NFC South: Charles Mitchell

Atlanta Falcons cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
Most significant move: The Falcons were 13-3 last year and kept most of their team together. That’s why it’s more than a little surprising that four undrafted free agents made the roster. That’s a tribute to the scouting staff. OT Terren Jones, LB Paul Worrilow, LB Joplo Bartu and OT Ryan Schraeder made the team. Worrilow and Bartu should contribute immediately on special teams. Schraeder has shown the ability to play both right and left tackle.

Fan favorite: He was a long shot all the way, but Banks was being followed closely by fans. That’s because he had a unique history. Banks spent five years in prison and later was exonerated. Banks’ attempt to make the team was a great story while it lasted. But it may not be completely over. The Falcons reportedly may offer Banks a position working with the team.

What’s next: The Falcons could be combing the waiver wire for offensive line help. Second-year pro Lamar Holmes is unproven at right tackle and the Falcons, who lost projected starter Mike Johnson to injury, might want to bring in an alternative. Even if Holmes plays well, the line still could use more depth. It also is possible the Falcons could bring in a veteran quarterback because backup Dominique Davis never has taken a snap in the regular season.

Players cut: Waived LB Brian Banks, G Theo Goins, DT Neal Huynh, CB Terrence Johnson, S Charles Mitchell, DT Micanor Regis, T Alec Savoie, LB Pat Schiller, K Jeremy Shelley, CB Peyton Thompson, RB Ronnie Wingo, FB Patrick DiMarco, LB Robert James, WR Darius Johnson, CB Jordan Mabin, G Phillipkeith Manley, G Jacques McClendon, WR Martel Moore, DT Adam Replogle and WR James Rodgers. The Falcons also placed QB Sean Renfree and TE Andrew Szczerba on injured reserve.

Looking at Falcons' defensive snaps

February, 12, 2013
I’ve got complete playing-time numbers for the Atlanta Falcons defense (we’ll have numbers on their offense and the offenses and defenses for the rest of the NFC South teams later).

The Falcons had 1,022 defensive plays and safety Thomas DeCoud was on the field for 1,021 of them, which put him at a team-high 99.9 percent.

Let’s take a look at the playing time percentages for the rest of Atlanta’s defenders:
  • Cornerback Christopher Owens 16.63

Falcons' injury report

January, 11, 2013
The Atlanta Falcons just released their final injury report for Sunday’s game against Seattle, and it doesn’t contain any major surprises.

Defensive end John Abraham (ankle) is listed as questionable, but he participated in practice on a limited basis. I’d be shocked if Abraham isn’t able to play. Reserve safety Charles Mitchell (calf) also is questionable. As expected, cornerback Christopher Owens (hamstring) has been declared out for Sunday.

Cornerback Dunta Robinson (concussion) and safety William Moore (hamstring) are both listed as probable, and both participated fully in Friday’s practice.

Atlanta's defensive playing time

January, 8, 2013
One thing I always like to do after the season is look back at playing time for all the players in the NFC South.

We’ll get to the Buccaneers, Panthers and Saints at some point in the coming days or weeks. But we’re going to take a look at the Atlanta Falcons now since they’re in the playoffs.

Let’s start with Atlanta’s defense. The Falcons had 1,041 defensive snaps. Here’s a list of how man plays each player was on the field for, followed by my thoughts on things that stand out: My thoughts: Having the 34-year-old Abraham on the field for almost 72 percent of the plays seems excessive. But, after Edwards flamed out and was released, the Falcons really didn’t have much depth at defensive end. … Babineaux was on the field for 82 percent of the plays. That’s a huge number for a defensive tackle and it makes you wonder if he might be a little worn down. … Technically, Dent is Atlanta’s starting middle linebacker. But he only took part in 48 percent of the plays and some of that came while he was filling in for an injured Weatherspoon. The Falcons used their nickel defense more often than their 4-3 base. But I think you might see a fair amount of Dent on Sunday against Seattle because the Falcons need to slow Marshawn Lynch and the running game. … That’s not a misprint that Jones, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, was on the field for one defensive play. The Falcons threw him out there as a safety, the same way they used to do with Brian Finneran, at the end of one game.

Inactives for the Atlanta Falcons

November, 29, 2012
ATLANTA – Defensive tackle Peria Jerry will be inactive for the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night against New Orleans.

Jerry will miss his second consecutive game with a quadriceps injury. Corey Peters and Jonathan Babineaux will start at defensive tackle, but rookie Travian Robertson will move into the backup rotation with Vance Walker.

Also inactive for the Falcons are quarterback Dominique Davis, receiver Tim Toone, safety Charles Mitchell, guard Phillipkeith Manley, guard Harland Gunn and defensive end Lawrence Sidbury.

Sean Weatherspoon returning for Falcons

November, 25, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. -- Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will make his return Sunday against the Buccaneers after missing three games with an ankle injury.

