NFC South: Rob Bruggeman

Around the NFC South

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
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Let's take a look at the top headlines from around the NFC South.

Atlanta defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux reportedly has a partially torn MCL. Babineaux suffered the injury in the Chicago game. It’s unclear if Babineaux will miss time, but the Falcons started off the season thin at defensive tackle as Corey Peters sat out the opener with a knee injury.

D. Orlando Ledbetter starts the hype for Sunday night’s showdown between the Falcons and Eagles or, more accurately, between Matt Ryan and Michael Vick. Interestingly enough, the two teams have played the past two seasons, but Ryan (Atlanta’s quarterback of the present) and Vick (Atlanta’s quarterback of the past) haven’t gone head to head in either game. In 2009, Ryan was out with an injury. Last season, Vick was out with an injury.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera said he doesn’t believe the torn Achilles tendon Jon Beason suffered at Arizona was related to recent surgery the linebacker had on his ankle. But you still have to wonder if Beason came back too soon.

The Chicago Bears have won their last four meetings with the New Orleans Saints, but all of those games have been at Soldier Field. This week’s game is in the Superdome. The Bears also have been a thorn in New Orleans’ side when it comes to the playoffs. The Bears eliminated the Saints in the 2006 and 1990 seasons.

John DeShazier writes that the injury to Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning is a reminder of how important Drew Brees is to the Saints.

The Falcons re-signed center Brett Romberg and released center Rob Bruggeman. Romberg now will serve as the backup to Joe Hawley until veteran Todd McClure is ready to return from injury.

Tampa Bay’s Raheem Morris, the only NFC South coach who publicly singles out players when they struggle, pointed to defensive tackles Frank Okam and Roy Miller and linebackers Quincy Black and Geno Hayes as guys who had disappointing outings in the opener.
The Atlanta Falcons just announced they have signed seven players to future contracts for the 2011 season. All seven spent at least some time on the practice squad during the 2010 season.

Those players are tight end Marquez Branson, center Rob Bruggeman, receiver Tim Buckley, receiver Brandyn Harvey, defensive end Emmanuel Stephens, receiver Andy Strickland and guard Jose Valdez. Buckley, Stephens, Strickland, Bruggeman and Valdez each spent the entire season on the practice squad.

Branson joined the practice squad in late October and Harvey was added in the last week of the regular season.

Hitting the NFC South links

September, 15, 2010
9/15/10
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The multi-talented D. Orlando Ledbetter uses his interpretation skills to figure out that Atlanta coach Mike Smith wants improvement across the board. I don’t think Ledbetter’s going out on any limb here. Smith can remain calm and cool, but you could tell he felt the Falcons lost a winnable game to the Steelers.

As expected, the Panthers re-signed kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd. They released Todd Carter, who was supposed to replace Lloyd, but injured his back.

Green Bay signed running back Dimitri Nance off Atlanta’s practice squad. The Falcons filled the spot by signing center Rob Bruggeman, who had been cut from the 53-man roster earlier this week.

After Aqib Talib served his one-game suspension for violating the league’s conduct code, the Buccaneers have placed him on the active roster and he’s expected to practice today. To clear a roster spot, the Bucs released Erik Lorig.

Falcons clear spot for Babineaux

September, 14, 2010
9/14/10
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The Falcons just formally cleared a roster spot for the return of defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux from a one-game suspension.

They released center Rob Bruggeman. Babineaux had been suspended for one week for violating the NFL’s conduct code last season. His absence was obvious in Sunday’s season-opening loss to Pittsburgh.

On Rashard Mendenhall’s 50-yard touchdown run in overtime, Trey Lewis, who was playing in Babineaux’s spot, was thrown to the ground by a blocker at the line of scrimmage. Mendenhall started his romp through that hole.

Babineaux is expected to return to practice Wednesday and start Sunday against Arizona.

Rookie linemen sit for Falcons

September, 12, 2010
9/12/10
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Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is expected to start and defensive tackle Corey Peters should get lots of playing time, but the rest of Atlanta’s rookie class won’t be a factor today.

Offensive linemen Mike Johnson and Joe Hawley and defensive back Dominique Franks are inactive for today’s game with the Steelers. It’s a bit of a surprise that both Johnson and Hawley aren’t on the active roster. The Falcons elected to go with just seven offensive linemen -- the five starters, along with Will Svitek and Rob Bruggeman.

The other inactives for the Falcons are receiver Michael Jenkins, running back Antone Smith, linebacker Spencer Adkins and offensive tackle Garrett Reynolds.

Falcons sticking with 'the process'

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
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When I was on the phone with John Clayton on Sunday night working on our Great Debate for Wednesday, he threw out a great stat.

Clayton, who should have been a rocket scientist if he wasn’t so great at what he does, was breaking down rosters in every way you could imagine. According to Clayton, and this is current as of late last night, the Atlanta Falcons were tied with Minnesota for the fewest new players.

They have only eight new players on their roster. The list includes free-agent pickup Dunta Robinson, undrafted tight end Michael Palmer and the draft class -- linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, defensive tackle Corey Peters, offensive linemen Joe Hawley and Mike Johnson, cornerback Dominique Franks and safety Shann Schillinger. Clayton’s list doesn’t include center Rob Bruggeman and running back Antone Smith because each of those guys spent time on Atlanta’s practice squad last year.

What’s this all mean? Coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff really are sticking to what they like to call “the process,’’ which basically means building through the draft, adding a free agent here and making sure you keep your core players.

It’s a formula a lot of teams talk about but don’t truly follow as they often get desperate and go outside for free agents. Entering their third season together, Smith and Dimitroff have stuck with the plan and it’s been highlighted by the spectacular 2008 draft class.

The Falcons have had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history, and their roster displays a lot of continuity. We’ll see if that translates into them winning big, but I think they’re headed in the right direction.

When you’re able to cut a player like cornerback Chevis Jackson, it shows you’ve built a roster with pretty strong depth.

Bucs announce their moves

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

The Bucs have topped the rest of the division by getting their roster down to 52 players, one less than the league maximum. That’s because safety Tanard Jackson has been placed on the suspended list for the first four games of the season.

The Bucs released tackle Anthony Alabi, cornerback Kyle Arrington, defensive tackle Chris Bradwell, center Rob Bruggeman, defensive end Jarriett Buie, safety Steve Cargile, receiver Patrick Carter, defensive tackle Rashaad Duncan, defensive end Louis Holmes, running back Kareem Huggins, cornerback Darrell Hunter, tackle James Lee, tight end Jason Pocias, tight end Ryan Purvis, linebacker Bo Ruud and receiver Mario Urrutia. Safety Donte Nicholson was waived with an injury settlement.

Tackle Xavier Fulton was placed on the injured reserve list.

Kicker Matt Bryant, fullback Jameel Cook, receiver Cortez Hankton and receiver Marcus Maxwell had their contracts terminated.

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