly hot summer sun. Temperatures during Falcons Training Camp quckly soured into the upper 90’s. According to Weather Underground, the highest temperature reading near Flowery Branch was 99 degrees on July 27th, the first day of Training Camp. The next two days didn’t dip below 97 degrees and it never got below 88 degrees since the 27th. And that’s not adding in the humidity that made the hot temps feel even worse. Hopefully the weather will cool down when the Falcons officially take the field in a few weeks (or when they will play in the cool, air conditioned Mercedes Benz Stadium!)

Coach Smith: “This Is The Most Fun I’ve Had Coaching”

If Head Coach Arthur Smith seemed worried about how his team was doing on the 8th day of Falcons Training, he sure wasn’t showing it. In fact, he told the audience of local sports reporters Wendesday Morning at a Flowery Branch press conference he thought the team is moving in a positive direction. “We have a real team around here in Flowery Branch,” he said. Coach Smith said he felt the team showed a competitive spirit during practice that should manifest to the regular season. In his most upbeat assessment of the Falcons to date, he said that there were some “real dudes” on the Falcons squad and that “This is the most fun I’ve had coaching” in his NFL career.

Well That’s Just “Fine”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter got a surprise from Head Coach Arthur Smith last week when he came back to Falcons training camp after missing the first two days due to a previously planned family vacation. He got a letter on the Coach’s letterhead telling him he violated protocol and would be “fined” $500. The humorous incident showed the Coach had a sense of humor. On Tuesday this week, Ledbetter decided to pay the “fine” to the charity of the Falcons’ choice. Not only did Coach Smith match Ledbetter’s generous “fine” payment, but so did Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Ledbetter is a longtime sports journalist who has covered the Falcons for the AJC for years. He also taught journalism at the University of Georgia where his students included Atlanta sports journalists Tori McElhaney, a Falcons reporter and Sarah K. Spencer, herself an AJC sports journalist.

Falcons Welcome New Beat Reporter

Terrin Waack (photo credit: Atlanta Falcons)

The Falcons have a new person on staff to help tell their stories. She’s Terrin Waack, the team’s newly hired beat writer. She previously worked as a New Orleans Saints beat reporter for The Advocate/Times-Picacyne, and Tuscaloosa News. She interned with The Sporting News, The Associated Press, and The Chicago Tribune. Waack hosted a podcast for the Tuscaloosa News called “That’s Just Waack.” The previous beat reporter, Tori McElhaney, who says Waack is “intelligent, passionate and one heck of a storyteller,” will remain with the Falcons but soon will be in a new to-be-announced role.

Fans Turning Out for Practice and Falcons Taking Notice

Falcon fans turned out in big numbers to see their team practice for the coming season, and the team is taking notice. Photos taken at the scene show folks seated on the hills and valleys of Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch watching the Dirty Birds in action. Many observers say they’ve never seen so many fans watching the practice and its a sign of increased excitement about the Falcons upcoming season. Some of the players, including Dijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, Drake London and A.J. Terrell, took time off from their practice sessions to hang with fans, including taking pictures and signing autographs and memerabila.

Falcons Produce Feature on Troy Andersen

Falcons fans who want to get to know linebacker Troy Andersen better should check out the Falcons production, “Montana Roots“. This well produced, beautifly shot production features interviews with Andersen’s family and coaches, who in their own words and recollections, tell about the values and influences that brought the Montana State alumni to this point as a member of the Falcons squad. In addition, Falcons journalist Tori McElhaney wrote three companion stories also about Andersen called “Troy Andersen: I’m Just A Kid From Dillon,” “4.42 Seconds” and “A New Age Linebacker with an Old School Story.” McElhaney along with members of the Falcons multimedia production team went on location to Boseman, Montana to film this production earlier this year. “Montana Roots” and more content about this feature can be found on the Falcons website.

WANF Gets New Sports Journalist

A new face is showing up at Flowery Branch and everywhere else there’s pro and college sports in Atlanta. She’s WANF’s new Sports Director Baillie Burmaster, an Atlanta native that worked previously as a sports anchor at WOIO Cleveland. She will now be doing sports coverage with fellow ANF sportscaster Emily Gagnon, who’s been sports anchoring solo since co-worker Fred Kalil retired earlier this year. She also will be joining the ranks of a talented, top-notch Atlanta sports journalism community. Welcome (back) to Atlanta, Baillie!

Social Birds

Falcons Birthdays This Week

Scotty Miller (Wide Reciever)

Ryan Neuzil (Guard)

Younghoe Koo (Kicker)