2014 DRAFT GUIDE
DE Osi Umenyiora loving life with Falcons

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2013-07-27 19:44

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Ask Osi Umenyiora about playing in Atlanta and the Falcons' new defensive end smiles instantly.

Umenyiora says it's a blessing that he spent 10 years with New York and helped the Giants win two Super Bowls.

But after signing a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Falcons in late March, Umenyiora began a new phase of his career without having to depart for training camp and leave his five-year-old son, his fiancee and his father - all of whom live with him in the Atlanta suburbs.

He's been in his current home since 2005 and first moved to metropolitan Atlanta after his senior season at Troy State in 2002.

``It means the world, man,'' Umenyiora said Saturday. ``I get to see my little boy every day. I get to see my dad and my family. I don't have to leave and go away and come back and all that stuff.''

After engaging in several years of contract squabbles with the Giants' front office and later having his role reduced on New York's defensive line, Umenyiora has settled into a comfortable life as a professional.

He is the undisputed leader of the Falcons' line now that John Abraham, his predecessor and the NFL's active career sacks leader, is playing for Arizona.

Coach Mike Smith said Umenyiora has gone out of his way to motivate some of his younger teammates on the field, in the classroom and in the locker room.

When Smith handed out the team's offseason workout schedule in the spring, Umenyiora came to his office within an hour and asked if he could report for his weight training at 6 a.m.

``He said, `Hey, coach, I'm an early morning guy,' and I replied, `Absolutely no problem at all,'' Smith said. ``But when I looked in the weight room a few days later, it's not just him in there. He's got a small group of guys in there that he had taken under his wing.''

Rookie defensive end Malliciah Goodman, a fourth-round draft pick from Clemson, has gotten lots of helpful advice from Umenyiora, who built an impressive NFL resume by rushing outside offensive tackles to knock the ball out quarterbacks' hands and force fumbles.

Umenyiora is working with Goodman to use his long arms to knock down an offensive tackle's top hand just as he comes out of his stance. Goodman is learning how to gain leverage and keep the offensive tackle from punching against his chest to keep him out of the pocket.

``He picks what you're struggling with to kind of help you with it,'' Goodman said. ``He's a vet. He's been there. He's done it. He's had a bunch of success. Just any little thing you learn from him is a big help.''

Umenyiora knows he will be judged ultimately on how well he rushes the passer. His sacks total dipped last season to six, his lowest total in five years, but he also was used as a situational rusher and started just four of 16 games behind Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan plans to use Umenyiora on the right and left side of the line. As Abraham did last year in Nolan's first season with Atlanta, Umenyiora also is working occasionally in a stand-up stance as a hybrid end-outside linebacker.

``Never really done that before, but in a situation like this where it's something that I might have to do, I just have to work,'' he said. ``I don't know if I'm going to do it during an actual game or not, but it's cool to come out here, get a feel for it and see if I can do it.''

His role is still being defined, but that's common under Smith and Nolan, who cross-train ends to play tackle, tackles to play end and safeties to play linebacker. Nolan even deployed defensive end Kroy Biermann at safety last year in Week 2 as the Falcons intercepted Peyton Manning three times and beat the Denver Broncos.

``Honestly, I'm just happy to be here,'' Umenyiora said. ``Not to say I wasn't happy to be with my former team, but I'm just happy to be here. It's a very good football team, and I'm anxious to get the season started.''

Note: Smith said that TE Tony Gonzalez, who was given permission to miss an unspecified amount of training camp and preseason, is expected to return in two weeks and to play in the second and third preseason games Aug. 15 at Baltimore and Aug. 24 at Tennessee. Gonzalez, the NFL's No. 2 career-leading receiver, has announced that he will retire after the 2013 season. The 37-year-old Gonzalez said this week that he will spend time with his family and watch his son practice football in southern California. ...

---

Follow George Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group