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Arnold Ebiketie's journey from Cameroon to the NFL | Falcons in … –

Falcons rookie OLB Arnold Ebiketie sits down with Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney for the Falcons in Focus podcast to share his story. Ebiketie came to the United States when he was 13 years old. Throughout the podcast, he thinks back to that time, recalling stories of his childhood in Cameroon and how sports helped him connect with people in a new country. Ebiketie (self-proclaimed “Doctor of pass rush”) also discloses Arthur Smith’s nickname for him.
Scott and Tori attend the 2023 NFL Combine and ask other national media members their thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons. Listen in as Ben Solak, Chris Simms, Albert Breer, Robert Mays, and Charles Davis share their views on Free Agency, the NFL Draft and beyond.
Zoria Mcclerklin, a junior Education Studies major at Spelman College and Caleb Tsegaye, a junior Journalism Major with a concentration in Sports at Morehouse College, worked with the Atlanta Falcons and interviewed journalists, students, and Georgia natives to ask how they feel about the Falcons, Michael Vick, and how they have impacted the community. We hope you enjoy the project as much as we enjoyed making it!
Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Ashton Edmunds analyzed the Super Bowl combatants in relation to the Falcons and what they must do next. The Chiefs and Eagles built their championship rosters in different ways, and there’s plenty to for Atlanta to take from how those teams were successful. We identify three pillars of success, including dominance on both offensive and defensive lines and under center. We break down ways the Falcons can make strides in those areas, through upgrades or developing players already on the roster. We also discuss the possibility that the Falcons can surge into playoff contention in the NFC South if they make the right moves.
Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney kick off the offseason version of Falcons Final Whistle – Ashton Edmunds was in Las Vegas on assignment – with a discussion of the Ryan Nielsen and Jerry Gray hires and how they can impact this Falcons defense following Dean Pees retirement. They discuss what Nielsen brings to the table – his history with a 4-3 base isn’t a big deal – and how he can help the Falcons and what’s left to find out about what the new defensive coordinator has planned.
(00:00:00): Intro, initial reactions to Ryan Nielsen, Jerry Gray hires
(00:03:50): What we’ve found out about Ryan Nielsen
(00:07:15): Discussing Nielsen’s history in a 4-3 base formation
(00:11:17): Does this hire change the Falcons’ needs?
(00:15:24): Why Ryan Nielsen seems like an Arthur Smith guy; Jerry Gray’s fit
(21:40): Could we expect Falcons to bring in players their staff has a history with?
Greg Beadles joins Scott and Tori for the Falcons in Focus season finale to break down his journey from intern to team president, with great stories from 28 years spent rising through the organization. Beadles also details life as the son of a coach and athletic director, what it took to get Mercedes-Benz Stadium built and why his new role is a dream job for someone who grew up a huge Falcons fan.
Derek, Dave and D.J. discuss ending the season on a win, and what is next for the Atlanta Falcons. The guys also reflect on Dean Pees’ retirement and legacy, as well as dive into Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot’s end of season press conference.
Scott, Tori and Ashton discuss what should be a fascinating offseason for the Falcons franchise, with the 2022 season officially in the rearview. We evaluate quarterback Desmond Ridder’s four NFL starts and why he deserves the right to compete for the starting gig. We also preview the offseason and identify pressing needs that must be filled in free agency and the NFL Draft, which players to re-sign and which players they should extend now that the Falcons have tons of salary-cap space and quality draft capital.
(00:00:15): Intro, what happens next after 2022 season comes to a close
(00:09:25): A four-game evaluation of Desmond Ridder and the Falcons QB situation moving forward
(00:18:49): Most pressing positional needs: skill player vs. pass rusher
(00:24:27): Which players on expiring contracts Falcons should re-sign
Falcons cornerback and special teams ace Mike Ford joins Scott and Tori for an in-depth discussion about his journey to the NFL, his quest to learn about his father, who died when he was six months old. He also details how buying his mother a house realized a dream, and how he established himself in the NFL after starting as an undrafted free agent with a small signing bonus.
Derek, Dave and D.J. discuss the Atlanta Falcons win over the Arizona Cardinals and the keys to finishing out the season with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Scott, Ashton and Tori break down a New Year’s Day victory over the Arizona Cardinals, which ended with a game-winning field goal by Younghoe Koo. We dissect Desmond Ridder’s role in the victory, how Tyler Allgeier’s emergence is helping Cordarrelle Patterson and why the team’s young foundation is expanding with a stellar rookie class
(00:00:15): Intro, difference between victory and four-game losing streak
(00:06:02): A deep dive into Desmond Ridder’s game-winning drive
(00:09:30): Desmond Ridder’s overall development
(00:13:33): Desmond Ridder vs. other available quarterbacks
(00:17:00): Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson working in tandem, how CP is used
(00:23:44): Evaluating Falcons expanding young foundation
Star Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom joins Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney to discuss his whirlwind month of December, when he was named the Falcons’ Walter Payton Man of the Year and then received his first Pro Bowl honor a few weeks later. We dive into the time and effort he’s pouring into the Atlanta community and his primary motivations for it, plus what life was life growing up in a big football family full of offensive linemen.
Dave and D.J. discuss the Atlanta Falcons loss to the Baltimore Ravens and break down Desmond Ridder’s and the Falcons’ performance and how they could beat the Arizona Cardinals. They also dive into why these two last games carry a lot of importance for the Atlanta Falcons.
