Dirty Bird Talk: Falcons Confirm Hawkins Departure, Look Ahead to Tampa

Hawkins leaves the Falcons…

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith confirmed that the team released safety Jaylinn Hawkins, as was widely reported Tuesday night by various media including Sports In The ATL.

Coach Smith said the move had to be done and parting with talented players goes with the territory.
“Things change all the time in this league and Jaylinn’s one of the good guys in this league,” said Smith in a press conference at Flowery Branch this morning. “I can’t say enough good things about him. Circumstances changed so there’s opportunity for other guys.”
Coach Smith said he had “a lot of respect for Hawk. I wish him the best in the future.” He also confirmed that Micah Abernathy, also a safety, has been signed to the roster from the practice squad to fill the hole left by Hawkins.

…Then joins the Chargers
Less than 24 hours after he was cut from the Falcons, news broke that Hawkins’ waivers were acquired by the Los Angeles Chargers. The team confirmed a story that was reported earlier this afternoon by Pro Football Talk. Hawkins is expected to fill some holes on the Chargers roster caused by team injuries.

Coach Smith talks about getting back on track
The Falcons face a very important game Sunday, a road game against fellow NFC South team Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A win could put them ahead of the pack in the NFC South. Coach Smith made it clear the team is focused on winning Sunday and not looking back at the Washington loss.
“These are big games for us and so we’ve got to find a way to go down there,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for us up front.” He would go on to say Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder is right to ignore the constant chatter about his performance. “This game is going to stress you. It’s ultimately about winning and results,” he said.

Ridder talks Commanders Game
Under a lot of scrutiny and criticism for his performance against the Washington Commanders, Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder took to the podium and spoke to the press about the game and how he handles adversity on and off the field.
“It’s tough coming out of a game like that,” said Ridder. He told the press he was particularly disappointed looking at the stats from the game and where the Falcons outscored the Commanders (like total yardage, passing, and rushing yards) and still fell short in scoring.
Ridder said that he focuses on attention to detail and how he handles all aspects of his job.   He said his focus is learning from mistakes he made in the previous game, correcting them and not dwelling on interceptions and other errors.
”For me, it’s neutral thinking,” Ridder said. “Never being too high, never being too low.” As far as judging his own performance “You got to take a good look in the mirror, see where you went wrong and where you can get better, then move on in the future.”

Ex-Falcon Jones  joins Eagles
Former Falcon Julio Jones is playing for a new team after two seasons with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Tennessee Titans and of course nine years with the Falcons. He has joined the Philadelphia Eagles as their new wide receiver. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Jones still had “a lot of pop in his legs” and was impressed with Jone’s workouts. Jones himself said he was game to help the Eagles pursue a Super Bowl Championship.
“My mindset is definitely to dominate, said Jones to interviewer Zach Berman of PHLY. “But they have guys here who are already solidified, so wherever they need me to go and be, I’ll do that to the best of my ability.”
It’s not yet known when Jones will take his position on the team.

Falcons roster changes
Falcons beat reporter Terrin Waack reported the team added new players to their active roster today. They signed running back Jacob Saylors and safety Arnold Tarpley III to the practice squad.