That should help a run defense that has struggled in his absence. Receiver Julio Jones (ankle) and cornerback Asante Samuel (shoulder) had been listed as questionable, but they are active and expected to start.

The inactives for the Falcons are quarterback Dominique Davis, safety Charles Mitchell, receiver Tim Toone, offensive lineman Phillipkeith Manley, defensive end Lawrence Sidbury, defensive tackle Peria Jerry and offensive lineman Harland Gunn.

The inactives for the Bucs are cornerback Eric Wright, running back Michael Smith, safety Cody Grimm, linebacker Najee Goode, offensive lineman Cody Wallace, defensive tackle Matthew Masifilo and receiver David Douglas.

Julio Jones will play against Cardinals

November, 18, 2012
ATLANTA -- Wide receiver Julio Jones, who was listed as questionable with an ankle injury, will be active for Sunday’s game between the Falcons and Arizona Cardinals.

Jones tested out the ankle, running routes with coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and the training staff watching closely and they obviously must have been satisfied with what they saw.

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (ankle) will miss his third straight game. The other inactives for the Falcons are quarterback Dominique Davis, receiver Kevin Cone, safety Charles Mitchell, offensive lineman Phillipkeith Manley, offensive tackle Lamar Holmes and defensive tackle Travian Robertson.

Saints, Falcons without injured starters

November, 11, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- No surprises on the lists of inactive players for the Saints and Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

As expected, injured Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will miss his second straight game. Mike Peterson is expected to start in his place with Akeem Dent also picking up some of Weatherspoon’s snaps.

The other inactives for Atlanta are quarterback Dominique Davis, receiver Kevin Cone, safety Charles Mitchell, offensive lineman Phillipkeith Manley, offensive tackle Lamar Holmes and defensive tackle Travian Robertson.

The Saints also will be without several injured players. Running back Darren Sproles, receiver/return man Courtney Roby, linebacker Scott Shanle, offensive tackle Zach Strief and defensive end Junior Galette are inactive. The other inactives for the Saints are defensive back Elbert Mack and defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker.

Clabo, Weatherspoon active for Falcons

September, 17, 2012
ATLANTA – There was some concern the Falcons would be without injured right tackle Tyson Clabo (hip) and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (hamstring) on Monday night.

Both players were listed as questionable, but there no longer is any question they’ll both be in the starting lineup against the Broncos.

The Falcons just announced their inactives and Clabo and Weatherspoon are not on the list.

The inactives are quarterback Dominique Davis, safety Charles Mitchell, cornerback Terrence Johnson, center Joe Hawley and defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi.

NFC South afternoon update

August, 23, 2012
It’s time for our afternoon look at what’s going on across the NFC South:


The Bucs have rearranged their locker room so that players are no longer surrounded by their position group. Coach Greg Schiano wouldn’t go into a lengthy explanation. But I think you can read between the lines with one example -- LeGarrette Blount's locker is now next to Ronde Barber's. I think it’s fair to say that Blount’s a guy that hasn’t always been completely focused, while Barber’s a veteran with a reputation for being a dedicated professional. It’s pretty obvious the Bucs are hoping some of Barber will wear off on Blount.

The first wave of roster cuts (to 75 players) don’t have to come until Monday. But the Bucs went ahead and released three of their undrafted free agents.

Although he’s only practiced three times since being claimed off waivers, receiver Jordan Shipley is expected to get some playing time in Friday night’s preseason game. The Bucs might as well throw Shipley out there and see what he’s got because they’re going to have to be making more roster decisions pretty quickly.


Mark Bradley looks at the Falcons schedule and projects how they’ll fare in the regular season. He has them going 12-4 and winning the NFC South. It’s at least possible. One thing to note -- Bradley has the Falcons going 6-0 against division opponents.

Safety Shann Schillinger will miss the preseason game with the Dolphins due to a foot injury. This is somewhat significant because Schillinger seemingly is in a battle with rookie Charles Mitchell for the final safety spot.


Running back Mark Ingram said he doesn’t think that his development has been hurt as the Saints have limited his practice time during the preseason. Ingram said he still does mental reps during practices. The Saints have been cautious with Ingram because he dealt with several injuries as a rookie last year. I think the goal is to just make sure Ingram is totally healthy for the start of the season.

Special teams coordinator Greg McMahon said the kicking battle between Garrett Hartley and John Kasay will go right down to the wire. This is one of the best kicking battles I’ve ever seen because it features two guys who have made some very big kicks. Whichever one loses out in New Orleans will end up kicking for someone else this season.


Coach Ron Rivera said receiver Steve Smith’s injured foot is improving, but the team will be cautious on when he returns to the field. That’s the only way to go on this one. Smith’s a veteran and doesn’t need preseason games to prove anything.

NFC South afternoon update

August, 15, 2012
Time for a stroll through the Wednesday afternoon headlines from around the division:


D. Orlando Ledbetter has a list of five position battles to watch as the Falcons get ready for Thursday night’s preseason game. He tops it with the right guard spot, where Garrett Reynolds started the opener. But you have to believe the Falcons want to give rookie Peter Konz a look with the first team and that almost certainly has to come in the second or third preseason game.