Scott, Tori and Ashton take a look at what the Falcons must do over their last two games, and how to evaluate players and their progress while compiling an offseason priority list. We talk extensively about Desmond Ridder and the quarterback position moving forward, about adding depth at the skill spots and finding intimidators throughout the defensive front.
(00:00:15): Intro, what Ravens game said about offseason priorities
(00:06:40): Evaluating Desmond Ridder’s performance, and offseason QB needs
(00:14:05): Drake London and WR/TE evaluation
(00:22:00): Evaluating Falcons defense, including Grady Jarrett’s stellar season
(00:25:15): Discussing the need for additions on DL, edge rusher
Falcons receiver Drake London joins Scott and Tori for an in-depth conversation about life growing up as a two-sport star, balancing football and basketball schedules well into his USC career. The No. 8 overall NFL Draft pick also details his upbringing in a close, supportive family, his tight bond with his equally famous sister and that time Drake (the rapper) bet on Drake (the football player).
Derek, Dave and D.J. discuss the Atlanta Falcons loss to the New Orleans Saints and break down Desmond Ridder’s and the Falcons’ performance. They also dive into the keys to beating the Baltimore Ravens.
Scott, Tori and Ashton break down Desmond Ridder’s first regular-season start in great detail, putting it under the microscope and into the bigger picture, setting a baseline for how to evaluate his games moving forward. They also look at Tyler Allgeier’s season and the best game of his young career, plus Drake London’s showing, both the good and bad, in this Week 15 contest.
(00:00:15): Takeaways from Saints loss, why Falcons performance is more important than NFC South race
(00:08:09): Breaking down Desmond Ridder’s performance
(00:23:30): On Tyler Allgeier’s big day, rookie development
(00:28:38): Why passing inefficiency plagues Falcons
(00:29:20): Evaluating Drake London’s day, the good and bad, and what he said afterward
(00:34:00) On Dean Pees carted off pregame, and optimistic outlook after coming home with the the team
Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo joins Scott and Tori for an in-depth conversation about his unlikely journey from South Korea to the U.S. from playing youth soccer to the NFL. Koo discusses working through a language barrier to fit into a new culture and how athletics eased that transition. He also talked about the nature of clutch performance and inspiring those by sharing a story detailed in the latest episode of Falcons in Focus.
Derek, Dave and D.J. discuss Desmond Ridder stepping in as quarterback, the Atlanta Falcons loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and break down how the Falcons can find success on the road vs the New Orleans Saints.
Scott, Tori and Ashton break down the Falcons’ latest loss to the Steelers and how they can rebound well enough to capitalize on unique opportunity to win the NFC South despite recent struggles. Head coach Arthur Smith said changes will be made during the bye week, and left the door open to a change at quarterback. We evaluate Marcus Mariota’s performance over the past few games and whether Desmond Ridder could provide a spark in crucial moments.
(00:00:15): Intro, thoughts on loss to Steelers
(00:05:28): Discussing Mariota, Ridder and possibility of making change at quarterback
(00:15:30): Could Desmond Ridder provide a spark? Can he prove a long-term solution?
(00:18:27): Pros and cons of making QB change, sticking with Mariota
(00:22:05): Can Falcons make right changes, rebound and win NFC South?
Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews joins Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney to detail the wild journey to be present for the birth of his son and the Falcons game at Carolina on the same day, explaining how it all happened and how special the day was for him and his wife, Meggi. Then we go back in time to discuss being part of football royalty in the Matthews clan, including what his father Bruce Matthews’ advice has meant to him as a kid and throughout a long and prosperous career.
Derek, Dave and D.J. discuss the Atlanta Falcons loss to the Washington Commanders and break down how the Falcons can find success vs the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Scott Bair, Tori McElhaney and Ashton Edmunds break down a difficult loss to the Washington Commanders, including a detailed look at the decisive drive where the Falcons fell just short after a Marcus Mariota pass was batted and intercepted in the end zone. We look at this game in detail and where the Falcons sit in the NFC South, which is still ripe for the picking.
(00:00:10): Intro, takeaways on Washington loss, state of NFC South
(00:03:50): Falcons must finish better to end season right
(00:06:46): Breaking down final Falcons drive that fell just short
(00:13:20): What to make of defensive effort, the good, bad and the clutch performance at the then
(00:15:08): How Falcons fared without Kyle Pitts
(00:18:24): Why Bucs loss doesn’t change perception of Falcons loss
Derek, Dave and D.J. discuss the Atlanta Falcons win over the Chicago Bears and break down how the Falcons can find continued success vs the Washington Commanders. They also dive into Cordarrelle Patterson’s record-setting return touchdown, as well as how injuries may cause adjustments among the Falcons team.
Tori McElhaney and Ashton Edmunds take a look back at the Falcons 27-24 win against the Chicago Bears. They break down Cordarrelle Patterson’s 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – a play that broke an NFL record – as well as one of the best defensive performances the Falcons have had to date.
Rashaan Evans joins Scott Bair and Tori McElhaney on Falcons in Focus to discuss growing up on a ranch, chasing horses with his brother, why he Dean Pees think the same way and how he chose Alabama despite having a family full of distinguished Auburn alumni.
© Atlanta Falcons Football Club – 2023


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