As the Browns face potential sanctions from the NFL regarding a violation of the league’s electronic use policy, the Falcons are under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise at their home games, as we heard over the weekend. Owner Arthur Blank essentially acknowledged the team’s guilt during his meeting with the media yesterday, as ESPN.com details.
“I think what we’ve done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong,” Blank said. “Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we’re opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It’s obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn’t represent our culture and what we’re about.”
Like the Browns, the Falcons face penalties that may include fines or the loss of a draft pick, and Blank confirmed that he expects to hear from the league regarding the matter within the next couple weeks.
Here are a few more Falcons-related items for Wednesday:
- Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who missed the 2014 season with a ruptured Achilles, will be “an important part of building this defense and building this team,” Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said yesterday, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. That’s a strong endorsement for a player who doesn’t yet have a contract for the 2015 season, and suggests Atlanta is serious about bringing Weatherspoon back.
- The Falcons received permission from the Seahawks to speak to Marquand Manuel, and will interview him Friday for their defensive backs coach job, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. McClure hears from a source that Seattle tried hard to keep Manuel, but it appears he’ll be joining former Seattle DC Dan Quinn in Atlanta — Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (TwitLonger link) says Manuel will be a senior defensive consultant for the Falcons, in addition to overseeing the secondary.
- A pair of former Washington coaches are also set to join Quinn’s staff. Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated tweets that current Notre Dame QBs coach Matt LaFleur is expected to leave the Fighting Irish for the Falcons, while John Keim of ESPN.com says (via Twitter) that Atlanta will also likely hire Mike McDaniel in some capacity. LaFleur previously served as Washington’s QBs coach, while McDaniel was the club’s WRs coach.
- Alex Marvez of Fox Sports has even more details on new hirings for the Falcons, writing that the team has hired former Syracuse director of football operations Steve Scarnecchia (assistant to the head coach) and former UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich (LBs coach).