Atlanta Falcons Bird Droppings: Linebacker Shuffle, Turner Going Cupcake, and Shockey Rumors

By Michael Collins

It’s the opening of training camp edition of Atlanta Falcons Bird Droppings! The players have reported to Flowery Branch, Ga. and we are ready to start the season soon.  So here are your Falcons news, notes, rants and rumors.

The Falcons training camp opens this week, which means pre-season games are just around the corner.  The Falcons pre-season schedule is Aug. 9 – vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 8 p.m. Aug. 24 – at Miami Dolphins, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 – at Jacksonville Jaguars, 6:30 p.m. (All Times Eastern).  There will also be also be a joint workout with the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 6 in Dalton, Ga.

Training camp will open without middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who is having season-ending surgery on an injured pectoral muscle.  Tatupu was trying to make a comeback after sitting out the 2011 season.  All our best to Lofa on a speedy recovery.

The spot opened up by Tatupu’s injury will be filled by 13-year veteran linebacker Mike Peterson, who was re-signed by the Falcons this week.  In 2011 Peterson was a big addition to the defense, and was one of the most respected players in the locker room.  Peterson is also able to play any of the three linebacker positions.

Head coach Mike Smith confirmed that linebacker Stephen Nicholas and rookie tackle Lamar Holmes – both of whom were sidelined during mini-camp and OTAs –  have been medially cleared to participate in training camp.

Falcons’ star running back Michael Turner was baking cupcakes for charity on Tuesday.  The celebrity bake-off was held at Gimme Some Suga Bakery Bar in Suwanee, and supported the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.  Turner has two twin brothers who suffer from Crohn’s disease.  The bakery owner says Turner, who is one of about ten Falcons who are regular customers, is partial to red velvet cupcakes.  “Chauncey (Davis) used to bring cupcakes to the locker room,” Turner said. “They were popular with the linemen.”

ESPN’s NFL insider Chris Mortensen says that unrestricted free-agent tight end Jeremy Shockey could be returning to the NFC South this season in either a Falcons or Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform.  Both teams have shown interest in Shockey, who was not tendered an offer by his 2011 team, the Carolina Panthers.  Shockey had 37 receptions for 455 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Panthers in 2011.

Have you ever dreamed of signing the National Anthem at an Atlanta Falcons game?  Well, now is your chance!  From Falcons Digital Content Manager, Jay Adams:

“The Falcons are currently accepting submissions to perform the national anthem at a 2012 game at the Georgia Dome. To submit an audition, upload a video of yourself singing the anthem to YouTube. Then, fill out the submission for found by clicking here.

There are a few things to note:

  • The anthem performance should be no longer than 1 minute, 35 seconds
  • Acappella is preferred, but musical instruments are accepted
  • Must be able to hear audio clearly on submitted videos
  • There is no age requirement

Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 1, 2012. Questions can be e-mailed to”



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