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On the road to Atlanta

Time for a few quick programming notes as I get ready to begin the trip to Atlanta.

We held the weekly NFC South chat Friday. I have to get to the airport and don’t have time to pull out highlights, but you can see the entire transcript of the chat here. Our Final Word segment on the Falcons and Packers will pop up a bit later this afternoon.

I’ll check in from Atlanta later tonight if there are any developments of note. Meantime, I’ll share a couple of other items as we count down the hours until Saturday night’s game.

KC Joyner writes that the Falcons should air it out against the Packers. I’m with Joyner on this one. But I’m not talking just about this game. I’ve thought for a long time the Falcons should put a little bit more on Matt Ryan’s plate, because I think he can handle it.

Speaking of Ryan, ESPN’s Trent Dilfer had these glowing words of praise about the Atlanta quarterback during a recent conference call with the national media.

“It’s not just how he plays,’’ Dilfer said. “It’s how he handles himself. … The quarterback is not the most important position – it’s the most influential position. You influence everybody in the building not just by how you play, but how you handle yourself. He’s so classy. He’s such a grinder, he’s so tough. He brings that emotional aspect to your team that you can truly, truly build your franchise around that person. Yeah, they found the right player, but they found the right person more importantly.”

On Saturday, NFC North colleague Kevin Seifert and I will be in Atlanta to cover the game. Since Kevin is from Minnesota, I’ve asked him to bring along the family snowmobile, just in case our rental car can’t navigate the streets of Icelanta. I’ve also asked Kevin to bring along an extra winter coat, pair of gloves and ski cap, since I live in Florida and don’t own any of those things.

Anyway, our plan is to be into the Georgia Dome several hours before kickoff. We’ll bring you all the pregame news and notes. Once the game starts, we’ll be taking part in Countdown Daily, which is a chat where you can talk back and forth with Kevin and I as well as Matt Williamson from Scouts Inc. All the information you need to get in there will be posted on this blog an hour or two before kickoff.