On the surface, the game with Cincinnati isn’t a marquee matchup. But there is one significant matchup within the game. It will be the first NFL meeting between second-year receivers Julio Jones and A.J. Green. Preseason football can be dull, but these two guys have the ability to make it entertaining.

Sixth-round draft pick Charles Mitchell is showing he can play both safety positions, which can only help his chances of making the roster.


Linebacker Jon Beason, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury recently, said the plan is for him to return for the Aug. 26 game preseason game with the Jets. Look, I know Beason is anxious to get back on the field after missing most of last season with a torn Achilles tendon. But, if I’m the Panthers, I’m not letting Beason play in a game until the regular-season opener. The Panthers already know what Beason can do. It’s far more important to have him at full strength for the regular season than to have him out there working on his timing for a few plays in a preseason game.


New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins said he’s praying for interceptions after going through last season without a pick. I think things are going to work out just fine for Jenkins. He has the physical skills and the instincts. Now that he’s getting a chance to be a true centerfielder in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, he should have plenty of opportunities for interceptions.

The Carolina Panthers previously announced enhanced security measures for the season. The Saints have joined them. All fans entering the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season will have to pass through metal detectors.

Jonathan Casillas may be keeping himself in the mix for the starting job at weak-side linebacker. Casillas has intercepted a Drew Brees pass in two straight practices. That’s going to help his chances. But the real key for Casillas will be staying healthy, something he has struggled with throughout his career.


The Bucs wrapped up the training-camp portion of coach Greg Schiano’s first preseason. Schiano said he was pleased with how hard his team worked in camp. Schiano is a guy that’s always looking for effort, so I’d say it sounds like the Bucs had a successful camp.

Guard Davin Joseph said the Bucs have backs that can be “home-run hitters" in rookie Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount. They’re going to at least have to hit some singles and doubles if the Bucs are going to move up from ranking 30th in the run game last year.

Top draft choice Mark Barron missed the preseason opener with a toe injury, but he expects to make his NFL debut Friday night.
We showed you the contract details for a bunch of NFC South rookies earlier in the week. I just got a look at four more deals, so let’s run through them.

Atlanta offensive tackle Lamar Holmes, a third-round choice, got a four-year deal worth $2.633 million, including a $533,600 signing bonus. Safety Charles Mitchell, a sixth-round pick, got a four-year deal worth $2.2 million, including a signing bonus of $101,672.

The Falcons have only fifth-round defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi left unsigned. It’s pretty obvious what he’ll make. The Falcons have only $432,215 remaining under this year’s rookie pool of $2.861 million. The total value of Massaquoi’s deal can’t be worth more than $2.882 million because that’s all the Falcons have left available for the full course of all their rookie contracts.

Tampa Bay linebacker Najee Goode, a fifth-round choice, got a four-year deal worth $2.307 million, including a $206,900 signing bonus. Cornerback Keith Tandy signed a four-year deal worth $2.2 million, including a $120,600 signing bonus.

The Bucs still haven’t signed their top three draft picks -- safety Mark Barron, running back Doug Martin and linebacker Lavonte David. But they have plenty of room left in this year’s rookie pool. They have $4.496 million available for this year. They also have $25.1 million left to spend over the course of all their rookie contracts.

Carolina already has signed all of its picks and came in just under the maximum allotment for rookie contracts. The New Orleans Saints, who didn’t have a pick until the third round and have the NFL’s smallest rookie pool, have yet to sign any of their draft picks.

Looking back on the sixth round

April, 28, 2012
The sixth round of the NFL draft is over and each NFC South team made one pick. Let’s take a look.

The Buccaneers selected West Virginia cornerback Keith Tandy. At this stage of the draft, it’s all about depth. With Aqib Talib’s future still uncertain and the possibility of Ronde Barber playing safety, Tandy gives the Bucs some more depth at cornerback and a likely special-teams player.

The Saints took Syracuse guard Andrew Tiller. This is one guy that you don’t write off as a career backup just because he’s a sixth-round pick. First off, Tiller has great size and some upside. Second, the Saints have a history of finding great guards later in the draft. They found Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks, although Nicks left this year via free agency. Oh, there’s one other factor here. Tiller’s college coach was Doug Marrone, who used to be New Orleans’ offensive coordinator, so Tiller should have some familiarity with the Saints’ offense.

The Falcons picked Mississippi State safety Charles Mitchell. He’s a little short, but he’s strong and powerful. As a three-year starter in the SEC, he has experience against good competition. He should provide some solid depth behind Thomas DeCoud and William Moore.

The Panthers used the final pick of the sixth round on Wisconsin punter Brad Nortman. This is significant. The Panthers released punter Jason Baker in a salary-cap move and needed a replacement. They found one in Nortman.